SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – January 18, 2016
Under a new era of SSPC leadership, the 2016 SSPC conference was a success for all 2,000+ who attended. On display were new technologies related to coatings for infrastructure, the display of award-winning projects, and a concerted effort by and for young professionals entering the market. (Related reading: Top 4 Tips for Entry-level Corrosion Engineers.)
SSPC president Skip Vernon started off the annual meeting and awards luncheon on Monday, January 18, at the Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. He recognized the Board of Governors, past presidents and the many companies that help make the conference possible through sponsorships.
New to the podium and to the SSPC is the new leader of SSPC staff, Executive Director Bill Worms. He acknowledged the successful work by all on his team in launching a well-executed show. With good humor and sincere focus, he made it clear that the SSPC will fervently continue its pursuit of being a global contributor in the fight against corrosion. He announced that in 2015, membership exceeded 11,000 for the first time, and that the organization’s revenue and reserves remained healthy despite costs associated with the association’s move to a new building in 2015.
Many awards were given out during the luncheon, including those for outstanding infrastructure coating projects. Special recognition for superior performance was offered to Chapters domestically, both the Gulf Coast and Midwest Chapters, and internationally to the Saudi Arabia Chapter.
But one of the highlights of the conference for both the association and the industry was the focus on young professionals. Several young people were awarded scholarships; some participated in a technical poster program touting fresh research; and a reception in honor of those under 30 was so well-attended that extra tables and chairs had to be brought in. At that reception, several well-spoken young people offered views on what the SSPC means to them, and what they hope to get from the organization in the future. A few questions were offered to teams at different tables, research that will help ensure that the SSPC is positioned to meet industry needs for decades to come.
In the show hall, more than 140 exhibitors consistently reported excellent attendance and booth activity.
By all measures, SSPC 2016 was a success. The event next year will be held in Tampa, Florida, from January 30 through February 2, 2017.