Amidst waves crashing against the rocks, on a hill overlooking the sea, stands a lighthouse, its light guiding every passing ship.
At a resort right next to it, lighting professionals from all over the country came together recently to share their knowledge on the latest developments in the field of illumination. It was the annual congress and general meeting of the Illumination Engineering Society of South Africa (IESSA), held from 15 to 18 May 2016 at Cape St. Francis Resort.
Finding ourselves in a relatively remote location, with no or limited cell phone reception, networking was at its best!
The newly-elected council’s vision started to take shape through conversations during this congress. Most of our nine-member team are relatively new to council, yet all levels of experience are represented: from young professionals to established lighting specialists and retired fellows (click here to meet the team).
The strength of this council lies in its diversity of views and competencies, which are brought together by common values of performance, dedication and a passion for our society. We are strongly committed to define new ways of deriving membership value in consultation with IESSA members, and to deliver these. In order to do so effectively and efficiently, it is necessary to modernise the manner in which IESSA operates.
Therefore, our first priorities include implementation of additional IT systems for a more interactive website; to provide online member access to documents and to close the gap between members in different geographical locations; enhanced communication with members through the various media; ECSA registration; strengthened liaison with similar associations; improved access to and guidance in applying local and international lighting standards; increased and more varied membership, and further entrenchment of corporate governance principles.
I am honoured to serve IESSA as president for the next two years. I am supported in this function by the vice-president, Alex Cremer, an excellent strategist with exceptional interpersonal skills, and past president Rob Henderson, with his wealth of technical knowledge and experience in illumination engineering.
My sincere intention is to lead a professionally-run organisation characterised by integrity and guided by three main principles: transparency, accountability and solidarity.
Transparency facilitates inclusivity and collaboration. It will be achieved by real-time sharing of all information relevant to our members and by regularly asking for members’ feedback.
Council members are elected by and are therefore accountable to the members as specified in the IESSA constitution. Success will be measured against objective and measurable performance targets, and reported on regularly.
As the mouthpiece for the lighting industry of South Africa, solidarity among our members is important. This will be enhanced by encouraging member participation in all activities and decision making processes, increased membership value, and ultimately by having a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
The IESSA council is committed to working with you to achieve our goals and we welcome you to the journey.
As Becky Jennings writes in her poem, “The Lighthouse”:
May we be diligent and true,
Dedicated to the right
And like the stalwart lighthouse stand
A beacon in the darkest night.
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