Subscribe to USGNN!

USGNN Original StoryIGMA Members Hear Status of GANA Merger

The annual meeting of the Insulating Glass Manufacturer's Alliance (IGMA), taking place this week at the Hyatt Mission Bay in San Diego, included a status report on the potential merger with the Glass Association of North America (GANA) (CLICK HERE for related story).

IGMA had received responses to a member-wide survey sent out regarding this proposed merger between the two associations, said executive director Margaret Webb who listed some of the concerns members expressed including: maintaining a U.S./Canada balance in the organization since GANA is primarily made up of U.S. members; maintaining a balance between residential and commercial insulating glass (IG) manufacturers since GANA focuses primarily on commercial products; concern that flat glass manufacturers would dominate the agenda at meetings; and questions about what would happen to IGMA's surplus funding at the time of merger.

If the merger is approved, Webb explained, it right now looks as though IGMA would essentially take over GANA's IG division. To maintain the Canada/USA balance, the IGMA board of directors would remain to oversee all activities; the current technical services committee also would be maintained. The IGMA division of GANA would be strictly technical and focused on research, Webb stressed; anything educational or marketing in nature would go to those specific GANA committees--essentially focusing on those items in which IGMA currently specializes.

"One of the beauties of IGMA is the speed at which you get things done," commented Ken Brenden of AAMA in broaching concern of whether that would remain the case. Webb pointed out that's why the aim is to change the current IGMA structure as little as possible.

To address the funds concern, it was noted that whatever surplus funds IGMA has at the point of merger will be retained solely for research, while funding for future research is yet to be finalized.

While IGMA is still working to address the concerns of all members, the organizations are proceeding in outlining how this potential merger would be undertaken. Both IGMA's and GANA's board of directors will review the proposed merger during a closed meeting this Friday. A two-year timeline has been set, at which point a proposal will be sent to the IGMA membership to vote on whether to proceed with this merger.

"This is really an issue for the membership to decide, which is why the IGMA board did decide to proceed with proposal to membership," Webb noted.

As one attendee of today's meeting pointed out, it is a possibility that, at the end of two years, and after balloting the membership, the proposal may be denied. But in the meantime, these efforts are going to continue. Both organizations are working to exchange corporate information for review by legal counsels to begin with their due diligence. A joint financial task group will be established to review related matters.

One attendee today candidly asked the benefits for merging with GANA, which Webb listed as a consolidation of advocacy efforts; consolidation of industry technical expertise; a single membership fee for those duplicate members; and, perhaps most importantly, reducing duplicate efforts.

"That to me was one of the most critical factors," commented GANA technical director Greg Carney, as both he and Webb pointed to joint efforts between the two organizations over the past several years.

"There's still a lot of work to be done," Webb commented today, "but what we want to ensure is that we're going to get feedback."

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.