Category Archives: News

Hiring an Executive Director

Job Posting – Executive Director

Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA)

Overview
RDIA serves its member businesses through the creation of programs that enhance member business activity or activities that seek to change the public perspective regarding cloth diapers thereby increasing the overall level of business activity for cloth diapers.

Vision
As the primary choice for babies, reusable cloth diapers increase sustainability for people, planet, and profit.

Mission
The Real Diaper Industry Association strives to make reusable cloth diapers the primary choice for babies’ parents and caregivers while emphasizing responsibility and sustainability through a focus on people, planet, and profit.  RDIA works toward these goals by providing service and opportunities through business education, industry research, collaborative marketing, and group benefits.

Values

  • We conduct ourselves with integrity and professionalism in compliance with our strict code of ethics.
  • We apply current information and experience within cloth diaper and related industries to analyze, improve processes, and educate.
  • We are an open community fostering cooperative culture, sharing knowledge towards our common purpose.
  • We value diversity within all membership categories; welcoming and supporting qualified businesses of all sizes dedicated to our mission.
  • As members, we are committed to clear and transparent communication within our association.  As board members, we will provide transparent communication to our members regarding decisions of the board and operations.

Strategies

  • Help members help their customers.
  • Harness energy of the entire group to expand membership and strategic alliances.
  • Champion public and private sector programs for the purchase and use of cloth diapers.
  • Optimize internal processes.

Executive Director Job Description

Executive Director is responsible for management of the organization with a focus on member relations and member benefit programs. The position is a part-time, at-will employee who serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.

Supervision
Executive Director reports to and works closely with the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

Duties
Essential Functions

  • Track existing programs, projects, and committees through project management system.
  • Monitor and maintain member retention efforts.
  • Communicate with members and general public through publications and correspondence.
  • Respond to inquiries via telephone and e-mail.

Further Duties as time permits

  • Develop with Board programs and projects that advance RDIA’s mission.
  • Implement programs and projects that advance RDIA’s mission.
  • Fundraising, including marketing to potential members, development of sponsorship and collaborative marketing opportunities, and event planning.
  • Develop and maintain member benefit programs.
  • Develop and implement industry research projects to benefit members.
  • Create and promote business education programs for members.
  • Update website content as needed.

Experience

  • Familiarity with cloth diapers.
  • Familiarity with small business.
  • Excellent communication, management, and organizational skills.
  • Nonprofit or other corporate management experience.
  • Writing, editing, and graphics skills for communication projects.
  • Leadership experience.
  • Development skills.
  • Knowledge of cloth diaper industry a plus.
  • Education in business, nonprofit, or association management preferred.

Hours & Compensation
10 hours per week at $15-18/hour, depending on experience. Additional hours and compensation after six months based on funding.

Performance Standards
Board of Directors will judge performance of Executive Director in the following areas: financial stability of organization; creativity and strength of member programs; and effectiveness of management team.

How to Apply

Contact: Dennis Frederick
Email resume to: dennis@realdiaperindustry.org

Real Diaper Industry Association is a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, with 501(c)(6) tax exempt status, acting as a trade association for the cloth diaper industry.

RDIA to Hire an Executive Director

It’s time. Real Diaper Industry Association is hiring an Executive Director.

Remember those awkward adolescent years? That’s where RDIA is right now.

Nonprofit Lifecycle Stage Adolescence

Nonprofit lifecycles image altered from “Stage-based Nonprofit Lifecycles” by Susan Kenny Stevens.

It turns out, all nonprofits go through this growth phase as they mature. Right now, we have a part-time administrator who helps with membership and programs, but most of the work of RDIA is done by member volunteers—entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who don’t have a lot of time available to grow the organization. We need someone who will be committed to us, strengthening the association every day. We need an Executive Director.

An Executive Director will manage the association, track programs, and make sure that everything members need from their trade association flows smoothly. An Executive Director will guide us through this growth stage and into maturity as an association. It’s time for us to grow for the sake of all of our businesses, and we need a dedicated professional to get there.

The RDIA Executive Director position will be part-time.

