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The state of AFS: 1988-89.

The State of AFS: 1988-89

My term as your president has been a piece of cake. Why? I would like to take the credit for the extremely fine management, keen insight and outstanding strategic sense that I brought to the Society. But to be perfectly honest, I believe the economy and its impact on the foundry industry have had more to do with the success we have experienced during the past year than what Tim Hitchcock has done.

To a great degree, as the foundry industry goes, so goes the fortunes of the American Foundrymen's Society and the Cast Metals Institute. But that does not mean that there has not been outstanding work done by a lot of people over the past year. I owe a lot of my good fortune to the hard work and dedication of Chuck Jones, our executive vice president; Maria Komon, our vice president of finance; Fred Schleg and Ian Kay, our CMI officers; and the rest of the outstanding staff in Des Plaines.

We also owe a lot to our past presidents, who brought AFS through some very difficult times and have given us the opportunity to take advantage of the current business situation and dramatically improve the state of the Society.

I appreciate this opportunity to bring AFS members up to date on where the Society stands today. . AFS membership is 13,469, which is up 265 for the year. Particularly notable is the increase in the Research Patron membership. . modern casting magazine continues to make progress in increasing its market share of industry advertising and is operating profitably. . The AFS Knight Environmental Services Laboratory is enjoying increased demand for its services and has raised its income by 5% over the past year. It too is profitable. . Publication sales are up more than 14%, with over 50% of these sales going to foreign sources. This attests to the importance of this AFS activity, not only in North America but worldwide. . AFS sale of foundry software is up 30% from last year. This is a very exciting part of our business. . Requests for information from the AFS Library also are up significantly, further evidence of the critical role AFS plays in the dissemination of technical information. . AFS technical committees, under the direction of Technical Council chairman Tim Davies, together with the 65 committees and 800 members, have had a very productive year, evidenced by the extremely fine technical program at the 93rd AFS Casting Congress. . And, last but not least, CMI, our university of foundry technology, is experiencing outstanding growth, with an attendance increase of 76% over last year.

I believe some of our current success also is due to the increased marketing efforts during the past couple of years with Leo Baran and Norwin Merens personally calling on our members, acquainting them with our services and getting their input into ways that we can serve them better.

We all know things are going well for the industry and AFS right now, and I believe strongly that they will next year too, when we hold our CASTEXPO in Detroit, MI. Nearly 100,000 sq ft of exhibit space has been sold already. But just as the industry is subject to economic cycles, so is AFS. To provide financial stability, an educational institution needs a solid financial base. We call that base an endowment. It provides the long-term stability for finances, programs and other services.

Last year, on the day before I assumed the AFS presidency, George Booth, past AFS president, agreed to be the general chairman of the "Campaign for the Future." During the past year George has done a remarkable job organizing and leading our very first capital campaign. Today, the endowment of CMI stands at $2,958,016 and continues to grow. To date, we have made 100 calls and have had only four turndowns, further evidence of the support of our Society by the foundry industry. I am also proud to report that every member of both the AFS and CMI boards has contributed to the "Campaign for the Future" in the amount of $526,867.

Another very exciting development at AFS is in the area of research. Your board of directors has made the decision and commitment to increase the thrust of AFS research activities. We believe that AFS is the logical focal point for metalcasting research, as we represent every facet of the industry. In the past year AFS has committed $432,000 to research. We have raised $758,000 through industry participation and $510,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy. If our research activities continue to develop as they have during the past year, it is possible that we could have $6 million in research in progress by 1991.

This past year as AFS president has been enlightening, stimulating and especially humbling, as I have come to appreciate the breadth and scope of the foundry industry in North America and the deep dedication of so many talented people. Thank you for the opportunity to perpetuate the proud tradition of the American Foundrymen's Society. It has been the highlight of my career.
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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society
Author:Hitchcock, Timothy R.
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:editorial
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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