PMDA, PMAI Team, Form The Imaging Alliance

Two legacy photo industry groups join forces to tackle ‘visual innovation'
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The PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA), formed in 1934, and the Photo Marketing Association International (PMAI), founded in 1928, today announced the formation of a new industry association, The Imaging Alliance.

According to the new executive team, The Imaging Alliance will more efficiently and holistically represent the evolving needs of an industry that has seen dramatic change, including the rise of content and non-hardware image-based businesses.

PMDA president Jim Malcolm, formerly of Ricoh and now CEO of Xiality Group, will serve as president of the new organization, and PMDA executive director Jerry Grossman, editor in chief and editorial director of Digital Imaging Reporter, now serves as executive director of The Imaging Alliance.

Gaby Mullinax of Fullerton Photo, who was PMAI president, will serve as an advisor to The Imaging Alliance.

“We formed The Imaging Alliance to best serve a stronger, bolder and more diverse industry. We will be bringing together an incredibly broad spectrum of companies that offer products, services and applications and will promote the growth and development of the imaging industry, at large,” said Malcolm. "Over the last decade, the photo industry has forever changed, and so too, must the trade organizations that serve it. A new structure, mission and vision are necessary to support a diverse industry, and inspire involvement of a broad range of participants.”

Malcolm cited a number of non-traditional image-based businesses that the alliance hopes to embrace, including VR and 360 content providers, social media and augmented reality. "We are a single unifying group that is more the consumer-facing side of the industry," he told TWICE in a phone briefing. "In every instance we are looking at businesses and technologies and asking first: 'Is there a commerce opportunity? Is it a business built around images?'"

The non-profit organization will dedicate itself to develop and advance the imaging industry through education, events, philanthropic activities, industry research, and more, and The Imaging Alliance will continue to support acclaimed initiatives of both associations. These include PMDA’s “Portraits of Love” series, providing professional photographic services to those in need; and PMDA’s “Saluting Photographers Who Give Back,” an annual event celebrating photographers who use their talents, passion and the power of imaging to help others.

The alliance will offer primary and secondary research reports and findings to its members, as PMAI has done in the past; leverage PMAI’s existing and significant web content; and continue conferences such as the acclaimed PMAI “Innovation Now” industry summit.

“We are seeing a shift to new technologies, like virtual and augmented reality and a host of new applications from both new entrants as well as familiar market players,” said Mullinax. “As The Imaging Alliance, we can embrace this revolution with an industry association that reflects and meets the needs of all participants.”

Current PMDA and PMAI members, in good standing, will automatically become members of The Imaging Alliance for the remainder of 2016. The Imaging Alliance is openly soliciting new members from the growing spectrum of companies offering hardware, software, online services, and applications as well as from retailers, photographers and media representatives who service the imaging industry.

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