Association Insights: What Will an NAPL/AMSP Merger Mean to Members?

On June 26, the boards of the National Association for Print Leadership (NAPL) and the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) passed a resolution to pursue a merger between the two associations. Karen Hall, editor of Quick Printing, recently interviewed NAPL CEO Joseph P. Truncale about the negotiations and what the proposed merger would mean to association members.

QP: What prompted the interest in a merger between NAPL and AMSP?

Truncale: We’ve known for some time that our members are getting involved in mailing services and fulfillment. Even the smaller and mid-sized companies are moving in that direction, so it appeals to members of all sizes. And the mailing companies have been getting more and more interested in printing, especially on the digital side. So this move would allow us to offer better and more comprehensive services to the members of both associations.

Certainly Ken Garner, who is the CEO of AMSP, is thoroughly familiar with both sides of the issue. He is a former chairman of NAPL and ran a prestigious printing magazine in the Washington, DC area for many years. He became CEO of the mailing association in 2008, so he has been there for five years and is a very knowledgeable and effective leader.

After he and I initially discussed the possibility, we presented the idea to our respective boards. Our boards first met independently, then jointly and from there decided to move forward with the discussion of a merger.

QP: Will the final decision be made by a membership vote or by the boards?

Truncale: The members have the final say. We’ve been working to put the information together for them and had hoped we might have it ready in time to present at PRINT13, but I’m not sure that’s a realistic expectation.

I would say that within two to four months we will have something to show the members.

We are not interested in “selling” this idea to the members. We will present them with the information about how this will bring more programs, more services, and a more compelling value proposition to them. But, ultimately, the decision will be up to them.

QP: Is there much crossover between the two associations?

Truncale: We were rather surprised to learn that there is actually very little crossover between the associations’ members. I would have thought that our members would have been joining AMSP to take advantage of their expertise and that their members would be joining NAPL, but this hasn’t really happened. So a merger would mean that members of both associations will have access to a much broader range of services and resources than they have now.

QP: What are some of the benefits that NAPL members could expect to see from the merger?

Truncale: AMSP has a wealth of information about running mailing businesses. It’s a very complicated business—the systems and processes that have to be put into place, the regulations and compliances that have to be kept up to date and documented. They have a tremendous amount of knowledge and information that could help our members who are getting into that side of the business.

On the other hand, as their members increase and expand their interest in print, we can offer them the expertise of our business advisors. Our owners have the same issues, such as the changes in customer demands, changes in volume, marketing strategies, etc. It will also allow us to maximize the utility of staffing and resources for all of our members.

Another benefit, of course, is that it will give our supplier members and our larger sponsors a much larger audience and more reach, which will increase value to them.

The process is moving very smoothly because we share a complete alignment of vision. When there is mutual trust and respect, you give yourself a much better chance for success. All the cards are on the table—we have the same aim, the same ambitions.

And AMSP has the right strategy and the right structure to deliver their services to our members. They have 14 regional chapters, which helps to reach and support members who may have time or financial constraints that keep them from being able to attend the national conferences. It’s a good fit.

Ken and I both understand our responsibility to respond to our members’ needs. We have to help our members transform and grow. I’m just very excited to see this happen for our members.


For more information about NAPL, visit

For more information about AMSP, visit