President’s Address

John Weaver, Kalsec

It’s been quite an honor to serve as president of NAFFS. This association has been an important part of our industry for more than 100 years and continues to provide relevant support and guidance to our member companies and individuals. Members and volunteers provide strong leadership, resulting in benefits for the foreseeable future. This industry is continually changing and this association will be an integral part of that change. I wish to thank Kalsec® for allowing me the time to support NAFFS during my board and officer years.

This annual publication always includes articles summarizing the presentations offered at our prior year’s convention. The tremendous amount of effort our convention committee puts in to create an informative and interesting program for the event, including articles that summarize those presentations ensures this publication is always filled with top-notch content. It’s also a way to ensure the publication contains timely articles of interest to everyone in the industry.

As you’ll see, our speakers covered topics such as the future of flavors with sweeteners, flavor opportunities within the cannabis market and flavor trends of the future. There was also a panel of university professors who spoke about what our next generation of industry cohorts are being taught in college.

While these articles give you a feel for what took place at the convention, they only scratch the surface. They don’t contain all the information presented; there’s just not room to include it all. They don’t include the perspective you might have if you were in the audience – there’s no way for us to do that. They don’t include conversations attendees have amongst themselves and with the speakers – all of which help to get even more out of the presentations.

This publication also can’t capture the networking and conversations that take place over the convention’s two-plus days. While some may not fully understand the benefit of interacting with others in the industry, the impact of that interaction is far-reaching. Sometimes the benefit is to our businesses; sometimes the benefit can even be something on a personal level; and sometimes the interaction leads to something our association can help address.

The articles also can’t capture the aromas and can’t fully paint the pictures of the chef demonstrations and other samplings that have become an integral part of NAFFS meetings. Your senses truly come alive when attending a NAFFS event.

One particularly gratifying thing that happened at our 2018 convention was the raising of money to help those impacted by Hurricane Michael, a devastating storm that pummeled portions of Florida not too long before our event. What started as a suggestion at a meeting of the NAFFS Board of Directors at the convention turned into a request during the general membership meeting to have the organization donate $2,000 to help Floridians impacted by the storm. Not only was that donation fully supported, many people around the room pledged to donate money as well. Within a matter of a minute or two, approximately $20,000 was raised. NAFFS followed up with all members after the convention and the grand total of the donation soared to $30,000.

That, along with the association’s annual scholarship program (which includes funds from the organization and member firms adding to the total) and the donation by NAFFS and some individual members to a long-time colleague in need, clearly demonstrate the giving nature of those within not only our association, but our industry. I’m honored to have the privilege to serve as the president of an association that’s a key part of this industry.

There’s a reason NAFFS has been around for 100+ years and has a bright future – many reasons, actually. The convention featured in this publication is just one of several annual meetings conducted by the association. Throughout the year, NAFFS sponsors programs that provide valuable information – information on cutting-edge technology, new regulations, trends – you name it, all presented in ways to engage attendees, so they get the most from their participation.

To those from non-NAFFS member companies reading this, please consider joining today. Not sure your company is a member? Refer to the membership directory that begins on Page 40. If your company is a member, you’re a member! Send an email to info@naffs.org to request your name be added to your company’s record so you receive the ongoing information NAFFS sends to members.

NAFFS membership dues continue to be a great value. For just $500 per year, everyone at your company has another source of valuable information, access to the member-rate at popular industry events throughout the year and the opportunity to help our industry prosper.

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