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NASHVILLE, TENN. — Composites Fabricators Association directors have rejected a proposed contract to produce a conference and trade show jointly with the Composites Institute beginning in the year 2000. The CFA board voted Jan. 17 in Reno, Nev.

``Our board did not accept the language of the contract. The ball is really back in [CI's] court,'' Missy Henriksen, CFA executive director, said in a telephone interview. ``There is good synergy, and we would like to continue to work together.''

She said the two groups will continue to talk, and there is still a chance for a joint show in 2000. She said CI was looking for a three-year deal, and CFA had preferred a one-year agreement for 2000 only.

``We're very disappointed that the proposal was rejected. We think it would be a positive move for the industry,'' Catherine Randazzo, CI staff director, said in a Jan. 27 interview at the International Composites Expo '97 in Nashville.

Randazzo said CI's board will take up the issue again at its meeting in March.

While CI and CFA have arranged conferences differently, economic and industry pressures provide strong reasons to combine shows. Such an event would need to occur in a convention center. Typically, 3,000 attend CI gatherings, and 2,000 go to CFA's annual event.

Randazzo said there is very little duplication in attendance at the competing events. She added that a combined show would be larger, with more programming and a larger international audience.

The Composites Institute, a division of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., approved the contract at a Dec. 6 meeting following joint task force sessions Nov. 11 and Oct. 29.

New York-based CI has 400 corporate members. Most of CFA's 700 member companies fabricate products of fiber-reinforced plastics. CFA is coordinating with the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering for Composites '97 in Orlando, Fla., in October.

While gathered in Reno, past presidents of the McLean, Va.-based CFA discussed possible partnerships and collaboration with another trade group, the International Cast Polymer Association. In the past, the groups have cooperated on regulatory issues.