The Ottawa, Ont., based Machinery & Equipment Manufacturers Association of Canada (MEMAC) will hold a special meeting of its members on Weds., April 11, 2001, in Toronto to discuss the future viability of the association and vote on a proposal to merge with CME, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters association.
Membership of Canada’s machinery builders in MEMAC has been declining steadily over the past few years and the group’s financial reserves have deteriorated to a point that it would be in a deficit position in March 2002. Currently, there are 60 regular members and seven associate members.
According to MEMAC chairman Larry Barrett, one of the reasons for the decline in membership is that many of the member organizations have merged with larger companies or have consolidated their operations, some moving back to their home country.
“The management of the smaller organizations that now make up the bulk of MEMAC’s membership has difficulty spending the time necessary to encourage the grow of the organization,” he says.
Lloyd Beverly, the association’s staff president for the past five years, recently resigned, but continues to work with the group in a consulting role. The association’s Ottawa office is to be closed at the beginning of May, 2001.
Options for MEMAC members include restructuring the association and using the service of an outside professional to run it; purchasing administration services from another association so as to retain MEMAC’s primary identity; pursuing a merger with another organization such as CME, the Electro Federation or the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance; carrying on until the cash reserve is depleted; or closing the association completely.
According to Barrett, the executive board views a merger with CME as having the best benefit for the members of MEMAC. In such a case, the group would retain its identity as a separate council of CME. Currently, 19 MEMAC members are also members of CME.
The goal of the merger would be to reduce administrative costs while maintaining a number of the key benefits of MEMAC, including networking, learning and business development. Barrett notes there are several additional advantages of membership in a much larger organization.
Until the fall of 2000, CME was known as the Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada. That organization had been created in 1996 from the merger of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and Canadian Exporters Association.
“We are Canadian manufacturers and exporters,” says Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of CME. Regarding the new name, he says it is a “clearer reflection of who we are and more importantly who we represent. Our members represent 75 per cent of this country’s manufacturing output and 90 per cent of merchandise exports.
“We provide value through advocating on their behalf to all levels of government and by providing information and networking sessions designed to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian industry and expand export opportunities.”
CME has a national office in Ottawa, a corporate office in Mississauga, Ont., and divisional offices in all 10 provinces.
MEMAC members who wish to have more information or details of the April 11 special meeting can send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a fax to 613-232-7381.