The National Association of Relay Manufacturers (NARM) has officially changed its name to the Relay and Switch Industry Association (RSIA) during the organization's 52nd International Relay Conference (IRC). The conference, attended by APPLIANCE, was held April 19-21, 2004 at the Oak Brook Hills Conference Center and Resort in Oak Brook, IL, U.S.
The conference name also has been changed to the International Relay and Switch Conference. The organizational name change was effective as of April 19, when the conference convened. The conference name change will be effective for the 2005 conference, which is currently slated to take place in mid-April on the West Coast of the U.S. Exact dates have not yet been set.
Pete Walsh, associate director of Conference and Expositions for the Electronic Components, Assemblies, and Materials Association (ETA), of which NARM, now RSIA, is an affiliate, told APPLIANCE that the conference and affiliate association's names are being changed to grow the association and the conference itself.
"A relay is also a switch—it is just a controlled switch," Mr. Walsh said. "We're trying to broaden [the scope], which will grow the association as well as the conference."
Jeffery Boyce, executive director of NARM/RSIA, said that there has been a great deal of consolidation in the electronics industry. With the bigger base created through this, Mr. Boyce observed that the switching industry has not had a technical association. "There has been a lot of technical overlap between the switch and relay industries," Mr. Boyce said in an exclusive interview with APPLIANCE during the conference. "We're excited about the new direction, and the change. I think it will be good for the industry and bring a new perspective to it."
To ensure the switching segment of the association is represented well and that its needs are being met, the organization has added two new board members from the switch industry, namely ITT Canon and Cherry Switch.
"They can help provide us with some guidance and make sure there needs are being met," Mr. Boyce notes.
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