Adieu, Adios, Farewell

It’s been some time now since I was first asked to organize and manage CSIA’s 1999 conference scheduled for Clearwater, FL. The association was searching for a new Executive Director and I agreed to postpone my retirement until they could fill this post. Time sure flies when you’re having fun.


It’s been some time now since I was first asked to organize and manage CSIA’s 1999 conference scheduled for Clearwater, FL. The association was searching for a new Executive Director and I agreed to postpone my retirement until they could fill this post. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. Next year’s conference in Savannah, GA will be my 10th year with this great organization, and it’s time to pass the baton and move on.

This past decade has been like frosting on the cake for my career, starting with General Electric in instrumentation/automation for 20 years, and now spanning a half century working with some of the most dedicated, talented, and personable people on this planet. I find it difficult to fathom why we have a shortage of people entering the engineering profession, when it opens up such a wonderfully diverse world of challenging and exciting opportunities.

The Control System Integrators Association is now actively engaged with ISA and other engineering associations to get this message out to prospective college students. Hopefully we’ll steer them away from the dull careers of dentistry, law, finance and politics, and the traditional majors of psychology, history, music, and art. If we can pique their interest in science, we might just succeed.

CSIA has come a long way since its founding in 1994, starting with a small group of control system integrators and now numbering some 260 integrator firms and 55 partner companies as association members. And, now that we’re actively recruiting new members, we expect to have some 400 integrator companies shortly within our fold.

From the beginning, our crusade has been to “improve the business skills of our members and to communicate the resultant benefits to the broad business community.” With our landmark “Certified Member” program, we continually strive to raise the bar on the professionalism of the control system integrator industry. Our major partner members acknowledge this by insisting or encouraging their top integrators to become “CSIA Certified.” More and more users are searching for certified members, and scanning the Control Engineering Automation Integrators Guide for the CSIA logo. Our members themselves espouse the benefits that the certification process brings to their businesses.

So, all told, I’m departing on a high note. The only sad refrain is that I won’t be seeing or working with so many of you who have become valued associates — and, more importantly, real friends.

Author Information

Norm O’Leary can be reached at 800-661-4914, or at .

News and Events

CSIA is in its second decade of helping better system integrators become better business managers, and has members in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia. In fact, the group recently certified its 100th member: Control Technologies, Inc. (

Craig Pair, president of Control Technologies, said “CSIA is the premier benchmarking organization in the control system integration industry. Recognition as a Certified Member is a testament to our dedication to meeting customer production needs with proven integration expertise. It is another reason why our clients trust us to provide the leadership necessary to guide them through the risk associated with automating their systems and processes.”

CSIA’s annual Executive Conference was held April 26-28, 2007 in Santa Fe, NM, and was rated outstanding by the 300+ attendees. The 2008 conference is scheduled for May 1-3 in Savannah, GA.

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