As we prepare to start the 99th year for the Chicago Society of Coatings Technology, I thought I would take a few minutes to jot down a few thoughts on where the CSCT is at currently and where we, as your new board members, intend to take it. First of all, I would like to introduce myself as your 2018-19 President of the CSCT. I have been employed in the Paint and Coatings Industry since 1980, when I took what I thought would be a stop-gap job as a QC technician at Standard ‘T’ Chemical in Chicago Heights. With my college degree in biology, I thought I would eventually get back to that discipline. However, paint is a sticky business and once I was in, I stayed. In the 38 years since, the industry has seen a lot of changes.
In the 80s, most personnel in the paint business got there by accident. In fact, at Enterprise Paint, my first full-on formulating job, I was one of the few college educated formulators in the lab although many of the high school educated personnel were excellent formulators and I learned a lot from them. Today, I am meeting more and more graduates of institutions such as DePaul University, University of Missouri at Rolla, Purdue University Northwest, and South Dakota State University with degrees in Coatings Technology. The paint industry has certainly grown more sophisticated.
Back then, much like today, regulations drove coatings innovation. While the architectural side of the industry has continued to adjust to ever stricter VOC regulations and consumer demands, the industrial side has less so and many VOC limits set in the 80s are still valid. Technology has continued to evolve as faster and better ways to paint were adopted, particularly on the industrial side. The CSCT was organized to bring these changes and innovations to the attention of formulators and chemists to incorporate the knowledge in their pursuit of ever better performance at lower cost.
Chicago was the center of the paint universe and to a lesser extent, it still is. Due to mergers and acquisitions, the field of players has shrunk drastically while the remaining players themselves have grown considerably. With the surge in technology, particularly computerization and social media, information is readily available. These factors have not only reduced the pool of potential members to the CSCT, it has also made maintaining relevance for the organization of paramount importance.
In order for the CSCT to survive and prosper, it needs a continual infusion of new talent to bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm. I am proud to be serving on the board of the CSCT with Kelsey Waughon (your Secretary), Yucel Tavolara (your Membership Chair) Katherine Hacek-Catlett (your Treasurer), Kathryn Felgenhauer (your Vice President), all fine examples of the youth, renewed commitment, and vigor that are essential in moving forward. This organization is only as strong as our membership and I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to get involved. We are always looking for volunteers for our various committees. A new committee will be formed to plan for the 100th anniversary of the CSCT in 2020 and volunteers would be welcomed. We will be exploring new ways to bring value to our membership and your input is needed. If you feel you have something to offer for the CSCT, please contact me, or one of your board members. We all look forward to serving you. Best Regards, Guy Lopez 2018-19 CSCT President The Chidley & Peto Company