• June 2022 – My Last Entry and Hopes for the Future – ISA St. Louis Section

    I was unsure what my last note would be as President. It really is hard to believe that the end of this term is already here. First off, I really want to thank everyone that had any connection to ISA St. Louis over the past two years, especially my fellow Board members. It was an honor to serve you all. I was fortunate to have a tremendous Board around me that helped us navigate the uncertainty the world threw at us. These leaders, some of which joined us recently, are going to help keep ISA St. Louis going strong well into the future. I look forward to supporting their work. I hope the effort and hard work we put in behind the scenes was appreciated by the membership. Before I move on, I’d also like to off a special thanks to all the program speakers and hosts that volunteered time out of their busy schedule. They helped deliver some great new content to the Section over the past two years (much of it up on our YouTube page).


    To be honest, I dreaded holding this position again. I wasn’t sure what the gameplan was going to be – no one had a playbook scripted for managing a volunteer organization in a pandemic. Heck, I didn’t even vote for me for this role! Of course, I ended up being elected. So, I went to work, spoke to the Board, some long tenured local members, and set out with the following goals back in July 2020:


    • Update our Bylaws to be in lockstep with the Society
    • Identify and grow new Section Leaders
    • Hold regular meetings and programs that engage an engineer’s natural curiosity
    • Improve our outreach to local companies and schools to share our resources as we are the local representatives of the organization that sets the Standard in Automation


    We can debate the success of those goals, but they are complete, and I do feel we are set up to continue to grow and improve our Section well after I hand the reins over to Mike Unterreiner and the rest of the Board on July 1.


    Now that the past is past, what about the future? Here are my hopes for ISA St. Louis in the coming years:


    • The St. Louis ISA Fellow Scholarship is a success, helping local automation students achieve their goals – Want to be a part of this? Check out our kickoff event here - Or donate here -
    • A new generation of leaders emerge. I was just 25 years old when I joined the local Board. The experiences I have accumulated serving the Section have done wonders for my career and I have made some great friendships along the way. Our Board offers tremendous, let me say it again, tremendous opportunities for anyone that wants to test or hone their leadership skills.
    • We get to have plant tours again. Selfishly, my favorite events have always been tours. I really missed these events that became impossible to schedule during the pandemic. One of my favorites of my past 15 years in the Section was the Trash to Energy tour out at Ameren’s Renewable Energy Center in Maryland Heights. Of course, the brewery tours are always great too!
    • Our student membership grows. We have a lot of great STEM related programs at tech schools, colleges, and universities in the area. I have faith that our renewed strategy to reach these students gives them access to professional contacts they otherwise would not have. With the support of Andre’ Warren and Mike LaRocca, we are certain to succeed here.
    • ISA St. Louis continues to be one of the leading Sections across the Society – growing Society leadership, supporting local thought leaders in automation, and sharing our practices with other Sections across the globe. One of the things that has always made me proud of our Section is when another ISA Section Leader would call me to get advice on how St. Louis does something. I hope Mike gets a lot of those calls.


    The end of my term is bittersweet. I’ll miss the chance to share my thoughts with you in this forum, and I hope you enjoyed my ramblings over the last 2 years. I am excited and thrilled to help support Mike, Andre’, Kevin, Hycintia, Nick, and Mike as the new Board settles in on July 1st. I am pleased to share that I will continue on, not just in the Past President role, but also continuing my involvement in Membership activities as we work hard to attract new members.


    Thanks again to all for your support during my term and we will see you at Tower Tee on the 16th!


    Cory N. Kniepp

    ISA St. Louis Section, President


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