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Past, Present and Future

Outgoing and incoming presidents reflect on the changes that have occurred since BICSI was formalized in 1974 and also, what lies ahead.


January 1, 2008  


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On behalf of BICSI, I would like to congratulate CNS Magazine on its 10-year anniversary. Speaking for myself and the past Canadian region directors, Roman Dabrowski, Greg Porter and John Bakowski, it has been a pleasure working with CNS, formerly Cabling System, over the past 10 years.

BICSI truly appreciates having had the opportunity to collaborate and we look forward to many more years of successful partnership with the magazine.

Keeping with the theme of this edition, I will turn the rest of this article over to outgoing BICSI President John Bakowski, who will comment on BICSI’s past and present, and our incoming president Ed Donelan who will address the future.

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BICSI was formalized in 1974 with 50 members, all of whom were volunteers from the telecommunications industry in the United States and Canada. These early leaders came together to share knowledge, exchange experiences and develop expertise in order to satisfy the needs of a newly deregulated telecommunications industry for network cabling.

The organization’s purpose was to educate the members within the industry, to motivate the industry to develop new products and methods and to encourage the development of the structured cabling industry.

Here we are, more than 34 years later, now supporting more than 24,000 Information Transport Systems (ITS) professionals in more than 119 countries. We are continuing to educate and motivate our industry professionals as the worldwide preeminent source of information, education and knowledge assessment for the constantly evolving ITS industry.

Our past speaks to our future, but our membership numbers are greater, industry demands are higher and our focus is much wider. From structured cabling, we have grown to reach out to the other members of the ITS industry who are in need of our services and leadership.

In 2006, the BICSI Board of Directors asked a number of BICSI members and volunteers to review the many changes that have occurred in the ITS industry since the inception of the RCDD program. From this research the group was able to make recommendations for enhancements.

In June 2007 this committee recommended that BICSI take a serious look at what the organization can do to maintain its leadership role in the ITS industry. As a result, an effort called the BICSI NxtGEN Program was formed.

The BICSI NxtGEN Program and the committee’s findings were presented to the BICSI Board of Directors in December and, if approved, will be presented to the membership in January. Furthermore, added research and analysis will take place prior to the implementation in the future.

In addition to the BICSI NxtGEN Program, other enhancements to our association are continually being worked on by volunteers and staff members.

Currently, the BICSI Membership and Marketing Committee and the BICSI Communications Department are working on the new Speakers Bureau project.

This will provide us with a defined plan of action to assist with representing BICSI at industry events through presentations and speakers. With this added presence in the industry we are persistently aiming to advance our members’ opportunities for continual improvement and enhanced professional stature.

From an international standpoint, the BICSI Board of Directors and staff are continuing to make strides and create solutions geared to the needs of the global members. Currently, we are focusing on the Europe, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Middle East & Africa regions.

We are making significant progress in keeping our members there current and actively involved with BICSI events, training and, ethical guidelines and new networking opportunities .

Internally at BICSI headquarters, we have a staff of dedicated and highly motivated individuals led by Executive Director David Cranmer RCDD.

As a result of his experience in the ITS industry he has gained the respect of his staff, peers and the Board of Directors in steering the operation to achieve the many goals of BICSI.

Going forward, BICSI’s new president, Ed Donelan, is bringing a new energy to the Board of Directors and BICSI. His unique style, based on his many years of business experience with his company and on the BICSI Board of Directors, will ensure success for BICSI .

— John Bakowski

Looking Ahead

Having served on the BICSI Board of Directors for the past eight years, it is an honour to be elected to the position of President by my peers.

As I write these words, my goal is to express the deep gratitude I feel toward each and every member as you pursue your education and especially to the many volunteers who contribute their time and money to such a worthy cause.

So let’s get ready! The groundwork has been established in the basic back office functionality for our association through the work of BICSI employees.

We are to continue the one main goal every not-for- profit association must attain — excellent customer service.

We have been working very hard and burning the midnight oil to ensure our business systems can handle the anticipated growth of our organization while maintaining excellent customer service to our current members. Poised now to truly be an impact to so many in the Information Transport Industry, I am genuinely excited about the possibilities that are at our door.

We have invested in a new association management system, a new finance and accounting system, a new credentialing program and a new Web based program just to name a few.

Additionally, we have partnered with excellent service providers to greatly enhance the conference learning and networking experience.

Over the years we have introduced many new programs such as the Authorized Training Facility program, the manual Translation Program, and Breakfast Clubs, to name a few. These improvements have allowed us to focus on offering new benefits to our members.

I look forward to an amazing opportunity of living up to the task the past presidents have set before me. Thank you for counting me worthy of your confidence to lead the BICSI organization.

The barrier to entry for joining BICSI has never been lower and the benefits are at an all time high. We honor discounts associated with membership for the active military, active students, and the retired and as we continue to encourage installers and technicians to pursue a fascinating career in the ITS industry.

The passion that our members have towards assisting us with revitalizing our programs and expanding our product offerings is matched only by the willingness of our professional staff, educators and volunteers to assist each and every student in achieving success.

Very simply, we want each member to be a true advocate of BICSI so that the message is spread throughout the world.

My tenure as president will be marked by this one simple yet very important goal: To practice excellent customer service through our programs in what ever way we possibly can.

As a business owner of a small company, I have been designing and building wiring systems for ITS for many years. I remain passionate about the ITS industry and look forward to wiring buildings around the world for many more years. Based in Manhattan, N.Y., our business caters to the private sector and Fortune 1000 clients. I know what it takes to provide excellent customer service and our demanding customers remind me daily. My business has practiced this customer service concern for the past 23 years and has never taken it for granted.

At BICSI, we know that by providing unexpected ways of taking care of you, we will grow together.

We also know that each day a business is run without the proper tools — hardware, software and firmware –it is a more difficult day in delivering on those customer service expectations.

Rest assured we are constantly aware of the need for better business prac
tices and are rapidly taking action and wisely investing your membership dues to ensure our goals are met.

Finally, I would like to thank John Bakowski for his tenacious pursuit of the finest details during his presidency.

He has performed way above and beyond in his capacity to provide all of us with excellent customer service, leadership and most important; a real concern for helping us achieve our goals.

John has worked many hours as a volunteer, not just during his Presidency, but for over 12 years contributing on the Board of Directors and even more years proctoring exams and mentoring members.

— Ed Donelan

Richard Smith is the Canadian Region Director of BICSI and the manager of Aliant Cabling Solutions in Moncton, N.B. He can be reached at rsmith@bicsi.org.

John Bakowski is the past president of BICSI. He is also president of ITS Design and Audits, a company that provides telecom support to the SMB market. He can be reached at jbakowski@bicsi.org.

Ed Donelan is the current president of BICSI. and the owner of Telecom Infrastructure Corp., a New York City-based ITS company that serves Fortune 1000 firms. He can be reached at edonelan@bicsi.org.