Farewell from Mia McDonald

Mia-McDonald-origI’ve been tasked with writing a farewell note, but I feel like this is more of a “see you later” than a farewell.  In late 2012, I was nominated to sit on the board of a local healthcare charity.  Not knowing who my competition was and whether or not I’d be voted in, I accepted that nomination.  I soon found out that I’d been voted in as a board member for the Jessie Trice Community Health Foundation.  This kind of honor could not be turned down, so I volunteered my time with both the RDIA and the JTCHF.  However, I quickly felt overwhelmed by my volunteer responsibilities and obligations I have to my business.  In weighing my priorities, my local community volunteerism triumphed.  Therefore, I have stepped down from my board duties with the RDIA.

The work and projects being handled by the RDIA are so important to the future of our businesses.  I couldn’t imagine not being affiliated with the association and I’m sad that I won’t be able to represent our members in an official capacity at this time.  However, I feel so encouraged each time I speak to a fellow cloth diaper business owner.  We all have so much insight and enthusiasm for our industry!  I’d like this “see you later” note to be a call to action for any one of you who has an hour or five to give a week or a month.  The RDIA will continue to thrive through member participation and volunteerism.  How can you help?  Send an email to info@realdiaperindustry.org and tell us your professional background along with what programs and projects you’re interested in.  If you don’t have volunteer time, please participate in webinars, share information about the association and reply to emails – your opinions really do matter!

I’d like to thank the members of the RDIA for believing in me enough to vote for me and I’d also like to thank the board members current and past for their time and direction during my short tenure.  It is my strong believe that as my business continues to grow, I will be able to join the ranks of the RDIA Board of Directors once again.  Until then, you’ll see me on the sidelines: participating and volunteering here and there.  So, I’ll see you later!

Mia McDonald
Mother Earth Diaper Service, Inc.
Former Board Member & RDIA Secretary

A Farewell From Kim Meador

EcoBaby and Home store

EcoBaby and Home store in Naples, Florida.

I have truly enjoyed my time on the RDIA Board.  There are certain times when our businesses arrive at a crossroads, and need more time and attention.  For me, this is one of those times, and I will be giving my store and service all my attention going forward.

The Board has met the objectives set out for them including the Accreditation program of which I was proud to be part of.  This established a laboratory testing program as well as the adoption of best practices to benefit our industry.

I have seen the Board work to be more transparent by their communications with the members in various formats including blogs, twitter, facebook, webinars and more.  I urge you as you go forward to continue this trend; our membership growth and continued success depends on it.

It has been my pleasure to be able to work with so many other people that are devoted to the goals of advancing, networking and promoting the cloth diaper industry.  I can attest to, and will continue to be an advocate of RDIA, as well as a witness to how accreditation can boost your business.  Please call me anytime for anything I can do to help with along those lines.

Thank you everyone for your help, inspiration, and friendship.  See you at the changing table!


Kim Meador
EcoBaby & Home

EcoBaby and Home logo

New RDIA Officers Elected

The Real Diaper Industry Association board held their annual board meeting Monday, October 14th and elected new officers to lead the association during this exciting time of growth for the cloth diaper industry.

Catherine Bolden Michelle Caparoula
Catherine Bolden, Chair Michelle Caparoula, Vice Chair
Dennis Frederick
Mia McDonald, Secretary Dennis Frederick, Treasurer


Earlier this year, we asked each of the RDIA board members about their cloth diaper use and their involvement in the industry.

Why do you participate in RDIA? 

Catherine Bolden: “I want to share benefits of reusable diapers to educate people to shift to a more reusable lifestyle.”

Michelle Caparoula: “In order to be an effective advocate for cloth diapers, you have to be a skilled mythbuster – and that requires knowledge of solid evidence-based in research. It’s a priority of mine to make sure that evidence gets disseminated to RDIA members and ultimately to current and potential cloth diaper users.” 

Mia McDonald: “I hope to help pool the resources and talents of other cloth diaper business owners while promoting cloth diapers back into the mainstream so as many families and communities can take advantage of all the benefits that come with their use.”

Dennis Frederick: “I am participating on the board because I very much want RDIA to succeed as a voice for a growing and dynamic industry.”


We would also like to thank the outgoing officers who will be continuing their service on the RDIA board of directors.

And outgoing board members whose terms ended this year:

These RDIA members have given so much of their personal and business time to lead both this organization and this industry to success.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to current or previous executive board members via our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (RealDiaperIndustry) accounts.

