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Esko users groups decide at 2006 meetings to merge into one organization

Press release from the issuing company

Carmel, IN and Batavia, OH – May 9, 2006 – The Artios Users Group International (AUGI) and the Association of Esko Users Group (AEG), the two user group associations devoted to Esko products, announce they have agreed to merge into one organization. The announcement and subsequent member approvals were made during the 2006 annual meetings held from April 23-26 at the Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa, Florida. Although both are Esko user groups, AEG focuses on the company's graphics products, while AUGI focuses on the structural products. In past years, the two user groups have shared the same venue for their meetings, but 2006 was the first time that meetings were held concurrently. Both meetings commenced with a general session where Esko and members of the groups' Boards presented their visions for the new association. After the general session, the memberships broke into groups, where it was explained what a merged group would mean for members of each individual association. After the sessions, members of both groups overwhelmingly endorsed the merger. The proposed timeline discussed by Board members is to officially found the new organization—while the two existing organizations would simultaneously cease to exist—immediately after the 2007 meetings. Part of the business of the 2007 meetings will be the dissolution of the organizations, acceptance of the new organization's charter and bylaws and, at the end of the meeting, incorporation. In 2008, the new organization will hold its first official annual meeting as one group. Part of the reason the groups are waiting until 2007 is to have ample time to work on logistics. A wide number of issues need to be resolved, including incorporation, new bylaws, organizational structure, membership dues—and, of course, a new name and logo, keeping some identity from past, but unified for the future. “AUGI sees the merger as a very positive and necessary evolution of our two groups, as the type of work that our members are going to do as time goes on will be more and more involved in both sides of the workflow,” remarks Roger Rigby, Chairman of AUGI. “Those involved in structure are more interested in graphics, while graphics people are more interested in how to fit structure. Yet, all are earnestly interested about how the complete workflow can be integrated to be efficient and successful. We all need to work together so that Esko products are beneficial to everyone. We are not changing the legitimate objective of the organizations. Ultimately what it comes down to is that members' needs will still be communicated to Esko, and Esko has a commitment to develop products to meet customer requirements.” “Logistically, it just doesn't make sense to continue with one company serving two user groups involved in the same product workflow. It's in everyone's best interest to combine the two groups. Why run two groups—and meetings—when their interests are becoming more and more entwined?” comments Michael Meyer, AEG Chairman. “It just makes more sense for one large group to share resources. It's for everyone's benefit to unite the two groups. Neither the structural or graphics needs of the workflow will be diminished, nor will the intent of the meetings change. We certainly benefited with a shared general session, break-out meetings, and social events this year.“