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In the spring of 1934, nineteen persons associated with the paint industry met at the Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, to discuss common problems of a non-proprietary nature. Due to the success of the first meeting, attendees decided to reconvene the following year and to expand the program to a two-day format. The organization resulting from these early meetings became known as the "Southern States Federation Associates." Mr. E. B. Corden of the Magic City Paint and Varnish company of Birmingham served as chairman for both the 1934 and 1935 meetings. The membership quickly grew to include delegates from Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Dallas area members formed their own society in 1937, and the Houston area members followed suit in 1943. In 1952, sectional meetings on a monthly basis were initiated in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, and the High Point Greensboro area sections followed suit wishing to increase member interaction and to decrease their travel requirements. In 1959, the group meeting in the High Point Greensboro area broke away from the Southern Society to form the Piedmont Society. Currently, the Southern Society has sections in Atlanta, Central Florida, the Gulf Coast, Memphis, Nashville, and South Florida.

A member of the original Birmingham group, Edwin L. Gott, later took a national leadership role when he became President of the Federation (now FSCT) in 1944-1945. Other FSCT presidents from the Southern Society to date include: Raymond C. Adams 1950-1960, James E. Geiger 1988-1989, and the first female president, Darlene R. Brezinski 1995-1996.

Historically, the main goal of the Southern Society has been to provide technical assistance and educational activities for its members. A major technical effort of the Southern Society was the development of exterior primers for southern yellow pine lumber, which was considered "unpaintable wood" by many paint manufacturers. This effort was conducted during the years from 1941 to 1953 at Georgia Tech. In the early 1950's the society sponsored coatings courses at the University of Florida and the University of Alabama. The Southern Society also participated in the FSCT's pure compounds project. This research was conducted at the University of Chattanooga. More recently, the Society has contributed considerable financial support for equipment and scholarships in the Department of Polymer Science at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

In 1974, the Southern Society hosted the FSCT Annual meeting and Paint Show in Atlanta, the first such meeting held in the South.

Materials for this article were compiled and provided by Thad Broome, historian for many years for the Southern Society. As a result of Broome's efforts, the University of Southern Mississippi Archives has established a Southern Society for Coatings Technology Historical Records Collection. Persons contributing materials or using this Collection for research should contact the USM archivist.

SSCT Past Presidents

1934		E. B. Cordon
1935		R. A. Perry
1936		E. L. Gott
1937		A. P. Mills
1938		E. M. Fairborther
1939		Hugh Allen
1940		P. C. Kollie
1941		W. T. Hallman
1942-1943	C. C. Meadars
1944-1945	I. J. Dyson
1946		D. E. Dick
1947		R. C. Adams
1948		J. J. Hughes, Jr.
1949		W. E. Hood
1950		W. A. Smith
1951		A. E. Vebyla
1952		J. Robert English
1953		F. W. Frew
1954		M. J. Catena
1955		D. D. Wyatt
1956		Parker W. Layman
1957		Ross S. McKenzie
1958		C. B. Thomas
1959		R. B. McGoogan, Jr.
1960		Clyde P. Schlesinger
1961		Herman Fritz
1962		P. S. Tully
1963		C. H. Jocoy
1964		W. S. Houck
1965		Hugh W. Lowrey
1966		H. E. Owens
1967		Calvin Chunn
1968		Billie Williams
1969		C. Dean Wagner
1970		Harold Goslen
1971		Robert F. Hall
1972		George T. Erwin
1973		J. Tommy Robertson
1974		John F. Kenney
1975		Bobby D. Moore
1976		Thomas E. Marek
1977		Berger G. Justen
1978		A. Roy Neal
1979		A. L. Hendry
1980		Thad T. Broome
1981		Frank D. Rector
1982		Dan M. Dixon
1983		William G. Early

1984		James E. Geiger
1985		Salvatore G. Sanfilippo
1986		Ronald R. Brown
1987		C. Lewis Davis
1988		R. Scott McKenzie, Jr.
1989		Ken W. Espeut
1990		James Donnelly
1991		Vernon Sauls
1992		Billy Lee
1993		Mary A. Finnegan
1994		Jeff Shubert
1995		Robert Wayne West
1996		Walter Naughton
1997		Eve V. Irvine
1998		Greg Scharfetter
1999		Dale KenKnight
2000		Harry Davidson
2001		Steve Halliday
2002		Steve Halliday
2003		Pat Goodhew
2004		Jeff Smythe
2005		Mike Kellogg
2006		Randy Shubert
2007		Stephen Cooper
2008		David Roth
2009		Lloyd Beale
2010		Randy Waldman
2011        	Terry Barrett
2012		Ursula Thomas
2013		Kip Sharp
2014		Eric Robbins
2015		Rick Diener
2016		Mark Staack


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