Farewell from Leah Carter

Leah Carter ran for a Manufacturer seat on the RDIA board of directors during the first election in 2009. CPSIA had dawned on all of us in the cloth diaper industry during that year, and Leah did great work as the Chair of the Legal Committee to help members understand what the new law meant for them. Once she was elected to the board of directors, the directors elected her Chair of the association for the 2009-2010 year. In the two and a half years since her election, Leah has continued to serve on the board of directors until January. After 10 years making little beetle organic cloth diapers and wool diaper covers, Leah has closed Better for Babies. She has left the board of directors but has agreed to continue to help, particularly with the Legal Committee, as long as the board continues to ask for her help. 

Leah Carter portrait

The closing of Better for Babies may mark the end of my time as a business owner, for now at least; but it is not the end of my entrepreneurial spirit. Likewise, the end of my term as board member is in no way an end to my interest or investment in the cloth diaper industry.

Saying farewell is a process, and not an easy one. However, the confidence I have in my decisions and the bright collection of memories serve to ease the way forward.

I ran for board right after joining RDIA. I’ve never been one to ‘sort of’ commit. I jump in and pour in all my passion, as well. I wanted to contribute to, and take from, RDIA. I wanted to get to know these remarkable businesses who paved the way for the industry, and I wanted to know the businesses that were just getting started – plus all those in between. I didn’t just want to know them, I wanted to learn from them.

So began my 3 years with RDIA. And, I can say that I walk away having made some of the best relationships imaginable. I have voices to call on when I need inspiration, when I need wisdom, when I need a new and fresh perspective, or just someone to listen. I know people who will be brutally honest, correct my grammar with a ruthless sense of precision, and voices who will remind me of the calmer side to every story.

RDIA is nothing if not filled with passion, and each member directs that passion in a slightly different way. That’s the beauty of it. Where will it go? Forward – navigating with the balance that comes from a framework of shared values. The association is a living, breathing body – being shaped and molded within those values by members, both large and small, who give, inspire, lead, and support.

I’m no longer part of that body, but I hope I’m a part of the spirit!

Leah Carter meets new people at the ABC Expo in Louisville

Leah Carter meets new people at the ABC Expo in Louisville, 2011.

Welcome Kim Meador of Eco-Baby Diaper Service

Welcome Kim Meador as Your Newest RDIA Board Member

We would like to welcome Kim Meador to the RDIA board of directors as of December 16, 2011. Kim was appointed to the board to fill Judy Aagard’s vacant position (see below).

Kim Meador of Eco Baby Diaper Service

Kim Meador of Eco Baby Diaper Service

Kim Meador is the owner of Eco-Baby Diaper Service, LLC. She and her husband Michael are parents of boy/girl twins, now 9 years old. Their twins were getting diaper rashes, and as soon as one cleared up they would have it again. They were sent cloth diapers from a family member who was a nurse in another state and found them to immediately help the diaper rash; from then on they were sold by the use of cloth diapers!

In March of 2011, Eco Baby Diaper Service, LLC. launched serving Southwest Florida.  Kim has just started cloth diapering classes and is now including some retail diapers and accessories for families in the South Florida market for diapers and accessories.

Kim’s energy and business savvy has already been recognized on the board. We are all happy to have her join us!


Farewell to Judy Aagard of Tiny Tots

Judy Aagard resigned as an RDIA board member after two amazing years of service. She pioneered several projects and dedicated much of her time and energy to RDIA, for which we are all grateful. Some of her biggest advancements for our industry include masterminding the hugely successful Great Cloth Diaper Change, the updating of “How To Start a Diaper Service Kit”, and introducing the idea of a Product Showcase at our annual meeting.

Judy left for several reasons. During her exit interview she stressed her role as a board member was rewarding 98% of the time. Some things that frustrated her were the lack of commitment of volunteers, lack of communication, not understanding the direction of the association, competition getting in the way of cooperative movement forward, and a few others. Feel free to contact the RDIA Chair, Mandi Meidlinger, if you have any questions. We always strive to be transparent and are more than happy to discuss any details, of course.

When a board member resigns, RDIA’s by-laws state that the board has the option of leaving the seat empty until the term expires or to appoint a new board member. RDIA board members reached out to several diaper service operators and ultimately appointed Kim Meador to fill the vacant position until August 31, 2012.


Future Board Seats

The board is excited about is the proposed by-law change that was presented at the annual meeting. If this by-law change passes, it will open up seats for more board members and include “at-large” members. The real benefit of having at-large members, meaning that they can come from any category, is that we are able to make room for enthusiastic individuals and strong business leaders.

We had hoped we would have enough ballots returned by now to make this by-law change, but we need five more! When this by-law change goes through, there will be four vacant seats: one for a diaper service member and three from any category. So, if you are interested in serving on the board, please let any board member know.

Mandi Meidlinger
Jillian’s Drawers
Chair, Real Diaper Industry Association