NPC Executive Director Chris Marcano
NPC Executive Director Chris Marcano

As its current executive director plans to retire, the National Plasterers Council has chosen to hire within the industry.

Chris Marcano, a 25-year industry veteran who most recently worked at BioLab, has taken the lead staff position. He replaces Jeff Henderson, a professional association executive who oversaw the NPC for a decade and will retire later this year.

Henderson’s company, Wauconda, Ill.-based association management firm The Sanford Organization (TSO), will continue to run NPC’s annual conference and handle other administrative duties.

With a transition imminent, NPC decided it needed a full-time executive director dedicated solely to the organization, where Henderson had managed multiple groups, said NPC Chairman Shaun Goldberg. While Marcano technically is employed by TSO, he only heads NPC.

Additionally, Goldberg said, somebody with industry history could more actively participate in and contribute to its priority projects in addition to performing administrative duties. This includes researching how recent increases in the amount of unfired limestone in cement will affect plaster products. The change is being made to reduce production requirements of cement and, as a result, the cement industry’s carbon footprint. NPC plans not only to conduct its own research, but also to partner with manufacturers and builders, and initiate testing by third-party labs.

On the education front, NPC hopes to expand the coverage of its courses. For instance it wants to present more start-up classes through partnerships with other organizations. Currently it holds such classes at Pinch-a-Penny locations, and it hopes to form other similar relationships.

“The idea is to broaden out our range, and Chris gives us a huge leg up,” said Goldberg, who is also plaster operations manager for Burkett’s Pool Plastering & Remodeling in Ripon, Calif. “He comes from the industry, he knows everybody in the industry, he’s very affable and smart. And he has the background that will carry us to the next level.”

With a degree in English and journalism from the University of Kansas, Marcano entered the industry on the retail side, serving as a store manager then regional trainer for Leslie’s.

He later joined manufacturer Natural Chemistry, where he worked 16 years, first as a regional manager then director of training and education. After BioLab acquired the company, Marcano took the role of senior director of sales, which he held for 5-1/2 years.

As a long-time member of the NPC, he has participated in several of its programs over the years. He has served on the organization’s marketing and education committees and as a co-host of the NPC podcast, “Smooth Finish.”

Marcano also has worked on education committees for the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and its predecessor association.

With his background in training and industry education, Marcano was drawn to this position, he said.

“One of the things I involved myself in as much as I could was education efforts within the industry,” he said. “There’ always a need for quality education, and there’s always opportunity there. That is one thing that I’m passionate about.”