This year has brought what I feel to be an exciting change for the members of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and PRISM International, the trade group representing the commercial records and information management (RIM) industry. That change came in the form of the merger of these associations under an umbrella organization known as the International Secure Information Governance & Management Association, or i-SIGMA.

When the merger was announced, Bob Johnson, CEO of NAID and i-SIGMA, said, “From the perspective of the marketplace, proper information and asset destruction is only one piece of the information management and data security challenge; this merger will create a unified mission.”

Christopher Jones of Thomasville, Georgia-based Secure Records Solutions, who became PRISM president when the merger was announced and also serves as co-president of i-SIGMA, said at that time, “As a merged entity, we will have a stronger voice with policymakers, regulators and decision-makers. Together we’ll be able to share resources to help grow our businesses. And combined conferences and events will grow our presence worldwide [and] that serves to reduce member costs.”

In this edition of Recycling Today’s annual Secure Destruction Supplement, I talk to Angie Singer Keating, president of NAID and co-president of i-SIGMA, about the completion of the merger and the benefits she expects members of NAID and PRISM to realize. While she is excited about the potential the merger represents, she also acknowledges that it’s important to honor the associations’ individual certification programs, NAID AAA Certification and PRISM Privacy+.

While the associations may have combined under one umbrella organization, they retain their individual identities. According to a Q&A regarding the merger on the NAID website, “NAID and PRISM International will maintain their brand identities after the merger. NAID member benefits and PRISM International member benefits are limited to their respective division members, including the use of the respective logos and access to the respective certifications and members-only sample document libraries.

“A NAID member who is in the RIM space should also be a PRISM member to obtain access to industry-specific resources and studies, such as the Standard Storage Agreement, the opportunity to join the mentoring program and to obtain Privacy+ certification and more,” the website explains.

For more on the expected benefits of the merger and NAID initiatives that Singer Keating and the association’s board are working on during her presidency, see page S5.