Decorating Ceramics / Resource Management

Deco 2011 Highlights

The annual Deco conference and expo was again a success in 2011.



SGCDpro charter member and past-president Norbert Buddenbohn (left) receives the prestigious Frank S. Child Award from Ed Weiner.

SGCDpro returned to its birthplace in Pittsburgh, Pa., for this year's annual Deco conference and exposition, which was held March 17-20. More than 175 members and industry professionals attended the event, which emphasized regulatory compliance and applications for organic decorating materials in response to the numerous product recall efforts in 2010 and early 2011. Even though the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) did an about-face on the Shrek and Coca-Cola recalls, industry participants took the opportunity to learn about alternative materials and their successful applications.

The Ask the Experts legislative session addressed attendees' questions on a number of topics, including the proposed changes to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the recent emergence of new California Prop 65 cases.

Event Highlights

On Saturday, attendees participated in a business seminar that included discussions on employee productivity, maximizing energy use, precious metal reclamation and the use of social networking in business. Sunday's "Ask the Experts" legislative session panelists included Mary Toro from the CPSC; SGCDpro lobbyist Walt Sanders; noted attorney Carol Brophy, who specializes in California Proposition 65 cases; Ferro Corp.'s Alan Olson, who specializes in EPA issues; U.S. Food and Drug Administration retiree Richard Jacobs; Libbey, Inc. retiree Wayne Zitkus; and SGCDpro legislative liaison Sandra Spence. These experts addressed attendees' questions on a number of topics, including the proposed changes to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the recent emergence of new California Prop 65 cases.

As part of her presentation, Brophy urged attendees to remember that Prop 65 settlements do not create an industry-wide standard. Past settlements only apply to the parties involved and are only for the products mentioned in the settlement. This extends to the triangle sign and label used on dinnerware. Brophy indicated that this particular warning may only be used by parties to the original dinnerware settlement in the early 1990s.

Toro spent considerable time discussing implementation of the CPSC public database, which went live shortly before the meeting. She urged member companies to register with CPSC so that they may receive timely notification if one of their products is listed as defective. The site allows anyone to list defective products; this has put many companies on the defense against the possibility that a competitor or disgruntled employee may try to cause material damage through such an avenue. It is up to companies to then prove to CPSC that the product is safe.

Sanders discussed the benefits of company and member involvement at the local level. He reminded attendees that members of Congress are supposed to represent their interests and that contacting one's Congressman can be an effective means of having one's voice heard in Washington. He recounted the success SGCDpro members have had in securing an audience in the nation's capitol. This was evidenced in the 2010 recall of Shrek glasses (which was later determined to be unnecessary) and the current efforts to reform CPSIA.

Monday's technical session offered new technology solutions to member companies. Representatives from several companies, including Ferro Corp., Sun Chemical, Sylvan Technologies, Marabu GmbH, and Bayer, discussed new products and the applications where those products offer solutions to heavy metal and other concerns. In addition, 24 exhibitors presented their products (some related to organic decorating) to attendees. Other networking opportunities included luncheons and receptions.

Award Presentations

Several awards were presented during Deco '11. SGCDpro charter member and past-president Norbert Buddenbohn received the prestigious Frank S. Child Award. Buddenbohn spent 40 years with Carr-Lowry Glass in Baltimore and was the founder (along with his late son, Norbert, Jr.) of Baltimore Glassware Decorators. He invited all past presidents of SGCDpro in attendance to join him at his table during the awards luncheon. During his acceptance speech, Buddenbohn recounted the many changes he has seen in the industry.

The annual Design Excellence Awards were again held, with voting taking place in the exhibit hall. Lenox China, with its Palatial Garden pattern, won both the Vandenoever "Best-of-Show" award and the Directors' Award. Additional winners included Susquehanna Glass for glass non-promotional, glass promotional, artware, and mugs; Custom Deco for containers; and Commercial Decal for dinnerware.

New Officers

SGCDpro installed new officers during its annual meeting of members on March 21. Officers for the 2011-12 year include: Ted Zych, president; Brian Deszell, vice president; Chad Yaw, treasurer; Christine Fleek, secretary; and Mike Gervais, director. Jan Weyrich and Sylvie Strevey also continue as directors.

Deco '12 to be Held in Vegas

Deco 2012 will be held March 24-26 in Las Vegas. SGCDpro will return to the Flamingo Hotel for three days of informational sessions, networking and exhibits. To reserve exhibit space or a spot on the technical program, contact SGCDpro at (740) 588-9882.

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