July-August 2023

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10 PalletCentral • July-August 2023 POLICY PLAY AT J ustin Hegsted, president, and Justin Karoly, COO of Challenger Pallet & Supply, attended an advocacy event on Capitol Hill, dubbed the Washington Fly-In. ey interacted with Congress members and staff, sharing the story of their organization, which operates from three locations: Idaho Falls, Idaho; Ogden, Utah; and ree Forks, Montana. eir day began with a meeting in Representative Blake Moore's (R-UT) office. Moore, a second-term congressman, has an impressive track record, with four bills passed in the 117th Congress. Hegsted and Karoly led the conversation, focusing on the manufacturing process, comprehensive utilization of wood in pallet production, and the importance of USDA BioPreferred,® topics that intrigued Moore's staff. ey invited the Congressman to visit their facility, and his staff said they'd reach out to NWPCA staff to set something up. Fast-forward a few weeks, and our Vice President of Public Affairs, Jason Ortega, headed to Salt Lake City. Moore, keeping true to his word, was going for a tour. "We really appreciate Challenger Pallet for opening their doors and Congressman Moore for visiting. I love doing congressional plant tours because they are so critical to our work in Washington," Ortega said. "If you can build a relationship with a Member of Congress on their experience seeing, touching, and hearing a pallet manufacturing and engaging with NWPCA members, Cultivating Congressional Support Challenger Pallet Showcases Pallet Manufacturing to U.S. Representative Blake Moore By Hallie Fuchs you've got the recipe to develop a long-term champion for the industry." Moore was at Challenger Pallet for an hour, touring the facility that builds roughly 1.2 million pallets yearly. He saw the start-to-finish process of building a new pallet. "Small businesses like Challenger Pallet are the lifeblood of our economy and provide the innovation we need to remain competitive on the global market," he said. "I enjoyed learning more about their vision, mission, and ways they are doing their part to enhance our local economy and put Northern Utah on the map for business." His dedication to small business was seen with this plant tour and the introduction of the Small Business Growth Act, which NWPCA has endorsed and recently passed through the House Ways & Means Committee. e impact of opening their facility was not lost on the folks at Challenger Pallet. "When we get involved, it helps our government leaders put faces to names and industry," Hegsted said. It is also an excellent opportunity to tell the sustainability story of the wood packaging compared to alternatives. Hegsted said, "It's imperative that we all work to spread that message whether it's with our customers, online, or any change we get to speak with our representatives." is initiative, a direct result of the Washington Fly-In, highlights the critical role that NWPCA and its members play in raising our profile on Capitol Hill. NWPCA Vice President of Public Affairs Jason Ortega (left) with Representative Moore and Justin Karoly, COO, Challenger Pallet & Supply, (right) at the Congressional plant tour. (Photo courtesy of NWPCA/Dave Parrish Photography.) Congressman Blake Moore (left) feels the animal bedding created using leftover wood when manufacturing wood pallets at Challenger Pallets & Supply in Ogden, Utah. (Photo courtesy of NWPCA/Dave Parrish Photography.) An aerial view of Challenger Pallet & Supply in Ogden, Utah. (Photo courtesy of NWPCA/Dave Parrish Photography.) 0722

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