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AMPP Makes Industry Debut with Virtual Launch

Thursday, January 7, 2021

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Ringing in the new year, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International, The Worldwide Corrosion Authority officially launched their newly combined organization: The Association for Materials Protection and Performance.

While the combination occurred on Jan. 1, the AMPP (formerly referred to as "NewOrg" for the duration of the merging process) hosted a virtual launch yesterday, (Jan. 6) revealing the name of the new organization, as well as the logo, tag line and other endeavors that the branding team had been working on.

The virtual launch featured several event speakers, including AMPP CEO, Bob Chalker.

Virtual Launch

Like many other meetings, conferences and events this past year, the official launch of SSPC and NACE’s new organization was virtual, requiring members, industry professionals and other interested parties to watch the news from a computer screen.

Chalker opened the virtual launch, commenting on the many months it had taken to finally get to this point for the associations. The goal from the very beginning was to "create a unified voice for the corrosion control and protective coatings protection industries," and Chalker noted that the combined efforts have achieved just that.


Ringing in the new year, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and NACE International, The Worldwide Corrosion Authority officially launched its newly combined organization: The Association for Materials Protection and Performance.

“I’m proud to be at the helm of this new organization,” said Chalker.

However, Chalker noted, what most may not know is that this journey to create this new organization began well before the news of merger talks were ever published. To have it told from the men who got the ball rolling, Chalker introduced prior SSPC and NACE chairs, Joe Walker, Vice President, Elcometer, Inc. (Warren, Michigan) and Terry Greenfield, Principal Consultant, Consulex (Cocoa, Florida; Fairhope, Alabama).

The two referred to the start of exploratory combination talks as “the big bump.” Occurring at a 2018 SSPC Coatings+ conference in New Orleans, when Walker “bumped” into Greenfield. While not much follow-up could be noted from that encounter, two months later the two met again at the NACE convention, where discussions started to evolve even further.

“The combination of the two allowed us to start from a clean slate and really make this organization global in its scope and focus for the members,” said Walker.

Over the course of the conversation, Walker asked Greenfield about his biggest takeaway regarding the combination, to which Greenfield replied, “Here we are right now, instead of being on a stage together, exchanging works and handshakes, we’re here in a digital format and I think we’ve all become more comfortable and more familiar with how to use it.

“I see that as being a strong component of ... having true participation internationally on standards committees, on the program committees and task groups, whatever may pop up."

Echoing his response, Walker also noted on the achievement of the combination, pointing out that, unlike what he had expected, the associations had very little overlap in standards, training, certifications and others. The realization ultimately pushed the teams to make the new organization that much more effective, according to the team.

Up next on the virtual stage were Joyce Wright (NewOrg 501(c)(3) Chair), Trade Manager for Strategy and Innovation, Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (Hampton, Virginia) and Cris Conner (NewOrg 501(c)(3) Vice Chair), Vice President, Utility Service and Maintenance, Inc. (St. Louis) who touched on the integration team efforts and how well members and staff from both organizations worked together to make the merge a success.

“I’m most looking forward to bringing together both organizations expertise,” said Wright. “That’s been instrumental in helping standards, educational courses, certifications, just to name a few, that will support and grow the needs of our industry across the globe.

“Together with one voice—contractors, owners, craftsmen, corrosion experts, manufacturers, consultants—we can do more together to advance the industry and protect society’s across the globe.”

Conner noted that he was also looking forward to working within the net result of the merger and predicts it will be a better product than what the organizations had before.

Lastly, what all viewers had been waiting for, Tim Bieri (NewOrg 501(c)(6) Chair), Principal Corrosion Engineer, BP Exploration & Production Operating Company (Houston) and Sam Scaturro (NewOrg 501(c)(6) Vice Chair), President, Alpine Painting & Sandblasting Contractors (Paterson, New Jersey) were brought on to announce the official name.

Unveiled through a presentation screen, the duo reported that the newly combined organization could now be referred to as, “The Association for Materials Protection and Performance” or “AMPP," touted as the global leaders in materials protection and performance, the merged organization aims to protect.

