Podcast Transcript: Industry Experts, New AMPP Leaders on the Changes Ahead

In this recent podcast episode, four industry experts and leaders with the new Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP) shared their perspectives on what the merged organization could mean for the corrosion control and protective coatings industries. Guests on the podcast include Tim Bieri, Sam Scaturro, Joyce Wright, and Cris Connor. See below for a transcript.


[introductory comments]

Ben DuBose: Historically, as many of you may know, this has been the NACE International podcast channel, but now that we’re in the new year of 2021, the merger between NACE and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings is officially complete. Last week, the new organization was unveiled as the Association for Materials Protection and Performance, which you can call AMPP for short.

To give you some more insight on what’s going on, we’re having a few guests on these podcasts at the start of 2021 to try and explain the changes and what the implications are for membership and the broader industry, both in corrosion control and protective coatings. At the end of last week, we played back a conversation between Terry Greenfield and Joe Walker, who were recent presidents of NACE and SSPC. Clearly, those two had a role over the past couple of years in the process that led us to this point. So if you’ve not heard that episode and their insights about what has led us to AMPP, you can find that in the archives of wherever it is you’re listening right now.

Anyway, now that Terry and Joe in the last episode explained the background, I want to spin things forward today and talk a little bit more about where things go in the weeks, months, and, well, years, ahead. I’m going to start by turning things over to Tim Bieri and Sam Scaturro. Tim and Sam are the incoming chair and vice chair of AMPP — specifically, the 501(c)(6) portion that provides services in the areas of certification, accreditation, membership, advocacy, and public affairs. Tim is also the principal corrosion engineer at BP Exploration and Production Operating Company, while Sam is the president of Alpine Painting and Sandblasting Contractors. In this conversation, Tim and Sam are going to start things off by discussing the new name of the association, as well as the logo. By the way, if you’ve not seen that, you can easily find it at AMPP.org. Then, after sharing the background, they’re going to tell you some things about the mission statement and what it is that AMPP is going to be working to do now that NACE and SSPC have officially combined. Here’s Tim.


Tim Bieri: For months now, both Sam and I have been using the term “NewOrg” in our town halls and the communications that have come out from NACE and SSPC. One of the most frequent questions that we get is, “What will the new name be?” We’re tired of saying NewOrg. You’re tired of hearing NewOrg. So we’re really excited to be here and present the new name and logo of our association. A lot of thought and effort has gone into this, and it can be said, trying to find a new brand identify is similar to finding a needle in a stack of needles. I’m going to turn it over to Sam to tell you more.

Sam Scatturo: Thanks, Tim. We’re really excited to be able to announce the new name of our organization as the Association for Materials Protection and Performance, AMPP. We are AMPP. AMPP is an exciting new venture, taking over from the old NACE organization and SSPC organization. A 75+-year history in both of these two great organizations, based on NACE’s side being corrosion protection and cathodic protection, and SSPC’s side of the coin being coatings.

But now over that long history, we have gotten into all kinds of different protection: protection of assets for owners, new materials and design, and now we’re a much more diverse world spread across the entire globe. It’s a collection of individuals doing all kinds of interesting things in the industry, and we want to make sure that this new organization is going to support each and every one of them. Tim.

TB: Thanks, Sam. We spent a lot of time agonizing over each and every word in the name. We selected materials, as Sam said, because most everything that we work with are materials. We use materials to build infrastructure, equipment, airplanes, boats, ships, pipelines. Everywhere that we work, materials is a key component. We work in the protection space because we’re trying to make those materials last and perform as long as possible in the environment that they’re going to be working in. “We Protect” is a core principle, and it’s fundamental to why we exist. Protection is our common goal.

SS: Thanks, Tim. Just to the left of the AMPP brand we have a logo. The logo, at its core, is a circle. The circle represents the globe. It represents the global nature of our members, the global nature of the companies that represent our members. Around the outside of the logo is a hexagon shape. The hexagon is found in both science and nature, and that shape is core to what we do. It provides a shield of protection around the globe and around the assets that we are protecting as an organization. Tim.

