see you at the 2023 iapd leadership development conference
by Deborah Ragsdale
IAPD President

t is time again for IAPD to gather for the 2023 IAPD Leadership Development Conference. In the many years I have been blessed to be a part of the IAPD – The Performance Plastics Association, I have attended many annual conventions, committee meetings, board member orientations and Leadership Development Conferences. I have learned so much from all of these that I attended, but looking back, I really believe that the Leadership Development Conference is where I was able to learn the most. It turned out to be exactly what the name implies; a chance for all IAPD members in every aspect of the plastics industry to come together, and be given tools to help them develop into the leaders needed to carry this industry into the future.

When are most of us given an opportunity to meet with others that share the same common goals as us, with the same interests as us, and that want to do something to make a difference for ourselves, our companies and our association? When are most of us asked how we feel about topics that are meaningful enough to us that we made the decision to get involved, to join a committee to make a difference? When are most of us given an opportunity to meet with employees from our own company, sister companies, competitors or to meet vendors from the performance plastics industry? Not only to meet these people, but to be able to spend time networking with these people, spend relaxing time over a drink or a meal and having the opportunity to know these people. These are the kind of interactions that happen at the LDC, and that we will continue to have year after year, with different people and different topics. The IAPD Leadership Development Conference is a goldmine of opportunities for our industry leaders to meet one another, network and meet strategically to discuss the short and long-term solutions for what our industry is facing today.

Deborah Ragsdale headshot

Now, let’s add another layer of benefits to the ones already mentioned. How often are we given opportunities to attend workshops with great speakers that could touch on topics that affect our everyday work life? Topics that help each and every one of us to become better leaders? Last year in Charlotte, NC, we heard from Cara Silletto about the problem facing each and every company in the country; workforce retention. She gave us creative solutions we could use to help with the problems at hand. At the same conference, Mike Mooney gave us tips on how to build and innovate a high-performing team. Both speakers presented us with the tools needed to help us with the crisis we are faced with daily. In 2019, Galen Emanuele spoke to us about creating team cultures and performing work atmospheres, and Shawn Clark spoke about being a leader and how to motivate our sales teams. Each speaker is hired to teach, motivate and help us with the timely problems that our industry faces.

What can we expect at the 2023 LDC?
For starters, we can all look forward to keynote speaker Robert Beaven, COO and CRO of Jennifer Brown Consulting. Robert believes that it is the responsibility of men, who most often hold positions of power, to use that power and their privilege to drive positive change and ensure everyone feels included and respected. Instead of “calling people out,” Beaven believes in calling people “in.” Not only welcoming all of us wihtout judgement on where we are with DEI+B company practices right now, but also giving us action items to walk away with to make immediate positive impact. Our other keynote speaker will be Dr. Namika Sagara. Dr Sagara is a behavioral scientist with over two decades of experience applying academic research into practical business areas such as behavioral economics research and consulting to better understand and nudge people’s behavior. She has also taught behavioral economics to thousands of business professionals across the world.

These two inspiring speakers, the great networking and our IAPD PAC reception are all impactful reasons to come to our Leadership Development Conference on May 2 – 4, 2023 in Columbus, OH. I have spent a lot of time in previous issues writing about the great relationships that can be fostered by being an integral part of the IAPD. The Leadership Development Conference is just one more example of a great way to meet interesting, friendly people who share the love of the performance plastics industry we all do. Take my word for it. The trip will be well worth the effort. I look forward to seeing you there, and I hope you have safe travels.