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ECOAT14 - It's A Wrap

June - 2014
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ECOAT14 was held April 22-24 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.  With a robust attendance, beautiful weather and a top-notch program, it was primed for success.  The Keynote presenters addressed very relevant topics for our industry and were followed by other good sessions and lots of fun in other associated events. 
ECOAT14 kicked off with a luau-style Networking reception outside by the hotel pool, taking advantage of a beautiful, welcoming Florida evening.  Attendees enjoyed snacks and drinks to the beat of steel drum band Calypso while socializing with colleagues and potential customers.
Maureen Midgley, Henkel Corporation, launched the event Wednesday morning with her dynamic keynote address, “The Chemical Industry’s Response to Trends and Innovations in the Transportation Industry.”  This session was followed by an industry favorite, Matt Kirchner, American Finishing Resources.  Kirchner discussed how to differentiate yourself from the crowd in his entertaining and provocative presentation, “Marketing for Ecoaters.”  To round out the morning session, a panel discussion led by coatings experts fielded many audience questions in the “Advancements in Coatings” session.
Thursday opened with a thought-provoking keynote address by Joy Forsmark, Ford Motor Company.   Ms. Forsmark surveyed several recent USAMP programs that have addressed corrosion challenges, with particular focus on a Magnesium - Intensive Front End Development Project.   Following that was Axel Linnewerth, PPG Industrial Coatings, sharing his knowledge and expertise on REACH legislation.  The morning concluded with an “Advancements in Pretreatment” session, another very productive panel discussion with audience participation.
Each afternoon presented a variety of workshop choices, allowing attendees to customize this portion of their conference experience.
ECOAT14 concluded with  “The Pillars of Social Media Success” by Chuck Gault, Max Coatings.  Gault implemented a strong social media and public relations program in late 2012 and in this presentation shared his stories, tips and tricks for success.
A bonus for ECOAT14 attendees was the Coatings & Cocktails session, giving attendees open access to industry experts in the fields of Pretreatment, Paint, Equipment and Filtration in a casual setting and a cocktail in hand.
Evening Exhibits offered a great networking forum. Industry suppliers hosted a festive venue to talk shop, respond to attendee issues, and provide some fun.  This year attendees were entertained with caricatures and magicians, a casino party and racing simulators, and overall merriment.
The Industry Awards Banquet was a nice setting to recognize worthy individuals for their contribution to the industry and to the conference.  The Best End-User Paper Award began in 1990 is a tribute to electrocoaters who have devoted time and company resources to produce and present technical papers for the Electrocoat Conference.  This year’s recipient of the Best End-User Paper Award is Jesse Taylor, F&P America.
Dr. George E. F. Brewer is generally credited with the original idea of electrodeposition of paint during the late 1950’s while at Ford Motor Company.    Throughout his exemplary career and even in retirement, Dr. Brewer championed the areas of paint technology, chemistry, engineering, and market expansion. By loaning his name to this prestigious award given during the
Electrocoat Conference, recipients stand out among the best in the field. The first Brewer Award was given in 1990 and is awarded for the following categories:
Paint and Process technology; Market Promotion of the technology and Application of the technology.
Our first recipient has made numerous contributions to the electocoat industry during his 45 years of service.  He was part of the team that originally conceived, formulated and commercialized cathodic electrodeposition coatings.  He formulated the resin and paint system that filled the world’s first cathodic electrocoat tank in Whirlpool Evansville in 1971 and assisted in the development of cathodic epoxy auto body primer that launched in 1975.  He developed and launched the first cathodic acrylic product for use on automotive wheels and parts in 1983.  He led a team that developed the world’s first OEM-approved lead-free cathodic epoxy electrocoat for automotive parts.  He was a member of the team that was recognized with the 2001 President’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award for the development of a substitute for lead as a corrosion inhibitor.  He also lead a team that developed a specific electrocoat product to fit the needs of the European automotive parts market and spent 6 months in France supporting the successful transfer and commercialization of the technology.  His experience and wise counsel have always been valued among his colleagues and even as a consultant continues to contribute to PPG’s product development projects. This year’s George E. F. Brewer Award recipient in the area of Paint and Process technology is Henry Austin, PPG Industrial Coatings.
Our next recipient was the visionary and entrepreneurial force behind the MetoKote Corporation's rapid growth.  During the mid-80’s when electrocoat was becoming a preferred technology for protecting automotive parts from corrosion, he led the company’s growth and globalization, preferentially designing, building, installing and operating new electrocoat lines. This year’s winner of the George E. F. Brewer Award in the area of Application of the technology is Jim Blankemeyer, MetoKote Corporation.
Our final recipient of the 2014 Brewer Award is the Global Business Development Manager at Henkel Adhesive Technologies' Surface Treatment Group. He has been at Henkel for 33 years, holding various positions in R&D, Technical Service, Marketing and Business Development. In his current position, he is responsible for introducing new technology to the global marketplace, with the focus being on the “Next Generation” of conversion coatings. Terry has been an active member of The Electrocoat Association for 15 years, serving on the Board of Directors and the Conference Steering Committee and is the Committee Chairman for ECOAT14.  He developed the Pretreatment sections of the book Electrocoat: A Guidebook for Finishers and our Electrocoating Seminar.  He has presented many papers since the 1998 conference and continues to be a champion for the industry.  This year’s George E. F. Brewer Award in the area of Market Promotion of the technology is Terry Giles, Henkel Corporation.
The Electrocoat Association will continue its effort to promote members’ products and services and to be a strong voice in encouraging the use of electrocoating throughout the industry.
Courtesy of:
Karen McGlothlin
Executive Director, The Electrocoat Assoc.