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American Filtration Society experiencing major growth.

American Filtration Society Experiencing Major Growth With an individual membership of nearly 1000 and corporate memberships totalling 55, the American Filtration Society, a nonprofit group based in Houston, TX, has reported significant growth since its inception little more than two years ago.

Formerly the American Program Committee of the Filtration Society, a U.K. association in existence for 25 years, the U.S. group branched off and became an independent entity in September, 1987 and has tripled its membership since then. "We are amazed by the response," AFS chairman Edward Gregor, of Gelman Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, told Nonwovens Industry recently. "We thought the U.S. industry wanted an association, we just didn't realize how much. It has taken off far beyond our expectations."

The association has 13 national chapters and caters to five major groups--usrs of filter products, manufacturers of filter products (including filters, filter media and filter systems), academia, research associations and consultants. It is also affiliated with the Canadian Filtration Society, although both are run independently. "We are the largest organization in the world exclusively devoted to filtration and fluid-particle separation," said Mr. Gregor. "Our mission is to add to the technical and professional growth and development of individuals in the filtration and particle separation areas."

The father of the American Filtration Society is considered to be Wells Shoemaker, president of Filterex, Shippensburg, PA. Mr. Shoemaker, who now considers himself "semi-retired," told Nonwovens Industry that the decision to end the American filtration industry's ties with the British group was based on simple fiscal responsibility. "We realized at the time tha tour best interests would be served by a national group," he said. "We wanted the freedom to do our own thing."

In addition to Mr. Gregor as chairman, other officers include Harry Sandstedt, Reemay, Old Hickory, TN, first vice chairman; Alex Cirillo, 3M, St. Paul, MN, second vice chairman; Guy Weismantel, secretary and executive secretary; and A.J. Palermo, Airfilters, is AFS treasurer.

Of the corporate members, approximately 25% are nonwovens companies. These include: American Felt & Filter, Chicopee, Conwed Plastics, Ergon, Filtration Sciences, Hollingsworth & Vose, James River, Reemay, Rosedale Products, Snow Filtration, 3M and Veratec. Nonwovens Industry recently joined AFS as a corporate member as well.

Plans for the society include its third annual technical conference and meeting, which will be held next month, March 19-22, in Washington DC. The board of directors recently decided to make the environment the AFS focus of the 1990's. "All conferences will incorporate this awareness in some way," said Mr. Gregor, "whether it be acid rain, groundwater pollution or gas filtration problems."
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Title Annotation:includes related article
Author:Noonan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Feb 1, 1990
Words:431
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