Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 46

GMA NEWS
GMA is dedicated to
our members' success.
GMA actively identifies,
assesses, analyzes
and acts upon market
growth opportunities
and issues that affect
its member companies.
The activities of
the association are
proactive in nature and
center on five areas:
» Engineering support
» Business development
» Education
» Government relations
» Geosynthetics industry
recognition

Jonathan Curry
GMA, Managing Director
jicurry@ifai.com
+1 651 225 6956

Division
Geosynthetics is the official
publication of the Geosynthetic
Materials Association.

By Jonathan Curry

GMA looks back and moves
forward, together

O

ver the past decade the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) has grown by
leaps and bounds, establishing itself as a leading geosynthetics organization in the
areas of education, technical support and government relations. GMA's membership has
nearly doubled since 2005, GMA-supported educational conferences have attracted more
than 25,000 attendees, and GMA's lobbying efforts have reached 20 states and hundreds of
elected officials, the latter resulting in the inclusion of geosynthetics language in multiple
infrastructure bills signed by both President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump.
The activities are critical in achieving GMA's mission of advancing the industry together
and growing our members' businesses.
Since 2005, GMA's membership has risen from 42 member companies to 83 companies.
Members represent all facets of the industry, especially manufacturers and distributors of
geosynthetic products. GMA members create tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue each year. Membership consists of three levels: executive council, general and
distributor. Companies that join GMA at one of these levels have the opportunity for their
employees to participate in a wide variety of educational offerings, government relations activities, technical focus groups and conferences. Employees of member companies gain access to
unique opportunities that allow them to work with fellow members to help grow the geosynthetics market and, at the same time, increase their companies' piece of the pie. According
to the Industrial Fabrics Association International's (IFAI's) 2019 State of the Geosynthetics
Industry report (see the April/May 2019 issue of Geosynthetics), the geosynthetics industry
will grow by 4% in 2020, which means the pie is getting bigger.
Supporting geosynthetics conferences has been a core part of GMA's strategic plan,
and since the 1980s, GMA has helped its parent association, IFAI, organize more than
20 conferences. Conferences grow the industry through collaboration, education and
the sharing of new ideas. GMA hosts member meetings at these conferences, and its
leadership meets to set the association's agenda for the year. GMA's next set of annual
meetings will be at the IFAI-hosted Geosynthetics Conference 2020: CASE STUDIES, in
Charleston, S.C., March 8-10.
GMA ramped up its government relations activities starting in 2005, hiring the D.C.based lobbying firm Whitmer & Worrall to represent GMA's interest in our nation's capital.
This partnership has blossomed over the years, resulting in GMA playing a critical role in
coal ash policy and geosynthetics being named in a half dozen pieces of legislation, such
as the Obama-era Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) and the 2018
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill signed by President Trump.
GMA has honored senators and representatives with the GMA "Leader of the Year" award;
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., was the most recent awardee, receiving the honor for
his exemplary work promoting innovative materials, including geosynthetics. Success at the
federal level naturally led GMA to expand its government relations program to the state
and local levels, and since 2012 GMA has visited 20 states, delivering a message about the
benefits of geosynthetics to regulatory agencies, governors' offices and contractors from
coast to coast, even as far away as Alaska. Giving members the opportunity to connect



Geosynthetics June/July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Geosynthetics June/July 2019

Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover1
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover2
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 1
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 2
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 3
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - 4
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Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover3
Geosynthetics June/July 2019 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/geosynthetics/1018GS
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/geosynthetics/0818GS
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/geosynthetics/0618GS
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