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ATI's Catherine Morris Becomes First Woman Chair of the Robotic Industries Association

Spreading the Automation Message for Future Economic Growth

Apex, NC,  July 27, 2012
Catherine Morris, Director of Automotive Sales for ATI Industrial Automation, has been named the first woman Chair of Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry trade group representing more than 291 companies involved in robotics in North America. Morris becomes RIA’s 20th Chair since its founding in 1974, succeeding Dean Elkins of Yaskawa Motoman, who served as Chair in 2010 and 2011. Elkins remains on the RIA Board as Past Chair.

Ms. Morris was first elected to the RIA Board in 2003 and most recently served as the Board’s First Vice Chair. She is a Past Chair and current member of the RIA Membership Committee and also chairs the show committee for Automate 2013, RIA’s flagship event. She has been with ATI for 17 years, with a primary focus on key OEMs and automotive customers. In addition to being RIA’s first woman Chair, she also is the first to represent a robotic end-effector company. Previous Chairs have either represented robot manufacturer or system integrator companies.

“I hope to bring a new perspective and energy to the Chair role,” said Morris. “I’m passionate about robotics and know that automation is the key to our country’s future economic success. My primary focus as Chair will be to expand the Automate 2013 trade show and conference in order to spread the message about why and how companies can benefit by automating. Automate will be THE SHOW for attendees to see the latest automation technologies in action, while learning how automation can increase their productivity and competitiveness.”

“Additionally, I will focus on making our new Certified Robotic Integrator program a success. This will have enormous benefit to integrators and end-users alike and will lead to more successful automation systems. Since the program’s launch, seven integrators have become RIA certified, with many more to come.”

“Finally, I will focus on strengthening the links between RIA and the educational community. In order to get students excited about robotics and automation and prepare them for future career opportunities, RIA will work more closely with community colleges and universities that offer automation courses. As part of continuing education, RIA is providing a series of free educational webinars covering a variety of automation topics,” said Morris.

“I am truly honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me by my mentors and peers and will do my best to lead our industry forward. I want companies of all types and sizes to recognize the importance of being a vital part of their industry’s trade association. Our association can only be as strong as we make it. Spreading the automation message will grow business for all of us,” Morris explained.

Morris and Past Chair Elkins are joined on the RIA Executive Committee by First Vice Chair Stu Shepherd of KUKA Robotics, Second Vice Chair John Dulchinos of Adept Technology, Secretary Curtis Richardson of Spirit AeroSystems, and RIA President Jeff Burnstein.

The RIA Board is comprised of 19 industry leaders. Re-elected to new two year terms for 2012-13 are Joe Campbell of ABB Robotics, Mick Estes of FANUC Robotics America, and Michael Jacobs of Applied Manufacturing Technologies. Tom Tobin of Comau was elected to his first two-year term.

Founded in 1974, RIA’s 265 member organizations include leading robot manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end-users, community colleges and universities, research groups, and consulting firms. RIA is best-known for developing the ANSI/RIA National Robot Safety Standard, collecting quarterly statistics on the North American robotics market, sponsoring the biennial Automate show and conference, hosting the annual Robotics Industry Forum, and producing Robotics Online, the world’s leading resource for robotics information

For more information visit the web site of the Robotic Industries Association.

More information on the Automate 2013 show here.

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