Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (3M) thanked the carpet industry for its support of Scotchgard during a gala event held recently at the Northwest Georgia Trade Convention Center. The evening gala of food and music, which was presented under the theme "Some things get better with age," featured a live vocal performance by singer Natalie Cole.

After stressing their appreciation for the carpet industry's acceptance and support of Scotchgard, 3M officials announced that the company would make a $100,000 donation to Dalton State College to establish a degree program in business and technology.

In addition, the Protective Materials Division of 3M formally introduced its latest generation of Scotchgard protective products based on a new, more environmentally friendly chemical formula. The announcement followed the company's decision last May to phase out the old Scotchgard chemistry for carpet, apparel and furniture protection.

Tested extensively at the company's St. Paul, Minn. headquarters, the new Scotchgard has already been introduced to carpet mills across the country. The carpet producers have established plans to phase the new Scotchgard chemistry into their production schedules over the next six months. 3M continues to conduct market research within the industry in an effort to develop more effective point-of-sale materials for its retailers.

Looking toward the future, Mike Hanretty, vice president of the 3M Protective Materials Division, discussed the many new markets and opportunities the company envisions for the Scotchgard brand. "As our new chemistry gains wide acceptance for its high quality of protection and benefits to the environment," he explained, "we fully expect to extend the scope of the product line from carpet, furniture and apparel to wood, laminate and ceramic surfaces found in kitchen and bathroom areas."