Counting today, I’ve been the president and CEO of IPC for exactly three weeks. I’ve held back on my natural instincts to jump into action to spend time instead learning and listening. It has been very valuable. I received excellent comments from some of the members in my first week. I met with the staff directors and vice presidents and found that their commitment and level of experience far surpassed my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed “getting my geek on” and getting back to my engineer roots when I spoke with Dieter Bergman about all that he has and is accomplishing.
I had the privilege of participating in IPC’s Board meeting in early May. This is an organization and an industry with an amazing history and a future filled with opportunities. The meeting was truly a “drink from the fire hose.” The Board’s diversity, interaction and enthusiasm for IPC were very energizing.
At the Board meeting, we had an excellent discussion on IPC’s activities representing the industry on conflict minerals. This turned out to include the May 10 testimony of IPC Board Chairman Steve Pudles for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on the burdens for small to mid-size companies to comply with the expected regulations. IPC has taken a leadership role on this issue. Since the Securities and Exchange Commission has not yet issued the regulations, we are still pressing for measures that alleviate the burden on businesses such as a phase-in, an exemption for recycled materials, and a single reporting date. Citing conflict minerals as an example, the Board agreed that IPC needs to be a leader in anticipating and addressing the expected waves of global government regulations that will affect the companies in our industry.
The Board is keenly interested in promoting the global use of IPC standards and certification to make sure that all participants in the industry have a common language, a fair opportunity to compete and an expectation of quality. We discussed the importance of OEMs in the use of IPC standards and how we can improve our outreach within the supply chain. The consensus was that IPC has only started to scratch the surface of standards use and development worldwide and that more can and will be done.
Before the October Board meeting, we will update IPC’s long-range plan. The Board has given me a framework to concentrate on: member success, globalization, government relations and standards and certification. It’s going to be a great journey. We are going to set stretch “big hairy audacious goals” and work as a team to accomplish great things. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and plans with you as we start our work. Ready, set? Absolutely. I can’t wait to GO.
John Mitchell, IPC President & CEO
p.s. For those of you who responded so graciously to the announcement of my appointment with personal notes, thank you. I hope to reward your kindness and trust by my actions in support of our industry each and every day that I am fortunate enough to continue as IPC’s CEO. Keep those comments coming!