Message from IPC President John Mitchell — A Night of Fame

One of the highlights for me at IPC Midwest this year was the attendance by a great number of IPC Hall of Fame inductees. Members are selected for the Hall of Fame for their high level of achievement, extraordinary contributions and distinguished service to IPC and industry over a long-term basis. These are individuals who have molded and shaped the electronics manufacturing and printed board industries over the years and in particular have made a significant impact upon IPC and its membership.

Many of these Hall of Fame (HoF) members were present to open IPC’s Midwest Conference and Exhibition at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning.

In addition to honoring us by participating in the ribbon cutting to open our event, the HOF members joined me for a private dinner. These gentlemen included: Bob Swiggett (1979) founding IPC member; Ray Pritchard (1982) first IPC executive director and Hall of Fame Award namesake; Dieter Bergman (1985) expert in PCB design, technology transfer and standards development; Bernie Kessler (1991) raw materials expert and first chair of the Technical Activities Executive Committee (TAEC); Vern Solberg (2005) SMT pioneer and international standards committee work; Gene Weiner (2005) longest individual participation; Jack Fisher (2005) roadmapping guru for PCB and assembly industries; Bob Neves (2007) participation in more than 50 committees, IPC long-range planning and roadmapping; Don Dupriest (2010) TAEC chair and rigid board committee leadership; and Denny Fritz(2012) IPC standards and roadmap development. Several other Hall of Fame Award recipients responded positively to the invitation, but were unable to attend. I look forward to future opportunities to meet with them as well.

From left to right: Vern Solberg, Dennis Fritz, Don DuPriest, Jack Fisher, Ray Pritchard, Gene Weiner, Dieter Bergman, Bernard Kessler and Bob Neves

During the dinner, the general topic of discussion was to discover ways that IPC and our membership could better avail ourselves of this tremendous resource – the Hall of Fame members. Dieter Bergman described a key role of the Hall of Famers as that of ambassadors. As we discussed various ideas around what being an ambassador might mean for them and others, Jack Fisher pointed out that we had over 300 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing industry around the table. Bernie Kessler suggested that retired experts and long-time IPC contributors should be encouraged to continue participating in IPC under an ambassador membership category. I thought that was a great idea and expect to propose this new membership category to our Board.

While it would be difficult to capture the many topics that were discussed at that dinner, let me highlight a couple of themes that have and will continue to guide me as I think about how to make IPC an even greater benefit to our membership. First, the comments always seemed to return to the idea of what we might be able to do to improve the industry. No easy challenge for sure, but a worthy goal to not only talk about but put some plans into action. Another theme that seemed to resonate with the group was enhancing our roadmapping capabilities to better guide the industry and prepare those involved for the predicted futures. There was an interesting discussion about local business growth opportunities within the global mission of IPC. Since we succeed when our members succeed, this discussion has remained with me for implementation in the future.

Overall, it was a great opportunity for me personally to learn from these giants of the industry. I was impressed with the depth of passion and the perceptiveness that these individuals maintain about the industry even though some had retired more than 20 years ago. I look forward to integrating their ideas as well as their presence in IPC programs moving forward.

One Comment

  1. Dennis Fritz
    Posted September 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    It was also our pleasure to meet with you over dinner.
    Thanks for you analysis of where IPC is today, and where you wish to take this great organization in the future. We all hope we can be good ambassadors for IPC in the future.

    Denny Fritz

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