With the name and tagline, a new logo was also revealed and was described as representing the world (its circle centerpiece) and protection shield (surround hexagon shape often found in both science and nature).

“We think it defines both where we are around the globe, as well as what we do in the materials protection and performance space,” said Bieri. “When I look out across our corrosion coatings industry, our legacy industries—we’re firmly planted with one foot there. But we also are trying to be forward-thinking and have a foot planted in the future. As the world changes, as materials change going forward, we have important roles to play.”

For Scaturro, it was the fact that the merger officially brought together over 40,000 members, a major feature that creates excitement when thinking about making connections with others within the industry.

Chalker then closed out the virtual launch, thanking the presenters, all the teams as well as the individuals who made up those teams, volunteers and many members for their hard work and commitment.

“I think we all knew this would be a lot of work, but I’m not sure we ever imagined just how many moving parts there would be,” said Chalker. “We could not have made it to this point without the dedication of an unbelievable volunteer workforce.”

In ending the virtual event, Chalker noted that more information was expected to be released on AMPP’s new website, soon, as AMPP is expected to continue combining efforts of both organizations throughout the first half of 2021.

NewOrg/AMPP History

In March 2019, the two organizations announced the beginning of merger talks. By August, the organizations announced the mutual decision to bring McKinley Advisors on board as a guiding entity for the two organizations’ merger discussions, in addition to advising the organizations through considerations related to strategic, financial and cultural barriers, among others.

At the beginning of this year, the organizations began releasing a series of updates, beginning Jan. 10, 2020, which gave a future overview of both update schedules and 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.

According to that update, the SSPC-NACE Task Group was focusing on minimizing disturbance to the industry and wished to maintain overall program quality and continuity.

The week after, the organizations released part one of the membership considerations update, and they released a fourth update regarding standards used by industry professionals worldwide.

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 had yet to be named—to a member vote.

The 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.

Prior to the end of the month, the organizations released their seventh update, which covered education, and an eighth update regarding the part two of the membership component of the agreement, along with a question-and-answer forum.

In April, the organizations opened a two-week-long voting period to its members after more than a year of discussions between the leadership of both organizations. The voting period closed on April 17, revealing that 88.3% of SSPC members and 89% of NACE members voted in favor of the merger.

“This was a vote of historical importance to SSPC members and to the coatings and corrosion industries,” said former SSPC President Joseph Walker.

“The level of engagement and interest throughout the process and the impressive showing for the vote demonstrates the enthusiasm the industry has for the potential of this combination. I look forward to working with my colleagues at NACE as we move forward on creating this new organization.”

Former NACE President Terry Greenfield added at the time: “With what is clearly a resounding ‘yes,’ the NACE membership has spoken. As a member and as NACE’s president I could not be more excited with this result. This will bring more benefits and resources to the members of both organizations and it will have a strong and positive impact on the coatings and corrosion profession worldwide.”

According to the previous updates, the organizations had decided that members will become “NewOrg members,” having full access to both entities, including equal voting and volunteer rights and privileges in both organizations.

The hybrid structure is reported to include valued-based individual and corporate memberships where members can choose their level of benefit and corresponding dues. However, individual members will be able to choose between Core and Premium tiers, with Premium being the higher of the two and including select standard downloads, digital library products and publication subscriptions.

The updates also noted that 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.

In terms of leadership, NACE CEO Robert H. Chalker was tapped to lead the new, combined organization at the beginning of May.

In July, SSPC and NACE announced that they entered into a definitive agreement to combine. The transaction is expected to close in October and is subject to the approval of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

By the end of that same month, the formation of 13 ad-hoc integration teams announced that they had begun combination efforts of the two organizations. The teams were reportedly appointed by the SSPC-NACE Steering Committee and consist of members and staff from both organizations. Each team is focused on a different area of the associations’ operations and services.

In August, the organizations unveiled a schedule and registration info for a slew of town hall meetings that the organizations say are meant to keep members informed about the ongoing steps to combine into one organization.

