Early this year, I pulled out my calendar and started making plans. I marked the dates of the Las Vegas Market, the High Point Market, Interzum and the ISPA Industry Conference. I looked for days around magazine deadlines where I could plan a trip to visit a cousin in the West. I held a spot for a family vacation. Maybe this year we can finally think about a more exotic trip outside the continental United States. Maybe not. But at least we have the option.
It’s a delight to finally be able to think about travel again. I’ll be going back to Germany — the first time in four years. The winter Las Vegas Market was my first since January 2020. And this month’s ISPA Industry Conference will be my first since 2017. (I missed 2019.)
In some ways, travel feels wild and freeing. In other ways, it feels like a return to business as usual. I’m sure it will become old hat again, but for now I’m enjoying the novelty of hopping on an airplane and going somewhere new.
This month, I’m excited to journey to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the ISPA Industry Conference. March in Florida always feels like a good idea. The only hard part is returning to whatever cold spot in the country you call home at the end of the week.
The ISPA Industry Conference is one of my favorite events. There’s more opportunity to connect and get to know one another. Speakers provide actionable items for businesses and inspire us to think differently. This year, we’ll end on a high note with awards for those who have given so much in service to the bedding industry. Ron Passaglia will receive the ISPA Exceptional Service Award, which recognizes individuals who have devoted their careers to the well-being and betterment of the industry, along with their contributions and leadership to both ISPA and the industry. Adam Lava will be the first recipient of the ISPA Vanguard Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations who lead the way with pioneering ideas that shape the future of the sleep products industry. The Mattress Recycling Council will recognize Richard Diamonstein for the role he played in the growth and success of MRC.
ISPA also will honor our own Dave Perry, who has retired from full-time work at ISPA. I’m thankful he will continue to write columns for us through the end of the year. I also appreciate knowing he’s just a phone call away. No one knows the bedding industry like Dave. His retirement is bittersweet but certainly well-deserved.
I’m glad we’ll get to thank him for his service to the industry, and I hope I see many of you there.