TB: Thanks, Sam. In addition to the name of the new association and our logo, we have a tagline. A tagline is simply a statement that defines who we are and what we do. Our tagline is “The global leaders in materials protection and performance.” We think it defines both where we are — around the globe — as well as what we do in the materials protection and performance space. I just wanted to share a few thoughts around what our new association means to me. When I look out across our corrosion coatings industry, our legacy industries, we’re firmly planted with one foot there. But we also are trying to be forward thinking and have a foot planted in the future. As the world changes, as materials change going forward, we have important roles to play. There’s no other association that provides the depth and breadth of materials protection and performance related information or standards or education or certification than what AMPP will bring to the table going forward. Sam.

SS: Thanks, Tim. That was very well put. For me, as a small coatings contractor from the northeastern part of the United States, what I’m most excited about is the fact that we’re now a merged organization of approximately 40,000 members that have a wonderful opportunity to get together, that can share ideas, that can work on ways to expand our businesses and opportunities that our businesses can find. So for me, I’m really excited to get to know people from different parts of the globe, find out what they do, and figure out how I can do things better to improve my business.


BD: Good stuff there from Tim and Sam. Now to spin things even more forward and discuss some of the benefits of the new organization, I’m going to play back a conversation between Joyce Wright and Cris Connor. Joyce and Cris are the incoming chair and vice chair, respectively, of the AMPP Global Center, which is the 501(c)(3) focused on standards, technical and research activities, conferences, events, education, training, publications, and pre-professional programming. By day, Joyce is the trade manager for strategy and innovation at Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding, and Cris Connor is a consultant with Utility Service and Maintenance Inc. So without any further delay, let’s get to their conversation. Here’s Joyce.


Joyce Wright: There’s a lot to look forward to with this merger and a lot to be gained by both memberships. I’m most looking forward to bringing together both organizations’ expertise that’s been instrumental in developing standards, educational courses, certifications, just to name a few, that will support our members and grow the needs of our industry. Together with one voice — imagine that — contractors, owners, craftsmen, corrosion experts, manufacturers, consultants, we can do more together to advance the industry and protect societies across the globe. What do you think, Cris?

Cris Connor: I quite agree, Joyce. As a painting contractor myself, I can tell you it was very different sometimes to pick between one annual conference or another annual conference. Or maybe I needed to go to both and you have to budget for that, both time and money, to go to two different shows. This is going to make it a lot easier for so many of our members, that they have a one-stop shop to go to for conferences and things of that nature. You need to be with your peers, your colleagues, your suppliers, your customers. That’s important. One annual conference is going to give us that opportunity.

JW: I agree, Cris. And that brings to mind, during this whole process, the future I feel even more confident in, just the way that our two staffs worked together, the way they interacted. Even the membership that came and helped us right from the beginning. And that’s donating their time. I was very impressed with that.

CC: It was impressive. We had 12 or 13 integration teams that were charged with meshing these different activities. We needed to come up with a common process and program. I was always impressed by the level of dedication and passion that went into that. The benefit of all that was, as we examined the different ways that we approached our activities, we actually came up with better ways to do things. So that was a wonderful side benefit of this entire process. I truly believe that all of our programs, products, and services now reflect best industry practices, and that’s something we can all be very proud of.

JW: I agree, and I think we are going to continue to grow this new organization into the one-stop shop that everyone is going to turn to for answers, ideas, resources, and sharing the new technologies for the future that we’re all going to need.

CC: I’m sure you’ve been told many times, or asked the question, “Why do we have two organizations that are supplying the same products?” “Why do I need to choose between this td or that standard, or this education program or that education program?” We both had common objectives, that was to fight corrosion. To be competing with each other’s products didn’t make much sense. So this is not only good for our members to get maximum use of their time, but it’s good for our customers. They don’t have to choose anymore between two sources.

JW: Couldn’t have said it better, Cris.


BD: That’s where we’ll leave things for now. However, we certainly will have more on this subject in the days and weeks ahead. Obviously, we represent AMPP with this podcast series, so we want our listeners to be well informed about the changes and everything that’s going on. Beyond that, it’s also a very important and timely development, this merger, that is, for the industry as a whole as it pertains to the fight against corrosion. We hope that you’ll find useful information from all these convos.

[closing statements]