Record-setting attendance, outstanding speakers and a high level of energy marked the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) 2012 Executive Conference held recently in Scottsdale, (AZ USA).
Opening keynote speaker Alan Beaulieu, economist and president of the Institute for Trend Research, told the group that the U.S. is in solid economic recovery, despite the public’s perception that the country is in a recession.
“All leading indicators are up, a clear indication of economic health,” Beaulieu said. “Manufacturing is picking up speed and interest rates are going to stay low.” He predicts that interest rates will stay low for another year, stimulating borrowing and economic growth through 2013.
While Beaulieu is optimistic about the near term, he forecasts massive inflation ahead and “terrible” times in the 2030s, when entitlement programs for the retiring Baby Boom generation will deplete reserves.
Also during the opening plenary session, Jeff Miller, Interstate Control Systems, announced the release of the fourth revision of the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks Manual. Miller, who chairs the Best Practices Committee, said the latest revision includes a new section for best practices in service and support and a restructured section related to marketing, business development, and sales and opportunity management.
During the association’s business meeting, Stephen Goldberg, Matrix Technologies, Inc., chairman of the CSIA board of directors, announced the association’s expanded mission to raise awareness of CSIA globally. Director Eduardo Acosta, Omnicon S.A., said efforts will be focused on Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil, India, Oceania and South Africa.
Three individuals and one company were recognized with awards at the conference. Ed Diehl, Concept Systems, Inc., received the Charlie Bergman Award for service to the organization. Craig Eidson, Optimation Technology, Inc., and Keith Harris, Lord & Company, Inc., were named CSIA Rising Stars. Software Toolbox received the Partner of the Year Award.
Integrator and partner members and their guests totaled 472 for the three-day event. Conference attendance has grown 32 percent in the past three years. Overall, membership has increased nearly 28 percent since 2009, with 400 companies representing 27 countries.