This past year I have tried to focus on two items, finances and web services. With respect to finances, the good news is that CIE/USA has just received word from Department of Energy (DOE) that it has been awarded a grant of $25,000 per year, renewable for 5 years, “to directly support the development of Standards and Test methods for Solid State Lighting (LED) products.” The tasks agreed to with DOE are to participate in the standards activities with other Standards organizations, participate in meetings and teleconferences as requested and provide expertise on technical aspects for standards development and other technical aspects of lighting. CIE/USA is to write monthly status reports as to what it has done to earn the grant.
I plan to attend the DOE SSL workshop following the IESNA annual meeting in Phoenix at the beginning of February, 2007, and any standards related meetings that DOE calls in Washington, DC when available. I have the approval of the Executive Committee to expend some of the DOE grant on travel and living costs related to these meetings. If I am not available then VP Carl Andersen will attend. It is also likely that Yoshi Ohno and/or Cameron Miller of NIST will participate as CIE/USA representatives. Thus CIE/USA will have to expend some of the grant to satisfy DOE. However it is my belief that about $20,000 of the $25,000 grant can be used to fund the operation of CIE/USA. The contract spelling out how the contract will be paid has not been finalized yet so no money has been received.
The CIE/USA website has been in need of redesign for some time. After learning of the awarding of the DOE grant I contacted our webmaster Rex Beckham and agreed with him on a contract to redesign the workshop. Rex has made an initial proposal for the web design. The theme will be the dispersion of light by a prism into the colors of the rainbow. These colors will be used thematically through the various sub-categories of the website. I will show the initial idea later in the meeting and get feedback for further changes. We are also in need of an appropriate home page picture to carry out the theme. I expect the cost of the redesign will be about $2,000.
Our treasurer, Jim Sultan, has created an account where we can receive payment via credit card. The on-line membership form has been updated to reflect capability of credit card payment. This should make it much easier for our membership, whether corporate, society or individual member to pay their dues. To keep the costs down we did not get the service that allows credit card payment directly through the website. Instead customers need to mail or fax their forms in with the credit card information and we can receive payment through a special phone call, given the credit card number information. We also agreed in the EC meeting on Wednesday that Tom Lemons can use the credit card capability to receive payment for CIE publications. That capability should enhance our publication sales. Thanks Jim!
Phil Wychorski, CIE/USA Standards Committee chair, has been very busy this year preparing documents for CIE/USA to become the ANSI TAG member that can vote on ISO documents created by the CIE-ISO agreement on standards. Through his connections we were established as an ANSI TAG without the normal fee payment. Assuming everything goes as planned we will provide ANSI a vote on an ISO/CIE standard before the end of 2006. Phil did this while retiring from Kodak and setting up his own LLC company. I certainly appreciate his efforts on our behalf; I believe it enhances the standing of CIE/USA.
Membership dues increases we voted on last year went into effect for the 2006-7 fiscal year beginning July 1st. It is too early to tell if the increases had any adverse effects on members participating. I have heard on complaints from anyone on the dues increase. As of the third week of October we have received $5,400 from Constituent Societies, $3,600 from Contributing Organizations and $5,570 from individual members. This is probably in line with budget expectations but we do need to follow up on contributing organizations and individual members. We also need to recruit new members, particularly organizations.
The coming year is my last year as President of CIE/USA. I look forward to representing the CIE/USA at the quadrennial CIE meeting in Beijing, China, next July. I hope to tell you about that experience at next year’s annual meeting in Ottawa.
Now that we have extra funding secured so that we are at about a break-even budget capability, we need to focus on increasing membership so that after the five years when the DOE grant runs out we can stand on our own financially. To do so we need to nearly triple our current membership. This is a daunting but doable task. I will focus my effort and that of the Executive Committee on doing what is needed to create an on-going member recruitment campaign during this coming year.
Members will not join unless we are convinced and can convince others that CIE/USA provides benefits that make it worth while for them to join CIE/USA. One piece of providing benefits is to clarify these for ourselves and others by developing written material (a brochure) that we can take or send to prospective members, particularly corporate members, asking them to consider joining. This brochure, coupled with our involvement in the DOE push on standardization in SSL, should provide a great base for recruiting new companies and individuals to join as well as retaining current members. With the completion of an up-do-date web site and credit card payment capability we also have removed previous impediments to members joining. I pledge myself to carry out this focus on membership recruitment in my final year as President. On the other hand I can’t do much just by myself. I need your help. Are you willing to join me in getting this done? Together we can make CIE/USA a vital and long-lasting organization supporting science and technical advancement in lighting.
Rolf S. Bergman, President
27 October 2006