During ACMA’s recent Lobby Day and Composites Caucus events in Washington, D.C., industry members met with and educated Senators and Representatives on issues important to them. Composites Manufacturing asked Teri Schenk of Environmental Solutions and Cheryl Richards of PPG Inc. to record of their experiences.

Teri Schenk is vice president for Environmental Solutions LLC., a consulting firm that provides health and safety services to corporations, organizations and local and state agencies.

Schenk joined other industry members asking Senators and Representatives to sign a letter sponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher and Rep. John Shadegg. The letter asks Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius to review the National Toxicology Program’s process listing styrene in the RoC (Report on Carcinogens).

Tuesday, April 13

What can one say about knowing they are going to be in Washington D.C. and working on Capitol Hill? No matter what your politics are or how much experience you have working with members of Congress, you can’t help but be excited each and every time. I worked hard to set up my appointments, and I want to make sure I have all the information correct. The things I remember from my days working at a state level are to tell the truth, keep it short, and make sure you have correct information. I plan on following the Time Bite method: address the problem (negative) talk about all our industry provides (positive) and give a possible solution. Keep it simple stupid.

I should have remembered that the nuclear summit was going on. Traffic was horrific and it took over three hours to get to the hotel. I’m glad I flew in the day before the Congressional Reception.

Wednesday, April 14

The Congressional Reception provided several opportunities for networking. I was disappointed that none of the Indiana Representatives showed up. I was hoping for the opportunity to discuss my issues and let them know Indiana was here. I did make new friends and introduced myself to several ACMA members who were in attendance. What a joy it was to meet Jay Merrell. I later found out that he and I would be partners-in-crime as we lobbied to Indiana representatives. Jay seemed well informed! He is trying to recruit me for the Governmental Affairs Committee. MAYBE I will let him persuade me, LOL. Right now all I can think of is getting off my feet. I was so excited to get to the Capitol today that I walked over a mile-and-a-half in high heels because I didn’t want to wait for a cab. NOTE TO SELF: NOT A SMART IDEA……..