We just finished a very successful school and are now looking forward to GLEMS17. Over the last several years the success of the school has increased the student and vendor population to a point that we were bursting at the seams at the Crowne Plaza in Grand Rapids, MI.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel has been our home for many years. Their management and staff have done an amazing job accommodating us. We cannot say enough for their dedication to the school. They have set the bar very high but we need to address our growth for the future. In the background, we created a subcommittee, headed up by Scott Mann, to search for a larger facility to accommodate us for our future growth.
We found a great place and will be moving to the Radisson in Kalamazoo, Michigan for 2017 which provides us with the space and facilities to accommodate our growth for years to come. You will be impressed with their modern and spacious facility along with downtown Kalamazoo.
GLEMS, as an organization, will celebrate its 28th year as a voluntary organization to provide quality educational opportunities. The school’s six tracks are designed to foster Safety, Growth, and Understanding of each topic area.
Throughout the school, students are encouraged to visit our expanded Exhibit Hall and meet with industry experts from over forty vendors. Our hands-on lab will also expand in the new facility and provide students with Real World applications in a Safe environment with trained instructors.
To often, the rush to embrace technology and enhance profitability leads to the misconception that your metering professional need LESS training and technical knowledge to perform their tasks. While technology helps the corporate bottom line, it often reduces your metering professional competency and risk related to high capacity circuits as well as being able to identify revenue losses which can translate to millions of dollars to your organization.
I would like to take an excerpt from an Associated Press report from the FAA related to airline pilots that makes a point related to training. In the report they indicate “most airline flying is done through automated systems and manual flying skills are used briefly during landing and takeoffs.” The FAA’s point is that training programs may not provide enough opportunity to manually fly the planes. With the advent of smart metering and new instrumentation technology, your metering professional’s skills may have eroded to a point in the same way.
GLEMS offers a Certificate of Attendance as well as a CEU Certificate. These require specific written classroom exams as well as proctored hands-on experience to assure you that they have assimilated the information. I urge you to consider these options as you register.
I also urge you to monitor our new website (www.glems.org) for more interactive opportunities and periodic email alerts to inform you of new items. I also would invite any feedback or suggestions that you might have as well.
GLEMS is a great educational opportunity for your metering professional to learn and hone their skills. We look forward to bringing these skills to your employees.
MICHAEL D. PATENA
CHAIRMAN – GLEMS17