Happy New Year! A little harder to express these sentiments this year, isn’t it? I’m not going to sugarcoat things; it’s been a tough two years for IISE and for everyone. But hey, we’re all still standing. We’re still here, serving the profession. And for that, we should be proud.
And if you’ve been paying attention to what goes on around IISE, our magazine articles, podcasts, webinars, conference sessions, Connect … then you know what a difference industrial engineers have made in the world over the past two years. At a time when the world needed us most, ISEs have delivered. And made things better.
The best part of working at IISE is the opportunity to highlight the great things ISEs are doing around the world. It makes me proud of the profession I chose many years ago as a student at Georgia Tech. Now, early in 2022 (our third pandemic year!), IISE’s members and customers continue to forge new paths in these transitional times – helping organizations reassess, reinvent and thrive.
IISE is thankful to represent a strong, forward thinking and solutions-oriented profession. We’re grateful for the ongoing commitment and support of our amazing leaders and volunteers. Let’s review and rejoice in just a few of the things we’ve achieved together.
Through the swift actions and hard work of volunteers and staff, IISE was able to deliver postponed conferences in 2020 on virtual platforms we had never used before. And we held them again some mere months later to greater success in the winter and spring of 2021 on the same platforms. IISE chapters worldwide continued meeting virtually, with many now back to in-person or blended forums, along with our university regional conferences offering a robust schedule of blended in-person and virtual events this year.
And for the first time in two years, the Lean Six Sigma and Data Science (LSSDS) Conference, led by IISE's Operational Excellence Division, was successfully held in Atlanta last fall. It was a pleasure to be in-person again. One LSSDS attendee Melissa Rosado, a senior research analyst, expressed to ISE magazine how great an experience it was to be among people again. “Virtual is great – there’s been so many technologies and techniques that everyone has learned being remote – but there’s always going to be a need to be able to network and be able to be in contact with people. Being able to do it in a safe environment, and be able to share what’s been going on in the industry during the pandemic has been a great experience.”
As we move into IISE’s 2022 conference season, our healthcare, applied ergonomics and Annual conferences are lined up over the coming months as in-person events with digital registration options. For those attending in-person, safety protocols are in place for each event as referenced on the conference webpages. Our attendees’ and staff’s health and well-being continue to be first and foremost in our priorities and you will witness this when you attend these events.
Our volunteer leaders, led by the IISE Board of Trustees, continue to define direction and set strategies for IISE aimed at helping industrial and systems engineers be better at all they do. Our Board met last fall and set dynamic goals for IISE in many important areas. These goals include boosting student transition to professional membership status, increasing global partnerships (see more in my last message Your Institute on the Move – International, In-Person and Online), focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of IISE performance, establishing a virtual learning hub, investing in thought-leader agile events, implementing a new association management system with better data management and security functions (completed summer 2021), and more.
We’ll be meeting again in March to continue moving these initiatives forward. In the March meeting, we’ll have the pleasure of welcoming new officers chosen by our members in the elections that are going on right now.
I’ve only touched on a few of the accomplishments and goals achieved and underway by members and staff. Throughout the past two years and beyond, determination and ISE ingenuity never wane and will not do so in 2022. This tremendous drive that ISEs display powers IISE forward. Thank you for your dedication and your resolve to make the world a better place. ISEs truly do improve lives and bottom lines.
So, getting back to celebrating this exciting new year, it’s my pleasure to propose a toast. Here’s to being part of an organization that is filled with people who are making things better. That’s what we do. IISE’s Mission Statement says that we serve those who solve the complex and critical problems of the world. And we’ve never done it better than we’re doing right now. So, here’s to another year of making a difference. Nothing can be more rewarding. All the best in 2022 and beyond!
Don Greene, IISE CEO and 2019 IISE Fellow