The name Rubber Division, ACS is a long-established integral part of the rubber industry. We have gone through many changes since our inception. This includes going from a club of technical and business giants of the industry in 1909 to an official division of the American Chemical Society in 1919 and finally to a 501(c)3 non-profit association incorporated in Ohio in 1963.
Over the decades, the division has added technical conferences, expositions, prestigious science and technology awards, the Rubber Chemistry & Technology Journal, student scholarships, education courses, student chapters, rubber group subdivisions, a professional staff in 2001 and much more.
During the past 18 years, we also added the Student Colloquium, high school outreach, Career Center, Elastomer Training Center, global partnerships, overseas student chapters and education, corporate memberships, expanded exhibitor and member services, focused marketing outreach and again much more. All of this was based on one driving concept: Keep evolving, growing and offering the best possible service to our members, industry and global community.
Continuing this concept, the division recently made another change. We purchased a three-level building, renovated it and moved our headquarters into the top two floors in early summer. We are now renovating our lower level into the new Elastomer Training Center. It will become a "smart classroom" that will allow the division to expand its educational programs worldwide, especially to those who may not be able to attend courses in person. We believe this will provide the next echelon of educational opportunity to the industry we serve.
And that was another change. As the industry expanded into other markets and materials, so has the Rubber Division as evidenced in its current Vision "Enhancing science, technology and business across the evolving elastomeric community" and Mission Statement "To promote and advance the evolution of the global elastomeric profession and its relevance to society."
We trust that more organizations will continue to see the value of allowing their employees to attend our International Elastomer Conferences, whether it be to learn, present, showcase products and services, network with current and future customers, or find the next generation of experts from university graduates.
The 2018 International Elastomer Conference is just weeks away. It will be held Oct. 9-11 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. It features the International Rubber Expo, 194th Technical Meeting & Educational Symposium, Student Colloquium & Poster Session, Career Fair, and Business & Awards Meeting.
The keynote speaker is Florian Schattenmann, a Dow Chemical Co. vice president. His talk will focus on "Performance Materials & Coatings R&D."
I hope to see you all at this annual International Elastomer Conference and on behalf of the Rubber Division, ACS Executive Committee, I extend a personal invitation to come and visit our new headquarters at 306 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Akron, OH 44333.
Miller is executive director of the Akron-based Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society.