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Separate membership, a single organization.

On March 4th, the FSCT overwhelmingly approved amendments to its Bylaws to separate membership in the FSCT from that in its Constituent Societies. This momentous decision reflects our changing times and will, in turn, produce debate on further changes to increase the relevance and value of the FSCT and its Societies to their membership and the industry they serve.

Local Societies have undergone slow but steady change in recent years. Some reasons are obvious: Consolidation, company budget reductions, increased member workload, and a general decline in available resources have made membership growth in all volunteer organizations a real challenge. Some reasons are subtle: the burgeoning use of email, Internet, and e-conferencing has caused individuals to question the need for attending monthly meetings and interacting in person.

At the same time, new technologies, increased demands for specialized coatings, and competitive factors have increased the need for technical education on all levels. The Societies, focused to a great extent on local and regional interests, can be effective in addressing such concerns. Likewise, FSCT is well-equipped to handle the global landscape of coatings technology. In today's world, the catchphrase "Think globally, act locally," indicates that membership in both the local Society and the FSCT would provide the greatest benefit by serving as a symbiotic resource--offering the "best of both worlds." Members, however, should be able to select the resources that provide the greatest benefit to them and to their company.

Since its inception, membership in the FSCT was tied directly to membership in a local Society. However, there are different forces driving the industry today than when the FSCT was founded in 1922. A person may now be a member of a local Society or the FSCT, or both--whichever is most relevant to an individual's needs. The Board decision now allows for members to exert their "freedom of choice."

No matter what these choices are, the relationship between and among the FSCT and its Constituent Societies continues unabated. Mutual support, cooperative effort, and collaborative programs are more important now than ever before.

The article on page 7 of this issue further details the Board's decision regarding membership, and provides information on the membership renewal process that will begin in April. We hope that you will continue to take advantage of the many benefits that membership has to offer, and we look forward to serving you now and for many years to come.

Robert F. Ziegler

Executive Vice President

COPYRIGHT 2004 Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology
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Title Annotation:Perspective
Author:Ziegler, Robert F.
Publication:JCT CoatingsTech
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Previous Article:Bond line readout.
Next Article:FSCT approves separate membership for society, FSCT members; Structure and Governance Task Force slated to begin discussions.

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