The joint Unification Task Force, formed last February to study the possible blending of these two national printing industry groups, has announced its recommendation to cease unification discussions. The two groups have decided to remain independent but will continue their active collaboration on key programs and ongoing partnerships in the Graphic Arts Show Company, GAERF, and conferences such as the Vision 3 Summit.
Laura Lawton-Forsyth and Darren Loken, co-chairs of the Unification Task Force, commented on the group’s work: "Our organizations have a great deal of respect for each other. The Task Force studied several approaches to unification as well as facilitated several months of good conversations about how to best serve our industry and our members. Despite our best efforts, at this time, we feel it’s in their best interest for the two associations to remain independent but actively collaborate on key events and programs. We look forward to continuing a mutually beneficial relationship."
The Unification Task Force was made up of representatives from both boards and was expanded over the past six months to include a broader range of affiliate managers, vendors, and printer members. The group studied key issues around the potential of unification, including legal, financial, governance, membership structure, and programs. Task force members volunteered their time to study and research these issues and to gather input from a range of stakeholders.
Lawton-Forsyth and Loken continued, "We’d like to thank each member of the Unification Task Force for their time and effort. This group of individuals dedicated a great deal of energy to this initiative over the past several months and represented the best interest of each organization’s members. We are very grateful for their efforts."
Ultimately, after careful consideration, the Task Force concluded that it was not possible to formulate a combined entity that accommodated the diverse needs of both a direct and locally delivered structure. However, the Task Force has generated a new understanding of each organization’s operations and encouraged each group to serve its membership by continuing, and building upon, beneficial collaborations.
For further information, please contact Darren Loken at (206) 295-3284 or Laura Lawton-Forsyth at (509) 534-1044.