Discussions Continue on Potential Collaborative Efforts Between NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings


Houston, Texas – October 22, 2019 – Last month the joint staff and leadership task group from NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings, re-convened to continue discussion of a possible combination of the two organizations. The meeting centered on findings from research and analysis done by McKinley Advisors, the firm serving as a third party, independent advisor helping both organizations resolve potential challenges of a combination such as blending financial structures, cultures, memberships, and other components.

During the meeting, the task force focused on developing a straw model for the NACE-SSPC combination with a focus on corporate and governance structure, aligning key organizational functions, exploring a membership model, and value propositions.

McKinley conducted stakeholder interviews with 25 NACE and 25 SSPC designated individuals.  Based on McKinley’s research the leading stakeholder concerns related to the potential loss of relevance or voice in a larger organization, and whether all certifications of both organizations will continue to be recognized and supported. “If we merge, we will rely on a joint member task force to make recommendations around certifications,” said SSPC President Joe Walker. “The task force would work under a set of parameters focused on allowing certification holders to be grandfathered in and to then recertify into a continuing certification with no financial burden to do so.”

In reviewing the strategic plans of each organization McKinley found no substantive hurdles that would threaten the proposed consolidation, and the current financial model is sufficient. The legal teams from both organizations presented an overview of possible corporate structures that could provide a suitable framework for a consolidation.

After recommitting to the principle that both existing brands will continue to be protected in the marketplace, the task group discussed a potential membership model for a combined entity and agreed that the best model is one with a hybrid structure that includes corporate and individual membership options and combines the best of both organizations’ value propositions.

“Our members are the lifeblood of our organizations and we agreed that we must work to keep the best of what each organization offers its members,” said NACE International President Terry Greenfield. “We also agreed that membership tenure of any individuals or corporations will be carried over. And if a member has been involved with both organizations, the longer term of their two memberships would be applied.” Membership staff of both organizations are now developing a draft structure based on the feedback from the meeting.

A significant portion of the meeting was devoted to developing a straw model for governance with emphasis on the need to ensure adequate representation for the contractor and international member constituencies. Also discussed was the importance of enabling member leaders to serve out the remainder of their terms, and whether leadership roles and responsibilities would change in any way.

The task group is completing remaining research into considerations raised during the September meeting and will reconvene again in person in early 2020.  In the meantime, bi-monthly task group calls will continue.  Following the next meeting, information will be shared with members of both organizations and the Board of SSPC will vote during its first quarter meeting on February 1, 2020. NACE International’s Board will vote at its first meeting of the year on March 14, 2020 and then the members of both organizations will be asked to vote on or about April 1, 2020. In the meantime, questions can be sent to or

About NACE International
Founded in 1943, NACE International, The Worldwide Corrosion Authority, is the world’s largest nonprofit of its kind with more than 38,000 members in 130 countries. Based in Houston, Texas, with offices in the U.S., the U.K., China, Malaysia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and a training center in Dubai, the organization serves all industries impacted by corrosion. NACE International provides its membership with numerous benefits and offers the world’s most specified technical training and certification programs, industry standards, reports, conferences, and publications focused on corrosion prevention and mitigation.


SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings was founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures Painting Council, a non-profit professional society focused on the use of protective coatings to protect industrial steel structures. In 1997, the name of the association was changed to SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings to reflect the evolution of coatings technology and the expanding types of construction materials. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with offices in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and China, more than 16,000 professionals and 420 companies worldwide carry active SSPC certifications.

Today, SSPC promotes the protection and preservation of concrete, steel and other industrial and marine structures and surfaces through the use of high-performance protective, marine and industrial coatings. SSPC is the leading source of training and information on surface preparation, coating selection, coating application, environmental regulations, and health and safety issues that affect the protective coatings industry.