Magazine article National Defense

Further Consolidation of Defense Associations Offers Long-Term Gains

Magazine article National Defense

Further Consolidation of Defense Associations Offers Long-Term Gains

Article excerpt

This perspective must open on a sad note as we mark the passing of two of our highly respected associates-both contributors to National Defense magazine. Vincent Grimes, the senior editor and most recently promoted to public relations officer for the association, died suddenly on September 12, 1997.

Vincent had been employed by the association for almost 10 years. He was probably more knowledgeable than any other NDIA staff member about our activities and the interaction between them. Vincent was an "ideas" man responsible for a wide variety of improvements in our operation.

We will sorely miss Vincent.

DeForrest Ballou Ill, a 30-year Army veteran and former editor of National Defense, passed away September 14. He led the magazine for 13 years until his retirement in 1991. "D" saw the magazine evolve from a staid, traditional, association journal to the vibrant periodical it is now. We will miss "D" and his good counsel.

In my last report to you, I stated that we had put the ADPA/NSIA merger behind us and were moving on to bigger challenges. Permit me one last comment about the merger, which is really about potential future mergers.

To put this in perspective, we need to review the recent history of one of our heritage associations, ADPA. In 1993, the National Training Systems Association (NTSA) approached ADPA with a proposal to "affiliate." NTSA at the time was somewhat financially stressed while trying to fulfill myriad association functions with a two-person staff.

Concurrently, the organization was competing with training and simulation elements in ADPA and NSIA.

In passing, let me emphasize that all associations provide the same basic functions: they represent their members, conduct meetings, provide services; communicate through a variety of media, and perform the inevitable routine and neverending administrative tasks.

Consequently, economies of scale that help reduce over head costs work as well in associations as in the commercial world because the common functions can often be performed for multiple associations as easily as for one.

However, to get back to the NTSA example, ADPA agreed that if NTSA came on board, it could retain its name, identity, a dedicated executive director, a separate board of directors, and ADPA would assume all of its overhead functions. …

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