And in November, a governance structure of the new combined association and the members who will serve on the boards of the organization were announced. According to the associations, the new organization is slated to consist of two boards which will oversee two branches of the organization in compliance with United States tax code requirements for non-profit organizations with certification bodies.

The first board of directors will serve the 501(c)(6) branch, which will oversee areas such as certification, accreditation and advocacy. The second board will serve the 501(c)(3) branch, which will comprise activities such as education, standards, research, conferences and events.

Each board’s vice chair will also serve as a member of the other board to ensure clear lines of communication and consistency in working toward the same mission on behalf of the membership.

December Town Hall

Most recently, the NewOrg hosted a December Town Hall where Scaturro went over timeline highlights regarding the combination of SSPC and NACE, starting with their exploratory talks back in 2018, task group meetings throughout 2019, the 2020 voting, integration, branding and legal documentation, ending with plans for yesterday's launch event.

Moving forward, Scaturro discussed the NewOrg’s Transitional Structure, which covered the transition team, integration staff tam, integration teams and the steering committee. Each team meets on a regular schedule to further handle, organize, promote and apply project management principals.

Regarding integration teams, Scaturro provided updates regarding the NewOrg’s Chapters/Sections, Publications and Technical and Research teams specifically. Through a process of immersion meetings, data collection and inventory, and decision point discussions, the teams were reported to have developed recommendations for the transition teams to review and revise as necessary.

Starting with Publications, Board of 501(c)(3) member Bernardo Duran, Manager, Technology and Market Development, International Zinc Association reported that his team analyzed current publications and content, as well as how they can be best delivered to their members from member-facing and author-facing sides. In addition to these efforts, the teams also hosted member discussions and conducted contractor focus groups.

In new endeavors, the NewOrg reportedly plans to put together a collection of webcasts, podcasts and books, in addition to digital editions, newsletters, and other publishing products to support the information needs of its global membership.

In conjunction with these new endeavors, NewOrg then made its announcement that its previous SSPC agreement with JPCL would be discontinued, as it “is owned by a third-party publisher," confirming a statement made by Technology Publishing Company's CEO Brion Palmer.

Moving right along in the NewOrg Town Hall, association official Jane Brown presented information regarding Chapters and Sections, which was responsible for establishing communities—both geographic and topical—for NewOrg stakeholders.

According to Brown, the NewOrg developed a process which found that the community structures had a member engagement focus and were becoming more flexible, as well as offered an opportunity to leverage strengths and drive community decisions by mission and member values.

As a result of these findings, Brown said that the NewOrg planned to create communities of interest, in addition to geographical, planned to explore potential incentivizing programs and virtual engagements. At the time of the Town Hall, current NACE areas were slated to shift to the Membership Program Committee and would be evaluated this year.

Following Brown’s presentation, Dawn Eden covered Technical and Research topics, specifically program committees which would serve as essential resources for industry changing or leading technical information for member and non-member stakeholders of the NewOrg.

In her presentation, Eden touched on current team information, program committee focuses and objectives, as well as preliminary recommendations for the Transition Team with plans for recommendations to be formalized by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

To better define what members could expect in 2021, Scaturro covered the roles of the c6 and c3 committees and its compiled chairs, which would be directly reporting to the boards on either side so that NewOrg could begin working on endeavors immediately. This information was followed by dual membership information, where Scaturro discussed the official NewOrg launch, as well as the NewOrg Membership launch, which is expected to take place during the second half of 2021.

Additional information Scaturro asked viewers to look out for were accreditation, certification and standards, advising that viewers continue these endeavors as normal. When the changes to these parts of the NewOrg are made, staff members would be able to assist individual members and circumstances.

Scaturro also advised that viewers look out for information regarding conferences and events—specifically SSPC Coatings+ and CORROSION 2021—which have since undergone postponements and virtual options, the Transition, Steering and Integration Team news and Board of Directors information.

The Town Hall commenced with a viewer Q&A. To watch the full meeting, click here.

Readers can view all SSPC/NACE Merger content on PaintSquare, here.


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

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