We’re now at the end of the year and the end of my term as ISA President. It is amazing how the time flies by. I still remember writing my first President blog post The Future of ISA is Now in January this year. I really enjoyed the experience of being ISA’s President. I learned so many new things. There were some challenges during the journey, but we learned good lessons during the process that will make us more successful in future initiatives.
I travelled and met many members from different Sections and Districts: Students, young professionals, senior professionals, leaders, and volunteers. I got inspired by so many members and volunteers and I think that I did my best to inspire other automation professionals, too. I worked hard to show that it is possible to grow ISA doing different and new things. The secret of our success this year was the great collaboration and the sense of trust between members, volunteers, and staff working together in the same direction. The direction is provided by our vision, mission, and our strategy. I can see a brilliant future for ISA in the coming years where we will continue working together to “create a better world through automation.”
2022 Strategy, Objectives, and Key Results
Overall, I’m delighted that—with one month still to go in the year—the majority of our 2022 strategic goals have already been met or exceeded. ISA members can always see the most current status on our key results on connect.isa.org—just look for the section marked “2022 key results” on the left sidebar. In particular, I want to share that we grew our membership numbers by 8% as of November 30—well above the goal of 2% we had set for the year. I want to congratulate our ISA staff team and executive director, Claire Fallon, for all their hard work!
I also want to congratulate each of you for your volunteer leadership. Every ISA member has a part to play in our Society’s success, and we are so grateful for your collaboration with one another, with the Executive Board, and with staff. We appreciate all the contributions you have made to the fantastic year we have had in 2022.
Early in 2023, we will publish the ISA annual report that will give greater detail on all of our accomplishments. In the meantime, I wanted to highlight some of the most exciting and impressive milestones that I saw this year.
New ISA Office
In August, we officially opened the new ISA headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, US, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was a great opportunity for me and many other leaders from our Executive Board to meet the ISA staff, many of whom we have only ever known virtually.
New Training Courses
Speaking of the new office, ISA headquarters has new training facilities fully equipped to deliver hands-on training sessions on cybersecurity, safety, instrumentation, and control both in-person and virtually. This year we launched several new initiatives:
- Digital Transformation training series
- Automation Project Management certificate
- Several microlearning modules on cybersecurity
In-Person, Virtual, and Hybrid Events
We continued our successful virtual event hosting model and opened events up to in-person attendance for the first time since the pandemic began. We’re going to continue to explore this model into 2023, always seeking out the most exciting event experiences for our attendees, like an immersion room that was featured at our Digital Transformation Conference in Houston in October and the virtual Digital Transformation Conference in Brazil. The latter was the first official ISA event in Portuguese (with simultaneous translation into English) and had more than 1,000 attendants from different regions of the world, showing that we’re really an international association.
The ISA Automation and Leadership Conference (ALC) last month in Texas was a tremendous success, with multiple simultaneous tracks and attendees participating both in-person and virtually. Members were so happy to meet in-person again and the energy and vibe of the event was amazing. I’d like to highlight that we had many members attending for the first time and a lot of diverse members, showing that our focus on improving our diversity and inclusion has been bringing results.
Additionally, we are so honored to have had Dr. Lauren Goodwin, Chief Information Officer of Johnson Space Center and WSTF, NASA as our keynote speaker. Dr. Goodwin was one of the first leaders to introduce automated expertise identification via data analytics, which throttled her global influence in the tech industry. As Chief Information Officer of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and White Sands Test Facility, she is accountable for enabling the technology, digital transformation, and cybersecurity of NASA’s mission for human space flight.
Did you know that ISA was even nominated for Eventeer Awards in three categories for our ALC event? We are so proud to have hosted a high-quality event that was exciting and educational for our members—whether they joined us in-person or virtually. Cast your vote for ISA in the following categories by 27 January 2023:
International Automation Professionals Day
This year, we came up with a great new idea to celebrate a holiday of our own invention, the International Automation Professionals Day! ISA chose the 28th of April for this celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the organization’s founding on 28 April 1945. We asked you to show your pride and post videos and photos of yourself working as an automation professional, wearing ISA apparel, or interacting with others in our community. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with over 200 posts on social media from members all over the world. We will be celebrating International Automation Professionals Day again in 2023!
Evolution of ISA Connect
I want to talk about how our members are connecting with our divisions, sections, and technical communities. I’m delighted that the new version of ISA Connect has been launched. This user experience is much improved, and we’re also rolling out division homepages. There is even an ISA Connect mobile app, so it’s easy to stay in communication wherever you are. ISA Connect is such a great tool for networking and knowledge sharing. If you have not signed up yet, I hope you will here.
InTech – Division Collaboration
The Smart Manufacturing & IIoT Division (SM/IIoT) worked with ISA staff to create the first-ever “division led” issue of InTech in August. It was a great opportunity for members and staff to collaborate to provide a holistic view of what’s happening in smart manufacturing. In addition, October featured the Mining and Metals Division writing the InTech cover story. I hope other divisions will follow this lead!
Thanks to the Executive Board
Finally, I’d like to thank my colleagues on the ISA Executive Board for 2022, who are shown here. I have been grateful for the opportunity to work with you and lead this Society alongside you. Thank you all.
Next year I will continue to serve ISA as your Past-President and will be working together with Marty Bince, 2023 ISA President, Prabhu Soundarrajan (President-elect Secretary), Rajesh Rathi (Treasurer), and Claire Fallon (Executive Director).
I also want to welcome the new 2023 Executive Board, who will be announced in January. Welcome Marty and Prabhu! I am thrilled to see what is next for ISA under your leadership.
Contact the President
I love to connect with our members and listen to their opinions about automation, what ISA is doing now, and what ISA should be doing to answer your needs. Please connect with me on ISA Connect, LinkedIn, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.