In just 16 days the MCAA staff will stuff ourselves into the Esher truck and head down to Charlotte for the 2014 Industry Forum. As we are rolling down I95, MCAA is absolutely on a roll. As of this week, we have hit the 150 member mark and we look to add at least 10 more companies before the end of this year. While our ultimate goal remains a dream, its not unrealistic to think of this Association at the 200 member mark before this Association Exec retires in four years! Speaking of “roll” (rock and roll that is), LET IT BE!

When I first started with the old Scientific Apparatus Makers Association back in 1978, the predecessor to MCAA, the Process Measurement & Control Section had 27 member companies. A lot of them have different names now (Rochster Instrument, Moore Products, Masoneilan, Taylor Instruments, Foxboro … I could go on). From 27 to 150 … its quite a change. Our meetings attracted about 30-50 people. This year in Charlotte we will have a record 200+ attendance!

And this Association is not just growing in numbers, as impressive as they are. The Board of Directors is committed to making MCAA the resource for everything related to our industry from facts and figures (historical and forecast), benchmarks, services, training and the voice for manufacturers and distributors of process automation and instrumentation. We’re looking at how we can add credible analysis to the data we collect to broaden its usefulness. We’re looking at developing a toolkit and roadmap for companies to help themselves locally in the quest to attract talent to our industry. We’re finding ways to engage other stakeholders in a meaningful dialog about the way that our products get tested and certified as they must for the uses to which they are put by our customers.

We’re also pushing out the MCAA brand with more vigor by capturing our actions in more press releases which our friends in the trade press are placing in their publications to help tell about the work that we are doing. We’re also creating more chatter on the social media and we’ll be rolling out some new videos (captured at the meeting in Charlotte) to put on our YouTube channel. You’ll be seeing more about MCAA everywhere you look, we hope.

These are important new–and big–steps for our growing organization. Having a larger membership gives us the ability to make these big steps and, we believe, will result in even more growth and even more useful tools and resources for every member.

We’re on a roll as we roll into Charlotte. I hope yours will be one of the faces I’ll be seeing there on May 18.