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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Update on the current state of trade associations

 Although 2013 is still young, one of this year’s most remarkable stories has been the sudden birth of the U.S.-based National Print Owners Association, Inc. (NPOA).  When the status quo failed to meet the needs of 19 small-business entrepreneurs, they launched their own self-support initiative—and in the process have ended up helping a lot of other printers as well.
Their resulting dialogues have also helped to clarify what many printers need, want, and expect from a trade association these days.

To date, by my reckoning, NPOA's achievements include 261 association members in five countries, a growing roster of membership benefits, a very active LinkedIn discussion group with 374 participants, and a sold-out April conference in New Orleans.   

Recently three of NPOA’s officers, President Jace Prejean (left), Treasurer John Henry (top right), and Conference Co-Chair / LinkedIn moderator Scott Cappel (bottom right), weighed in with me in detail on these recent developments.  My report of our discussions is available at:

For further information:

CPIA faces uncertain future after CPISC closure

On 22 March 2013, the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC) in Ottawa closed down, after the Canadian federal government terminated its core funding (along with funding for all Sector Councils.)  CPISC’s Website will be operational until the end of June 2013.  The HR resources CPISC developed will be transferred to and maintained by the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA, also based in Ottawa.)

In 2012, CPISC had announced plans to form a new national association, called Printing Industries of Canada (PIC), by amalgamating with CPIA. However, a statement issued this month by Sandy Stephens, chair of CPIA’s board, said the demise of CPISC has rendered the future of PIA uncertain. 

CPIA’s related scholarship trust, (the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund, CPISTF, that provides scholarships to students in post-secondary graphic communications programs in Canada) has always been a separate legal entity from both CPISC and CPIA.  Accordingly, CPISTF Chair Don Gain has confirmed that CPISTF will remain viable for those students already supported and to new students for the upcoming 2013/14 school year.