ISA welcomes new president

Jan. 12, 2011
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, Jan. 12, 2011 -- The International Society of Automation (ISA) welcomes H. L. "Leo" Staples as its 2011 president...

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, Jan. 12, 2011 -- The International Society of Automation (ISA) welcomes H. L. "Leo" Staples as its 2011 president. Staples opened the year with a call-to-action to all ISA members to dedicate themselves to a high level of involvement in, and collaboration among, their sections, divisions, and the Society. "We have exciting, yet tough, challenges ahead of us, just as any great association does," he said. "I believe that, with passion, dedication and focus, we can meet our new goals and create a very bright future for ISA."

Describing his vision for ISA for 2011, Staples cited four challenges identified by ISA's Strategic Planning Department that he wants the membership to focus on.

The first challenge is financial performance that would enable ISA to recover from the economic recession while setting the stage for long-term health and profitability. "Many ideas are on the table, from improving revenue from existing products to development of new product lines," Staples said.

The second challenge is to evaluate the effectiveness of ISA's current Society governance model, and, where appropriate, make changes. "Even though changes had been made in the past, our leaders knew there was still a lot more work that needed to be done. A task force has already begun work on this evaluation process. Our members will be hearing more about it as we move into the year. I ask for their support in validating, endorsing, and implementing the work of this governance task force," he said.

The third challenge for the Society is to strengthen the ISA family. "A strong ISA family consists of a dedicated group of volunteer leaders working together, sharing a common vision, and operating within a governance structure that fits the organization," Staples said. "We need to maintain a strong value proposition so we can keep the ISA family strong, so we can attract new leaders for the future, and so we can develop and engage tomorrow's automation professionals," he added.

Staples wants ISA to refine and enhance workforce development programs and give sections and divisions the tools they need to implement these programs into their existing activities. He suggested that many of the tools can come from strategic partnerships, such as the affiliation ISA has with inventor Dean Kamen's FIRST® organization (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

The fourth challenge Staples presents ISA membership with is to embrace technology. "We have a task force that is evaluating technology and investment priorities that will allow us to expand social media and provide an enhanced experience for virtual attendees of events, functions, and courses -- so we can expand the audience we reach," Staples said. He encourages all members to take advantage of ISA's movement into social networking by participating in the many online opportunities that already exist and new ones to be offered in the future.

"As ISA's newest president, I look forward to working with our membership as we address these four challenges. It will take dedication and focus from members at all levels…and I know we can do it!" he concluded.

Staples has been an ISA member since 1989 and a Fellow since 2009. He is a member of the Greater Oklahoma Section. He has vast experience in section, district, department, division, and Society activities, including serving as district vice president and chair of the Council of District Vice Presidents and three terms on the ISA Executive Board as Society treasurer. Staples is an active participant in ISA's Power Industry Division and has authored and delivered several papers at various symposia. He recently published his first book through ISA, Project management: A Technician's Guide.

Staples is a compliance management leader at Power Supply Division, Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E). He began his career with OG&E in 1978 at the company's Horseshoe Lake Power Plant. He is a Level III Certified Control Systems Technician® and a Level IV Senior Engineering Technician-Industrial Instrumentation through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). He earned an Associate's degree in electrical engineering technology from Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma, USA, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

About ISA
Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation ( is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of the Automation Federation (