An Inside Look at MAPP with Letha Keslar
Written by: Carolyn Sotos
Welcome back to the Plastics Proud blog where we talk all things Plastic! This month's blog post, I wanted to focus on an amazing organization that does so much for the Plastics Industry and that is the MAPP (Manufactures Association for Plastics Processors) Organization.
iD Additives has been members of the organization since November 2014 and have benefited from all the learning and networking opportunities that MAPP has offered. Especially, the upcoming Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference, which is this October 2nd-4th in Indianapolis, IN. To learn more about the organization as a whole and the planning of the yearly conference coming up, I sat down with Letha Keslar who is the Corporate Sponsorship and Conference Director for MAPP.
1. How did you first get started with the MAPP Organization? What is your current role now?
"I started working at MAPP in March of 2014. In my pre-MAPP life I was a Fundraiser. I came to MAPP as Corporate Sponsorship and Conference Director."
2. Letha, you plan the Benchmarking and Best Practice Conference, which this year is October 2-4th in Indianapolis. How do you find and organize all the speakers for the conference?
"Great question! For our motivational keynotes, I do a lot of research and watch a lot of speaker reels. We have an extensive database of the speakers that have been recommended to us throughout the years. We are working on the conferences at least 1 to 2 years out – so I already have the keynotes for 2020 event and a few for 2021. For our industry breakouts, we want to cover the topics that are most pressing for our members at that time. I have a wonderful helpful subcommittee of processors who help me on an annual basis identify the most pressing issues – “what is keeping our membership up at night!” in other words. Then we search for processors who have the answers. We strive to have the processors do the breakout sessions. It is important to me that those individuals “in the trenches” are presenting to their peers. They know what it is like to be running a facility and trying to implement Industry 4.0, for example."
3. What do you hope MAPP members learn/achieve at the Benchmarking and Best Practice Conference?
"Our goal for the Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference and for everything we do is to help our membership find answers to their issues. Our team’s mantra is “Impact one person!” We know that by working to impact one person, help one person network with someone in their area, find a benchmark that impacts their bottom line, we are doing what we are here to do."
4. What do you think is the biggest benefit of being a MAPP member? How does MAPP impact the Plastics Industry?
"I think that the MAPP network is the biggest benefit to membership. You have at your disposal over 430 of the best plastics companies in the industry, ready to assist you at any time. Everyone truly is in this association to help uplift the industry overall. Coming to events and participating in what MAPP has to offer serves not only to help you and your company, but the MAPP network, and thus the industry overall."
5. Lastly, what is your favorite part of your role/job in the MAPP Organization?
"My favorite part of my role, outside of the AWESOME MAPP TEAM I’m a part of, is the good people I get to impact on a day-to-day basis. This industry is full of good people and to know that I am somehow making their days better, their jobs easier, is very fulfilling to me. Especially when I get to see it in action at the Conference."