I’m proud to have served and worked with so many great people who display such remarkable levels of commitment, energy and talent. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that continues to develop and evolve to meet the challenges of the future. I’m proud to report improving operational performance as two of the Society’s top annual goals − growing both top-line and bottom-line financial results − have been achieved in 2013.
There’s also great satisfaction in knowing that ISA is making a real difference in solving some of the world’s most vexing challenges…in training workers for the high-skill, high-tech jobs of the future, in stimulating growth and innovation in manufacturing, in protecting critical infrastructure and citizenry from potentially crippling cyberattack, and in strengthening the ties of international cooperation.
Through its unmatched combination of standards development, education, training, certification, publications, technical symposia and conferences, ISA is uniquely positioned to help industry around the globe improve efficiency, profitability, safety, and security while helping automation and control professionals advance their careers.
In all operational areas over the past 11-plus months, ISA has built on its core competencies and has become a more resilient and future-ready organization.
ISA in 2013 reinforced its position as the source for authoritative automation standards and practices. The most compelling evidence of this can be found in the prominent role ISA and its sister organization, the Automation Federation, have played in assisting the U.S. government develop a national cybersecurity program. Given that the ISA-62443 series of cybersecurity standards apply to all key industry sectors and provide a flexible structure to protect industrial automation and control systems from cyberwarfare, they are regarded as essential components of any comprehensive cybersecurity initiative.
As is commonly the case, ISA’s leadership in automation standards paves the way for new ISA training offerings and publications resources. ISA in 2013 introduced a new advanced cybersecurity training course and a cybersecurity publications series, the ISA Cybersecurity Tech Pack.
In regards to ISA training, year-to-date open enrollment registration revenue is running 10 percent ahead of last year. Based on the significant financial success of two collaborative training events with the ISA Houston Section this year, ISA plans to partner with other ISA sections to offer training opportunities in other U.S. cities during 2014.
New applications for ISA’s Certified Control Systems Technician® (CCST®) exams are more than 30 percent higher than at the same time in 2012, and new applications for ISA’s Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) exams are more than 20 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
ISA will soon begin development of a new certification offering, the Certified Mission-Critical Professional (CMCP) certification program, as part of a U.S. government grant announced in 2013 to fund degree programs in “Mission-Critical Operations” at five North Carolina colleges. When available in late 2016, ISA’s CMCP program will test graduates on their skills and body of knowledge in industrial operations, such as automation engineering technology, advanced manufacturing, and cybersecurity of industrial control networks.
ISA continues to explore and develop new ways to provide its members and other automation and control professionals with the technical content they need to excel. For 2014, ISA will conduct eight technical division symposia, including two all-new events: the 2014 Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division Symposium and the 2014 ISA Process Control & Safety Symposium.
From an organizational standpoint, ISA in 2013 approved some significant changes to its governance structure. By taking these steps, ISA has become more responsive to the needs and expectations of its members.
As this remarkable journey for me comes to an end, I leave with great appreciation for the opportunity provided me, and for the dedication and contributions of ISA staff, members, and volunteers.
I also depart with the knowledge that ISA is more capable and well-positioned than ever before to capitalize on its diverse strengths and fully realize its immense potential.