The International Cast Polymer Association will become part of the Composites Fabricators Association on Sept. 1.
The groups agreed on the affiliation after years of discussions. ICPA will close its McLean, Va., office, which employs five, and relocate to CFA's Arlington, Va., quarters. Usual ICPA activities will continue, including its Polycon convention, its Cast Polymer Connection magazine and eight regional chapters.
ICPA has 325 members including makers, suppliers, fabricators and installers of cultured marble, granite and onyx and solid-surface kitchen and bath products, mostly involving nonreinforced resin systems. Under CFA, the group will be called the International Cast Polymer Alliance.
``ICPA will be CFA's largest, most-active alliance,'' said Jonathan Spaulding, president of CFA and chief operating officer of North End Composites of Rockland, Maine.
CFA has more than 18 committees, divisions, alliances and councils dealing with manufacturing processes, materials and market segments. The group formed in 1979 and, in recent years, has absorbed additional functions and responsibilities in a climate of trade-group consolidations. CFA has about 900 member companies, including open and closed molders.
A recent count showed eight manufacturers and fabricators and 70 suppliers and distributors had memberships in both CFA and ICPA, said Missy Henriksen, CFA executive director.
CFA employs 20 and is hiring five people to ``manage the continued growth of the organization and expansion of its activities,'' Henriksen said. ``Now that plans for the affiliation are finalized, we will begin filling the positions, many created because of the ICPA partnership. We will be talking with certain ICPA employees about continuing their responsibilities.''
One of the five new hires, H. Pat Toner, ICPA director of legislative and regulatory affairs, will continue as a consultant and work with CFA's government affairs department, Henriksen said.
``Organizationally, the groups are remarkably similar,'' Henriksen said. Both educate industry professionals, influence regulatory, legislative and code issues and concentrate on growing market segments.
ICPA will become the first CFA affiliate to maintain a trade show independently of CFA's annual event. CFA's Composites 2002 takes place Sept. 25-28 in Atlanta, and ICPA's Polycon 2003 will be held Jan. 25-27 in Dallas.
``ICPA has made very clear that its trade show should remain separate from CFA's, largely due to the differences in the time of year ... and the importance of a distinct identity for the cast polymer market,'' Henriksen said.
``If, at some time, members of ICPA and CFA would like to explore blending the shows in some fashion,'' that possibility will be discussed, Henriksen said.