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AIMCAL Approves Merger with CEMA

FORT MILL, SC, USA—AIMCAL members have given final approval for the merger with CEMA (Converting Equipment Manufacturers Association). According to the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters, and Laminators (aka AIMCAL), the international trade group voted 82 to 1 to merge the two trade entities at AIMCAL's recent winter management meeting.

Approved by CEMA members in September 2002, the merger creates an organization with more than 200 member companies and restructures AIMCAL to include a CEMA division, reports the nonprofit trade association. "The CEMA division will be focused on converting equipment manufacturers' interests," and adds AIMCAL, "this division consists of past CEMA members, plus any OEM converting equipment manufacturer members of AIMCAL that wish to participate." The merged organization will be headquartered at AIMCAL's existing offices in Fort Mill, SC, and a single AIMCAL company membership is all that's required to participate in both organizations.

Why Merge?
Says AIMCAL president Frank Sereno (Proma Technologies): "The integration of CEMA as a division within AIMCAL adds value for members of both groups. [It] brings CEMA members closer to their customers and gives AIMCAL members access to highly respected educational offerings, especially in the area of safety, which has been a major focus of CEMA for many years." The merger is expected to be finalized April 1, 2003.

Informal meetings between the two groups in 1999 planted seeds for the merger, which, says AIMCAL, "sprouted early in 2002 at a strategic planning meeting where CEMA officers and trustees concluded a merger would be positive for both organizations and presented the idea to [us]. After a positive reception at CEMA's annual meeting last June, each association formed a subcommittee of board members to define how a merged organization would operate," adds AIMCAL.

CEMA's officers and trustees will continue to lead the CEMA division and will assume responsibility for planning CEMA activities and initiatives, reports AIMCAL, and CEMA's marketing and safety committees will remain in place, and its programs, such as the coating/laminating and slitting conferences, will continue.

Visit AIMCAL at aimcal.org. Information about CEMA is available at cema-converting.org.

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