GAM 2015.1: The Times They Are A-Changin’

As I have said about past PI North America General Assembly Meetings, this one was simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating.  Not to mention that there was a lot of news to share from the two-day event – news about PROFINET, PROFIBUS, IO-Link, Industrial Internet of Things, and Industrie 4.0.  And even in Arizona the Fall season brings changes.

The Welcome Reception the night before the meeting provided an opportunity to get reacquainted with some of our members and first-time-acquainted with some new members.  Speaking of membership, it’s at an all-time high of 161.  (That’s just for PI North America; the world total is 1,487.)

IMG_4116 (Custom)Mike Bryant announced the membership record in his opening remarks.  He also introduced the Board of Directors, PI staff, PI North America staff, PI Competence Centers, PI Test Labs, PI Training Centers, and speakers.

Mike announced that he is NOT retiring, but that he is transitioning the Executive Director role to Michael Bowne.  Mike will remain active as Executive Director Emeritus.  This is a move we have been planning internally for almost a year.  In fact, the transition began some time ago.  Michael replaced Mike as Deputy Chairman of PI (the international organization) last May.  I continue in the Deputy Director role that I have had for the last 10 years.  Although we are blissfully unaware of how this has happened, Mike and I have both aged… although Mike has me beat by a couple years.  It’s time we injected some youthfulness into the local and global organizations.  Michael is definitely the right guy at the right time in the right place.

Nothing is as sure as change.  And we think that our organizations name has run its course.  PI North America is not reflective of the technologies we promote.  Watch for an announcement of our new name and logo toward year’s end.

This was our 21st annual meeting and I have attended 20.  I missed one after leaving the Board of Directors while transitioning to a new position in Wonderware.  For the first 10 meetings, Mike Bryant was the meeting organizer; for the last 10, I had been the organizer.  This year kicked off Michael Bowne’s organizer run.

Next post will cover some of the strategy positions taken.

–Carl Henning