Research Triangle Park, NC (25 February 2016) – The International Society of Automation (ISA) announced today that Peggie W. Koon, Ph.D., the first African American and second female to have held the office of ISA president, will deliver a presentation at the 42nd Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), to be held 23-27 March 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The 2016 meeting of the NSBE, centered on the theme of Engineering a Culture Change, is expected to attract more than 10,000 attendees to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The annual event—designed to provide the inspiration, education and connections black engineers need to succeed—features a diverse range of expert presentations, workshops, hands-on demonstrations and networking opportunities.
Dr. Koon, who served as ISA president in 2014 and Chairman of the Automation Federation (ISA’s umbrella association) in 2015, will deliver a presentation titled, “Are we there yet?” on Thursday, 24 March from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Her presentation will explore the full value and significance of a diverse and inclusive workforce—not just in terms of addressing issues of gender and ethnicity but in generating new ideas and perspectives that drive corporate innovation.
“Most successful organizations have developed a diversity and inclusion program and have included the effort in their near-term and/or longer-term strategic plans. But too often these programs are entirely focused on gender and ethnicity,” says Dr. Koon, who served more than 25 years as an executive in the automation and control field. “But is diversity and inclusion just about race and gender? Is there not also an opportunity to add value to organizations via differences in perspective due to differences in age, industry experience, global culture and other factors?
“In my presentation, I’ll discuss what it really means to have a diverse and inclusive workforce. I’ll discuss how different perspectives add value to organizations. And I’ll talk candidly about some of the challenges diverse groups face and how inclusiveness in organizations helps them and their organizations succeed.”
Visit the Automation Federation exhibit at the conference
About Peggie W. Koon
Dr. Koon possesses a long and impressive track record as an automation and control professional; media company executive; and volunteer leader at the International Society of Automation (ISA) and its umbrella association, the Automation Federation.
She has worked in the field of automation for more than 25 years. She served as the Director of Plant Systems at Graniteville Company and Avondale Mills, and the Director of Integrated Manufacturing Systems for Graniteville Company. Prior to her positions at Avondale/Graniteville, Dr. Koon held various operational IT roles at Babcock & Wilcox, Barnwell Nuclear Fuels Plant, Rockwell International and General Motors.
Dr. Koon’s media career began in 2006 at Morris Digital Works (MDW), where she worked on strategic audience and revenue initiatives. She became deputy chief operating officer of the delivery division for MDW and also served as the corporate director of strategy, partnership development and management for Morris Communications and Morris Publishing Group. Most recently, she was the vice president of Audience at Chronicle Media and The Augusta Chronicle.
Dr. Koon was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina in Aiken, South Carolina, where she taught principles of business information systems to senior undergraduate students in the School of Business. In addition, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Smith College Alumnae Association.
Dr. Koon earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. She completed graduate studies in industrial and systems engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and received a doctorate degree in management information systems from Kennedy Western University in Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA.
Dr. Koon has been a member and leader at ISA for more than 20 years. She assumed her first leadership position (Membership Chair of ISA’s Management Division) within ISA in 1996. Since that time, she has held a variety of prominent roles in the Society, most notably ISA president (2014). In 2015, she served as Chair of the Automation Federation. Dr. Koon is currently serving as: an at-large member of the 2016 ISA Executive Board; 2016 Chair of Workforce Development for the Automation Federation; Chair of the 2016 ISA Nominating Committee; and Chair of the 2016 ISA Honors & Awards Committee.
ISA owns Automation.com, a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org), an association of non-profit organizations serving as “The Voice of Automation.” Through a wholly owned subsidiary, ISA bridges the gap between standards and their implementation with the ISA Security Compliance Institute (www.isasecure.org) and the ISA Wireless Compliance Institute (www.isa100wci.org).
About the Automation Federation