WF&FSA Board Member Spotlight
Marla O'Dell, WF&FSA 2017/2018 President
Each month, WF&FSA turns the spotlight on a current board member. Take a few minutes and get to know this month's board member with us!
What prompted you to get involved with WF&FSA and join the board of directors?
I had been involved with WF&FSA and/or SAF committees for years. I find it personally fulfilling to give back time to an industry that I have worked in for 2 decades. Plus, the people that donate their time to the floral industry in an effort to just make it better are so bright, energetic, thoughtful and, quite simply, refreshing to be around. I really hadn’t thought about being a board member. I kind of always believed the Board was reserved for company owners. Then, Rob Shibata and Santiago Cock-Rada asked me to join informing me the Board was not in fact for owners only. The Board is made up of industry leaders, owners or not, who have the ability and desire to push forward WF&FSA’s strategy.
What are the biggest benefits you receive as a WF&FSA member?
For me, the biggest benefit of being a WF&FSA member is interacting with customers, other suppliers and industry peers in a setting away from our places of business. We all get so caught up in our day to day lives and it is hard to take out time to just think, talk, and ponder. Being at WF&FSA events provides that unstructured time to interact with other members of the industry and discuss what is going on, what we could do differently and get to know each better.
What is the primary reason that you, or anyone else, should attend WF&FSA’s Floral Distribution Conference this year?
Besides the obvious networking benefit, this year’s keynote is a really big draw. Every wholesaler I have mentioned this keynote to has become very excited and even if they weren’t planning to attend, quickly changed their mind. On Wednesday we have a panel speaking on Global Floral Production with representatives from Africa, China, Holland, North America and South America. The world of flower production is rapidly changing and wholesalers are eager to learn what opportunities and obstacles lie ahead.
What would you say to a company that is considering joining WF&FSA this year?
Don’t miss out and take advantage of all WF&FSA has to offer. Our annual Management Institute event concluded a couple weeks ago. I heard industry veterans say “this is the BEST education I have ever had at any event.” This 2 day educational event is kicked off with a “road trip” to local floral industry business (this year we say 2 farms, the LA Flower Market and a regional grocery chain/buyer) and provides ample networking opportunities. While “emerging leaders” are highly encouraged to attend, the group is well-rounded with attendees with varying levels of industry experience.
What is your company most excited about in 2018?
The future! Having a robust economy is encouraging. We are a USA manufacture and our plants are running full out. We are investing in our company, our people and upgrading technology. The future is bright!
When you’re not at work or serving on the WF&FSA board, what do you like to do with your free time?
It may sound cliché, but I like to spend time with my family. My job has me traveling several days per week so my weekends are spent getting caught up on errands and family time. With 1 son in college, another in graduate school and 1 daughter in high school they have my husband Rich and me running to various sporting and school events. Additionally, Rich and I are both U.W. Madison alums and follow Badger sports whenever we can squeeze it in.
About Your Company
The Berwick Offray and Hampshire Paper brands, part of CSS Industries, Inc., are leaders in the ribbon, bow, and floral packaging industries. We have the widest variety of products encompassing those categories and the most current trend colors and patterns developed by a team of trend gurus. Our brands include Offray® ribbons, Berwick® ribbons and bows, Simply Sheer Asiana ribbon, McGinley Mills® acetate satin, The Perfect Bow®, Wraphia® ribbons, Kwik-Cover® pot covers, Krystalphane® film, and Guardsman® Waxed Tissue and Decorative Foils to name a few. While we have a sourcing and QC staff in various parts of Asia, the majority of our floral products are PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA.
Volunteers are the very heart of WF&FSA and our strength as an association. Whether you would like to volunteer for a committee, write a blog, or fill a board seat and help lead the organization, WF&FSA wants to hear from you.
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