Group prepares first open election
The Industry Advisory Council (IAC), with the public spat between it and the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils (FGIPC) apparently over, last week prepared for its first open elections with a meeting in which candidates spoke about the organization's need to improve its relationship with the government as well as its internal communications.
Sources who attended that meeting said the debate among candidates and members represented something of a departure for the organization. In previous years, IAC members received a ballot with a single nominee for each position.
Mark Amtower, president of Amtower & Co. and chairman of the IAC committee managing the election, said the decision to let members nominate others or themselves for office showed that the organization was moving away from an entrenched mind set that
"I think it's part of the healing process between us and FGIPC," Amtower said.
He added that he was satisfied with the level of competition for top posts and the quality of the candidates.
Candidates for IAC chairman envisioned somewhat different ideas of the organization's future direction. Nominee Bob Guerra, currently IAC's vice chairman, expressed support for IAC's current direction and said he would ensure that members receive "value for what they are paying" in the form of membership dues.
Guerra had been critical of FGIPC's financial management, and his comments indicated a continuing concern to address that issue. But he emphasized that he believes FGIPC board members agree with his opinion and are now trying to identify ways to reduce their operating costs.
"If you cut through all of the noise, the FGIPC board did agree there was a spending problem," he said.
Nominee Ken Johnson of Cordant Inc. stressed a conciliatory approach to dealing with government partners. He said IAC is differentiated from other industry groups by its close association with government customers.
"This relationship we have with our government counterparts should be embraced," Johnson said. "It allows us to get to issues quicker than any other organization. Screwing that up is just not good form."
Nominee Marv Gordon of Business Information Associates also advocated improved relations with government customers. Gordon, who was instrumental in brokering a truce between Guerra and FGIPC chairman Neil Stillman in April, vehemently denied speculation from an audience member that he was running as "Stillman's candidate."
"That is sheer nonsense," he said. "When they invited me to [a recent] FGIPC board meeting, I didn't spend all my time agreeing with Neil. I'm not that easy to lead."
In his speech, Gordon said he recognized the diversity of IAC's 180 member companies and that he would propose forming a committee to stay in contact with members to ensure IAC is serving their interests.
Other candidates who will compete for the hotly contested position of national vice chairman are: Bob Golas, Oracle Corp.; George Molaski, IDC Government; and Crouse Powell, Universal Power Systems Inc.
Don Arnold of Cincom and Bob Steele of Boeing Information Services will compete for the
Three positions are uncontested. Karol Burt of PRC Inc. is the sole candidate for Washington vice chair; Edith Holmes of Federal Computer Week is running for the programs office; and Valerie Perlowitz of Reliable Integration Services Inc. is the nominee for treasurer.