RDIA members are donating to the campaign to fund the position for the first year.

Goal: $16,000
Raised so far: $14,800

The proposal to hire an Executive Director required that $12,000 be raised before the hiring process be started. Board members volunteered $14,800 in sponsorships during discussions of the proposal, so that milestone has already been met. A committee has been formed to hire a professional as soon as campaign pledges have been collected.

The Campaign

Donors sponsor new members. Funds will pay the new Executive Director, and new members will benefit from RDIA member programs. The campaign meets two needs at once: organization and growth.

Participate in the campaign.
Buy sponsorship credits now.

Not an RDIA member? Join now.

RDIA Diaper Service Members Receive Accreditation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kim Meador, RDIA Board Member
DATE: July 24, 2012
PLACE: Sacramento, California
E-mail: Kim@ecobabyandhome.com

Accredited Diaper Service

RDIA DIAPER SERVICE MEMBERS RECEIVE ACCREDITATION

The following diaper services have received RDIA diaper service accreditation:

These Diaper Services have been awarded accreditation from the Real Diaper Industry Association, a California-based cloth diaper industry trade association that establishes quality standards for the cloth diaper service industry.

“By voluntarily applying for and receiving the RDIA Diaper Service Accreditation, these diaper services have demonstrated a commitment to safe laundering practices,” said RDIA Board Member, Kim Meador. “Safe and sanitary washing conditions are crucial to our industry, and it is important to have organizations that are willing to measure themselves against national standards.”

As an RDIA accredited Diaper Service, each of these businesses joins a select group of diaper services that meet rigorous standards for safety and accountability.

The Diaper Service Accreditation program was created for the safety of diaper service customers, to create industry standards, to provide marketing support, and for general business peace of mind that each service is providing a safe, sanitary and product for diaper service customers.

The Real Diaper Industry Association strives to make reusable cloth diapers the primary choice for babies’ parents and caregivers while emphasizing responsibility and sustainability through a focus on people, planet, and profit. RDIA works toward these goals by providing service and opportunities through business education, industry research, collaborative marketing, and group benefits.

The accreditation program is only available to members of the Real Diaper industry Association as a benefit of membership. Membership in RDIA not only gives cloth diaper businesses access to the accreditation program but also gives them access to other members’ cumulative knowledge of hundreds of years of diaper service operations. Join RDIA now.

Please direct additional questions and inquiries to: accreditation@realdiaperindustry.org

By-Law Change Passes 49-3

Every few years, it is standard for associations to review the make-up of their members and modify board representation to accurately reflect their membership. For example, diaper service membership had grown considerably, but diaper services were still represented by only two board members. With this discrepancy and others in mind, the RDIA board proposed By-Law changes in September of 2011, and these By-Law changes were overwhelmingly passed by 49-3 on February 7, 2012.  These changes improve our association in many ways.

More Diaper Service Board Members, Fewer Manufacturer and Retailer Board Members

RDIA membership is currently comprised of 17 Manufacturers, 50 Retailers, 71 Diaper Services, 7 Artisan Manufacturers, and 21 Associate Members. Since the resurgence of diaper services has brought more diaper service members to RDIA, the board wanted these members to be properly represented. Under the new By-Laws, manufacturers, retailers, and diaper services each have three board members.

Category

Original Number of Board Members from this Category

New Number of Board Members from this Category

Manufacturer

4

3

Retailer

4

3

Diaper Service

2

3

Artisan Manufacturer

1

1

At-Large (New)

N/A

3

Diaper Service Information

1

N/A

TOTAL

12

13

 

New “At-large” Seats Provide Flexibility

Sometimes there are experienced and enthusiastic members that would like to join the board, but there are no vacancies on the board within their category. To encourage these interested members to join the board, we created three “at-large” board seats.

 

Small Manufacturers Become “Artisan Manufacturers”

The original intent of a “Small Manufacturer” category was to ensure all manufacturers were represented within the association, regardless of size. Since there have been, and always will be, professional makers sewing cloth diapers by hand and selling directly to end users, the original board wanted to ensure the voice of these cloth diaper makers, and their unique needs, were heard separate from those of larger manufacturers whose business is primarily wholesale.

Over time, however, the label “Small Manufacturer” brought confusion. Many manufacturers identified with the category name of “Small,” even though they weren’t sewing their diapers themselves by hand. So, the board decided to clarify this by adding “handmade” and renaming the category “Artisan Manufacturers.”

 

Manufacturer Member Requirement less Limited

Manufacturers used to be required to meet two of the following three criteria: 1. Gross sales over $100,000/year, 2. Has wholesale accounts (their product sold by resellers), and 3. Be in business for over 1 year. This excluded some smaller or start-up businesses manufacturing for wholesale, and was one of the reasons newer businesses often joined as “Small Manufacturer,” so this section was removed.

 

Cloth Diaper Information Services Category Eliminated

This was probably the only change that isn’t as intuitive as all the others. Historically, Cloth Diaper Information Services have not stepped up to serve on the board after Jennifer Liptrot (Diaper Pin) served. This board seat had been vacant since August 2009. For a full year, there was only one member in that category. With that in mind, the board reevaluated diaper service information services.

When the board was first created, the founding members sought a place on the board for businesses like Diaper Pin, where cloth diaper information was presented to consumers and businesses, who were then redirected to other cloth diaper businesses. Since that time, the era of blogging has taken over. In this new climate, cloth diapers are highlighted on hundreds of blogs. These blogs help spread the word of cloth diapers in our industry, and consumers as well as RDIA businesses are grateful for their contributions. Last year, a handful of bloggers joined RDIA in the diaper information service category.

Over time, blogs have become a form of publishing and public relations. Blogs are popular, social, informative, and can have political impact. The natural category for bloggers seems to lie within the Associate Membership category, along with all other businesses  and organizations that support the cause of RDIA, want to be an integral part of its future, interact with its members, and show that together our industry is stronger than as individuals. In my research on trade associations, this is where bloggers typically fall. The decision was further encouraged because no information service members showed interest in representing their category on the board in 2011 when there was an open seat.

An association is a living, breathing entity that constantly changes to best serve its industry.  We can only assume that we will revisit this decision and reevaluate cloth diaper bloggers and other cloth diaper information services in the future. In the meantime, we will work with bloggers as associate members, offering an open dialog to better our industry, as well as opportunities for interacting with all RDIA members. We have offered all previous cloth diaper information service members a full one-year extension to their now associate memberships. We look forward to a continued relationship between cloth diaper bloggers and other cloth diaper businesses.

 

How Will These Changes Be Phased In?

The board analyzed several scenarios for phasing in the new board member distribution. The goals were to ensure all current board members would serve out their terms, minimize short terms (less than three years), and keep the board as balanced as possible. Ideally, we wanted to see new board members elected each year for each of the large categories: manufacturers, retailers, diaper services, and at-large.

The graph below shows our idea for implementing the new board seats. Please click on it to see a larger view.

Become a Board Member

There will be a total of six vacancies on the RDIA board this year (2 Diaper Service, 1 Manufacturer, 1 Retailer, and 2 At-Large). The second diaper service seat and the second at-large seat will be short terms as we work toward the ideal of each category having one seat up for election each year.

Cloth diaper business owners

RDIA Board Members Matt Guckin, Mandi Meidlinger, and Catherine Bolden.

As elections approach, be sure to ask board members questions about what it takes to serve on the board, why board members devote so much time to our industry, and how you could contribute. Reach out to fellow members and encourage them to run for a board seat. Then, be sure to attend the “State of the RDIA” webinar that we’ll be holding for members in a couple of weeks.

The four major roles of RDIA and associations in general are:

  1. member education and benefits,
  2. research and statistics,
  3. standardization, and
  4. lobbying.

On a more basic, or perhaps human, level, an association is a group of people who find strength in numbers while sharing a common interest. According to ASAE (the American Society of Association Executives), associations are founded on democracy, volunteerism, and common interest that are the heart of the American experience.

When we work together, big and small, we strengthen our own industry while advancing society. Our industry needs leaders, and this year is a great time to lead the future of the association.

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

Changes to CPSIA Testing

On January 6, 2010, Intertek, a major testing provider, held a webinar on CPSIA changes: “Revised Rules of the Road: How Changes to CPSIA Testing and Certification Requirements Impact You.” RDIA member Alison Maynes of LolliDoo Diapers attended the webinar and provided the report below.


The Challenge

Since the enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) last year, many have struggled to understand and comply with the law’s new product testing and certification requirements. In a series of votes last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced new enforcement policies and the agency’s intention to take up an Intertek petition aimed at easing the burden imposed by the CPSIA—making testing and certification for mandatory safety standards more efficient and effective. However, several of these measures are provisional in nature, and have conditions on when they can be utilized and how they can be relied upon by manufacturers and importers who are required to ensure their products meet U.S. standards.


The Solution

Intertek is committed, not only to providing you with the most accurate and timely information about these developments, but also finding effective and affordable solutions for your testing and other product safety needs. Toward that end, on January 6, 2010, Intertek experts will be hosting a free webinar to explain in detail last week’s actions by the CPSC, and what each does or does not mean to you in practical terms. The webinar will include a Q&A session to enable participants to have their specific questions and concerns addressed.

The CPSC last week voted to:

1. Extend the existing “stay” (delay) of enforcement for the CPSIA requirement that products covered by the federal safety standards be certified with a General Conformity Certificate, or “GCC.” This applies to a number of (but not all) product safety standards, notably the ban on lead in the content (substrate) of children’s products, the ban on certain phthalates (plastic softeners) in toys and child care articles, and the general toy safety standard (ASTM F-963). However, compliance requirements for lead in content, phthalates and ASTM F-963 are still in effect.

2. Adopt a new “Interim Enforcement Policy” that, under certain circumstances, will allow the certification of products for the lead-in-paint standard (and ultimately the lead-in-substrate standard) based on testing components (including paint) rather than testing only the final products.

3. Publish for public comment and formally consider a petition submitted by Intertek and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) to specifically allow certain test methods for the lead-in-paint standard (specifically “spray sampling,” “multiple stamping” and “finished component testing”) that will save manufacturers both time and money in testing products.

Each of these votes, along with issues surrounding them, is admittedly complex. All of these actions taken by the CPSC could be superseded by a broader testing regulation the agency is expected to issue sometime next year which can impact your holiday 2010 products. However, with careful understanding and application, manufacturers and importers of consumer products can ensure that their products meet all applicable safety standards and that they do not incur unnecessary expense or delay in testing and certifying their products to those standards.


Stay of Enforcement

CPSC voted to lift the stay for certain standards beginning February 10, 2010. This continues the stay for lead and substrate one year longer.

The stay of enforcement is continued for general wearing apparel, which applies to cloth diapers.


Component Testing

CPSC now allows component testing for certain products for lead and paint standards.

The component testing documents allows for component testing to children’s products subject to the lead paint and lead substrate standard – 300 parts per million. As long as your product meets the standard, you don’t need third-party testing or the GCC.

Though the paint standards don’t apply to diapers, this gives an indication of the direction CPSC can be expected to go in their interpretations of the law.


General Conformity Certificates

You can certify as a manufacturer (not retailer) based on a test by an approved third-party lab. Based on a passing test report, you can issue a GCC based on another issuance of a certificate.


Compliance Testing

A sample sent for testing must be representative of what is used on the product, though it doesn’t need to be the same quantity.

There is a very detailed testing guidance document on the CPSC website. This document has not been voted on as regulation at this time. It is, however, a good indicator of what will be in place in the near future.


Children’s Product Definitions

Note the CPSC is working on a new regulation of the terms “children’s product,” “toy,” and “child care articles.”


Bottom line: make sure your product complies with the standards set out in the CPSIA.

I should receive a PDF document of the presentation soon, so please email me if you’d like a copy: alison@lollidoo.com.

Alison Maynes
LolliDoo Diapers