• By Renee Bassett
  • October 05, 2020

Accomplishments and plans for professional success

Compiled by Renee Bassett

Whether they find ISA because they want to improve their skills, help others, advance their professional prospects, or some combination of all three, members are the heart of ISA—the International Society of Automation.

With almost 40,000 members around the world, ISA is a diverse and active community of professionals and aspiring professionals (students) who share the goal of creating a better world through automation. Professional Members come from 116 countries and gather (virtually, nowadays) in groups represented by 131 sections. Sixty countries boast Student Member groups, and thousands of Automation Community subscribers can be found in every region of the world.

For 75 years, ISA Leadership Members have been those who go the extra step to volunteer. The Annual Leadership Conference (ALC) was to have been the focal-point of in-person celebrations around this milestone 75th anniversary. But then came months of pandemic travel restrictions, remote connections via virtual meeting spaces, and social distancing requirements that made IRL (in real life) gatherings impossible. Suddenly magazines like InTech could fill a new role.

To give members at all levels and in all geographies a taste of the knowledge, stories, and history embedded in our membership, we reached out to past presidents, ISA Fellows, and regular rank-and-file members willing to reminisce and remember. In the following pages, you will hear stories, note a few names dropped, and get more than a little history. The shenanigans of the ALC will have to wait until next year, when the group plans to meet in Puerto Rico. That gives new members plenty of time to step up to leadership roles and make their own history.

Past presidents

1990: A stellar year of advancing the profession, by William Calder
1995: ISA’s 50th and the advent of ‘smart’, by Gerald Wilbanks, PE
1996: Standards activity starts in earnest, by Ronald B. Jones, PE 
2001: Taking action after the twin towers fell, by Robert M. Bailliet, PE 
2007: Workforce development, standards compliance, and more, by Steve Huffman
2008: Fully in the information age, by Kim Dunn
2009: From student games to Russia section programs, Gerald W. Cockrell, CAP
2012: Engaging the wider automation community, by Robert Lindeman
2014: Many changes, many firsts, Peggie Koon, PhD

ISA fellows

A practical history, James W. Harris
Don't leave gold nuggets behind, Ian Nimmo
Automation as a core business function, by Steve Huffman
39 years as a member of the Power Industry Division, by Dale Evely, PE

ISA members

Setting the standard for my life, by Harry J. Medley
Three eras of association, by Howard P. Zinschlag, PE
Get involved early and often, by Ashley Weckwerth

ISA milestones timeline

75 years of ISA presidents

1946 Albert F. Sperry*
1947 C. O. Fairchild*
1948 P. G. Exline*
1949 C. F. Kayan*
1950 R. J. S. Pigott*
1951 J. B. McMahon*
1952 Dr. Arnold O. Beckman*
1953 P. Hart*
1954 William A. Wildhack*
1955 Warren H. Brand*
1956 Robert T. Sheen*
1957 J. T. Vollbrecht*
1958 Robert J. Jeffries*
1959 H. C. Frost*
1960 J. Johnston, Jr.*
1961 Dr. Ralph H. Tripp*
1962 Philip A. Sprague*
1963 Nathan Cohn*
1964 Allen E. Lee*
1965 William A. Crawford*
1966 Dr. John G. Truxal*
1967 Alonzo R. Parsons*
1968 Harold J. Bowman*
1969 Dr. Theodore J. Williams*
1970 Thomas J. Kehoe*
1971 Douglas C. Strain, PE
1972 John T. Anagnost*
1973 H.T. Marcy
1974 W. S. Bloor*
1975 Walter A. Bajek*
1976 Naumann, Albert*
1977 John R. Mahoney, Jr.*
1978 Hugh S. Wilson*
1979 Dr. Norman E. Huston*
1980 J. R. Middleton*
1981 Darrell R. Harting*
1982 Louis G. Good*
1983 Dr. Leslie M. Zoss*
1984 Max J. Kopp*
1985 Marland L. Stanley
1986 Dr. Thomas J. Harrison*
1987 S. V. Weiss*
1988 Dr. Chun H. Cho
1989 Keith S. Herbst*
1990 William Calder
1991 Alan J. Robertson
1992 David N. Bishop*
1993 Howard P. Zinschlag
1994 C. B. Ives, Jr.*
1995 W. G. Wilbanks, PE
1996 Ronald B. Jones, PE
1997 Paul T. Arbuckle
1998 Hugh Roser
1999 Ron Dieck
2000 Perry Grady
2001 Robert M. Bailliet
2002 Piergiuseppe Zani
2003 Robert P. Ives
2004 Lowell E. McCaw*
2005 Donald W. Zee
2006 Kenneth R. Baker
2007 Stephen R. Huffman
2008 Kim Miller Dunn
2009 Dr. Gerald W. Cockrell
2010 Nelson Ninin
2011 Leo H. Staples
2012 Robert Lindeman
2013 Terrence Ives
2014 Dr. Peggie W. Koon
2015 Richard W. Roop
2016 James W. Keaveney
2017 Steven W. Pflantz
2018 Brian J. Curtis
2019 Paul Gruhn
2020 Eric C. Cosman

*Deceased

 

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About The Authors


Renee Bassett is chief editor for InTech magazine and Automation.com, and publications contributing editor for ISA. Bassett is an experienced writer, editor, and consultant for industrial automation, engineering, information technology, and infrastructure topics. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and is based in Nashville.