Posted in: Membership Memo

Membership Memo—People Make the Difference

Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2024

I decided to pursue a career in the finishing industry early on. My father and grandfather are great role models who were heavily involved in the industry, and I knew I wanted to follow suit. Both are Powder Coating Institute (PCI) Hall of Fame inductees, known for their dedication to the promotion of the organization and the industry as a whole. “Big shoes to fill” is a phrase I still hear often. So, when I joined the industry in 2018 as a product manager responsible for the sales and marketing of batch powder systems, I had a decent understanding of powder coating and why it’s applied. I quickly realized that those dinner table conversations with Dad and Papa Sam were the tip of the iceberg.

Luckily, I heeded their advice: “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” Upon joining the industry, I immediately joined PCI to connect with and learn from industry experts. I was impressed by the camaraderie of the members and their willingness to share knowledge accumulated through decades of experience. It was encouraging to see competing companies/individuals all working towards one goal—driving sustainable powder coating industry growth.

Family friend and industry great, Ken Kreeger, always said people make the difference. Nowhere is that truer than in PCI. A few months after joining PCI, I attended my first big trade show, FABTECH in Atlanta. Admittedly, I was overwhelmed when I stepped into the FINISHING Pavilion. Who are all these people and how do they all know each other? I found a common denominator was involvement with PCI. I started matching the names from PCI virtual meetings/emails to the faces walking around the show. After a few introductions, I was invited to join PCI’s Young Professionals Group, where I started networking with industry colleagues under 40. The welcoming and helpful nature of these peers sparked my involvement with the organization for years to come.

After attending multiple PCI events and realizing the positive impact they are having on my career, I joined PCI’s Education Committee and its Scholarship and Webinar Subcommittees, as well as the Membership Committee and Young Professionals Subcommittee. I became a PCI authorized presenter and take pride in promoting an organization that has taught me so much. I look forward to every industry event as an opportunity to connect with my friends and make new ones. Get involved and help us shape the future of the powder coating industry!

Nick Dawson is a sales account manager for KOCH Finishing Systems.