From a press release from ISA:
* * * * * * * About ISA * * * * * * *
Founded in 1945, ISA (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Some commentary. First, this is one of the best statements of what ISA actually does that I’ve ever read. And I don’t even mind the inflating of the membership numbers (last real number I heard was 26,000).
What I find interesting and compelling here is that THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN THIS POSITIONING ABOUT MEMBERS, OR DIVISIONS, OR SECTIONS.
As I started saying about 1995 or so, ISA can certainly survive as a 501C3 (that’s the US Internal Revenue Service designation for not-for-profit educational foundations and similar charities) without any members at all. In fact, all they need to do is to send a simple letter to the IRS saying they are changing their status from a 501C3 Membership organization to a 501C3 Non-Membership one.
They’ll be treading a well-worn path already followed by the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Associates, and even the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, among others.
All ISA has to do is to get the members to give up membership at the Council of Society Delegates meeting and change the bylaws.
If this is the way things are tending, why not get it over with and put it on the agenda for this year’s CSD meeting in two weeks in Chicago?