The Board is sorry to report that the founder and first President of AFTA, Joe Rares, passed away on October 4. Joe was an innovative and imaginative businessman who many have credited as a pioneer and creator of parallel market trade and price competition in the US marketplace for personal care, health and beauty aids and fragrance products. When he saw foreign manufacturers and brand owners were about to change US customs and intellectual property law to control distribution and pricing of their products, he created AFTA and a loose coalition of other interests which successfully preserved the marketplace in the courts, congress and the administration. Joe was always a larger than life character, at times tough and direct but always motivated by a deep intelligence, sensitivity and loyalty to family, friends and business.
Joe is survived by his three sons – Michael, Scott and Eric – and his long-time assistant Josie. A memorial service was held on October 11, 2018 in Boca Raton and the family requested that contributions in his memory be made to Mountaineer’s School of Autism (http://www.msainc.org/) or Rescue Life (https://rescue-life.org/).