Editor’s note: Through 2022, FlexPack VOICE® will feature a short profile on a member of the FPA team based in Annapolis, Maryland. Meet the Staff at FPA is a way for you to get to know those you work with in a more personal way. Sam Schlaich is FPA counsel, government affairs.
FlexPack VOICE®: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sam Schlaich: I was born in California. My father was a Marine aviator, and my family moved every two to three years, so I had the opportunity to live in several states. I went to Salisbury University on the eastern shore of Maryland for my undergraduate degree and the University of Baltimore School of Law for my J.D.
FPV: What was your career path, and how did you end up at FPA?
SS: In college, I interned at the Maryland General Assembly and was able to make enough contacts that I was offered a position with the House Ways and Means Committee when I graduated. I held several government affairs-oriented positions within the State of Maryland, including work for the Chamber of Commerce and Office of the Governor, as well as many political campaigns.
Like so many others, I sort of stumbled into the packaging industry by accident but was hooked immediately as I quickly discovered what an amazing industry it is to be in.
FPV: Talk a little bit about your duties with FPA. What do you like best, and what are some of the challenges going forward?
SS: I am counsel, government affairs, at FPA. My role focuses primarily on advocacy and legislative initiatives that will impact the industry. Right now, it is a pretty exciting time to be working in my role at FPA, as all across the country states are trying to pass new legislation—some great and some not so great—on extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs, advanced recycling (AR), labeling, and post-consumer recycled (PCR) content requirements. Getting to work with several state agencies, associations, elected officials, and FPA members has been a great experience, and having the opportunity to engage and participate in ongoing dialogues has been rewarding.
FPV: What do you like to do when you are not working? Also, do you have a favorite sports team? If so, why?
SS: I’ve always loved to travel, although the pandemic made that somewhat difficult over the last few years. I spent two semesters of law school studying abroad in Scotland.
I’m an avid runner and usually do a few mud/obstacle races a year. My father went to the United States Naval Academy, which is located right here in Annapolis, Maryland, so I have always been a fan of Navy sports and try to make it to as many home football games as possible. I am also a huge fan of the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Eagles.
FPV: Anything that you would like to say about your family?
SS: I come from a big family. I have two brothers. Both of my parents remarried, so I have quite a few step-siblings. My sister, Maddie, and her husband, Billy, just had their first child—a beautiful little girl. And my older brother Blake and his wife, Brittany, are expecting their first child in the next couple of months.