On Saturday, December 14, the boards of the National Association for Print Leadership (NAPL) and the Association for Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) overwhelmingly approved the merger between the two associations. The AMSP brand will continue to exist as an independent brand within the structure of NAPL, in much the same way as the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP) has since its merger with the parent association.
The structure of the merged entity will see Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., remain as CEO and Ken Garner, who heads AMSP will be named COO. The first phase of the merger will combine the back office services to provide more efficient operations for the association as a whole. For the immediate future, both locations will remain intact, but may be modified at some point in the future. Truncale says, “Because of its work with the Postal Service and Congress, it’s important for AMSP to have a presence inside the Beltway. Its location in Alexandria [VA] is perfect for that, so they will stay there. It is also important that we retain the Rutherford [NJ] offices, but there could be some adjustments in the future.”
He also points out that among the things AMSP brought to the table were a strong balance sheet and the ability to increase services and programs for all members, now and in the future. “Adding Ken Garner’s experience and knowledge to the executive team strengthens our team,” he says.
The volunteer leadership for the association will include equal representation from each of the three brands. There are currently 17 member representatives, including three vendor members. The maximum number allowed by the group’s charter is 20.
During the course of conducting due diligence, it was found that the associations shared only about a dozen common members. It seemed likely, however, that this situation would change as print providers focus more on adding mailing and fulfillment and marketing services to their offerings and mailers are beginning to see printing as a natural adjunct to their business model. Therefore, Truncale says, both groups felt that, rather than pillaging each other’s members, it was far more advantageous to join together to offer complementary services to both groups as the demographics continued to converge.
AMSP has a very close working relationship with the Postal Service and “receives excellent and very timely information” from it, Truncale points out. “NAPL and NAQP members will benefit from that and from their expertise in direct mail and marketing services. Their members will benefit from the information we can provide about printing,” he says. “With this cooperation, all of our members will have access to new products and services.”
He also notes that the programs and conferences from the three brands will be available to all members at member prices. For example, NAPL and NAQP members will now be able to take advantage of member pricing if they want to register for the AMSP conference that will be held in Arizona in early 2014.
Other new benefits will include a new monthly association magazine that will begin publishing early next year and expanded discount and affinity programs. The latter is due to the vendors that have been affiliated with AMSP, but are new to NAPL.
Culture of Cooperation
Truncale makes it clear that there was a natural affinity between the associations, making the merger a natural and logical move. “This adds credibility and accountability,” he states. “I’ve known Ken for a long time—he is a former chairman of NAPL. We value the same things, we work the same way, which will make for an easy transition. It’s always easier when you are working with someone you know and trust and who shares the same culture and values.”
He says the reaction from members has been “overwhelmingly positive and supportive.” Adding that they understand that the move will help the association better meet the changing needs of its members, regardless of the industry segment they inhabit. “This is not a case of two organizations huddling together for warmth,” he says. “This is a positive move to act for the best interests our members now and into the future.”