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From the President

 

ISSA International President Keyaan Williams

Midyear Review

The association year for ISSA begins in September with an annual membership meeting that provides news, updates, and an introduction to the new members of ISSA International Board of Directors. During the September 2017 meeting, I personally committed to two important changes. First, more opportunities would be provided to inform members of what is going on with the association. Second, the board would work to be as transparent as possible. The midpoint of our association year provides a good opportunity to continue to honor these commitments.

Many of the highlights that follow were included as part of the April 12 special membership meeting webinar. The recording of the presentation, the slides, and the outline of the meeting are available on the member portal for any members who are interested.

Transition to self-management

One of the most significant changes for ISSA has been our transition from the previous association management company to independent management. The International Board chose to end the association’s relationship with DMG because of a disagreement about delivery of services described in the management agreement that governed DMG’s support of the ISSA. Choosing to end the relationship with DMG was abrupt and unplanned but served the best interests of ISSA and our members.

The decision was difficult because the disagreement came to light just as we were preparing to conduct the 2017 ISSA International Conference. The entire board did everything possible to maintain a positive relationship with DMG and ensure that we delivered a successful conference for our members. The board also did everything possible to shield members and chapters from any significant disruptions related to this change. Getting to a settlement with DMG took 181 days of effort from the executive committee from the time the breach was claimed to the conclusion of mediation in February 2018. The total cost of this effort, including legal fees, travel, and mediation fees, was about $75,000.

Official statement from the settlement agreement:

"ISSA Executive Committee determined that the management company, Drohan Management Group (DMG), had breached the management agreement. As a result, DMG was terminated as the management company. DMG denies that they had breached the management agreement. Under the management agreement, the parties proceeded to attempt to resolve the dispute in mediation before a retired Virginia judge.

"Through lengthy mediation, the dispute was resolved, and now ISSA is able to move on for the benefit of ISSA’s members. Had mediation failed, the matter would have proceeded to arbitration with associated costs and uncertainty to ISSA."

ISSA executive director

Many members came to know Dave Tyson as the executive director of ISSA as part of our transition to self management. Dave is very good in crisis management and organizational transformation. Dave’s assistance in the transition was extremely valuable; however, the board knew that his service to the association would be short term. Marc Thompson was appointed as executive director of ISSA International in April as part of the long-term strategy of the association. Marc brings ISSA nearly 20 years of executive management experience with information security associations. He and his team are working to finalize the ISSA’s transformation and help the association grow by increasing membership value through education and improved chapter initiatives.

ISSA mailing address

The address in Spring, Texas, was close to Dave Tyson. The address made sense to support our needs immediately after the transition began. Vienna, VA, will serve as the new ISSA International mailing address for the foreseeable future. The facility is staffed with personnel who will help process and respond to mail sent to ISSA.

ISSA International
1964 Gallows Road, Suite 310
Vienna, VA 22182

Conclusions

The ISSA International Board of Directors is a collection of people who are extremely dedicated to serving our members. The board is committed to transparency, and we will continue to do all that we can to keep our members informed of the activities and decisions we make in the interests of serving our members.

Personally, I continue to invite all members to hold us accountable for our commitment and our duty to deliver value to our members, increase the influence of the association, and manage our operations effectively.

 

Thank you,

~Keyaan Williams

1 "ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security," The International Society of Automation, 2018 - https://www.isa.org/isa99/.

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6/1/2018
ISSA Mid-Atlantic Conference

6/13/2018
ISSA Thought Leadership Series Webinar

6/19/2018
Cornerstones of Trust




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