In February and March, the boards of directors of PRISM International, Chicago, and the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), Phoenix, unanimously approved new bylaws that would merge the two organizations.
PRISM is the trade association for the commercial information management industry, while NAID represents the information destruction industry.
“This merger would combine services of both parties to yield a wider range of records and information management, security and data protection offerings from a single, stronger industry association,” writes Tom Fetters, president of PRISM International, in a letter to the association’s members. “As proposed, the merger will allow the two existing organizations to live on as divisions of the combined association so there is no loss of either brand equity.”
Fetters adds, “The new association will generate a unified mission in information management and data security. It will serve to ensure the future of the PRISM organization and create greater economic resources by which to convey and promote the PRISM message to regulators, customers, and the public at large.”
The decision awaits ratification by NAID and PRISM members. NAID members will vote on the measure via electronic ballot between March 26 and April 6, NAID reports in its NAIDdirect e-newsletter. PRISM members will vote on the proposed merger at the organizations’ Annual Meeting during the PRISM International Summit in Miami May 8, 2018.
In his letter, Fetters says, “Neither the name nor logos of any PRISM programs will change due to the merger. PRISM International will continue on, with the only immediate change being the transition from the current outsourced management team provided by Association Management Co. to the NAID management and staff. PRISM, International and NAID will maintain their separate identities after the merger.”
He adds that a single, combined board will be instituted, and staff redundancies will be eliminated so more specialized staff can be added and more industry programs developed.
The parent association remains unnamed at this point and will be presented to the membership of both associations in time for NAID’s vote for the ratification March 26, Fetters notes.
In the NAIDdirect newsletter, NAID President Eric Haas says the merger would result in more effective industry representation, the added strength of combined resources and the efficiency of a combined back office.
“The goal was to achieve these benefits without losing decades of goodwill and branding,” Haas says. “NAID membership, NAID AAA Certification, as well as PRISM International and its Privacy Plus certification program, will not change. And the efficiencies achieved will make sure the association is offering membership and certification as economically as possible.”