Podcast Transcript: Bob Chalker on AMPP Priorities, Industry Outlook

Bob Chalker, CEO of the new Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP), recently sat down with us for an exclusive interview.

Topics discussed are the combination of NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings; implications for various segments of the corrosion industry, including coatings contractors; feedback during the initial weeks of the merger; key dates and milestones to watch moving forward; and much more. See below for a complete transcript.


Ben DuBose: Welcome into another podcast from the Association for Materials Protection and Performance. My name is Ben DuBose, and I’m a staff writer with Materials Performance (MP) Magazine and with CoatingsPro Magazine.

Mike Kline: And my name is Mike Kline. I am the senior director of customer experience for AMPP.

BD: As promised on last week’s episode, we have a special interview guest for today’s show. Many of our listeners — well, hopefully, you already know him. If not, he’s Bob Chalker, the CEO of AMPP. Bob, good afternoon. How are you?

Bob Chalker: Good. How are you, Ben? How are you, Mike? Glad to be here.

BD: Absolutely, glad to have you on. I think we can start with a fairly obvious question. We’re now in the third week of January, about two weeks after the merger became official between NACE International and SSPC, The Society for Protective Coatings. How has everything been going with regard to the transition? What’s different for you now in January relative to December, now that this is actually official?

BC: Well, one of the things that’s different, I now wear a shirt with the new logo and a new name on it, and [we] have a new website and lots of new things. From my perspective, it’s going extremely well. I think one of the things that has been amazing to me all along is how these organizations have come together and the camaraderie and the willingness to set aside the past and look to a bright future. It’s really been emphasized since we announced in January, early January, the new name, the new brand. The response from the marketplace has been fantastic. I can’t tell you the number of emails and Facebook messages and LinkedIn and of positive comments we’ve received. It’s a real credit to the team of members and staff who worked on the branding and the naming since April, to come up with something that would spark us to a new future. That’s going extremely well. We’re having our first meeting of the new boards next week. Excited about that. We’ll have the AMPP board meeting and then the AMPP Global Center board meeting coming up. One’s on Monday, one’s on Wednesday. Getting them up to speed with the new organization and all of the many things we’re doing. The staff integration continues to go really well. On all accounts, things are going well. We still have a lot of work to do. But we’re headed absolutely in the right direction.


MK: Obviously, there was a lot of work leading up to the coming together of the two organizations to get us to that point. Like you said, there’s still a lot of work to go in the future. Over the past two, three weeks, have there been any strides by program committees or some significant accomplishments that maybe hadn’t been achieved prior to the organizations merging but we’ve been able to quickly get to that you can point to — with regard to programs, products, and services?

BC: I think the big achievement over the last couple weeks is that, first of all, all the program committee members have been identified, and they’ve been notified, and the committees are starting to meet. I know that the certification committee met this week. They made some big decisions, important decisions. I am not up to speed with all of them as we sit here right now, but I just got a very encouraging thumbs-up report from people that were involved with that, that they’re very focused on getting to resolution, particularly around the coatings inspection program, so that our members will know where we’re at and what’s going to happen with certification. That’s the one area that we continue to get the most questions on and the committee’s very committed to doing that. That one is digging in already.

I got a report recently that the standards committee is coming into agreement on how we’re going to develop standards in the future. So those things are starting to settle in. But again, as we said, there’s a lot of work to do. Any new group goes through the forming, storming, norming, and performing process. The committees are going to have to go through that. Hopefully, the forming and storming part is short and we get to the normalization and performing quickly. There’s not a lot to report right now, other than the committees have started to meet, they’re digesting what lies ahead of them, and they’re starting to formulate their decision making. But it’s going to take weeks and, in some cases, even a couple months before they’re ready to be productive.


BD: I know you don’t have specific dates, but generally speaking, what is the time table moving forward? What are some of the milestones that, over the coming weeks, months, whatever it may be, what are some of the general time things that you're looking for, and the key inflection points as we bring these organizations together?

BC: In one of them, and I should have mentioned this because it’s another one that did get announced this week, and that is the temporary joint membership program, where if you're a member of the former SSPC you have access to the NACE benefits, and vice versa. That was announced. It went official on January 1, but we really didn’t announce it till January 11. So it’s been just about a week, and we already have 1,500 members who have taken advantage of that. We’re seeing a couple hundred new members every day, and we’re sitting here today, it’s the 19th. So not a long time period and great response.

