WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) 9th Annual Washington Fly-In is set for April 11 and 12, and I am once again looking forward to a successful event. This will be my seventh Fly-In, and some may wonder why I make this event a priority each year, or why they should participate as well.
I have really come to enjoy the annual Fly-In and the benefits it brings to both me and my company. For all you new SOCMA members, or longtime members who haven't yet attended, I would like to share the Top Six Reasons I will be in Washington, DC, for the 2016 Fly-In and why you should, too.
1. "In today's business environment, it is not enough to know what has happened. It is really not much better to know what is going to happen. SOCMA provides a way for members to influence what is going to happen." These were my comments after attending my first Fly-In in 2010. We spend a lot of time talking about the impact legislation has on our business and personal lives. This is a chance to do something and make a difference.
2. You have the perfect opportunity to put the needs and concerns of your facility on your Representative's radar. I have met with two or three of my Congressmen in one day – two represented the locations of our plants, while one represented the area where I live. SOCMA not only provides an opportunity to address Congressman as a group representing our industry, but also share with our Congressman information about our companies and their value to our states and congressional districts. During a meeting with Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX) last year, we extended an invitation for him to visit our facility. Babin accepted and visited our plant in August 2015. Also, in 2013, senior staff of Senator Ted Cruz visited Texas Molecular as a result of an invitation I made at the Fly-In.
3. You are an essential part of the success of the Fly-In. How is that? By coming to the Fly-In you give SOCMA the ability to schedule more personal visits from our membership with members of Congress. These lawmakers are much more likely to grant personal meetings to SOCMA if one of their constituents is present. You play an important part in increasing the number of Congressmen you and others will see based on the locations of your plants and residences. In one of my early Fly-Ins, I was the only person who attended from Representative Gene Green's district. I would like to think our personal meeting with him was the result of my attendance. In the case of Congressman Green, he is a Democrat who we wanted to support the interests of the chemical industry.
4. SOCMA does an incredible job of planning the event. Although I have attended for many years, I continue to be impressed with the SOCMA staff and their organization of everything, from meeting preparation, to professional collateral materials about legislative issues, to great places for dinners, to lining up numerous members of Congress to speak to us during a reception at the U.S. Capitol, to the tremendous number of meetings on Capitol Hill. You will be busy!
5. You will work with and get to know some really great people. The SOCMA team is great, and other members attending seem to enjoy spending time with each other. There are many opportunities to network with your peers, including organized dinners, breaks (there may not be many!), racing to meetings with them, and sharing experiences.
6. D.C. is a beautiful city with many historic sites and museums. Schedule a little extra time to take in the sights before or after Fly-In. Depending on the time and weather, you may get to see some cherry blossoms.
The value you obtain by attending the Fly-In is not only based on what SOCMA and others have scheduled but on your preparation. Be prepared to discuss the value of your business and why certain regulatory issues are important to you.
See you in Washington, DC, in April!
Since 1921, SOCMA has represented a diverse membership of small, medium and large chemical companies located around the world. Collectively, SOCMA members are key drivers to a successful economy, contributing $24 billion annually to the U.S. GDP. www.socma.com
Director, Communications & Public Relations
SOURCE Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates