On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to thank you for your consistent support and membership during another rollercoaster year. We appreciate you sticking with us through a pandemic! We have a bright outlook for 2022 and plan for our usual schedule of in-person education and networking events.
Although 2021 was challenging, PEP succeeded in furthering our mission: supporting strong economic growth in balance with the sustainability of our local unique natural resources. PEP continues to be the voice of reason that local elected officials, community leaders and the industrial business community seek. Led by an active Board of Directors and committees consisting of member volunteers, we have focused on growing PEP’s influence and impact. Here are some of our achievements in 2021:
PEP Gulf Coast Environmental Foundation. We have created a new 501(c)(3) charitable organization: the PEP Gulf Coast Environmental Foundation (PEP-GCEF). PEP-GCEF will develop innovative projects and solutions to support and enhance the environmental stewardship of local business and community leaders along the central Gulf Coast. PEP-GCEF will be able to receive tax-deductible contributions from businesses, individuals and government grants and will be able to help PEP multiply opportunities for partnerships with all businesses, organizations and agencies who share the vision of PEP and the PEP-GCEF. The two entities will collaborate closely.
PEP Science and Technology Scholarship. Through generous charitable donations from member companies, local foundations and participation in our Continental Shoot, the PEP Scholarship Fund is growing significantly. In 2021, we increased the annual scholarship award by 150%. The $2500 scholarship is provided to the employees and dependents of our member companies. Applications are open now for 2022.
Return to In-Person Reverse Trade Show (RTS). Our members have been clear about the value of PEP’s in-person events and when most of our members were allowed to attend, we resumed in-person events. The Reverse Trade Show held on December 2nd was a success! It was smaller this year, but we are poised to have a blow-out RTS next year on October 20, 2022!
RTS Annual Seminar. Manufacturers and their vendors are facing pressure from corporate leaders, customers, and the public to improve their sustainability measurements. Many of our local companies are meeting these challenges with innovation and modern technology. On December 2, 2021, we hosted our 6th Annual Education Seminar: Company Sustainability: Global Goals, Local Actions to share best practices, solutions, and innovative thinking to address these concerns.
2021 PEP Environmental Stewardship Awards. If you missed the announcement of our 2021 Environmental Awards or did not attend the Annual Meeting, please go to our website and watch the video about the innovative and compelling projects being celebrated. Plus, for the past six months, current and past PEP Award winners have been highlighted on WKRG News in a sponsored segment called Growing the Gulf Coast. The segment showcases stories of local businesses making positive environmental impacts. WKRG focused on Aker Solutions, McFadden Engineering, Evonik, Arkema, the Alabama State Port Authority and Alabama Power.
Trash Blows! Stow It! This summer we wrapped up the Trash Blows! Stow It! campaign which set out to educate pick-up truck owners about the effects of truck-bed trash contributing to the litter problem along our roadways. PEP developed and implemented a truck-bed trash outreach education program for PEP’s member businesses. The pilot project succeeded in increasing awareness of pick-up truck owners and drivers about the litter problems by engaging PEP businesses and providing them with the tools they needed to educate their employees about truck bed trash. We are proud that the City of Mobile has decided to use the materials in an end-of-year public campaign as part of the Litter Free Mobile program.
Recycling Task Force. PEP established a Recycling Task Force this summer to help industry address recent limited recycling services. The Task Force shared and collected information to create a Recycling Resource list. It is available on our website with the hope that it will bring value to our member companies. The task force is also collecting information on recycling quantities generated by various industries to help local governments research potential recycling options.
Member Survey and Volunteering. In early 2022, the Board of Directors will engage in their annual strategic planning. We need your thoughts and input, so please fill out the Membership Survey before December 21st. You can find it here: bit.ly/PEPmembersurvey2021.
Join a Committee. The success of PEP’s activities hinges upon our members. If you or any of your employees would like to participate in any of PEP’s planning committees, please let us know. We will explore the many possibilities with you.
In the coming days, you will receive your 2022 Membership Dues Renewal Invoice. Our Membership dues, which have not increased since 2019, provide half of PEP’s annual budget. I hope you will remain steadfast in your commitment to PEP and protecting our local natural resources by renewing your Membership before February 28th. Thank you!
We wish you and your family a blessed holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
Spencer Wiggins, President, Board of Directors
Sr. Vice-President of Commercial Banking
Hancock Whitney Bank
Jennifer Denson, PEP Executive Director