Fluid Power Journal

Board President Looks Back on ‘21: ‘a very trying time’

By Rocky Phoenix, CFPMHM, CFPMHT, CFPCC, CFPMMH, 2021 IFPS Board President and Chairperson

In December, my term as president and chairperson of the board of directors of the International Fluid Power Society comes to a close.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in our industry for staying with fluid power through a very trying time. In this momentous year, I’ve seen our industry blindsided because of a lack of workers, ongoing supply problems, and price increases on almost everything. Through all of it, the fluid power community persevered. It remains an industrial leader, and we are resolved to succeed and grow.

I would like to offer my thanks to small-business owners for keeping the faith and looking to a better year ahead; to companies and corporations for not forgetting about your dedicated fluid power professional employees; and to IFPS members and staff, who adapted and grew through the uncertainties we encountered.

Uncertainty was a common experience in 2021. It surrounded the IFPS spring meeting in March. To assure everyone’s safety, we decided to hold a virtual meeting. It was a first for IFPS, but because of the foresight and expertise of the IFPS staff, we accomplished the meeting with great success and great attendance! We learned a lot from that experience, and I believe it has helped us to communicate better with members around the world.

The virtual meeting experience may likely be a permanent part of our future, as it allows, for example, inductees to the Fluid Power Hall of Fame to participate in their induction without traveling to Reno, Nevada, for the IFPS fall meeting in October.

While virtual meetings are a great tool, they can’t take the place of face-to-face interaction. We found this to be true when comparing the fall virtual board meeting experience to a live meeting. People understand each other more clearly in person than in the virtual world.

It was a year of accomplishments at IFPS, including the revamped Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic certification, which was updated with the latest industry standards and expectations. It is a fantastic piece of work that will be received well in the industry. Thank you for the very hard work of the committees and staff at IFPS.

I’d like to point out a number of other successes this year. We introduced a pilot mentorship program for individuals advancing in the fluid power industry. We moved forward with new social media strategies to help us stay in touch with members and, we hope, attract others into IFPS and the field of fluid power. The Fluid Power Reference Handbook and Fluid Power Symbology Guide continue to be popular resources. Our webinar library is growing and is a popular resource. All these projects came from the involvement of IFPS members who desire to advance fluid power technology and education.

In closing, I want to say that it has been an honor to serve IFPS in 2021. I’m looking forward to the growth and new ideas that flourish because of all those who are committed to the fluid power industry. Thank you!

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