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SSA chairman promotes transparency

FRIANT, Calif. - Todd Youngblood, the new chairman of the Specialty Sleep Assn., says the timing is right for the group to step forward and assert a leadership position on product transparency issues.
     Youngblood, president of co-founder of T2 International and Chili Technology of Mooresville, N.C., was recently elected to the chairman's post by the SSA's board of directors.
     "We are witnessing recent trends of consumers demanding to know about the contents and ingredients of the products they bring into their homes; reports and news articles of Federal Trade Commission enforcement of ‘green' claims with mattress bedding companies; and growing consumer awareness of health, safety and sustainability issues," Youngblood said. "Combine all that and we think that this is a time when the SSA can step forward as a trusted mattress industry authority for consumers. We believe we can play a key role as a resource for correctly marketing mattresses and bedding."
     Angela Owen, president and owner of Suite Sleep of Boulder, Colo., was elected vice chairperson of the SSA and Roger Coffey, president of Latexco West of Buena Park, Calif., was elected secretary/treasurer.
    Dale Read, president and CEO of The Marketing Arm Group of Annapolis, Md., and Tambra Jones were reappointed president and executive director of the SSA, respectively. All officers will serve a one-year term.
     Referring to his mission for the coming year, Youngblood said: "My role will be to set the course and tone, working with the elected and appointed officers of the SSA to fulfill our new vision and goals."
     He noted that the SSA's new vision statement calls for the group to be "a trusted authority for consumers on product transparency and education for specialty sleep products." In order to achieve that mission, he continued, "our mission must be to serve sleep innovators, both manufacturing and retail, by promoting members, product transparency, and education."
    Youngblood said the SSA's goals include restructuring, simplifying and expanding the four-year-old SSA Environmental & Safety Program for "green" claims, launching the association's new program for consumer disclosure and transparency, and restructuring licensing fees to encourage membership and participation.

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