UK/US: PLASA and US-based ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) have signed a Letter of Intent to merge, reports David Davies. Both organisations have conducted strategic reviews and concluded that unification as one body will give rise to "a stronger voice for members, the enhancement of existing initiatives and an expansion of the range of benefits and services".
The proposed merger has the full backing of both the ESTA board of committees and the PLASA executive committee, who will formally recommend the move to their respective memberships - subject to the completion of due diligence - next spring/summer. If both memberships vote to go ahead, the first stage of the merger will be completed by December 2010, effectively creating an industry-wide membership network of over 1100 dealers, manufacturers, installers services providers and consultants operating under the PLASA name.
The network would also include members of PERA (the Production Equipment Rental Association), which recently merged with ESTA.
PLASA executive director Ruth Rossington reveals that the proposal is "to merge both organisations and memberships under the PLASA name; however, The ESTA Foundation - [which is] designed to fill an industry-wide need for practically educated and trained entertainment technicians and to assist industry professionals in times of crisis - will continue to be an independent educational and charitable foundation and will retain its name. The merged association will continue to provide support and administrative back-up to the Foundation."
ESTA executive director Lori Rubinstein (pictured here with PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths) tells PSN-e that the merger "presents us with a unique opportunity to continue developing the skills of the industry at an international level through both certification and training. Clearly, there are many details yet to be worked out, and while our certification programmes differ in method of implementation, they share the same aim of increasing knowledge, skills and abilities in the workforce. Together with our Technical Standard Program all these initiatives share the common goal of creating a safer work environment and one in which individuals and companies can function effectively in a global market."
Image Credit: Chris Toulmin
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