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8 The PCB Design Magazine • December 2015 by Andy Shaughnessy I-ConneCT007 the ShAughneSSy report the Designers Council: elevating pCB Design, and Designers column It was a different time. When the seeds of the Designers Council were first sown in 1991, PCB designers were still considered red-headed stepchildren, earn- ing less respect than Rodney Dangerfield. The PCB was seen as just an interconnect platform, soulless and boring. And PCB designers were di- nosaurs toiling away on a "mature" technology that would soon be replaced by multichip mod- ules, or some other cool technology. Back then, the integrated circuit was king; IC design was considered "sexy" and IC designers were the rock stars of electronics design. (Years ago, I told that story to a newly hired assis - tant editor, a cute 22-year-old girl right out of college. She said, "I have bad news for you: Nothing about this industry is 'sexy.'") But the lowly PCB de - signer was looked down upon by ev- eryone. It didn't help that PCB design- ers were spread out across so many various segments of the electronics industry. It's a vertical occupa- tion in a hori- zontal industry. Designers often felt like outsiders in their own companies; none of their co-workers really understood what the designers did all day. Worst of all, there was no unity, no real community of designers. The Internet as we know it was still a few years away. PCB West had just launched; it was the only or- ganized PCB design event, and the only chance for designers to do any networking. What was a designer to do? Then, as the "Founder of the Designers Coun - cil" Gary Ferrari recounts in this month's issue, Dieter Bergman asked him what IPC could do for PCB design. They traveled around the United States, talking to designers and getting a feel for their interest in forming a design organization. Yes, there was plenty of interest. And by 1992, the first DC chapter had formed in Atlanta, fol - lowed by dozens more in rapid succession. Now there are DC chapters around the U.S. and Canada, as well as Australasian and Southeast Asian chapters. There is no longer any fee to join the council, and the DC counts thousands of members. The local chapters are completely autono - mous; some chap- ter meetings draw huge crowds, and a few chap- ters are nearly dormant. As the De- signers Council enters its 25 th year, we decided to talk to some of the people who helped make it all happen. In this issue, we have an inter- view with IPC's tireless Anne Marie Mulvihill, who gives us a run- down on the DC of today. We also have a discussion with Gary, who takes us all

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