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National Industrial Service Association (NISA)
In 1933, under the National Recovery Act (NRA), industries were required to establish and use codes of practice to bolster the national economy. Led by a group of electrical repair firms from Charlotte, North Carolina, 23 firms from 8 southeastern states met on August 4, 1933, in Bluefield, West Virginia. Officers were elected, delegates began finalizing an industry code, and the National Industrial Service Association (NISA) was created.
For nearly three years the code was negotiated with the NRA. In May of 1935, the NRA was declared unconstitutional and so were NISA’s original objectives. Rather than disband, NISA members resolved to develop solutions to problems with competitors, to discuss plans and operations, and to learn from one another while enjoying friendly relations. Mutual help and cooperation in upgrading the industry became NISA’s new objective.
Early records indicate that the young organization grew quickly. The first chapter charters were granted in June of 1934, and in 1937 an “Associate” membership category was established for suppliers. (The first Associate members were the John C. Dolph Company and Anaconda Copper.) By 1938 NISA had 117 members, some as far north as Canada.
Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA)
Responding to changes in the industry and to better represent its members’ activities, the Association adopted a new name effective April 1, 1962. After 28 years, NISA became the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA). Today, EASA has 32 chapters and nearly 1,800 member firms (including approximately 150 Associate members) throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America, as well as overseas in England, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
As the organization continued to grow and evolve domestically and internationally, new membership regions were formed. In November of 1972, for example, a new region (Region 9) was established to serve members outside the North American Continent. Another (Region 10) was created on a provisional basis in February of 1984 to represent members in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan and neighboring countries; it was given final approval in June of 1988. Meanwhile, several membership regions in the United States and Canada were consolidated to provide more equitable representation for all members. EASA’s Board voted in 2000 to reduce the number of regions in the U.S. from 13 to 7. There are now 10 membership regions around the world.
NISA’s original constitution provided for four officers, a board of directors and an executive committee. During the early years, the officers, board members and executive committee handled all the work. In 1938, Stewart N. Clarkson was hired part-time as executive secretary; Fred N. Wipperman became the first full-time executive secretary in 1953; and August (Gus) Baechle served as executive vice president from 1961 - 1996. Today, President/CEO Linda J. Raynes heads a staff of 19 employees, including 5 technical support specialists and 1 pump and vibration specialist, at EASA’s International Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.
NISA dues were originally $10 for firms with five or fewer employees and $25 for companies with more than five workers. These dues proved inadequate and during the early years contributions from members kept the Association in existence. EASA’s annual operating budget now exceeds $2,500,000.
Today, EASA serves members who sell and service electrical, electronic and mechanical apparatus by educating, informing and promoting the highest standards of performance and ethics for the benefit of the industry as a whole. To achieve this goal, EASA publishes a wide range of reference materials and articles and maintains a database containing the largest variety of motor winding data available anywhere.
EASA also provides engineering consulting services to members and works with manufacturers, industry organizations and government agencies to promote better repair standards and assure the highest quality professional service for customers. In addition, EASA sponsors numerous training and educational programs, as well as an annual convention and exhibition.