Some thoughts on the future of professional organizations

Jeff Cawley from NWAsoft cc'd me on the following, and I thought I'd share it: To: IFT QAD Exec Committee, The issue of how keep IFT viable was a headliner at this year's annual meeting. As we discussed, the issue is not limited to just the IFT. In fact I would argue that the IFT expo is one of the more healthy ones going. Jim Pinto's current newsletter discusses the issue of professional society viability in the context of the ISA (Instrumentation, Systems, & Automation). I have clipped this section and inserted it below. I have also clipped some of Jim's links. Both Jim and Walt Boyes are good observers and commentators. I suggest we add their observations to our discussion. They have also been generous with their conversation and thoughts. I have CC'd them so you will have their emails if you wish to correspond. One of Walt Boyes' comments directly echoes comments voiced in our exec committee meeting: 'One of the biggest problems over the years, is that the staff has wanted (for obvious reasons) to run a business, while the volunteers have wanted a professional society.'