PCI Annual Meeting Wrap Up

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2017

By: Sharon Spielman

Held in the Vail Valley in Colorado, The Powder Coating Institute’s Annual Meeting was a great success. In June, PCI’s 2016 Annual Meeting delivered on all fronts. It provided the opportunity to meet other members, get a bird’s eye view of what the association is working on, and hear some motivating and compelling speakers. There were also fun activities and a multitude of networking opportunities.

For the first time, PCI’s 2016 Annual Meeting was co-located with The Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) Annual Meeting. That turned out great and everyone who turned in an evaluation recommended that PCI co-locates its meeting with CCAI in the future. Along with the high scores overall for the meeting, attendees made comments like “we can do this again very soon” and “very excellent.” The social activities and Westin resort also received very high scores.

The general sessions, social activities, and welcome reception were all held jointly, while the committee and business meetings of each association were held separately. Co-locating the event reduced rates, overall costs and reduced additional travel time for those who are members of both organizations, while allowing for added networking opportunities.

The attendance for PCI’s committee meetings was also better than expected. PCI welcomes those who are willing to help and encourage others to find a committee where they can offer their expertise to help PCI continue to reach its goals. Executive Director Trena Benson extends her thanks to PCI’s team of very dedicated committee chairs: Certification - Chris Merritt (Gema) sitting in for Terry Watson (A Plus Powder Coaters); Education – Greg Dawson (Nordson); Promotion - Craig Dietz (Axalta); and Membership Chris Merritt (Gema) for their service and dedication to make our committees function well. Here are the summaries from this year’s committee meetings.

Board of Directors

During the first part of 2016 and prior to the Annual Meeting the Board of Directors has had several meetings and the main point of emphasis was how do we move forward as an Association? The Board of Directors along with the Executive Director, and GMI staff put together the Strategic Plan for the Powder Coating Institute (your association). To quote fellow Board of Director Steve Keifer “we are no longer in fix mode, we are now in growth mode”.

The goals are to improve the entire infrastructure by consolidating and updating the Institutes databases, update and create a more interactive website, improve internal resources, and to streamline the various committees to align goals with the Institutes Mission and promote involvement from membership.

The committee structure is set up with four main committees with subcommittees within each main committee. The four main committees as rolled out at the Annual Meeting are Membership, Education & Development, Promotions, and Certification.


Membership is the key and the changes introduced to consolidate the subcommittees that drive value to our members has truly energized this committee. This energy and excitement was evident at this year’s PCI annual meeting. This committee, now responsible for Membership value, Market Intelligence, Scholarship funding and working with our Custom Coater members, has had excellent participation this year. We have managed to attract several new powder suppliers and through June of this year 13 other new member companies from Custom Coaters to System Integrators. The Market Intelligence subcommittee, led by Karen Walters, has done a great job collecting market data and introducing a new quarterly executive summary for qualified non-reporting companies. Currently they are working on next generation reporting for Raw Material suppliers and deeper worldwide production intelligence. The Scholarship team led by Kevin Biller is fully immersed in development of new ways to work with our members to have the opportunity to help fund and shape the future minds and resources for powder coating and Shivie Dhillon has been working diligently with the Custom Coaters to ensure that their voice and needs for training and development are being well communicated through our committee in conjunction with Certification, Promotion and Education. PCI brings tremendous value to our members and to the industry. As we move ahead toward 2017 Ron Cudzilo is heading up our Membership Dues subcommittee tasked with streamlining our dues structure and introducing some new targeted categories that will allow current and potential new members a simpler and clear way to join our association and maximize their benefits. We look forward to all your participation and input for the coming year. It is your association and membership is the Key!


On behalf of Terry Watson, I have to say what an exciting and diverse turnout we achieved for this year’s PCI annual meeting. The PCI Board of Directors has placed their full support behind the concept of having qualified coaters certified in the market place with the capabilities to deliver the quality and performance that is expected from a superior powder coated surface. The Certification program introduced in 2009 has moved slowly however it is this committee that is charged to move the needle forward. Our meeting with input from custom coaters, material suppliers, equipment, marketing and consultant members has outlined a strong set of program steps to ensure success of our existing Certified 3000 & 4000 members as well as attract new coaters to certification. We are currently in the development of revised audit guidelines, auditor standards and marketing tools. Our recently introduced logo for PCI 3000 companies along with PCT’s marketing strategy is driving solid pull through marketing for custom coaters. We are excited about the program rejuvenation and expect great participation. After all, Powder Coated Tough is not just a stamp and PCI Certification is more than just a document, they represent our brand and our commitment to the highest quality, green finishing process in the industry.


The Education committee’s primary function is the coordination, content, scheduling, and speaker selection of PCI’s Educational series as presented in PCI 101/202 classes as well as Webinars, White Papers, and Technical Briefs.

The 2016 activities for the committee includes 8-Webinars, 4-101 (Basic) Hands-on Workshops and 4- 202 (Advanced) Hands-on Workshops. Additionally, the Education Committee provided speakers for the Atlanta Technical Conference in April which also held a 101 Hands-on Workshop along with a local factory tour. The 2017 Calendar of events is underway with a focus on nationwide coverage for our Hands-on workshop series.

Additional to the Education Committee responsibilities was the formation of three sub-committees that align well with the committee mission:

  • Technology chaired by Kevin Biller (Powder Coating Research Group)
  • Events chaired by Sue Ivancic (Nordson Corporation)
  • Regulatory & Advocacy chaired by Nick Liberto (Powder Coating Consultants)

Closing out 2016, the committee will continue to focus on world class training opportunities, Powder Coating Summit (PC Summit) with announcement of PCI Scholarship award winners in October and participation in the November FABTECH/Las Vegas Finishing Pavilion. Please visit www.powdercoating.org for the full calendar of events.


The PCI Promotions Committee fosters awareness and appreciation of powder coating on behalf of PCI member companies, PCIs committees and the industry as a whole, driving sustainable powder coating industry growth.

The committee receives the priorities for the various initiatives from the PCI executive committee and implements through sub-committees as needed. The promotions committee meets as a whole once every month and sub-committees meet on a schedule to complete projects based on set timelines.

The current subcommittees are: PCI Video Series chaired by Kelly Gregart with Nordson, PCI Branding chaired by Julia Murray with Chemetall, Powder Coated Tough magazine chaired by Tony Varda and Industry Communications.

The committee has completed and updated the PCI Coatings Comparison Calculator app which can be downloaded to most smart phones, PCI 3000 Certification ads and flyers, PCI infographic for membership and the first PCI video targeted to the consumer.

The initiatives that we are working on or plan to work on are to launch a series of videos for the consumer and OEM markets, update PCI’s branding, including logos and use guidelines, help promote new subscribers for Powder Coated Tough magazine and assist with PCT media kit, promote Sponsorships of PCI scholarships, promote PCI certification benefits, promote the use of Powder Coated Tough Stamp on powder coated products and promote powder to architects and specifiers.

Sharon Spielman is editor of Powder Coated Tough magazine. She can be reached via email at sspielman@powdercoating.org.