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Talks End as No Clear Path to PIA/NAPL Merger

September 14, 2012
PITTSBURGH—It looks as if the proposed "blending" of the Printing Industries of America (PIA) and the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) is dead in the water. The joint Unification Task Force, formed last February to evaluate a possible merger between the two industry associations, couldn't devise a mutually satisfying plan and decided to end negotiations.

While the two groups have decided to remain independent, they will continue their active collaboration on key programs and ongoing partnerships in the Graphic Arts Show Co., GAERF and conferences such as the Vision 3 Summit.

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.

Laura Lawton-Forsyth and Darren Loken, co-chairs of the Unification Task Force, issued a joint statement regarding 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.


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