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Staples, Huffman to Lead Key Automation Federation Committees

Leo Staples and Steve Huffman will chair committees to spearhead the Automation Federation’s SmartGrid and government relations initiatives.

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Automation Federation Chair Kim Miller Dunn has announced the appointment of H. L. “Leo” Staples Jr. as chair of the Automation Federation Energy Committee and Stephen R. Huffman as chair of the Automation Federation Government Relations Committee. The Automation Federation ( is an umbrella organization formed by the International Society for Automation (ISA, for associations and societies engaged in manufacturing and process automation activities.

Staples and Huffman have both served on the Automation Federation Board of Directors, and Huffman was the 2007 and 2008 Automation Federation Chair. Dunn wanted to call on the two to lead these important committees because of their track record in the subject areas, as well as their broad experience of leadership in the Federation. Staples is a compliance management leader in the Power Supply Services division at OGE Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, Okla., and serves as the 2009 ISA POWID (Power Industry Division) Symposia General Chairman. Huffman is vice president, strategic accounts, at Mead O’Brien Inc., St. Louis, and served as ISA President in 2007.

Experience and passion

“The Automation Federation is actively pursuing our SmartGrid initiative as well as the AF’s government relations initiative at the state and federal level. Staples and Huffman have the experience and the passion to make sure that the Automation Federation is successful with these initiatives. I am truly pleased they have agreed to chair these important Committees,” said Dunn.

Staples has wasted no time engaging his Committee in the AF SmartGrid initiative, holding a series of discussions with organizations, government agencies and members of Congress to discuss the role of automation in the future success of SmartGrid. “I am pleased to have been asked to lead the Automation Federation Energy Committee. The work of this committee in light of the national attention directed to SmartGrid will be crucial in framing the message about the role of the automation professional for the success of SmartGrid,” said Staples.

Voice of automation

Over the last two years, Huffman has led the effort to establish the Automation Federation as the “Voice of Automation” with Congress as well as federal and state agencies. The AF Government Relations Committee is aggressively moving forward to reach out to a new Congress and Administration. The committee works to develop relationships with the government so that the Automation Federation can serve as an educational resource that agencies can call on to understand what automation means for the future economic vitality of the United States. As part of this effort, Congressional Hill visits are planned in March and April.

“The government relations work that the Automation Federation has undertaken over the last two years has reaped significant benefits for the automation profession. I know that the work of the GR Committee will generate even greater rewards. I look forward to working with the committee and our volunteers to advance our cause,” said Huffman.

Automation Federation

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