Fluid Power Journal

IFPS Membership – What Do You Make of It?

richard-bullersI am sometimes questioned about the IFPS logo on my shirt. Once I was asked if it was a symbol for some type of “secret society.” This gave me a chuckle and the opportunity for a short elevator speech, but it also gave me pause for thought.

I happily explained that the International Fluid Power Society is a non-profit organization that works to promote education, training, and professionalism in fluid power through certification. I also explained that I am a member and chair the committee for membership and chapters.

This prompted a quizzical look from the other person and the question, “Fluid power?” I went on to say “hydraulics and pneumatics,” and while doing so, in the back of my mind I was thinking…maybe we really are a secret society.

When you use the IFPS logos, stickers, lapel pins, lanyards, and other membership emblems, you are inviting questions and creating the possibility of helping someone advance in this industry. It is good to explain that IFPS benefits include discounts for training, certification, test fees, and even discounts for drug prescriptions and rental cars.

It doesn’t hurt to talk about the Fluid Power Journal, professional networking, professional development points, and the free study manuals and web seminars, but of even greater value is explaining how your membership affords you the opportunity to help others.

Maybe the curious person asking these questions is also involved in fluid power, but not certified. You can help them. Perhaps their teenage child is involved in a FIRST robotics program, or perhaps their recent graduate is struggling to find a career path. Volunteering to help a FIRST team or educate the younger graduate about careers in fluid power gives you other opportunities to “pass it forward” and realize great personal rewards.

We are here to help you with these initiatives. The IFPS board meetings are held twice a year, and during these meetings, the Membership and Chapters committee, along with our other committees, work with ideas to help improve the membership experience, create useful tools, recognize our members, and expand our presence. Some of our recent accomplishments include the following creations:

  • A discounted membership rate for active military reduced annual and two-year membership renewal fees. It’s our way of saying “thank you” to those who serve.
  • Individual membership brochure a handy overview of IFPS and membership form that explains what we do. This is a great tool to have. (Please contact IFPS staff and ask for some.)
  • Fluid Power Professionals Day a day to thank you for all you do as a fluid power professional. Lots of details in the Journal or at www.ifps.org.
  • Chapter start-up guide a step-by-step instruction manual for community-service-minded individuals to start up an IFPS chapter. Chapters have additional financial benefits and serve as an outreach to the community through schools, other service organizations, and local industry.
  • Chapter operations manual an organizational aid and guide to running your chapter.

We have more plans for the future, but it is you—the individual IFPS member—who can really make a positive difference in the lives of others.

IFPS membership…what do you make of it?  

Richard Bullers, CFPPS, is senior applications engineer for SMC Corp. of America and a member of the 2015 IFPS Board of Directors, serving as vice president of membership. He can be reached at rbullers@smcusa.com.

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