Everyone is feeling the weight of extra duties and it's fairly easy to understand why industry associations need to push harder than ever to elicit critical participation from membership at conferences, shows or board meetings.
Sure, it's easy to bury your head into the day's tasks, never thinking past daily or weekly goals. But imagine the state of contamination control technology and practice if we didn't have those “stars,” those “thought leaders” who are willing to pull themselves away from the grind and go the extra mile to keep forward-thinking moving that way.
If it weren't for that small percentage who set the tone, there would be no IEST Working Groups, no SEMI tasks forces, no ISO chairman, no one to envision the standards or turn cutting-edge ideas into daily practice. I've been feeling the positive momentum generated by these catalysts first hand during my recent meetings with the numerous PDA conference committee heads. No one has twisted their arms to do this extra programming work, yet somehow they're slicing valuable pieces of time off their schedules.
You probably know their names. They're on conference schedules, their bylines are on articles in industry trades, and you're bumping into them in the halls at every conference you attend.
The extraordinary thing is that those industry leaders aren't immune to budget cutbacks or extra work loads; but they've opted to stay in touch with their organizations either by making the trip or getting “creative” in their means of communication.
While I've not mentioned any names, I would like to begin swinging the spotlight on these “movers and shakers” over the next several issues of CleanRooms. Last month, Associate Editor Mark DeSorbo did a Q&A with Nelson Lab's Gordon Ely, the newly elected VP of contamination control for the IEST and the latest member or our Editorial Advisory Board. In it, we were able to learn what motivates Gordon, as well as several of his key initiatives for impacting the IEST.
Over the next few months, I'd like to continue this Q&A series focused on movers and shakers, but I'd like to get our readers involved in choosing our hit list. Who are the people setting the pace of contamination control in the semiconductor and life sciences? Please drop me an e-mail ([email protected]) with your Q&A suggestions.
And do yourself a favor—for your career and your industry. Re-up that association membership and get to a conference or show this fall and winter.
Michael A. Levans