The Instrument Society of America Northern California Section

The Northern California Section of ISA closed down in 2019. This site is a memorial to the great organization that served the instrument and control professionals in Northern California from 1945 until 2017.

HISTORY

Prompted by the tremendous increase in industrial activity in Northern California following world War II, several far-sighted individuals gathered in the Fall of 1946 in Roger Stanley's home in the East Bay to form the Northern California Instrument Society. Fred Miller was the first President, followed by D. J. Pompeo, Chester (Chet) Beard and, later, Roger Stanley.

Monthly Society meetings were first held at Pacific Gas & Electric's facilities in Oakland. The urge for dinner meetings took them to a then small place in Berkeley, Spenger's. Thanks to the Dinner Meetings, both the Society and Spenger's grew.

Shortly after the Society's formation, news of the activities of an organization of similar groups in the eastern part of the country, the Instrument Society of America, reached this area and Los Angeles. There was lively debate about affiliating with the eastern group. When time came for a vote, the Board of Directors, knowing that they had an organization that was strong enough to continue on its own if affiliation did not work out (they made sure they could drop out) and recognizing the probable advantages of national affiliation, voted for affiliation and became officially known as The Instrument Society of America Northern California Section (California Corporation C0297619 2/2/1955). Northern California Section flourished under affiliation, becoming the largest Section in the country when surpassing Philadelphia in the early 1970s.

In the early days, the "official" monthly publication was a postcard (two cents at first) announcing the next meeting. Prior to the economy moves in 1997, one of the major accomplishments of our Section was the publication of a very serious monthly magazine known as the Transmitter. Started by Alex Wayne in 1968 when he was the Membership Chairman, it had grown from a single page, typed and mimeographed message into a twenty or more page, publication distributed to all members of the Northern California and Santa Clara Valley Sections. During the 1995-96 fiscal year, the Communications Committee established and maintained a World Wide Web site on the Internet that was one of the best, if not the best, section Web sites in all of ISA. Among its many features was an online version of the Buyers’ Guide portion of the Roster & Buyers’ Guide. The Roster and Buyers’ Guide was a very popular publication and could be found on the desks of many members.

Section technical expositions featuring demonstrations of hardware and software as well as teaching/discussion sessions began in 1954. That year, the Claremont Hotel on the Berkeley/Oakland border set up plain tables, one to a vendor, for table-top demonstrations. Overwhelming response each time kept this a bi-annual event until 1998. Then beginning in 2003, the Section produced NorCal Tech, a technical conference at Cal Maritime Academy featuring technical presentations of real world problems and solutions, technical training with Continuing Education Units (CEU’s), Exhibitor Displays, and an evening reception. NorCal Tech was held in even numbered years through 2009.

Another major accomplishment was the establishment of professional registration of Control System Engineers in the State of California. Sparked by Mark Bagley and others, and with the help and support of the five Southern California Sections, we circulated petitions, and prepared a book of evidence demonstrating the need for registration. We were successful in this effort and there are now many registered Control System Engineers. We held a number of Exam. Preparation classes to help aspiring CSE’s to pass the test.

In the 1960s, our group found itself split in ideology between those primarily interested in process control and those interested in aerospace, computers and electronic research. As a trial solution to this problem, a second organization was spun off which became the Santa Clara Valley Section of ISA.  In 2001 the Santa Clara Valley Section again merged with the Northern California Section.

Other outstanding achievements have been made in the field of education. Our first effort was establishment of an endowment known as the D. J. Pompeo Memorial Fund at the University of California. In the 1980s our assistance helped San Francisco State University (SFSU)  initiate a course of study leading to a degree in Control System Engineering. Using cash donations from the membership and donations of hardware and software from vendors, the Section has aided in the creation of a control system laboratory in the university's engineering building that includes a multiple loop process. There, the students can get hands-on-experience with the same equipment and processes that they will encounter following their graduation.

Education has always been a priority for NorCal. In the 2000’s, we developed and taught classes in PLC programming, control valve selection and application, boiler controls, and basic process controls. When ISA introduced the Certified Control System Technician (CCST) program, we conducted the Exam. Prep. courses to help prepare technicians for the exam.

There have been many people who have contributed to the leadership of NorCal, but one needs special recognition. Terry Malloy was a vital influence on the Section for many years. He was an engineer at PG&E, and began his involvement when meetings were held at their office. His enthusiasm for ISA and business skills propelled NorCal to the status of being one of the largest and most active sections of the society. Until the 1980’s production of the Transmitter newsletter was contracted to a professional publisher at a significant cost. Terry recognized that the newly available personal computers, publishing software and custom printing services made this the time to move the Transmitter publication to a member produced product. He took over as the Transmitter editor and transformed the Transmitter from a money losing to a money making function of the Section. The money provided from the Transmitter advertizing made it possible for the Section to sponsor the travel expenses of delegates to ISA Leadership Conferences.

After many years of serving the engineers, technicians, and others in the process control field, NorCal has suffered from declining membership. This might have been attributable to the decline in the number of process control related jobs in the area, or the loss of interest in participating in professional groups. The Section was last fully functional in 2016 and has been unable to organize a leadership team since then. In 2019 the Section was dechartered by ISA and the State of California.

ISA NorCal Past Presidents

Year     

Name

1947-48

Fred Miller

1948-49

D.J. Pornpco

1949-50

Chester Beard

1950-51

Walter G. Marion

1951

P. Gibson

1952

Keith Drager

1952-53

B.L. Anderson

1953-54

Adelbert Carpenter

1954-55

Roger U. Stanley

1955-56

Robert B. McAulay

1956-57

Allen E. Lee

1957-58

Kauko E. Hallikainen

1958-59

Bruce E. Powell

1959-60

Ralph E. Brogie

1960-61

Eweld F. Schimbor

1961-62

Alex M. Wayne

1962-63

John H. Van Dykc

1963-64

Paul Hoyt

1964-65

William J. Osborn

1965-66

Norman S. Waner

1966-67

Vigo N. Smith

1967-68

David A. Stevenson

1968-69

George Gurolla

1969-70

Allan F. Marks

1970-71

Allan J. Shand

1971-72

David R. Scott

1972-73

Robert Fritsch

1973-74

Robert R. Claypool

1974-75

George Sweeney

1975-70

Thomas J. Campbell

1976-77

Larry Loomer

1977-78

Herb Hickman

1978-79

Steve V. Kerstner

1979-80

Robert L. Galley

1980-81

Don F. Dellenbach

1981-82

Asa Maylott

1982-83

Chuck Kopf

1883-84

Duane Karstens

1984-85

Paul Mahoney

1985-87

Jim Huhnan

1987-88

David Nazzaro

1988-89

Don Brewer

1989-90

Dave Browne

1990-91

Leon Weinberg

1991-92

Tim Rose

1992-93

Cathy Ershen

1993-94

Jim Schroeder

1994-95

Diep Nguyen

1995-96

Kathryn Satoda

1996-97

Terry V. Molloy

1998-99

Herb Roedel

1999 - 2000

Glen J. Garfein

2000 - 2001

David Tateosian

2001 - 2002

Robert C. Webb

2002 - 2003

Nandkishor (Nand) Khidkikar

2003 - 2004

Suzanne Pippin

2004 - 2006 Brad Rupert
2006 - 2008 John Daily
2008 - 2009 Terry V. Molloy
2009 - 2010 Lee Shirwood
2010 - 2012

Brian Thomas

2012-2014 Troy Leverton
2014-2016 Dan Bosque
2016-2017 Dale Hotten

webmaster@isanorcal.org

Rev: 12/2/2019