As outgoing president of ISA Hamilton Section, it is my pleasure to present a synopsis of our section activities during the past year. Below is a summary of a “year in review” presentation that I gave at the 2014 ISA Hamilton AGM on May 27, 2014.
The year 2013-2014 has been a busy year for ISA Hamilton Section.
In the past year we have put on the following member events:
- Sept. 24, 2013 – Tour of the Emerson Instrument & Valve Service Centre in Hamilton, Ontario
- Oct. 29, 2013 – Guest Speaker: “Tips for Getting your Projects Approved and Moving Forward” – Irene Deketele (Arcelor Mittal Dofasco)
- Nov. 26, 2013 – Tour of Sleeman’s Breweries in Guelph, Ontario
- Feb. 25, 2014 – Guest Speaker: “Automation PLC/HMI Generation Tool” – Bob Loncar (Halton Region) & joint meeting with the ISA McMaster Student Section
- Mar. 25, 2014 – Annual ISA Hamilton Expo trades how in Burlington, Ontario
- Apr. 26-27, 2014 – hosting the D13 ISA District Leadership Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario
- Apr. 29, 2014 – Guest Speaker: “An Overview of the ISA Standards Portfolio” – Graham Nasby, Eramosa Engineering
- May 23, 2014 – Annual Golf Tournament at the Chippewa Creek Golf Club in Mount Hope, Ontario
- May 27, 2014 – Annual General Meeting & Guest Speaker: “Overview of Flow Measuring Technology” – Ashok Saha (Endress+Hauser)
Overall, our dinner meetings were well attended with on average 20-30 people coming out to each one. The tours were a major hit with both of them being sold out. Our golf tournament was a sell-out with over 140 golfers, and our annual trade show was also well attended.
From both an external programming point of view and from an internal organizational perspective, the year 2013-2014 also marked a number of changes for our section.
We tweaked our dinner meetings and tours for 2013-2014. We decided to focus on a smaller number of higher quality plant/industry tours. For the 2013-2014 year, and for upcoming years, the section is going to be working hard to achieve a 50-50 split between guest speakers and plant tours. The valve shop tour in Sept 2013 and the Sleeeman Brewery tour in November 2013 were part of this new tour-focus for section programming. We also made a point to refer to our section events as “dinner meetings,” rather than “member meetings,” so that they sound more welcoming to both members and non-members. As always, our events are open to anyone who wishes to come as long as they RSVP beforehand.
In early-2013, our long-time volunteer Alice Kelly who had run our annual Expo trade show for over 15 years decided to step back. Alice kindly spent 2013-2014 helping hand over the reins to our new Expo chair Cheryl Menzies. Cheryl worked hard with her team, including assistant expo chair Joe Beggs, to put on a very successful 2014 Expo for us. We are pleased to have Cheryl and Joe on board to help with next year’s Expo on March 24, 2015.
The year 2014 also marked the transition of our golf tournament from long-time volunteer Bob Popek to Jerry Gelata. Bob had run our late-May golf tournament for many years, but he felt it was time to have someone else take on the role. Jerry Gelata, a past president of our section, quickly volunteered and took on the lead for our 2014 tourney. Bob worked hard to support Jerry, and gave him pointers along the way. Bob and his group of golf tournament volunteers also helped on the day of the tournament by providing some much appreciated manpower for setup/cleanup. Many thanks to Jerry, Bob and our volunteers for making our 2014 tournament successful with over 140 golfers. Jerry has kindly agreed to also run our 2015 golf tournament which will be held on May 22, 2015.
In 2013-2014, we also strengthened our ongoing relationship with McMaster University and Mohawk College. We held a joint dinner meeting with the ISA McMaster Student Section in February 2014, and in March 2014 we hosted a student poster competition at our ISA Hamilton Expo trade show for the 4th year design projects from McMaster’s B.Tech. (Process Automation) program. For the poster competition we provided 3 expert industry judges as well as prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranked student poster teams. We also continued our tradition of student scholarships for students in both the McMaster process automation and the Mohawk electrical control technology programs, with scholarship money being awarded in the Spring of 2014. Many thanks to Michael Bovenkamp for his hard work to continue to open doors between our section and the students at McMaster and Mohawk. We look forward to continuing to strengthen these relationships in coming years.
