The Board of Directors met in Phoenix, Arizona in mid-March. Most of us from the east flew out of springtime snow storms to get there. It was wonderfully warm but we were inside spending important hours reviewing the previous strategic thinking efforts of other Boards. Except for staff, no one in the room had any historical knowledge of the plan devised 3 years ago. So these fresh eyes took a critical look at the Association’s Core Purpose (sometimes known as a Mission Statement) which has been “Bringing process control providers together to develop the resources they need to prosper.” It was a worthy purpose. But I think that the new Purpose (which could still get tweaked at future Board meetings) is a quantum leap forward to describe what we really want to accomplish in this organization. Now, MCAA’s Core Purpose is to unite process control solution providers to solve industry challenges. We’re not just getting together … we are going to make something happen.

But Hey! You know, I’m not getting any younger! I am four years from my espoused retirement date. My eye is on that finish line which will complete 40 years with this organization. And I have loved every minute of it so far but I can tell I am going to be out of breath when I run through the red tape at the end of the race! I should talk: MCAA has been around since 1944 so it is 70 years old this year. However, it is clear to me that the folks who are leading this organization have some visions of the future that involve a very active–and proactive–association.

There was a change–perhaps subtle, but certainly important–to the Association’s Vision (our Big Audacious Goal) which had been pretty agressive: MCAA will be the preferred industry forum for 70% of the process control providers. A little tweak that reveals that urge for action changed it to “MCAA will be the preferred industry advocate for process control solution providers.” It is clear that MCAA is nowhere close to the “Finish Line” … this organization is poised to move forward and to speak much more forcefully to address the issues, concerns as well as the data and benchmarking needs of its member companies.

I hesitated to tell the Board that they were asking a lot of a sexagenarian (Hey, guys, I’m not as young as I used to be!). These challenges are what keep us young and I, for one, anticipate looking back in four years (when the strategic thinking process that was begun in March can be measured and reviewed) with pride at many major accomplishments that are sure to position the Association for many years to come as the place where process control solution providers gather to solve industry challenges of all kinds.

But, hang on! I expect the ride to be wild!