To your question, the milestones, they’re a little bit different for each of the programs, but there’s a couple I can focus on. I’ll start with the membership. We really do hope to have a new, formal AMPP membership up and running the second half of this year. Moving from this temporary stage that we’re in to where we will have a full-blown membership program by the end of 2021. That’s one, and that’s a big one for us. We hope to have our education program decisions formalized and offering education courses under AMPP by the end of this quarter, the March timeframe or so. That’s moving ahead.

A lot of the things that we’re looking at, some of them are driven by behind-the-scene decisions that need to be made. One of the things that we have, like all businesses, we call it an association management system. It’s often called a customer relationship management system in for-profit businesses. SSPC and NACE were on two completely different systems, and we need to bring those together. We hope to have that done by the end of this calendar year. That’s no small task, or it’s no small decision. But that will facilitate a lot of the evolving and development and growth of new programs and approaches for us. Again, each of it is a small piece. One of the things is getting the email system implemented for staff to go to the new domain of AMPP. We hope to have that done by the end of this quarter. I could lay out an entire chart — program management chart — of the many moving parts and pieces we have that we have to put together. We could spend the next two hours talking about the details of that because there are so many dates that we’re working toward.

MK: But it’s a piece of cake, right?

BC: Yeah, no problem. I have to tell you, I have a good friend. He’s an executive coach that has worked with us and has done some work in the merger space in the background or in other responsibilities. When we were going into this, he told me, “You’re working toward some key dates through this process.” One was the vote of the membership. And he said, “Don’t get too excited because you're only about a third of the way there.”

The other is the formal legal formations of the new organization, which for us happened January 1. But he said, “Now you're about halfway there. A lot of the works comes post-that.” If you look at any of the big mergers, whether it was Continental and United airlines or Marriott and Starwood hotels, that is so true. So much of the work happens after the legal marriage is complete because it really can’t happen until that’s done. I think we’re understanding that more today than ever before, of all the things that need to come together to make this successful. I still am, again, incredibly proud and happy with the way both members and staff are engaging and carrying the load to get us to being that one organization.


MK: I’m going to jump ahead a little bit here based on your comments. It was a long road getting here. Was there ever — have you gotten to the point now or was there a specific point in the process where you realized we’re AMPP now, we’re not SSPC or NACE anymore, this is one joint organization?

BC: Mike, that’s a really great question and an insightful question. There were a couple times where that happened, but I’m going to give you one. It wasn’t something that was an event specifically or a decision. But it was a meeting that I was in. We were in this meeting, there were member leaders and staff there, and we were looking at issues, concerns, things that could happen. As I listened to an individual who spoke, and I won’t give the name, but as I listened to him speak, he was identifying some concerns and problems. As he was doing it, he was no longer doing it from the perspective of his former organization. He was doing it truly from the perspective of a new organization. That was probably one of the very first meetings that that happened. Up until that time, we all sort of had — we still had our cloak of whether we were NACE or SSPC, and we really weren’t, as a group and as individuals, looking at the new organization.

I can remember, when the person got done presenting, thinking to myself, ‘Wow, we really are becoming one organization,’ because of the way they spoke and addressed the concerns or the problems that were on the table. They weren’t looking — they had changed their perspective. That was really powerful to me, that said we’re there. We still got a lot of work to do, but mentally we’re making the shift to becoming AMPP. At that point, we didn’t even know AMPP was going to be the name. We were still going by NewOrg. But you saw the mentality shift in the leadership.


BD: I’m going to combine a couple of questions on our list that Mike and I put together going into this. I want to ask you about feedback that you've gotten from members through this process, some of the common questions or suggestions that you get. But I also want to ask you specifically about the feedback that you've heard from contractors, because Bob, like me, we both came from NACE. As far as the combination of NACE and SSPC, one of the really big changes from our perspective is bringing in the SSPC audience, which is a little more contractor heavy. I’m curious, certainly feedback from members overall, but also feedback from contractors about the changes and what we’re doing to reach out to them.

BC: Great question, Ben. Overall, the feedback has been incredibly positive. There are some naysayers. There are some people who are still concerned about — either they’re not happy with the new name, they don’t feel it represents us well, or, frankly, they’re concerned about losing their identity of their former organization. But those are few and far between, and we’ve been taking those on with individuals as those questions have come up. We’re not hiding from them. We’re addressing them. We’re engaging with people. I think they appreciate that, and I think they’re slowly starting to come around. By the way, that was on both sides. But was it 0.1%? In thousands and thousands of pieces of feedback, there’s one, two, three, or four concerns.

