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A Word from iCERT Executive Director, George Kelemen

Happy New Year iCERT Members!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season as we wrapped up 2022, where we began to finally adjust to life with COVID in our midst, yet were also able to get almost 100% back to “normal.” iCERT definitely enjoyed some significant successes in 2022, while also continuing to grow and build in many areas. As we begin 2023, we will build upon our successes from last year, and continue to refine and grow as a key association within the emergency response ecosystem. In short, we plan to take it up a notch!

During 2022, we were able to directly engage with iCERT members in many ways, ranging from our two successful member meetings (Seattle in May and DC in December) to our increasingly popular iCERT happy hours at the IWCE, NENA, and APCO conferences, to our revamped newsletter and member survey to better understand how to best meet the needs of our members and your teams. We also launched exciting new opportunities for members to better leverage the iCERT platform to connect with other industry leaders through our sponsorship programs. These got off to a very good start in 2022, but they will be key to iCERT’s ability to continue delivering top quality member value and content in 2023 and going forward. Thank you to the initial group of member companies who stepped up to make our 2022 events such a success! We hope more iCERT member companies will see the value generated through sponsorship and will choose to participate in 2023 and beyond. On the topic of 2023 iCERT member meetings, stay tuned for an announcement soon regarding details about our 2023 member meeting opportunities.

On the advocacy front, 2022 was a good year for iCERT and saw us make significant progress on our top priority of securing funding for full deployment of NG911. We helped secure House passage of the bipartisan Spectrum Innovation Act, which included up to $10 Billion in funding for NG911, and also formed the basis for language which was on the table for inclusion in the year-end Omnibus funding bill up until the last minute (more on next steps below). Additionally, throughout 2022 we engaged and coordinated with more iCERT members, as well as external partners alike, on advocacy priorities such as the NG911 funding effort. I am particularly pleased that over the course of last year, iCERT was able to forge a much more productive working relationship with the Public Safety NG911 Coalition, and act as bridge to NENA and NASNA. This created a show of unity which was hugely important on this key issue which we all share as a top priority. Maintaining this cooperation, open communication and unity will be critical going forward if we are to be successful. As we begin 2023, we begin with the momentum from late last year for passage of NG911 funding. As was mentioned above, NG911 funding language came very close to being included in the year-end Omnibus funding bill passed by the Congress just before Christmas. Unfortunately, it was not; however, language in the Omnibus bill regarding extending the FCC’s spectrum auction authority, which NG911 funding has been tied to, only extended this authority until March 9th. As a result, there is continued momentum to arrive at a longer-term extension by early March, which we are using to continue the drumbeat for inclusion of NG911 funding language in the final bill. We will be providing updates as developments warrant over these important first few weeks of the year, but if you or your company would like to be more engaged in our advocacy efforts, please reach out to either Don Brittingham or myself.

iCERT’s committees and work groups continue to thrive and engage in productive work on behalf of the association. However, as always, new members for committees are always welcome. Currently, there are opportunities for additional committee members on the Marketing Committee and Member Meeting Planning Committee, as well as on the Innovation & Technology Committee. Additionally, in 2022 we established a new Small Business Committee for our smaller member companies to network and forward ideas to the broader membership. We also established an Outreach Work Group to guide our efforts in establishing connections and relationships with organizations where we currently don’t have any. Those of you who attended the December Member Meeting will recall the brief presentation on TCCA; leveraging relationships with international organizations where our members already have them has been an initial focus of the Outreach Work Group. If you or a colleague are interested, please reach out to me and I’ll be happy to connect you to the respective Committee or Work Group leaders.

Lastly, we are planning to schedule a member webinar during the week of January 23rd, to provide the membership with additional updates regarding the 2024 IWCE PSAP of the Future project, our member survey from last fall, an opportunity to hear from DelTek representatives regarding getting the most from one of the most valuable iCERT member benefits – the bid lists we provide members almost daily, in addition to any other timely updates. We’ll be sending out a calendar invite later this week, so I hope you can join us.

Thanks for your continued support of iCERT. We look forward to continuing to work with each of you and to making 2023 a great year for iCERT!

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