ISPA Leadership Transition: Endings & Beginnings

ISPA Leadership Transition. Every end marks a new chapter motivational saying printed on a typewriter

The month of June is such a mixed bag. In many ways, it’s a fresh beginning. Those with school-age children know the end of the school year comes with a sense of release. It’s the end of morning and afternoon school pickups, policing homework and enforcing bedtimes. 

June can mean vacations or hours outside at the pool or in a garden. All are wonderful things. It’s an exhale from the crazy schedule of the winter and spring.

For me, this June is bittersweet because my youngest is graduating from high school. Most days, I am excited to see my teenager closing this chapter and preparing to step into another. But, as you can imagine, I feel a little sadness that this season of parenting is over. 

The International Sleep Products Association is undergoing something similar. Our president, Ryan Trainer, is winding down his career and preparing for retirement. By the time this magazine is in your hands, ISPA might have named a new president.

In May, Furniture Today honored Trainer with its Lifetime Bedding Achievement Award. It’s a well-deserved honor. 

Since 2010, Trainer has been the steady center of our organization. He has guided the industry through FR regulations and the beginnings of mattress recycling, which led to the Mattress Recycling Council of which he is also president. He has become a supporter of sustainability within the industry, encouraging conversation between stakeholders up and down the supply chain. We have a yearly Sustainability Conference to keep these conversations going. (Side note: Registration is open for the 2024 conference at

Personally, ISPA has been a wonderful place to work, and I attribute much of that to his leadership. ISPA cares deeply about its people and about the industry it serves. I couldn’t ask for better. 

In this month’s profile of The Vita Group, CEO Omar Hoek notes: “We’re still a place where everyone wakes up on Monday and tries to do their job a little bit better than they did the previous week.”

When I read that quote, I underlined it because it hit close to home. That’s exactly how I feel about ISPA and its people. We’re all striving to do the best we can at all times. 

This month, I’m looking forward to what’s ahead but also taking time to celebrate what’s gone before. May we all continue to try to make things a little better week by week. 

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