AeA, ITAA merger wins boards' approval

The boards of directors of AeA and the Information Technology Association of America approved the merger of the two trade associations, according to a Dec. 9 joint announcement. The combined group will be known as the Technology Association of America.

The merger, which will close by the end of the year, will create a stronger voice for the technology industry by bringing together the largest number of tech companies throughout the United States, the announcement states.

The new organization, representing approximately 2,000 companies, will advocate on technology issues in state capitals across the country and provide programs in every industry center, the announcement adds.

AeA – formerly the American Electronics Association – has an extensive national network of regional councils that will combine with ITAA’s alliances with more than 16,000 companies through 40 regional associations with the Technology Councils of North America. The new organization will create an unrivaled national presence, according to the joint statement.

The two associations will unite their federal lobbying operations in Washington, D.C. In addition, the organization can boast an exclusive membership in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance – a worldwide network of 69 technology associations – and offices in Beijing and Brussels as part of its grassroots-to-global capability for the technology industry.

“For all of its impact on everyday life, the technology industry has had insufficient clout in Washington and the state capitals – until now,” ITAA Chairman Hank Steininger, a managing partner at Grant Thornton, said in the statement. “Together, our associations will become the clear leader, continuing a chain of consolidation that ITAA began in January.”

The consolidation gives the technology industry a strong voice on Capitol Hill and offers the Obama administration a united partner to foster innovation and address future challenges, said AeA Chairman Peter Boni, president and chief executive officer of Safeguard Scientifics Inc.

Steininger will serve as chairman of the new board of directors and Boni will serve as vice chairman.

The merger agreement calls for staff leadership of the new organization to be shared between AeA's Chris Hansen and Phil Bond, ITAA president and chief executive officer. Hansen will serve as CEO, with direct responsibility for the organization's overall performance. Bond will serve as president, leading the lobbying, public policy and communications priorities.

Dan Heinemeier will be chief operating officer.

The new board will include an equal number of directors from each of the organizations' current boards. The current members of ITAA's board and its executive committee will continue to serve in those capacities.

For more information on AeA, go to http://www.aeanet.org/.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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