If both memberships approve, the associations plan to complete their combination on July 1, 2016. In the interim, the organizations’ staffs, boards, and volunteer committees will work to ensure a smooth and productive combining of their organizations and member services.
“Our board enthusiastically supports and recommends this merger to our members,” said Epicomm Chairman Tim Johnson, CEO, Impact, Minneapolis. “We believe that by combining the strategic planning and management expertise of Epicomm and the industry-standard technical and workflow expertise of Idealliance, we will create an organization that will be equipped to serve the business development needs of our members in a comprehensive and highly effective manner.”
Idealliance Board Chair Marriott Winchester, executive vice president, SGS International, Louisville, Kentucky, also noted, “In wholeheartedly supporting and recommending this merger, our board has reviewed the many ways in which Idealliance and Epicomm complement each other and can enhance each other’s offering to members. Adding the strategic and economic focus of Epicomm with the processes of innovation of Idealliance, offers a powerful combination of benefits for all who support the graphic communications supply chain.”
If the merger is approved, honoring the brand equity and name recognition of its 50-years serving the graphic communications industry, the combined organization will retain the name, Idealliance. The new association will be headquartered in the current Epicomm headquarters at 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 320, in Alexandria, Virginia. Idealliance is also currently headquartered in that city.
Johnson will be chairman of the new organization and Idealliance Vice Chairman of the Board Dick Ryan, vice president of sales and marketing, Publishers Press, Shepherdsville, Kentucky, will be vice chairman. Idealliance President and CEO David Steinhardt will serve as president and CEO of the new association and Epicomm President and CEO Ken Garner as executive vice president.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Idealliance, a not-for-profit industry group that is a leader in information technology and graphic communications, and a catalyst for technological advancement across the total media production process, developing standards and best practices to enhance efficiency and speed information across the end-to-end digital media supply chain. Its members include more than 1,600 content and media creators and their publishers, print and digital service providers, material suppliers, and technology partners. Among its best known offerings are the G7 Expert/Professional Certification and G7 Master Qualification Programs, and print quality and workflow specifications; GRACoL, SWOP, Mail.dat, and PRISM.
Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, was formed in 2014 through the merger of three long-standing graphic communications industry trade associations: the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP), the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), and the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP). Together, they have more than 200 years of experience serving graphic communications companies of every size and specialty. Epicomm has some 1,600 members who provide printing, mailing, marketing, and fulfillment services, as well as industry vendors and educators.
“Epicomm’s team of business advisors, publications, products, and services provide research and trends analysis, management insight and guidance, education, networking, advocacy, and specialized consulting services for leading companies across our broad industry spectrum,” Garner explained. Among its best-known offerings are the annual Epicomm State of the Industry Report and multi-faceted postal issues advocacy.
“Epicomm exists to serve its members and support the industry to grow and prosper,” he continued. “Although the merger that led to the formation of Epicomm is just three years old, we are moving forward with our merger with Idealliance because this combination offers an extraordinary opportunity to bring together two organizations that serve a common industry, have distinctive competencies that complement each other rather than compete against each other, and who, together, are better positioned to serve our memberships today and long into the future.”
Steinhardt also noted, “Through our active Working Groups, networking events, and training resources, Idealliance and its members collaborate to craft best practices, advance standards, and certify people, processes, and systems to achieve the highest performance in creation, production, and delivery of graphic communications.”
He continued, “This opportunity for partnership mirrors the industry we serve, where growing through strategic partnerships extends the potential impact of the organization and creates more value for its stakeholders. Our industry is undergoing seismic change and the associations that serve it must address these changes in a more collaborative way. The merger of Epicomm and Idealliance is designed to meet the challenge of industry change squarely and forcefully, delivering significant value to every member, no matter how big or small.”
Combining the distinctive competences of Idealliance and Epicomm, the new association will serve companies across the total graphic communications supply chain, providing products and services in six primary categories: Best practices and specifications, strategy and consulting, advocacy and standards, certification and training, education and events, and research and resources. Of the two associations’ more than 3,000 members, only 129 companies—or less than a 4 percent overlap—hold dual memberships.