RISE notes, plus Cheech & Chong dismay

By |  September 11, 2014 0 Comments

A lot of people tell me how lucky I am to have my job, how cool it is to go the places I go, meet the people I meet…

And then I hear on the radio that Cheech & Chong are having a show in Topeka next week… with War opening… but I’ll be on the road!


This is the downfall to my travel schedule.

Sigh… I’ll take solace in the fact that my job allowed me to meet Cheech in person, on a golf course, ten years ago. But he wasn’t the happy-go-lucky Cheech I expected… he was a somber, possibly sore Cheech. He looked like he was dreading his round, like maybe his back was bothering him… or maybe he was just really hungover.

“Dave’s not here, man…”


Dan Stahl, VP of marketing, OHP Inc., and incoming board chairman of RISE, speaking at the 24th annual RISE meeting. Photo by: Seth Jones

Dan Stahl, VP of marketing, OHP Inc., and incoming board chairman of RISE, speaking at the 24th annual RISE meeting. Photo by: Seth Jones

And now, some business. I mentioned a few days ago that I’d post some more info from the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment meeting.

RISE, a national trade association that represents manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders involved with pesticides, held their 24th annual meeting in late August. There wasn’t anything too momentous that caught my ear. RISE prez Aaron Hobbs did say they had created a strategic plan to take them from 2015 through 2020. (I never heard him state what that plan was exactly, other than some general comments.)

If there was a common theme that caught my ear it was that RISE wants to take their message and shout it from the top of the social media trees. A couple presenters took the time to talk Facebook, but especially Twitter.

“We’re communicating with a different generation… a different set of society,” Dan Stahl, VP of marketing, OHP Inc. and incoming board chairman, said. “We’ve become comfortable using Twitter and Facebook. A lot of key issues are taking place on Twitter.”

Karen Reardon, RISE’s vice president of public affairs, said that in the past 12 months, coverage of pollinators related to pesticides generated 206,000 mentions on Twitter.

“Everyone can do grassroots right now (on social media),” Reardon said. “Our opponents are using it to great effect.”


Also of note was the success RISE has had in the New England area. Reardon reported that of the 14 different efforts to create a pesticide ban, nothing made it so far as going to a vote.

“Generally, we’re very successful on the bills we see. We’ve come to a point where we’re very mature in our approach,” Reardon said. “We had a lot of activities where bills did not come to a vote, where bad news stories weren’t written. We are well positioned with whatever comes on the radar screen.”

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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