During the opening general session of the National Paint and Coatings Association's (NPCA) 120th annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, NPCA president Andy Doyle announced that merger discussions with the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (FSCT) are back on the table after a representative from FSCT presented a proposal for merging the two organizations at NPCA's board of directors meeting. This latest announcement follows a proposed merger initiated on behalf of NPCA earlier this year that failed to see the two organizations come to an agreement.
"The boards of both organizations have endorsed and agreed to begin a merger process that will lead to a final proposal by March 2008," Doyle said.
FSCT's executive director, Joseph Pontoski, confirmed the announcement during a phone conversation. "FSCT has presented NPCA's board of directors with a document that addresses NPCA's previous merger proposal for FSCT to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPCA," Pontoski said. "Ultimately the membership of FSCT and NPCA will decide the matter. The leaders of both organizations will be meeting very soon to develop a document to present to the membership of both organizations.
"If negotiations are successful the intent would be to combine the American Coatings Show (ACS) and the International Coatings Exposition (ICE) in 2008," Pontoski continued.
ICE 2008 is scheduled to take place Oct. 15-17 in Chicago, IL while ACS 2008 is set for June 3-5 in Charlotte, NC.
"Assuming that we're able to agree to a merger, ICE will be cancelled and combined with the 2008 American Coatings Show," Doyle said. (see FSCT's statement below.)
Charles E. Bennett addresses the crowd as NPCA president Andy Doyle looks on.
During the honors luncheon, NPCA presented Charles E. Bennett, CEO of Cook Composites and Polymers, with the George Baugh Heckel Award, the association's highest honor.
Bennett has spent much of his life devoted to the industry, beginning in 1979 with a position at Guardsman Products. He held various positions at Guardsman, and was CEO and president upon his departure in 1996. At that time, he founded Polymer Products, Inc., a company that manufactured coatings resins. Two years later, he sold the company took his current position of CEO at Cook Composites and Polymers in Kansas City.
Bennett's involvement with NPCA has been extensive, including stints on the membership committee, Coatings Care committee, budget and finance committee, chairman of the industrial coatings committee, and more than ten years on NPCA's board of directors.
Industry Statesman Awards
Six individuals received Industry Statesman Awards the meeting. The Industry Statesman Award is an honor given by NPCA to persons in recognition and appreciation of their long and devoted service to the paint and coatings industry.
Robert Berger, Cytec Industries' vice president of sales and marketing support for Surface Specialties, served the association on its Industry Suppliers Committee from 1985-2007, chairing the committee for a length of time, concurrently serving on NPCA's Board of Directors, from the 1990s through this year.
Michael Beschloss, award-winning author and presidential historian, was the keynote speaker at NPCA's Annual Meeting. Beschloss addressed the American Presidency, discussing the leadership of presidents past and present.
Yvan Dupuy, chairman and CEO of Benjamin Moore & Co., has been an active NPCA member, serving on NPCA's Architectural Coatings Committee, its Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.
Dennis Finn, who passed away this spring, was vice president of environmental and regulatory affairs for RPM, Inc. Finn was the first chairman of NPCA's Coatings Care Security Committee, which was formed post-9/11 to deal with increased concerns about the safety of chemical processing facilities.
Robert Jurczyszyn, retired as product regulation manager for Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc. after more than 42 years of service. Since 1990, he represented Akzo Nobel Coatings on various NPCA committees.
Robert Torba, Akzo Nobel's general manager of the Industrial Finishes Business Unit, has retired from the company after more than 30 years of service and been a member of NPCA's Board of Directors and Executive Committee for several years at a time.
Industry Achievement Awards
Dunn-Edwards Corporations' Michael Rose and members of two NPCA working groups-the International Paint and Printing Ink Council's (IPPIC) Anti-Fouling Working Group and the Transportation and Distribution Committee's National Motor Freight Transport Association (NMFTA) Working Group-received Industry Achievement Awards during the meeting. The Industry Achievement Award is given in recognition of specific contributions to the paint and coatings industry.
A representative of the FSCT's Board of Directors presented the following statement at the NPCA's Board of Directors meeting:
On behalf of the FSCT I would like to make the following statements.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. President and members of the NPCA Board, thank you very much for allowing me to address you today.
For the past 85 years FSCT has successfully provided for the educational and professional development of our members and the entire coatings industry. Through our world class publications, conferences and exhibitions, the FSCT has served as the technical arm of the industry. This role becomes even more critical as the regulatory environment continues to affect changes upon our industry.
It is clear through our interactions with our members and the industry that there is tremendous concern and confusion about the separate paths that the FSCT and NPCA are taking. This divide will prove detrimental to all our companies, our members, and ultimately to each of our respective associations.
While the FSCT Board of Directors agreed with many of the points addressed in the NPCA merger proposal submitted to us last Spring, the timelines specified did not allow us to adequately address these proposals with our membership in accordance with our Bylaws. Beyond all that, the structural changes in our industry point to the need for a single, strong, effective industry association.
With this in mind, we the Board of FSCT have agreed to endorse a merger of the FSCT and the NPCA. We commit to educating our members on the benefits of this merger in order to affect an affirmative vote.
The FSCT Board proposes the following:
1. The FSCT will merge with the NPCA and become the technical and scientific arm (including technical publications) of the NPCA, as a wholly owned subsidiary, preserving the mission and purpose of the FSCT through the NPCA's acquisition of its assets and liabilities.
2. An immediate effort will be made to combine the International Coatings Expo and the American Coatings Show in 2008. Concurrently, the FSCT and the NPCA will work together to determine how best to honor any related contractual commitments and upon the successful completion of the merger, any remaining financial obligations will be satisfied by the newly combined organization.
With agreement on these points, the FSCT commits to the following action plan:
FSCT representatives will meet with NPCA by December 31, 2007 to complete the details of the merger and to develop an implementation plan for its completion.
A plan to promote and explain the details of the merger will be developed by January 31, 2008.
A final merger plan will be presented to the FSCT and NPCA membership for vote by March 1, 2008 with approvals to be completed by April 1st 2008.
The FSCT believes that this merger of the FSCT and the NPCA would result in the strengthening of both organization's programs and resources and provide the highest level of benefits and services to our members and the industry.