Contractors, specifically, we are still hypersensitive to making sure that we’re doing right by all of our constituencies, but specifically the contractors. And I’d say, on the NACE side, our international audience and making sure we’re doing right by then. I think there is still a healthy skepticism or concern — and I say healthy meaning they’re going to hold us accountable that we do what we promised, which was assure that the contractor’s voice can still be heard in the organization. We’re taking that very seriously. As we look at committee makeup, we’re making sure that on the committees that are important to our contractors, like QP, that they have a voice in that and they’re participating. By the way, there are contractors filtered throughout. The chair of the finance committee comes from a coatings contractor background. You can go down the list, and you're going to see where contractors have key roles in the organization. Even the incoming chair, one of the board of directors, is a contractor. Actually, the incoming chair of both boards are coatings contractors, now that I think about it. Sam and Chris both come from the contractor world.

The big thing that will happen, and we still have to stand it up, but we’ll have the contractor’s council. That group is one of three councils — contractor, international, and asset owners — three very important constituencies will each have a council, which directly reports to the boards, that gives them a voice and a direct line to the boards. Throughout this process in the design and what’s’ core and functional to the organization is assuring that contractors can be heard. I’m a big believer, though, you can say all those words, you can put things on paper, you can design it. Until it’s tested and proven, they have a right to be skeptical. I’m okay with that. I hope they give us a chance. I hope they invest in the organization and participate where the opportunities are. If they’re asked to volunteer, to volunteer, get involved with the coatings council, find other ways to engage with the organization so their voice is heard. We’re going to have to prove. We have to walk the talk, I guess is the best way to say it.


MK: For sure. You mentioned the international community as well. Since the announcement, have you heard any — what kind of reaction are you getting from them?

BC: It has been really positive, frankly. I would say almost exclusively positive from the international community. I think they see the benefit in it. Truthfully, it may be the international community who paid the greatest price of being two separate organizations in the past — you know, the cost to maintain dual certifications or to participate in both organizations. But it has really been an overwhelmingly positive response. I think they have some skepticism, the same with the contractors: Show me that you're going to really listen to the voice of our international community and how you're going to balance that with all the other constituencies. But I think they understand that we really have been listening to them and we’re creating a model that’s going to be successful.

One of the unknowns, and one of the things that we have to address, is how we’re going to organize what we’re calling local communities in the future — the former sections at NACE and chapters at SSPC. What does that look like in the future? That was a piece of work that we left unfinished as we came into the merger. But I will tell you the membership program committee has embraced it fully, and they know that they’ve got to design our future model. We’re using the term communities. What does that model look like on how our members come together at the local level? Our international community is extremely interested in understanding that, and we still have some work to do to get that put together. There will be international communities. They will have a balance between autonomy to do what’s right for their local area yet stay tethered or engaged with the larger organization. That’s critical for both. They have the support and the connection of AMPP, yet they’re able to program and do things that really meet their needs at the local level. That’s one of the things we’re trying to make sure continues.

We need to make sure that there are pathways for volunteerism. One of the things that I think the international community has really appreciated and I’ve heard throughout, is the effort that we have made to communicate with them, whether it’s Town Halls being offered twice a day so that they’re in a time slot that is convenient to our international members or holding meetings through Zoom, Skype, Teams, whatever the technology is, so that they’re able to participate. I think one of the advantages of COVID was we’ve all learned how to work in this new environment at a much greater efficiency and effectiveness than ever before. That’s only going to benefit our international members, who had difficulty participating.

Even look at annual conference. It’s going to be a virtual conference. For the first time, a large number of our international members are going to be able to participate and engaged fully and not have to get on an airplane or travel or leave their homes, their communities, not have to deal with the fatigue of travel, etc. I think the organization’s really set up to support our international community. Again, we have to walk the talk.


BD: That was one of the questions that I had later, but we may as well jump to it now, as far as CORROSION this year moving to the virtual format. I think that certainly can be a boon for the international audience. Generally speaking, I’m curious what AMPP’s view is on the virtual versus in-person model for events this year. For example, you mentioned CORROSION in April has shifted to a virtual format, whereas Coatings+ gets pushed back to December — still, at the moment, according to the plans that are out there, is going to be an in-person model. What’s the plan for AMPP events this year, and what are the factors that you're considering as it pertains to these things being virtual or potentially a return to some form of in-person once we get COVID under control, hopefully, a little bit more?

