WASHINGTON-The Rubber Manufacturers' Association's 80th annual meeting last November apparently was the last the association will host in its headquarters city of Washington. Beginning next year, the RMA meeting will be combined with the annual gathering of the RMA General Products Group, which is held each winter at a different resort city. The first RMA-GPG meeting is scheduled for Feb. 28-March 3 at the Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
For both RMA President Thomas E. Cole and GPG Vice President Kevin Ott, combining the meetings was an appropriate and necessary move, underscoring basic changes made in the association's structure and goals in the past few years.
``Combining the meetings will result in better cross-talk between the sectors and better understanding of each other's problems,'' Mr. Ott said. ``I think it's more economical in the long run, and more appropriate for our members.''
Noting the falling attendance at the RMA annual meeting, Mr. Cole persuaded the RMA board of directors to experiment this past February by holding the RMA Tire Management Committee meeting concurrent with the GPG meeting in Palm Springs, Calif. The success of the trial run persuaded the board to merge the RMA and GPG meetings in 1997.