During other sessions at the Multi-Regional Meeting, many attendee questions were discussed, debated and dissected: Will styrene really be declared a cancer-causing chemical? What “profit drains” are most preventable? What causes “edge peel” and how do you prevent it? How can manufacturers vary techniques to de­velop more differentiated products? The event also included an impressive lineup of new-product presentations.

Richard Higgins, CCT-I, president of HK Research Corporation, presented a well-attended legislative update that focused on the current status of styrene and recent legislation on lead-based paint. Among other insight, he discussed ACMA’s legislative advocacy and its partnership with member firms in the San Francisco area to educate local regulators on “effective, feasible methods” of controlling styrene emissions. Higgins also outlined specific ways attendees could avoid combustible-dust citations and fines levied by OSHA and NFPA.

The meeting’s educational value is one reason Toby Tyler, president of Marble Works Inc., South Elgin, Ill., attended. “I could either take a proactive approach to my business by attending, or take a reactive approach to my competition, who attended while I stayed home,” he said.

John Webster, CCT-CP, president of Monroe Industries Inc., Avon, N.Y., said, “Attending these meetings shows one’s continued support and commitment to our industry, regardless of the many financial obstacles we face.” He and his wife Bonnie, who is one the ICPA Board of Advisors, brought two of the firm’s employees to the meeting as well. “Anytime you can accomplish this many things in a couple of days in one location, it’s a win/win. You have meetings, presentations, a shop tour, demos – wow! We need meetings like this a couple of times a year to learn and recharge our batteries.”