This October, the Tire Division met in Charleston as part of the Board of Directors meeting. While there, several important events occurred that will change the way we do things, meet, and develop solutions to the challenges facing our industry.
The Board correctly noted that many times ISRI members gather at events and functions that lie outside of our regularly scheduled ISRI Board meetings. With this in mind, the Board approved a change to our by-laws that will now allow Division members to meet outside of the four quarterly scheduled meetings. A second by-law change adopted by the Board, will allow ISRI’s commodity divisions, including ours, to raise their own funds and spend on projects as they see fit. This will help us respond to fast breaking events immediately and can help us remain flexible in our strategy as things change. In practical terms, what does this mean for the Tire Division? In my view, it provides our members more opportunities to get involved and share their views. As Chair, I will work with ISRI staff to explore the 2019 events calendar and find venues where our Division can meet. I am hoping this will encourage more participation from members that do not normally attend our board meetings.
In other action, the Board approved a $60,000 budget request to continue our advocacy and outreach efforts around crumb rubber infill in 2019. As you know, for the past several years ISRI has been at the forefront of a coalition working to knock down disinformation, and replace hearsay with facts, when it comes to crumb rubber and synthetic turf. Our sustained efforts are working. We are seeing a noticeable decline in the hysteria surrounding infill. As we continue to replace fiction with facts, the public is slowly coming to realize that crumb rubber is safe and should be used with the same precautions in place as any other building material. But we are not done yet, which is why I personally asked for the $60,000 allocation at the Board meeting. We need to “keep our foot on the gas,” so to speak, until we are comfortable that the public realizes crumb rubber is safe. We are getting close, but we’re not there yet, and I am thankful the ISRI Board continues to support our efforts.
Finally, the State Subcommittee, which spearheads ISRI’s exhibit and events during the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit, recognized our Division members for their strong support of the event. The NCSL Summit was held in Los Angeles this past August. Several member companies contributed recycled rubber products for the exhibit, sent staff during setup, and to work the event during the ISRI sponsored luncheon. NCSL is a great opportunity for our members to get in front of their state legislators in a less formal setting than typical, and to spread our message about the positive impact all of our businesses have on our communities.
In closing, with all of this, engagement is key. ISRI is a member-driven organization and the Board has tried to adapt our by-laws to encourage more participation. Giving members additional chances to gather is a great step in the right direction, but we can’t force people to show up. Which is where you come in. By showing up, you are providing us with the needed energy and experience to work through whatever challenges we collectively face. Let’s all take advantage of the new opportunities before us to help grow and sustain our industry.
Much success to you as you close out 2018, and I look forward to a great 2019.
Chair of the Tire and Rubber Division
Tires & Rubber Beat Main