FAIRLAWN, Ohio—If things go as planned, it won't be long before the ACS Rubber Division has a new plan in place for corporate memberships.
That is one of the main goals of Leonard Thomas, a consultant and division chairman for this year. He said that while the proposal is in its infancy stage, he hopes some form of it could be implemented by 2014.
"We want to show our industry what our organization can offer to them," Thomas said during the final day of the Rubber Division's 183rd Technical Meeting and Educational Symposium, held April 22-24 in the Akron suburb of Fairlawn. "We want to make it easier for a business to sign up its people. A business can cut one check, and it's handled."
Thomas said the proposal has received positive reviews.
"We started with Zeon (Chemicals L.P.)," Thomas said. "They liked it. It's value-added. Now we're going to make the program known to other companies."
Thomas initiated the program to raise awareness of the division and show companies how they can benefit from becoming a member. Current membership stands at 1,850.
"Of course we offer library assistance," he said, "but we want to show them all the other aspects of being a member of our group."
Part of those benefits include sessions such as the one held in Fairlawn.
According to Ed Miller, the association's executive director, 230 signed up to attend the three-day meeting, and 256 attended. That eclipsed the number of people who attended last year's spring meeting in San Antonio, Thomas said.
"This has been such a great conference, money-wise, attendance-wise and technical paper presentation-wise for our members," he said.
The group said 26 papers were presented during the event, which had more than 140 technical attendees.
"It's refreshing to sit with people who have this high level of intelligence and get to know them," Thomas said. "What a great networking opportunity for everyone who was here."
Another goal of Thomas is to highlight the work done by the Rubber Division staff. He called on Miller to introduce the staff for recognition during the Business and Awards Meeting, held on the final day of the event.
"We have a great staff, and we want to show them we support them and appreciate all they do for our members," Thomas said. "If not for them, we couldn't be successful."
In the meantime, the division chairman and his group will continue to discuss and refine the new membership proposal.
"The next step is to look at it and iron out the kinks," he said. "We'll reach out to more companies and corporations and investigate ways to show them what value our membership has."
He hopes to have a proposal in place by July to present to the Executive Board at the division's next event, the International Elastomer Conference and 184th Technical Meeting and Educational Symposium, Oct. 7-10 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.
So far, 189 booths and 49,400 square feet of exhibit space have been sold for the event. Nine educational workshops are scheduled.
"The board may want to modify (the proposal) some at that meeting," Thomas said. "It could be 2014 before it is implemented."