Welcome to your Section! As we start the new fiscal year, I am honored to be your president and hope to serve you with the passion and creativity to not only provide interesting and useful programming,
but to begin the process along with the rest of our very dedicated, and talented executive board of trying to find solutions to the challenges we continue to face as I stated in my previous letter to you.
These challenges are:
Diminishing Section membership numbers
Recruiting and preparing Section leaders
Steadily diminishing Section Treasury
First, thanks to you, we have a membership of around 140. While this somewhat of an improvement compared to where we were at the beginning of last year, the trend is still downward, since approximately
20% are active and attend one or more functions. Of course, one of the contributors is the challenges of how COVID-19 plays an active role in Section Programming. Several of our meetings last year had to be
canceled due to presenter unavailability.
This year, we have a full slate of technical programs planned. Due to changing industry trends and the fluidity of COVID-19, we will be conducting hybrid technical programs and board meetings, with a preference
for in person events, whenever possible. Some programs, i.e. tours, (which some of you have requested), may need to be delayed as needed. Additionally, in December, we will be re-introducing our Symposium to expand
outreach and enhance our society's vision and mission. This will be a large undertaking for what is planned to be an in-person event, depending on our advertisers and you, our membership, to accomplish this.
Please let us know if you are interested in joining our planning committee for this event.
The second part of the challenge is recruiting and preparing Section leaders. While we are all growing older, there is a significant portion of our membership that are in the late stages of their careers.
Very few of us, approximately 3%, identify as a Young Professional, being in the early to mid-stages of employment. One of the ways we can do this is to engage the Young Professionals in our Section and others
in the community who are not Section members to join, get involved, and bring fresh ideas to your Section.
Lastly, as a result of the first two challenges, we have a diminishing Section Treasury. While we are financially sound for the moment, there is only so much we can do from a budgeting perspective, including
managing necessary expenditures. If the trend continues, we risk falling out of good standing with our society.
What I've shared here are only potential solutions for these challenges that we continue to face. This will be a multi-year process full of creative thinking and hard decisions that will need to be made.
I, along with the rest of our board, look forward to sharing this challenge with you. We can't reinvigorate our Section without your participation and feedback.
Will you join us?
President, International Society of Automation, Cleveland Section
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and ongoing support of the Cleveland Section.