Five Questions with Paul Bellantone, PPAI President and CEO
PM: What will your duties be in the new position? Will you be performing some of your previous responsibilities, or will the executive vice president position be filled?
PB: My primary duties as president/CEO are to advocate the viability, visibility and credibility of our members, the industry and the medium, and to lead a vibrant and progressive trade association. Everything else we do supports those efforts. How the actual day-to-day duties shake out is yet to be determined. We have an incredibly talented and dedicated staff to call on, but I haven't given myself a deadline to back-fill any positions or create new ones. I continue to be positively impressed by the people and the professionalism at PPAI. The team here has an unsurpassed collection of skills and strengths. My objective will be to leverage this capability and competence, and match the resources to the short- and long-term challenges and opportunities we identify as priorities.
PM: What can distributors expect going forward? Are there any plans or changes coming that will affect them?
PB: I think it is important that we will not make changes solely to seem like we're doing something different. PPAI has an aggressive strategic plan that guides the energies of the board, hundreds of volunteer leaders and staff. It is the foundation of all our efforts. My first short-term goal is to communicate the strategic plan to the members and the industry because in the end, this strategic plan is our promise to the membership.
Once we communicate the plan—in print, online and in person through member meetings and town halls—we will make sure the goals we're focusing on match the needs of all PPAI members and the industry.
In general, I think distributors and all members should expect more association outreach, industry presence and inclusiveness in the direction of the decision-making process. The foundation and plan for a forward-facing PPAI is in place, and it is now my role to execute this plan.