NACE, SSPC Announce Chalker as CEO of New, Combined Organization

NACE International (Houston, Texas, USA) and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), announced that Robert H. Chalker has been named CEO of the new, combined organization that was approved by ballot of both NACE and SSPC membership bodies in April.

“I’m honored to lead these two venerated organizations through this monumental change,” Chalker says. “This is an opportunity to provide coatings and corrosion professionals worldwide with more mission-driven value, making societies safer by strengthening the standards, education, and certification programs that makes our members the best at what they do.”

Chalker has nearly 20 years of association management experience and has served as CEO of NACE since 2010. Prior to joining NACE, Bob was the managing director of ASQ Global, where he was responsible for developing a global network of quality professionals and experts focused on educating the world on the principles of quality. Chalker also served as director of global development and strategic planning for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International).

“Bob’s association experience is tailor-made for this transition,” says Terry Greenfield, president of NACE International. “Bob’s extensive background in management and organizational leadership has resulted in a culture of high performance and success for NACE. That will be a tremendous asset as the leaders of both organizations work to strategize and develop a single organization that will serve the world’s corrosion and coatings professionals at every level of expertise.”         

“I have known Bob since he took over as CEO of NACE and have worked with him in my role as a member of the NACE Education Committee,” adds Joseph Walker, president of SSPC. “I have always been impressed with his leadership approach and his vision for the future. He builds great teams and has in-depth knowledge of the coatings and corrosion industries. I look forward to working with him as we bring the organizations together.”

Bill Worms, who has served as executive director of SSPC since 2015, will remain at the helm of SSPC while the process of combining the organizations begins. The staff and office facilities of SSPC will stay in Pittsburgh.

“Bill has achieved extraordinary work at SSPC,” Greenfield says. “He is highly respected by members, staff, and industry and has been an outstanding partner in the years we’ve worked together on mutual efforts on behalf of the organizations, and again throughout this process of considering combining NACE and SSPC.”

“In just five years, Bill has managed to build a legacy that will be foundational to success of the new organization,” adds Chalker. “What Bill has done on behalf of SSPC’s members and the coatings profession has elevated the value of SSPC programs—and strengthened safety, environmental, and economic benefits afforded to industry through those important programs.

Currently, leaders of SSPC and NACE are planning on a January 4, 2021 debut for the new association. Worms is expected to remain at SSPC through the end of 2020.

“In its 70-year history, SSPC has only had five executive directors,” Walker says. “Not many people realize that. Bill came to SSPC in 2015 not only with the reputation as a steady leader, but also as someone who could take SSPC to the next level. His performance as an executive did not disappoint. He’s been aggressive in expanding SSPC’s global footprint and pushing the organization to new heights of success. Without that kind of growth, I don’t think we would be talking about combining organizations right now. Bill’s leadership has been that impactful and a true testament to his capabilities.”

Worms says it has been an honor to lead SSPC over the past five years.

“It was a new challenge for me coming from the corporate world, but it has been very fulfilling,” Worms says. “At the start I set out to recruit a talented staff and set some aggressive growth goals for the organization. Our team really responded to the challenge, increasing engagement with members, opening up new markets and new opportunities, and making SSPC a one-stop-shop for coatings industry professionals looking for training and technical resources. I’m looking forward to working with Bob and the transition team to help the new organization take shape.”

Chalker earned his MBA at Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan, USA) and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA), where he received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He also sits on the boards of the Katy Area Economic Development Council and Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) and is a member of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s industry advisory board.

Sources: NACE International,; SSPC,