The Livery Newsletter and Gazette Issue 30 Spring 2019 - Page 23

geography (away from the traditional Trans-Atlantic nexus). At the same time, the complicated history of the industry makes the policy and public affairs environments challenging. This makes that shift more complicated as commercial realities require a period of phase-in between traditional combustibles and novel reduced risk products. It is in that spirit that TMA’s Board of Directors, composed of representatives from multi- national and independent companies both in tobacco and support services, made the decision to acquire additional assets to fit TMA for purpose in this more challenging new world. This past January, TMA closed on its acquisition of a number of assets including Tobacco Reporter and Vapor Voice magazines and the GTNF Conference. It is hard to understate the rarity of information sources and forums where all stakeholders can consume the information and ideas necessary to equip them to fully participate in the policy and ethical debates. Assuming stewardship over trade magazines and the marquee global nicotine conference is a significant responsibility. TMA intends to offer its current suite of unbiased information and membership services to industry and stakeholders through our Annual Meeting and Conference and our publications and website, www.tma.org, where economic, regulatory, trademark, market intel, legal and news data and analysis is the primary focus. In recognition of our stewardship responsibilities, TMA established a new organization: The GTNF Trust which will be the home of Tobacco Reporter and Vapor Voice magazines and the GTNF Conference. The GTNF Trust will operate under the leadership of your friend and Livery colleague Elise Rasmussen who serves as its Executive Director. The Trust will be independent and be responsible for the editorial content of the magazines and the administration of the GTNF Conference to ensure its independence and continued acceptance to all stakeholders within the wider nicotine community. Organizing our purchase in this way is not the easiest organizationally; however, principals of good stewardship and our own sense of responsibility for ensuring all stakeholders may partake in what The GTNF Trust offers make it the correct way forward. As Mike Ligon, TMA’s Chairman and Vice President at Universal catered Corporation said in our The lunch was deliciously by Mark Grove purchase announcement, we, “…will a tobacco and his team at Cook & Butler and we create cracked and nicotine content experience for industry and all along at a goodly pace. Our guests were admirably stakeholders has more Fran depth and coverage than introduced by that Liveryman Morrison and our anywhere else.” Tim Wonnacott gave a generous and Principal Guest, very to which I responded initially All of humorous us at TMA reply are eager to combine TMA’s by drenching Tim in a glass of water - he was platform with poor the tremendous content of the very kind about it (sorry Tim!). I was Conferences very pleased magazines and successes of the GTNF to show off the newly found Livery Grant Arms under The GTNF Trust and your colleague of Elise. and Letters Patent TMA which and have been missing Doing so enables The GTNF Trust for to many years - our Clerk tenaciously sought them out, continue their missions of providing unbiased and the Immediate and Past Master, along Chris with Allen, and his data, new information analysis forums IPM, Mark the Gower-Smith a beautiful that bring stakeholders have and funded ideas together to re- presentation and they are now resplendent in frames address pressing policy, ethical and regulatory issues carved with tobacco (or are close to); Sandra stakeholders and civil leaves society grappling with, also to located a huge banner not seen since 1985 and get nicotine right for generations to come. This Angus is Menzies, Clerk to the Master Mariners exciting and important work for us all. and never shy of a challenge saw to it that it was displayed on the Your Livery Company is also facing a rapidly Quarterdeck. changing society and, having attended some of Whilst all this was going guest, on, apparently biblical- by your functions as Elise’s I am heartened style downpours were being had all over London the dedication to service and the Company I find - amongst oblivious to all that drama we ended our lunch your leadership and members. It is striking and trooped back each to the where Coffee, that, at the heart of quarterdeck our organizations, is Cigars, and Cognac awaited us (I did mention that work being done to ensure the services and duties our Livery enjoyed dining on and the sufficient High C’s..) we undertake are impactful for and the which seemed to hit the mark – Liveryman Jemma and complex realities of our society. All of us at TMA Freeman had kindly the torpedo cigars the The GTNF Trust are provided looking forward to seeing and had that them in souvenir our good had work you placed do flourish in the tubes years with to come. Crest emblazoned on it. Several of us also sported a limited edition Livery Smoking hat - originally About the Author: conceived as a sort of shooting hat, it serves its Christopher “Chris” Greer purpose so well as a “team” hat, that of the twenty is President & CEO of TMA ordered, but one remained by the close of the day! and The GTNF Trust. Chris Thank you to the Master Mariners for allowing us the assumed the role of TMA use of the venue, to Tim for being a perfect Principal President in March 2017 Guest, and for everyone attending and giving my having previously served as year such a special start. Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications for JTI in the U.S., Caribbean and Central American Markets. He received his Master university degree from Gettysburg College The in Political Science and began working in telecommunications compliance and agency relations at Verizon Wireless before taking up regulatory and policy roles in tobacco starting in 2010. Chris currently lives in Hoboken, NJ with his wife, son and dog. 23 3