BC: I’m going to give you what I’ll call Bob’s opinion. I’m not sure that the organization has wrestled with it enough, and I’m talking about the boards and others, to speak for the whole organization. This is still really new to us. I’ll give you what my opinion is and what I see coming. By the way, this is not unique to our organization. There’s 60,000 other associations who are wrestling with the very same thing. First of all, our conference, we had planned on a hybrid conference. We were going to have in-person and the ability to virtually attend in Salt Lake City. Moving it to fully virtual really was not our decision. It was made for us by the state of Utah. They, in essence, notified us and said we were not going to be able to hold our conference in Salt Lake City, because of COVID.

We took a look at some options to maybe do it in another city, but none of them made sense. There were a couple things that came into play. Obviously, providing a safe environment for our attendees. Cost, obviously. Convenience to the attendees. Could they get there? Could it be in a place that was reasonable? The logistics of making that kind of move this late in the game. When it all finally came to be said and done, there was not an option that was truly viable, so we decided to go to a fully online conference. That’s sort of how we got here.

Now the future. I don't know that this has been settled yet. I think actually if you would have asked me this question three months ago, I may have had a different answer. What I am seeing now and hearing is there is a significant pull for face-to-face conferences. That’s where I would have been different. Three or five months ago, I may have said, You know what? The in-person conference may be gone, it may be dead, because people are getting really comfortable with the virtual environment and the convenience of that and the cost savings, frankly, for attendees, etc. But you know, I think as humans we have a natural desire to be with people, to be around people, to engage in person. And I don't think that the virtual environment gives us what we need. So we’re seeing a real dynamic shift. As COVID has drug on, people want to get back together again, want to be face-to-face. There was a lot of disappointment when we made the decision to go virtual with CORROSION.

Particularly, I think our audience finds themselves wanting that connection because there was so much camaraderie within our organization and frankly within our industry. What I see in the future is probably hybrid. There will be face-to-face events again. Coatings+ will be face-to-face. But I see a hybrid being part of it, meaning there’ll be the ability for people to participate virtually if they so choose. Sort of taking the best out of both worlds. I don’t see us going 100% back to only face-to-face events because we’re finding you can do things pretty well virtually. But I also don’t see us overcoming that desire as humans to want to be physically in the same room and together. Virtual happy hours just don’t seem to cut it.

BD: Exactly.

MK: It’s just not the same feel.

BC: No.


MK: With regard to, overall, obviously the organizations coming together was a big deal for us. You’ve mentioned on some of our staff meetings that there are other associations who are looking to what we do, what we’ve done, and you’re expecting consolidation in the industry, potentially, the association industry. Have you gotten feedback from your fellow CEOs or other associations about our combination? What kind of feedback has that been?

BC: Absolutely I have. If you recognize that — and I’m just going to use the United States — there are 60,000 professional associations, more than 60,000 professional associations in the U.S., 90% of those or more are under the under the size of $5 million a year, 5,000 members. Many of them have multiple associations serving the same industry. It really is an industry that is prime for consolidation, and that would even be before COVID hit. The impact that COVID has had on all business, I think, makes it even more of a reality. The interest has been amazing. I have gotten phone calls and emails. I don't know how many appointments I have scheduled with my peers, who are saying, “Hey, could I pick your brain for a half hour? How did you guys pull this off? What did you do? What worked? What didn’t work?”

I gave some statistics about associations. One of the other ones is the success rate of a merger in associations is actually under 10%. Most of them end up ending without the completion of a merger, of the attempt. So it’s very difficult to do. The fact that we pulled it off is really being seen and known across the association world. We’ve even been asked to do sessions at association management conferences. The Council for Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, which would be my professional association, we’re going to be doing a session at their CEO meeting coming up. It has really been somewhat surprising how many people were watching what we were doing and responded immediately. We have set a mark and I think an example of how other associations can do this.


BD: One of the little changes that has come about with regard to the transition to AMPP is that AMPP is headquartered in Washington, D.C. That’s a bit of a change from NACE being headquartered in Houston and SSPC in Pittsburgh. What’s the reason for that change, and what are the implications in the future from being headquartered in D.C.?

