Adil Shafi: In Memoriam
rong>by Jeff Burnstein
Trade associations like the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) depend heavily upon dedicated and passionate volunteers to accomplish their mission. We rely on people who can work with a “leave your logo” at the door attitude and put the best interests of the industry at heart. With more than 750 member companies, we are lucky to be in touch with thousands of member representatives, each of whom in their own way contributes to our success. Yet, few will ever have the lasting impact of Adil Shafi. For more than two decades I’ve been privileged to work with Adil as a volunteer to our trade groups and as a friend. Adil has always been actively involved, as a speaker, session moderator, author, committee member, Board Director, and most recently, webinar instructor. Frankly, that only scrapes the surface of his contributions to our associations and the industries we represent. Many of our key activities likely would never have been launched if it weren’t for Adil's drive and commitment. He was instrumental in the development of our International Conference on Vision Guided Robotics, willing to play any role necessary to help educate users about how vision guided robots could benefit them. Our robotics webinar series, now in its third year, was created by Adil, who clearly saw the possibilities from the outset and was more delighted than anyone that his vision was being realized. He was so proud of the fact that more than 10,000 people had already viewed the webinars he taught for us and we were just getting started. Knowing RIA’s interest in becoming more active globally, it was Adil who connected me with an emerging robotics sector in Denmark that led to new members for our association, exhibitors at our trade shows, and speakers at our conferences. When I needed advice on a particular issue or a contact at a specific company, Adil was always willing to help, regardless of how busy he was. In every case, Adil was primarily focused on the best interests of the robotics, vision, and motion control industries, not his own business, giving back to the industries he loved. He was usually the first to send a congratulatory letter after a successful activity and could be counted on to provide ideas for making our future events even better. Adil was the ideal volunteer, and all of us at A3, RIA, AIA, and MCA will miss him on a personal as well as professional basis. Our deepest sympathies are with his wife and children during this most difficult time. We hope they take some small comfort in knowing the lasting impact he had on so many people in the industry he loved.
Services will be held at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church at 2201 S Old US Highway 23, Brighton, MI 48114. The service will take place this Friday, April 11, 2014. Visitation will be 9:30-11:00am. The mass will start at 11:00am and a church luncheon to follow.