In early October, ISA held its annual Automation and Leadership Conference (ALC) in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. ALC proudly brought together a global audience of more than 220 automation managers, engineers and technicians who aim to stay abreast of trending industry topics focused on digital transformation, cybersecurity, and career skills.
“ALC is the automation event of the year,” said Marty Bince, ISA President. “It combines leading technical presentations with society meetings, standards meetings, training and career skills development opportunities, alongside multiple fun networking events. There is really nothing else like ALC."
Over the span of five days, ALC hosted a series of different events at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort including training, society meetings, a volunteer workshop, the conference itself, standards meetings, and a golf outing.
ALC even hosted a rodeo preceding the Honors and Awards Gala on a nearby ranch.
Each conference day began with a keynote address to standing-room-only crowds. ALC 2023 keynotes included:
- Mark Weatherford, CSO and SVP of Regulated Industries at AlertEnterprise and Chief Strategy Officer at the National Cybersecurity Center, who presented the session, "National Cybersecurity Issues and Workforce Development."
- Ru Schaefferkoetter, President and CEO at Trido Solutions, experienced ESG leader in GHG Accounting, GHG Reduction, and Carbon Market / US Army Combat Veteran, who presented the session "Unleashing the Potential of Carbon Credits: Strategy Monetization of Sustainability Initiatives, and How Automation Plays a Pivotal Role in Safeguarding the Integrity of the Carbon Credit Market."
Many of the ALC events were presented in a hybrid format for both in-person and virtual attendees. Local attendees and those who chose to travel were able to participate in face-to-face, live sessions, breaks, lunch, reception and tabletop exhibits.
A sketch artist was present, drawing his interpretation of the importance of the event in real-time. One example is seen below.
Vital technical sessions and access to an array of technical subject matter experts were offered from the US, Canada, the Middle East, Brazil, Spain, and India. Attendees also had to option to visit more than a dozen sponsor exhibitor booths with insight and information on the latest products and technology in the industry.
Honoring Our Community
ALC is also home to the ISA Honors and Awards Gala, an annual event to recognize excellence in the automation profession.
The 2023 event was held at the Flying W Ranch and included inspiring remarks from honorees alongside Western-themed entertainment.
Growing as a Society
During lunch on day one of the conference, ISA volunteer leadership and the ISA Executive Director, Claire Fallon, presented the State of the Society address.
During these remarks, ISA President Marty Bince gave an overview of accomplishments to date in 2023; Steve Mustard, ISA Treasurer, reviewed the Society's financial performance; Claire Fallon presented highlights from the 2024 strategic plan; and Prabhu Soundarrajan, ISA President-Elect, accepted the gavel from Marty to signal the start of his 2024 term in January.
ALC 2023 offered a Section and Division Volunteer Workshop, which was a very popular event. Over 90 current and future volunteers engaged in activities designed to co-create the most vibrant sections and divisions.
The ISA Automation & Leadership Conference is the reigning first-place winner in two categories at the annual vFairs Eventeer Awards: Best in Class Hybrid Event and Best Use of Mobile App. The event was also a runner up in the Best Use of Gamification category.
“The 2023 ALC was bigger and better than the 2022 one, with ISA’s training, technical and career skills tracks, and volunteer workshops all happening along with an awesome rodeo-themed gala and a golf outing. There really was something to inspire us all to help create a better world through automation," said Steve Mustard, ISA Treasurer and former President.
Photos and videos from ALC are available on the ISA Flickr album.
ALC 2024 will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, from 30 September to 3 October 2024.
This historic city is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, filled with culture, charm, and delicious food. The ISA Honors and Awards Gala will be held on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown, a World War II-era aircraft carrier. Definitely not something you get to experience every day!
"That’s part of what we love to do with this event," said Marty Bince during his State of the Society address at ALC. "We give you terrific technical content right alongside unforgettable and fun experiences."