Vaping advocacy just got a big shot in the arm. The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) has named Pamela Gorman as executive director, succeeding Cynthia Cabrera in the position. Probably no one in the world of vapor products lobbying and governmental affairs is more respected than Gorman.
Gorman led NJoy’s advocacy efforts as that company’s director of government relations. There she and colleague Brian Fojtik essentially taught many of the best known vaping advocates how to do their jobs. The NJoy lobbying effort was the company’s second great gift to the independent vapor industry, after its victory over the FDA in the 2010 Sottera federal court decision.
Her appointment comes at a crucial time for SFATA, following a period of upheaval during which the previous executive director, Cynthia Cabrera, left the trade group in an apparent dispute with the board of directors. Cabrera is also widely respected throughout the industry, and many questioned the SFATA board’s judgement and commitment to fighting the FDA’s deeming regulations after losing her leadership.
“I am honored to join the vapor industry’s leading trade association and represent the interests of small business owners throughout the country who epitomize the American dream, creating jobs and investment in their communities, providing a significant alternative to smoking,” said Gorman in a SFATA press release. “Building upon the legacy of my predecessor, and leveraging the strength of our organization, I will continue the fight on behalf of these businesses and the consumers they serve, against industry-destroying policies and devastating taxes currently facing our membership.”
Aside from working as a govermental affairs specialist, Gorman has herself served as a legislator, in both the Arizona house and senate. Her understanding of how lawmaking bodies work, and her ability to empathize and work with elected officials, will be huge assets in the difficult days ahead for the vapor industry.
You can listen to an interview with Gorman on SFATA’s website.
SFATA’s Annual Conference and Expo will be held in Hollywood, Florida, this year on October 19-21.