NEW YORK — Society of Plastics Engineers leaders at Antec '99 pledged to staunch a membership decline, and announced a pending agreement to coordinate all seminars at NPE 2000.
For years, SPE has run its own seminars at NPE, the largest plastics trade show in North America. Now, SPE will coordinate all educational conferences at the show, under an agreement with the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
``We're working out all the final details,'' Norman Behn, SPE's president for 1998-99, said April 3 during Antec '99 in New York.
In October, SPE will run seminars at Interplas '99 in Birmingham, England, for the first time in 20 years, said Michael Cappelletti, SPE executive director.
On the membership front, Behn said SPE officials are studying results of a major survey on how to improve service and convince more people to renew as SPE members. The January reorganization of SPE's European segment should help retain members there, he said.
``The membership of SPE, unfortunately over the past year, again went down. Although the number of new members has not dropped significantly, our membership in total went down because retention went down,'' said Behn, owner of Alltech Sales Co. in Fort Wayne, Ind.
SPE has about 33,000 members, down from a high of about 38,000 in the mid-1980s, according to James Toner, promotion director for the professional association in Brookfield, Conn.
Cappelletti said SPE reported a small 1998 surplus of $3,000, with total revenue of $7.61 million outpacing expenses of $7.6 million.
Incoming SPE President William A. Humphrey said SPE's objectives for 1999-2000 include boosting income to become more financially stable, continuing to provide technical programs and expanding internationally.
Just before Antec, SPE recognized the Australian Section in Formation.
Humphrey is president of R.C. Molding Inc., a custom injection molder in Greer, S.C. His father, G. Palmer Humphrey Sr., is a well-known SPE activist who joined the association in 1947.
SPE also named other officers for 1999:
President-elect James H. Brackeen, sales manager of Exxon Chemical Co. of Houston.
Senior Vice President Terence J. Browitt, president of Terinex International Ltd. of Quebec.
Vice President-Sections Claudius Feger of IBM Corp. in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Vice President-Divisions Donna S. Davis of Exxon Chemical Co. in Baytown, Texas.
Vice President-International Kishor S. Mehta of Bayer Corp. in Pittsburgh.