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NACE to Hold Merger Town Hall Meetings

Thursday, March 5, 2020

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Regarding the possible merger between NACE International, The Corrosion Society and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings, NACE has announced that it will be hosting a series of town hall meetings at its upcoming CORROSION 2020 Conference and Expo.

The conference was slated to take place from March 16-19 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. However, late on Friday, March 6, NACE announced via press release that the conference is postposted to until June 14-18.

Prior to these meetings, NACE was to also hold a Board of Directors Meeting on March 14 where members were slated take a vote regarding proceeds with the proposed organizational structure. No additional details have yet been made public on a possible change to these plans.

Ongoing Update Schedule

On Jan. 10, SSPC and NACE announced their first update, which gave a future overview of both update schedules and a timeline of upcoming discussion-related milestones.

The following week (Jan. 17), the associations announced a second update regarding certificate considerations and answers to some of the bigger questions involving this particular aspect of the merger efforts.

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Regarding the possible merger between NACE International, The Corrosion Society and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings, NACE has announced that it will be hosting a series of town hall meetings at its upcoming CORROSION 2020 Conference and Expo. Similar meetings were held at SSPC's Coatings+ conference (pictured) last month.

According to the update, the SSPC-NACE Task Group was focusing on minimizing disturbance to the industry and wished to maintain overall program quality and continuity. In order to achieve these goals, the group agreed that:

  • All current certification and accreditation programs will continue to be recognized and supported throughout the combination process;
  • Where there are certification or accreditation programs that overlap, a member task force will be created to evaluate the programs and make recommendations to a program committee;
  • Existing certification holders will be allowed to recertify into the continuing program; and
  • Financial burden or economic impact to certified and accredited parties should be minimized.

This means that certified individuals with existing certifications will retain their certifications throughout the transition period, so long as current renewal requirements are met. After the transition period is complete, individuals will be allowed to recertify into the continuing certification, as both organizations agree there should be little to no cost impact to cardholders as a result of program changes.

As for SSPC programs like CAS, PCI and QP or NACE Institute programs like CCA, CIP and NIICAP, the organizations report that the products of both entities will be examined and where there is overlap, bring together the best of both overlapping certifications.

The week after the organizations released part one of the membership considerations update, the organizations released a fourth update regarding their standards used by industry professionals worldwide. In the past, the organizations have worked together on 15 joint standards, two joint visual guides and six joint technical papers, among other standards.

In shifting the focus through a merged lens, members have been voicing throughout the discussions that in combining the organizations, it would become an opportunity to renew focus on developing standards that meet the needs of the entire international community of members, asset protection professionals and corporations.

At the beginning of February, during SSPC’s Coatings+ 2020 conference, SSPC’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to continue discussions and bring the creation of NewOrg and NewOrg Institute—both developments have yet to be named—to a member vote.

More specifically, NewOrg is slated to be a 501(c)(6) organization, while NewOrg Institute would meet 501(c)(3) requirements. Each organization will serve specific functions, but members will have access to both entities, and several functions will be conducted by both entities.

Following the decision, SSPC Vice President Sam Scaturro, SSPC Executive Director Bill Worms, NACE President Terry Greenfield and NACE CEO Bob Chalker, along with other members of the SSPC-NACE task group attended the town hall meetings to answer member questions and provide perspective on the next steps.

Highlights of the presentations included:

  • The operations and staff of SSPC, NACE and the NACE Institute would be absorbed into the two entities;
  • All existing members of both SSPC and NACE would become members of NewOrg;
  • NewOrg would be the sole member of NewOrg Institute, but all members of NewOrg would have access to the programs and resources of both;
  • Each new entity requires its own board and governance;
  • Current members of the SSPC and NACE boards would be divided evenly among each of the new boards so that there is equal representation;
  • Three advisory councils would be created to provide strategic input: contractors, owners and global affairs;
  • Overlapping programs that have been identified, such as PCI/CIP, QP/NIICAP, CAS/CCA and PCS/PCS, will be analyzed by special member-led task forces to determine the path forward for each; and
  • If the NACE board also approves moving forward, a member vote would take place sometime between Apr. 3-17.

Speakers of the presentation also added that overlapping programs are to evolve through the efforts completed by subject matter experts within the memberships and not the task group currently working on organizational framework.

Also in February, a sixth update released revealed what the next steps would be in the discussion process. As reported by NACE in a press release, task group members were pressing forward with compartmentalizing feedback received from members so that all questions, concerns and ideas are addressed prior to a final decision regarding SSPC and NACE’s potential merger.

However, the organizations also pointed out, should everything progress to a member vote where both organizations are in favor of the merger, most changes will take time and not happen immediately. In fact, if combined, the first step would be the combination and transition of new governance and membership structure, which would be expected to happen by Jan. 1, 2021. Yet, integration of both entities’ operations would be expected to extend well beyond that date.

Prior to the end of the month, the organizations released their seventh update, which covered education. According to the release, SSPC and NACE are committed to “delivering high-quality, up-to-date training and educational programming with the goal of producing the very best coating professionals in the world.” The organizations added that if combined, the commitment will not waiver.

Last week, the organizations released part two of a membership update regarding the possible merger. To bring the update into full circle, the organizations recapped original principles on the matter, which included tiered options with differing values and prices, membership categories and corporate memberships.

In moving forward with updates concerning “NewOrg” and “NewOrg Institute,” the organizations have decided that members will become “NewOrg members,” having full access to both entities, including equal voting and volunteer rights and privileges in both organizations.

Should the merger be approved, all current NACE and SSPC individual members will become members of “NewOrg” Premium Individual Membership for the remainder of their current membership term starting on Jan. 1, 2021. Upon expiration, members will be able to choose to renew at either the Premium or Core level of membership.

As for corporate memberships, there is also slated to be a three-tiered, value-based structure. Benefits include free individual memberships, conference registrations and prominent marketing exposure at conferences, and training workshops, among others.

Upcoming Meetings

Regarding the upcoming NACE board meeting on March 14, should the vote pass, members from both SSPC and NACE will be asked to cast a yes or no vote on a combined organization. Members will have until April 17 to respond.

As for the town hall meetings slated for CORROSION 2020, the schedule is as follows:

  • March 16: 9 - 10:30 a.m. CST;
  • March 17: 3:15 - 4:45 p.m. CST;
  • March 18: 2:30 - 4 p.m. CST; and
  • March 19: 9 - 10:30 a.m. CST.

In addition to the meetings, NACE intends to release its ninth update regarding the merger on March 6. This update intends to cover a review of member frequently asked questions. A 10th update is also expected to be released on March 13, but has been listed as “to be decided” in regard to its topic. On March 20, NACE will release a NACE Board Meeting and Annual Conference Update.


Editor's Note: This story was updated at 12:30 p.m. March 7 to reflect the postponement of CORROSION 2020.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business management; Business matters; Business operations; Conferences; Corrosion; CORROSION; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Mergers; NACE; NACE; NACE; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; SSPC NACE Merger; Z-Continents

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