Last week at the CSIA conference (Control System Integrators Association) in San Francisco, in font of almost 600 people, I received the 2018 Charlie Bergman “Remember me” Award, named in honor of CSIA founder and visionary, Charlie Bergman. This award is the highest distinction for CSIA members. It recognizes a member for upholding the principles of sharing, leadership and promoting the profession. Charlie had the vision, courage and commitment to see that the controls industry could and would be shaped by the independent CSIs working together. He envisioned potential competitors sitting at the same table and sharing their experience, their best practices, their successes and their failures to improve their business and better serve their clients. He didn’t only imagined it, but it made it real with his capability of attracting and leading his peers.
For these reasons receiving the Charlie Bergman “Remember me” Award is an honor to any member and a milestone in the carrier and life of any person in the control systems business.
This year I had the privilege to be nominated and selected. It was something that I could either imagine and I still struggle to believe it happened to me. I struggle to compare myself to the previous winners and their contribution to our community with mine.
All the genuine appreciations I received compensated all the efforts I put in contributing to improve our association, following Charlie’s rule “If you give one you get back ten”.
I was even more proud because for the first time the award was given to an international member.
I want to thank anyone that during the award dinner stopped to congratulate with me and all the people that supported me during these years of participation in CSIA.
Here’s the short speech I gave during the ceremony:
“I never met Charlie. I attended my first CSIA conference in 2009, when Norm and Joan retired, and heard for the first time of Charlie during the gala dinner when Nels Tyring of TVC Systems was recognized. That was the first time I started learning of Charlie and even heard that he was used to say that “Every idea shared will come back tenfold”. I immediately had the feeling of a visionary and a though leader. If we are all here it’s for his idea and his ability to make it real, back in 1994. Every Executive Conference I attended I progressively refined the idea I created to myself of Charlie through the various people that were selected for the “Charlie Bergman “Remember Me” Award”. In each of them I found something special and I imagined that it was something that remembered Charlie. So putting together all the small pieces I created my picture of Charlie that is a little of Nels Tyring, Bill Pollock, Dean Streck, Ed Diehl, Jeff Miller, Steve Goldberg, Jim Campbell, Don Ulrich and Bob Lowe. It’s a picture of a great man formed from pieces of people I respect and I consider examples to follow.
I learned so much from many of them that I cannot see myself being compared with them.
So I’m really honored of having been selected and I hope to be able to demonstrate I deserve it. For sure I need to share this award with many people that helped me to grow a lot in these 9 years. First of all my wife and my family that trusted, supported and pushed me to travel, open my mind, learn new things and start new adventures; the friends of the Automation Alliance Group that taught me a lot and continuously teach me a lot, and all the people I had the opportunity to meet and work with at CSIA: Jeff, Jose, Lynda, all the staff and all of you in this room
I really thank you and hope to be able to give back to the association at least what I got, to honor Charlie’s memory.“