BC: There was what I would call a political reason and a practical reason. The political reason was we’re trying to build an all-new organization, and we wanted to really re-establish AMPP as a new entity. We knew that if we established it in Texas or if we established it in Pittsburgh, or Pennsylvania, you would have that sort of hanging over us. In an of itself, that’s probably not a big deal. But we really, there was such a focus that we’re creating a new organization out of the legacy and the success of the prior organizations. So there was a desire from the beginning to incorporate outside of either of those two locations.

The practical reason was, frankly, neither Texas nor Pennsylvania were really conducive to operating a not-for-profit organization. Texas laws — it’s not that they’re harmful toward not-for-profit, they just don’t really embrace it, and they don’t have a lot of not-for-profits headquartered here. They don’t have as much experience. Pennsylvania almost treats not-for-profits like a ward of the state. There’s just a lot of hoops and a lot of oversight that creates a challenge. Washington, D.C., is a — I probably shouldn’t say this, you may choose to edit this later — there’s not a lot of good coming out of Washington, D.C., right now.

But one of the things the district does well is their not-for-profit laws and regulations, and they’re very conducive to having a successful not-for-profit. When we looked, once we made the decision we weren’t going to be in Texas or Pennsylvania and we started looking where to go — of course, we looked at Delaware and a couple other states where businesses locate — but really D.C. was the environment, D.C. was the place that created the best environment for a successful organization. That’s how we ended up there.


MK: So for the future, just as a follow-up on that, what do you see are some implications of that and how’s it going to benefit? Obviously, the friendly environment. Is there any advantage to members? How does that benefit manifest itself?

BC: To most members, I don't think they’ll notice any difference. I don't think they noticed any difference when we were Texas or Pennsylvania, for that matter. But for governing boards, board of directors, IRS filings, tax filings, the things, the paperwork that you have to do, the approvals you need to get if you're making decisions or doing things along the way, it just gets a little bit easier. Our board of directors will notice a little bit of a difference, and it will be easier to make some decisions. It will facilitate the boards’ ability to move quicker, the organization as a whole. But for 99.9% of our members, it really will be irrelevant to them. It won’t make much of a difference at all.



BD: We’re starting to wrap up our conversation with Bob Chalker, CEO of AMPP. As we wind down, I want to talk a little bit more about the staff and what you're seeing, bringing together these two organizations. Clearly, over the past couple of weeks and further back than that in many cases, we’ve been able to see firsthand how our colleagues are working together and interacting. Is there anything that stands out to you with regard to bringing these two staff cultures together, and how do you think that’s working out so far?

BC: I think it’s working out extremely well. Back to talking about that 90% of attempted mergers fail, one of the core causes of why they fail is because the staff doesn’t embrace it, doesn’t get behind it, and frankly, in some cases, can even be detrimental or take actions that try to prevent the merger from happening. Because there’s a lot at risk for the staff, and there was from the beginning. Took a lot of trust on the part of the staff of both organizations to trust the leadership that we were going to follow through on our promises.

I am thrilled with the way we’ve come together as one organization. We officially merged the staff back in October. We did it a little bit earlier than what was initially planned, as Bill Worms had a great opportunity to go to another organization. Bill and I worked extremely well together, and we made sure that that transition was as positive as possible. But it really didn’t matter what Bill and I did. It came down to how were the people going to embrace this? I think the teams have come together in a wonderful way.

One of the things we purposely did is, although we have people sitting in different locations — in fact, I’m not sure people recognize this, but the last I checked, we have staff sitting in over 20 different states and countries around the world. So it’s easy to talk about Houston or Pittsburgh, but really we’re a global organization. As these staffs came together, it doesn’t matter where you sit physically, we’ve integrated it to try to be one organization. So we have one education department, one membership department, one IT group. They’ve really embraced that. What I’m seeing is the camaraderie and the teamwork among the staff have been — I couldn't ask for more. It’s been extremely positive. That took a lot of willingness on the part of everybody to say, I am going to step up and step into this as opposed to hide from it. So a lot of maturity.

I think it speaks a lot to the culture of both organizations that we’ve come together. I think it says a lot for the culture of what we’re building now, and frankly, for the leadership of the organization and where we’re at today. We’re not done. We still have some work to do. We still have, as I said, we’ve got IT systems that need to be integrated and email systems and some other things that we still have work to do. But I think mentally, the staff has bought into being one organization.

