Reusable Packaging Association Welcomes New President: Tim Debus

Debus brings experience in reusable packaging and trade association management to RPA

Linden, VA, August 19, 2015 Following an extensive search, the Reusable Packaging Association has selected Tim Debus to serve as the RPA’s new president and chief executive officer (CEO).  (Read my exclusive interview with Tim at this link.)

“Tim has the right mix of experience to lead and grow the association,” said Hillary Femal, RPA Chairman of the Board. “He’s worked in the reusables industry, and he managed a trade association similar in size to the RPA. Tim also comes from a company that is a member of the RPA; he knows firsthand the benefits of RPA membership, and the areas where we can deliver more value.”  

Debus will assume his new role on September 1 when Jerry Welcome retires. Welcome has been RPA’s president and CEO since 2007. During that time, he provided strong leadership and growth for the reusable packaging industry and the association. Welcome will continue to provide support to the RPA through October to ensure a smooth transition.

Debus’ industry experience includes his most recent role in business development for A. R. Arena Products where he focused on reusable packaging innovations. He also served seven years in senior leadership positions at IFCO, bringing to market new reusable products from ideation to commercial adoption. Prior to IFCO, Debus spent six years working for the United Fresh Produce Association where he served as executive director managing all aspects of the International Banana Association. Under his leadership, the association maintained high member retention and participation rates and successfully tackled industry challenges through effective collaborative efforts.

“I’m a strong believer in the power of varied interests working together and accomplishing more than they could if acting alone. Reusable packaging can improve supply chains in so many areas, and I’m eager to work with all RPA members to promote and expand the reusable advantage for transport packaging,” said Debus.   

Debus is no stranger to the RPA. In 2007, he participated on the team that developed the RPA’s strategic plan and he chaired the plan’s transition committee. He also has experience in sustainable agricultural practices and government affairs.

Debus holds a Master’s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Affairs from Indiana University.

About the RPA
The Reusable Packaging Association is a collaborative effort between manufacturers, poolers, distributors, retailers and educators to promote the environmental, safety, and economic benefits of reusable packaging. The RPA serves as the collective voice of the industry and uses its knowledge of the members’ products and services to advance the adoption of reusable packaging and systems throughout the supply chain.  The RPA is focused on promoting the expansion of reusables as the preferred packaging solution across supply chains in all industries. For more information, visit or call (703) 224-8284.