Membership Memo—PCI and Me: Why I Belong
Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2020
I became part of the powder coating industry almost 17 years ago (my, how time flies) after purchasing Infra-Red Technologies. At the time I knew nothing about powder coating other than it was a growing industry. A bit overwhelmed by owning a business in an industry I did not yet understand, I started reading Powder Coated Tough to build my education. At the time, others in the business handled sales, so I focused on finance and operations. About seven years ago we reshuffled responsibilities and I found myself in charge of sales for Trimac. In this new role, one of my first moves was to join the Powder Coating Institute. We had never been particularly active in industry events, but I thought it was a good step to better understand the industry and meet people who had spent their whole career in coating.
As my participation in PCI grew, I joined several committees, including Education. This enabled me to give back to the association by presenting at PCI Powder Coating 101 & 202 workshops, as well as working to expand the association’s webinar program. Historically, webinar participation was fairly limited. Who knew webinars would become the hottest ticket in town for education in 2020? Serendipitously, the committee had set a goal early this year to further develop the webinar catalogue, which we are well on our way to achieving. Visit www.powdercoating.org and check out the rapidly growing database.
PCI’s education opportunities for me and my employees have been invaluable. Networking with other members helped me learn about new technologies, and how to better apply ours. A major benefit for sure. What I did not expect is how many friends I would make. The PCI Powder Coating Technical Conference and other association events have been great places to connect. I often see customers investing in their education and meet people doing interesting work from around the country at PCI events. It illustrates how integrated this industry really is.
If you are not yet a PCI member, I strongly encourage you to join. Like all things, you only get out of it what you put in, and for me the investment has paid off handsomely. As a recent example of the value of networking, I learned of an infrared company up for sale when talking with an industry friend after a speech I gave. A year later that company, Protherm, became a Trimac brand. If it weren’t for my involvement with PCI, who knows if that lifechanging conversation would have ever happened.
Marty Sawyer is CEO at Trimac Industrial Systems, LLC.