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Community Advisory Panels Build Community Bridges

Craig facilitates regular meetings of the FMC Community Advisory Panel. FMC is a global company with a manufacturing plant on the waterfront in Rockland, Maine. After an evening meeting Craig whipped out his cell phone and made this 3-minute video. Craig explains the purpose of a Community Advisory Panel and how it builds bridges with community leaders.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody, it’s Craig Freshley and I am here on the waterfront of beautiful downtown Rockland, Maine. It’s a pretty cold January evening here in Maine and I want to tell you about a group that I’m working with here. Behind me, if you can read those letters, it says FMC. FMC is a global company and here in Rockland they manufacture a raw product that they extract from seaweed that they import from all over the world.

Now if you don’t know who I am, or anything about me, I’m all about good group decisions. I help all kinds of different groups make good decisions and one of my clients is FMC right here in Rockland, Maine.

Here’s how I help FMC. They have something that they call a Community Advisory Panel. It’s made up of community leaders and this group comes together about once every two months and I facilitate the meetings. They come right here to the plant, FMC feeds them dinner, and they have a chat with plant managers about the latest stuff that’s going on. You see, FMC is a member of the American Chemistry Council. The American Chemistry Council has a Code of Conduct, part of that Code of Conduct is that manufacturing plants, such as FMC, should have a Community Advisory Panel. This is a way that they keep in touch with community leaders.

Now tonight we were talking about the panel in general and I asked them, “What do you get out of this panel? Why do you come to these meetings? Why is it so important?” And the plant manager had a pretty good answer. He said, “No information becomes disinformation.” And what he meant by that is that if there is a vacuum of information, if FMC is silent, if the people in this community never hear anything from the manufacturing plant, they start to make stuff up. Now not in a malicious way, it’s just human nature to speculate and imagine what might be going on down there on the Rockland waterfront at that strange manufacturing plant.

So this company takes a proactive approach. They want correct information out there in the community and that’s why they have a Community Advisory Panel. So I thought I’d whip out my camera and tell you a little bit about what one company does to make sure that no information doesn’t turn into disinformation. They take a proactive approach on informing their community about the decisions that they are making here on the Rockland waterfront.

Okay signing off. Thanks for listening. And here’s hoping that you make good group decisions.


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