The PVC Geomembrane Institute - Technology Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign hosted their Annual Membership Meeting on June 20-21, 2002 at UIUC. A quorum of members were present including Layfield Group, Environmental Protection, Inc, Canadian General Tower, Texas Research Institute, Colorado Lining International, Plastic Welding Technologies and members of the PGI-TP Staff at the University. President Patrick Diebel of Canadian General Tower presided over the meeting.
Agenda items for the meeting included an executive summary, financial reports, marketing and public relations updates, review of the PGI 1197 specification for geomembranes, PGI research updates and introduction of new members. Much time was spent discussing the future direction of the organization.
"We have been active promoting PVC geomembranes for nearly two decades," states President, Patrick Diebel, "determining our efforts and strategies for the future was a key component of our annual meeting this year."
The members discussed increasing marketing activities in order to "get the word out" on the strengths of PVC geomembranes. They hope to accomplish this through increased research at the University level, increased marketing and advertising efforts and increased Internet presence. The new PGI Website, www.pvcgeomembrane.com  - to be launched later this month, is an integral part of the PGI efforts in the upcoming year.
"Our goal has always been to aid engineers and specifiers," states Diebel. "Now we can make the information we have on PVC geomembranes more accessible to them via our website. Through our research and the database of technical files we have online now, engineers will find our site worth using."
Online short courses are also a part of the enhanced website features. According to Diebel the PGI Short Courses aim at teaching the engineering population about PVC geomembranes. There are two short courses available online now and more are scheduled to be taped and posted throughout the summer.
"I believe that with our exciting research and all of our new efforts, the PGI is going to have a great year. Our membership base is expanding and we are beginning to really see some exciting things happening with PVC geomembranes."