MK: I’m going to preface this question here, and Ben, you may want to —

BC: By the way, Mike, before you go, I should be asking you two guys that question. You tell me what you’re seeing from the staff. But anyway, go ahead.

MK: I could chime in and answer that. I’m sure Ben could as well. Honestly, it’s been impressive to see the groups working together. I think you are correct, that a lot of people have really bought into it and are trying to make it work and giving a great effort.

BD: I think what’s really worked well is the planning process that went into this. It might have been different if this was an overnight thing, but because there was so much meticulous planning over the previous months, it really didn’t feel like flipping a switch on January 6. It felt like we were building to this. There was a lot of organization. I think, generally speaking, the staff did a really good job. Certainly Bob, but I would say up and down the organization at NACE and I’m guessing it’s also true at SSPC, making sure that we were prepared for this.

BC: If you think of all the things that had to be done, everything from payroll systems to healthcare systems to introducing teams to each other. One of the things that I think we did well from the beginning, and I’m not sure who had the idea — it wasn’t mine — but having small social circles, where we got together to get to know each other. What’s your kid’s name? Are you married? What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? Getting those kinds of things where we got to know each other as people really helped. There’s one case — again, not going to mention names to protect the people because I haven’t asked for permission — but there was an employee who was facing a very difficult personal crisis, and it was amazing how the folks from both organizations stepped up to help that person.

So we had these little things along the way, where you saw us move from being two different groups to becoming one group, that just stood out and I think started to help build that trust. By the way, I think another measure is, we’ve hardly lost any staff through this process. There’s been one or two, but almost everybody has stuck with it throughout.


MK: This conversation’s a pretty good segue to the next question. As far as the whole process has gone along, people who have participated in the Town Hall meetings or who have followed along, actually read through the emails that we’ve sent out, they’ll be familiar with names like Tim Bieri and Sam Scatturo and other prominent figures who helped this process happen. But I’m interested, are there any unsung heroes who worked in the background or behind the scenes that come to mind that you’d like to point out or identify or recognize?

BC: Great question. There are a couple. One that I’ll point out is a staff person, and that’s Alysa Reich. She’s our public relations person. She’s been key and critical to coordinating the volumes of communication that we’ve done, everything from preparing Town Hall meetings and PowerPoints and scripts and laying out communication plans. Mike, you played a big role in this, too, so I want to give kudos to you as well. But there was a tremendous amount of heavy lifting in the communication. The other that stood out to me was the branding team.

MK: Doni Riddle, Doug Moore, and Ross Boyd.

BC: The three of them, along with Rebecca Griebe, who’s on staff, just did an amazing job working with our consultant and did a tremendous amount of work that I’m not sure they ever get credit for. They’ll get to wear the shirt proudly, right? And think, “I created that.” But sometimes those things get lost. What Donnie, Doug, and Ross did along with Rebecca I think was critical to our success. We had a couple attorneys that have been involved with both organizations. A huge amount of heavy lifting to make sure that all the legal things that need to happen got done and got done well and on time. They did a lot of the behind-the-scenes negotiation. Then we used a company to help program-manage, basically, McKinley Advisors. Jamie MacRitchie and Jay Younger, who were awesome as well. There’s probably a whole bunch of other unsung heroes in this, but those are the ones that jump out at me to say these are people that didn’t just sit in in a couple meetings, but they did hours and hours of heavy lifting throughout the merger process.


BD: The last question that I believe we have, and I think it’s a good place to leave off: What are your words of advice for anyone listening, be it members or just anyone in the corrosion industry? What’s the message, as the leader of AMPP, that you want to send to them in January 2021 as we embark upon a new year?

BC: My message is: Embrace the new organization. Explore us. Come to understand what the vision and the mission and where we’re taking this new organization. Invest in volunteering, getting your voice heard. Send us your ideas and your questions, and even your concerns. Email’s available. There’s a lot of ways to communicate. But in the end, a professional association like ours doesn’t survive, is not able to be successful, unless our members are engaged in the organization, that they are volunteering through the committees or submitting papers for conferences or participating in development of new certification exams. There is a multitude of ways to become engaged in the organization. 

My message is: Embrace AMPP. Contribute to what we’re trying to do. Become part of the organization, not just by consuming what we produce, but by actually participating and giving back. I think it will be one of the most rewarding professional experiences they can have.

BD: Well said.

[closing statements]