On Nov. 12 and 13, the respective boards voted unanimously to move forward, and are encouraging the support of the respective memberships. The memberships began receiving voting materials on Nov. 15. On Jan.1, the new combined association became incorporated under Virginia law.
“As an industry, we simply have to be more effective in shaping the environment that we are in, said Robert Wilkins, outgoing chair of ARI. “I think that together ARI and GAMA can be more effective, but it also means we can be more effective working with our trade allies, the contractors, wholesalers, and distributors.”
Both organizations would gradually align dues structures, with the goal of avoiding major changes. Overall dues would not increase because of the merger, though ARI representatives did not rule out increases in the normal course of business.