The inaugural meeting of ESTA’s new Certification Council took place September 19 and 20, 2003 in New York City. The Certification Council is the governing body for the new Entertainment Technician Certification Program and, after being welcomed by ESTA president Mike Wood, Council members quickly got down to work under the leadership of chair Tim Hansen.

"These meetings saw an unprecedented gathering of leaders representing all facets of the entertainment industry," says Hansen. "We are extremely pleased at the level of participation from such key organizations, businesses and individuals."

Representing the organizational members of the Council were: ESTA - Wally Blount, Tim Hansen and Chris Kaiser; CITT - Ron Morissette; IAAM - Dr. Don Hancock; IATSE - Tony DePaulo and Brian Lawlor; TEA - Gene Jeffers; USITT - Joe Aldridge and Dennis Dorn. Attending on behalf of Clear Channel Entertainment were Alan De Zon and Steven Ehrenberg. Representing the Working Groups were their Chairs: Ken Vannice of Electrical Skills and Rocky Paulson, Eddie Raymond and Bill Sapsis of Rigging Skills. Individual Members present at the meeting were Al DeMaria, Dr. Marilyn Hetzel, Kent Jorgensen and Jacqueline Tien.

Standing Left to Right: Bill Maiman, ESTA Staff, Tim Hansen, ESTA (Council Chair), Dennis Dorn, USITT, Don Hancock, IAAM, Wally Blount, ESTA, Ken Vannice, Chair Electrical Skills, Ron Morissette, CITT, Chris Kaiser, ESTA, Alan De Zon, Clear Channel Entertainment, Rocky Paulson, Co-Chair Rigging Skills, Bill Sapsis, Co-Chair Rigging Skills, Kent Jorgensen (partially obscured), Jacqueline Tien, Brian Lawlor, IATSE, Tony DePaulo, IATSE, Steven Ehrenberg, Clear Channel Entertainment, Joe Aldridge, USITT. Kneeling Left to Right:Eddie Raymond, Co-Chair Rigging Skills, Gene Jeffers, TEA, Marilyn Hetzel, Not Shown: Al DeMaria

The business at hand included adopting vision and mission statements, reviewing the business plan and budget, and hearing reports from the Electrical Skills and Rigging Skills Working Group chairs. Much of the work of the Council will be accomplished through its committees, which were approved and populated by the Council at this meeting. The initial committees are Appeals, Budget and Finance, Candidate Qualification, Disciplinary, Marketing and Fundraising, Provider Recognition and Test Administration.

The first priority for the Council is to raise the funding required to develop the Program. A considerable amount of discussion was devoted to developing a fundraising campaign which will be introduced shortly. Creating a high quality certification program will require the support and commitment of our entire industry and the Certification Council members are determined to lead the way.