(Nov. 11, 5:45 p.m.) CHICAGO -- Former produce industry leader Jerry Welcome is the new president of the Reusable Packaging Association.

Welcome, with more than 16 years of management experience, including in leadership roles with the United Fresh Produce Association and the International Fresh Produce Association, became the new president after a Nov. 10 announcement by Fred Hepinstall, RPA chairman of the board, according to a press release distributed at Pack Expo in Chicago.

"This has been a great year for the RPA. We adopted a new strategic direction for the association, focused on increasing the growth of reusable packaging systems and we are pleased to report an accelerated adoption of reusable systems in the marketplace," Hepinstall said in the release.

"I am very excited to be back working for a packaging-related association, especially one that is on the cutting edge of supply-chain issues and leading a revolution in packaging that is focused on bringing innovation to the marketplace that are reusable, sustainable, good for the environment and helping to reduce greenhouse emissions," Welcome said in the release.