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PSC acquires TechAmerica Foundation

EDITOR's NOTE: This story was updated following a Monday afternoon briefing by the Professional Services Council.

The Professional Services Council has acquired the TechAmerica Foundation from CompTIA in a transaction that came together in less than two weeks.

CompTIA acquired the foundation when it bought TechAmerica Inc., the industry association, last year.

“As we evaluated our strategic direction, we recognized that the activities of the TechAmerica Foundation could be better served by an organization aligned to maximize the value of these key resources,” said CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux.

When they made that decision, they reached out to PSC, said PSC president and CEO Stan Soloway.

“This transaction will enhance PSC’s effectiveness and our ability to deliver greater value to our members,” Soloway said.

TechAmerica will bring its Vision Forecast and Conference, Defense Strategic Planning Forum, annual CIO survey, and American Technology Awards to PSC, who will continue those programs.

Unlike traditional transactions, there is no exchange of money. The agreement is that PSC will now elect board members to the board of the foundation, and then the CompTIA members of the board will resign, effectively transferring control of the foundation from CompTIA to PSC, said Alan Chvotkin, PSC's general counsel. He was PSC's primary negotiator.

The sale of the TechAmerica Foundation comes just nine months after CompTIA acquired the TechAmerica trade association. The foundation was part of that acquisition.

With the sale, CompTIA has discontinued its advocacy work for the federal public sector, except for areas such as convergence that cut across the public and commercial sectors.

"The federal public sector portion of the organization has different needs that we believe can be better served by other existing associations," the group said in a statement. "We want to ensure the member areas we serve are aligned to provide the best experience for our membership."

During the press briefing, Soloway spoke about the synergies between PSC and the foundation particularly for market research. TechAmerica's Vision conference in particular dives deeper into market research than PSC has in the past.

The addition of Vision will allow PSC to meld its strong strategic and policy focus with a deeper market research function, Soloway said.

PSC had been exploring creating its own 501(c)3 organization, but won't have to since it now has the foundation, which holds that IRS designation. The designation will make it easier for PSC to take on commissioned reports and studies, Soloway said.

The transaction brings no new members per se, but there is great potential for the deal to drive new members. For example, any company that wants to participate in the Vision research will need to join PSC, he said.

Soloway estimated that 60 percent to 70 percent of the CompTIA members are not PSC members but potentially could be.

"One of the goals obviously is to better serve our members and to add new members," he said.

The TechAmerica name will go away, but PSC has not picked a new name for the foundation, Soloway said.

About the Authors

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Tue, Feb 3, 2015 Mel Ostrow

Naturally more tuned into larger companies, tho not personally in the PSC orbit much, I am a bit skeptical. Of course there was "no cash" in this transaction, as neither party "makes" anything other that striving for good outcomes for its members' businesses. The two nonprofits include very successful one and one balled up in a clatter of internecine warfare and alleged skullduggery of the K Street kind, or so it seems. One can only hope that the member companies don't see a fattening of the PSC staff that is unwarranted and that dues does not rise and that the foundation's handling does not peeve the foundation's handlers.

Mon, Feb 2, 2015

Wow. CompTIA clearly doesn't have a clue. The public sector group, Vision in particular, was one of the most valuable components of Techamerica.

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