Hello Texas Channel Section ISA members!
It is my honor to send you this message as your President for 2020. I trust everyone had a merry Christmas, and on behalf of the entire board of directors, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2020.
I have been a member of ISA for 30 years. In the fall of 1989, I joined ISA and became associated with the Texarkana Section (no longer active). A senior colleague at International Paper Company (Mark Dellinger) put it to me like this: “This is a condition of employment. ISA is the professional organization that supports instrument engineers all over the US – and you will not be able to grow as an engineer as fast without them”. Of course, I did – and to this day I believe what he said was right. Although 30 years have passed, and the world is different in so many ways, what he said still rings true: ISA membership fosters growth in so many ways. How? Well, there’s the obvious – technical growth is the meat and potatoes of the society. But what else?
I believe that being an ISA member has helped me be a better leader, improved my listening skills, presentation skills, and negotiation skills. It has helped me to be a better mentor and a better Project Manager. But well beyond that, it has also helped me grow in more personal ways. I have made so many friends through ISA – strong, lifelong friendships that will endure to the day I die. And some of those friends can no longer even be defined as mere “friends” – over the years they’ve become more…they’re family. I have also come to understand the impact that a group of committed individuals can have when they work together to change the lives of those less fortunate. Collectively, the members of the Texas Channel Section have helped to teach so many people “how to catch a fish” – and provided the means to help others through scholarships. The impact on the lives of scholarship recipients is immeasurable – and its impact on me personally is just indescribable. It’s the feeling you get just knowing that you helped make a difference in someone else’s life. The joy it brings is infectious and addictive. Help 10 people one year, and that just won’t do the next. You find that you want to help 100 – or as many more as possible.
I wish every company had mentors like the one I had – that pushed younger engineers to become members. But in this digital age, it’s just not as prevalent as it once was. Even as our membership has become a bit stagnant, for 2020 and beyond, I believe we have strong leaders committed to the work necessary for improving it.
On April 28th of this year, ISA will celebrate its 75th year of existence. For all the reasons above and many more, ISA will never be able to “finish”. The “mission” is ongoing and will be there for those that seek to volunteer as members for generations to come. Our most critical mission now is to embrace our ever-changing world and help pave the way for those stepping up in the next 75 years.
If you are not a member, and you are reading this, please consider being a part of our family. We are a society of men and women dedicated to the future. Come be a part of it, and help us make that future brighter.
President – ISA Texas Channel Section