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Scott Geffros is the general manager of the Canadian Wooden Pallet & Container Association.

By Staff
Date Posted: 7/1/2018

Scott Geffros is the general manager of the Canadian Wooden Pallet & Container Association.

He recently took over the top spot from Brian Isard. Scott has been involved in the wood packaging industry and with the CWPCA for over 15 years and brings a “from industry” perspective to the CWPCA’s day-to-day operations.

 

Pallet Enterprise: How long have you been with the association and how did you get involved in the wood products industry?

Geffros: Back in the early 90s, coming out of college I had a job at a pallet recycler just outside of Kitchener, Ontario. I had my first taste of the industry doing repairs. Then, after bouncing around in a few other jobs (including a seven year stint in the solid wood furniture industry), I was approached by another pallet company to come onboard as a production manager in the early 2000s. During my tenure there, I was responsible for all aspects of the company, including new business development, product diversification, sales, logistics and purchasing. 

I have been employed by the CWPCA for three years now. Prior to that, I  served on the board of directors for almost five years..  When I joined the CWPCA, I knew that Brian Isard was hoping to retire in a few years and took the opportunity to work closely with him  Brian proved to be a great mentor and prepared me for the role which also includes the oversight of our HT Inspection Program.

   

Pallet Enterprise: What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian pallet sector? How can the CWPCA help members deal with those issues?

Geffros: The problems that we see are fairy universal when it comes down to the top big two issues – labor and lumber. When you look at the Canadian industry specifically, it is still made up of a lot of small businesses with 5-10 employees, companies at or under a million dollars in sales. Some of these companies are just too small and too busy to concentrate on some of the things that can help them build better businesses. The association is  a wonderful vehicle to provide resources, such as data to support labor search and payment considerations, health and safety programs, group insurance benefits, potentially group health benefits down the road.

 The growing interconnectivity between the CWPCA, the NWPCA, the WPA and the European pallet groups also serves to benefit members and the industry itself.  Maintaining and building on those ties is critical as we move to the future. Interpal is coming up this year, and looking at the diversity of delegates currently registered, there is no doubt that we all share many common interests and challenges.. As globalization of trade continues, so does the globalization of this industry. It is as important as ever for the associations to work together to achieve common goals, such as sustainability and outreach initiatives. Nature’s Packaging is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together.

 

Pallet Enterprise: You have helped managed the wood packaging treatment program in Canada for a few years? Any recent news or developments, trends?

Geffros: I feel that the program in Canada  is in very good shape. We have very high industry participation in all key product areas, which I view as a sign of an effective program.

 

Pallet Enterprise: How is your leadership style similar and also different from Brian Isard? He had a reputation for being a very laid-back guy. 

Geffros: I spent a lot of time working with Brian. He is a very laid-back individual who is analytical and data driven. Both being from the industry, we have a similar vision and mindset for where the CWPCA needs to go in the future. Maybe the area that I may differ from Brian a bit is the social nature and trying to be a little bit more engaged with the members. I would like to see us place a greater focus on industry networking opportunities and help develop relationships among members.

 

Pallet Enterprise: What demographic or other business changes do you see in the Canadian pallet sector?

Geffros:  The one thing that is very apparent on the landscapes in Canada is the evolution of the family pallet businesses. These were started by salt-of-the-earth, hard-working entrepreneurs many of who are looking to slow down or retire. The  next generation, which may be a better educated and have a bit more knowledge of the industry as they take over,  are coming into it in a different place than the founders. They are also embracing technology more and more. The next generation is more aware of the social impacts of marketing and negative influences of efforts from competitive materials. This is a good thing for the industry.

Like many, I feel that the trend towards integrating automation and technology into the wood packaging industry is probably the biggest change/evolution.  I think that it will be very interesting to watch how the industry continues to embrace technology and how it reacts to growing and changing consumer demands.








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