ANN ARBOR, MI-Donald A. Vincent, who headed the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) since 1983 and was active in its founding in 1974, retired on June 30, 2007. He was succeeded by Jeffrey A. Burnstein, who served as the organization’s number two executive for more than two decades.

Vincent has been instrumental in the trade association’s growth from a start-up with limited staff and resources to a robotics association now representing more than 250 companies served by a staff of 13 full-time employees.

Current RIA President and Director Trevor Jones, OEM development at Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., said that under Vincent’s leadership, RIA has become the leading source for industrial robot statistics in North America; developed the American National Robot Safety Standard; launched Robotics Online, a Web site for robotics information; created a series of successful educational workshops focused on the use of robots in major application areas; and established the International Robots & Vision Show and Conference.

In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments, Vincent received the Engelberger Robotics Award for industry leadership in 2002, the industry’s highest honor.

In addition to RIA’s success, Vincent has been instrumental in the establishment of the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and the Motion Control Association (MCA), trade groups that represent the machine vision and motion control industries. AIA, which was spun out of RIA in 1984, now represents 280 companies from 26 nations. MCA, launched in 2006, has nearly 60 member companies. To help manage the growth of RIA and AIA and to invest in synergistic new associations, Vincent helped create the Automation Technologies Council (ATC) in 1996. As executive vice president of the ATC, Vincent works with representatives from RIA, AIA and MCA to oversee the development and growth of each of the associations and identify new associations that fit under the ATC umbrella.