In January 2014, we launched a new section website at www.isahamilton.com. This was a joint project by long-time section webmaster Wally Nickel and section president Graham Nasby. Using the WordPress website platform, the pair spent 6 months developing the new website. The new website allows our section to reach out to our membership and promote section events even more. The WordPress platform also includes new features like a blog, an automatic event calendar, more pages, better placement for sponsor logos, and an easy way to post pohtos. The new website is also much easier for the section executive to update and maintain. The year 2014 also marks the last year of Wally Nickel as our webmaster, as he has moved to Sarnia, Ontario and will moving from the ISA Hamilton Section to the ISA Sarnia Section. We wish Wally all the best. On July 1, 2014, Graham Nasby will be taking on the role of Section webmaster.
The year 2014 also marked the retirement of Ken Hamilton from the section executive. Ken, who has been active in the section for over 30 years, spent the year testing a new computerized accounting system for the section, ensuring our corporate filings with the government were brought up to date, and setting up a new permanent PO Box mailing address for the section. We thank Ken for his many years of service, and his hard work as section treasurer from July 2013 to April 2014. Long-time member Jerry Gelata has now taken on the role as our current section treasurer.
On the social media front, new executive member Bob Loncar worked to further develop our web presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We look forward to continuing to work with Bob to develop these important communication methods.
In 2013 we also welcomed a new newsletter editor, Brent Killins, who quickly got to work with publishing our quarterly newsletter. Brent headed up our Fall 2013, Winter 2014, and Spring 2014 newsletters. The Summer 2014 newsletter (a year in review) is expected to be published soon. Brent has also most recently been elected as our incoming 2014-2015 ISA Hamilton Section President.
The highlight of our 2013-2014 year with ISA Hamilton Section was hosting the D13 ISA District Leadership Conference (DLC). As hosts to the Eastern-Canada leadership conference, we welcomed members from the Sarnia, Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton and Saguenay/Lac. St. Jean sections who gathered in Niagara Falls to learn more about the ISA as a society, network and receive leadership training. In all, over 30 people attended the conference and made new friends as part of the event. Planning a DLC is an 8-month long process, so many thanks to DLC Coordinator Brent Killins, section president Graham Nasby, and ISA District 13 VP Jeff Talbot for their efforts with hosting this year’s DLC.
Other items the section did this year included:
- Providing the 2014 ISA Hamilton Student Scholarships (scholarships to students in the McMaster University B.Tech Process Automation program and the Mohawk College Electrical Engineering Technology – Control program);
- Hosting a McMaster B.Tech 4th year student poster competition at our annual ISA Hamilton Trade Show;
- Sending delegates to the ISA’s international Fall and Spring Leaders Meetings;
- Posting regular blog posts to our website at www.isahamilton.com
- Providing advertising for local automation suppliers on our website at www.isahamilton.com
- Providing a social media presence to promote ISA Hamilton events on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Semi-monthly “eNews” email notification about our events to our opt-in email list with over 900 people on it
- Hosting Winter and Summer Socials for our volunteers, and a volunteer appreciation dinner after our annual ISA Hamilton Expo
- Providing networking opportunities at our Expo, Golf Tournament, Dinner Meetings/Tours and Executive Meetings
In closing, I would like to thank our 2013-2014 section executive for all their hard work during the past year. I look forward to working with all of you in again the future:
- President – Graham Nasby
- Vice-President – Maulik Shah
- Treasurer – Ken Hamilton (June – April), Jerry Gelata (April – present)
- Secretary – Jerry Gelata
- Program & Education – Michael Bovenkamp
- Expo Tradeshow – Cheryl Menzies
- Expo Tradeshow Asst. – Joe Beggs
- Golf Tournament – Jerry Gelata
- Membership – Shailesh Parmar
- Newsletter – Brent Killins
- Social Media – Bob Loncar
- Website & eNews – Wally Nickel
It has been a pleasure to be the VP, and then President, of ISA Hamilton Section for the past three years. As my term winds down to a close on June 30, 2014 and I move into the role of past-president and webmaster, I look forward to providing advice and support to the upcoming year’s executive. I wish our incoming 2014-2015 president Brent Killins all the best with what is an excellent group of people to work with.
2013-2014 President, ISA Hamilton Section