By Maryrose Sylvester, Chairwoman of the NEMA Board of Governors and President & CEO of GE Lighting
In the January issue of ei magazine, NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff posited three questions for membership to consider:
- Who are we now?
- What do we believe?
- Where should our industry be in 10 years?
I am pleased to offer some thoughts. But first, let me say it is my honor to succeed Don Hendler as Chair of the NEMA Board of Governors for 2016—our 90th year and a pivotal one for our industry.
As the world changes, and our industry with it, NEMA will by necessity evolve to keep apace. The Internet of Things (IoT) and the connectivity of consumer, commercial, industrial, and medical devices are good examples. Whereas in the past we have been the industry that made the components that generated, delivered, controlled, and protected electricity, now and in the future we add “connected” to that list of attributes. This is no small change, but it is one we must embrace wholeheartedly in order to grow as an industry.
This issue of ei is devoted to lighting, and in some respects it shows how the IoT is transforming this space. Each of the articles has unique insights, but they all rest on the genius of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Be it to revolutionized shopping (“Illuminating the In-Store Experience,” page 30) or sports viewing (“Shedding Light on Advanced LED Sport Lighting Technology,” page 32), the world is transforming before our eyes. It is the new face of lighting.
As we have done throughout our entire history, NEMA will continue to collaborate across all sectors to develop the shared knowledge necessary to advance our interests and those of our customers. We will deliberately move in the direction of systems standards to complement ongoing product-based ones. The convergence of digital and physical equipment allows for systems fortified with sensors, controls, and transmitters that capture data and communicate with other devices to facilitate living and working in new ways.
We believe in the future and our industry’s place in it. We embrace the notion that we have the presence, power, potential, and imperative to enact meaningful change for the betterment of our society.
As we reflect on the many accomplishments of our industry over the last near-century, we esteem the innovators and leaders who have enabled us to take the electroindustry (and our medical imaging partners) to the next level. We must be the group that drives change in the electrical world. This will require innovation at all levels, by companies big and small, component makers, and systems integrators. The same spirit and drive that literally electrified the world in the past is ours to build on.
Where do we wish NEMA to be—members and staff alike—in the coming years? Simply stated: out in front, adding value to our industry and our way of life. That will be our legacy when NEMA turns 100.
This piece was originally published in the February 2016 issue of ei, the magazine of the electroindustry.