The History of the Service Industry Association (SIA):

Empowering Service Companies and Advocating for the Right to Repair

Welcome to the official website of the Service Industry Association (SIA), a distinguished organization that has been championing the rights of service companies since its establishment in 1985.  With a rich history spanning over three decades, the SIA has been instrumental in bringing together independent service companies, fostering collaboration, and fighting for their members’ rights, including the crucial aspect of the Right to Repair.


Formation and Early Successes

The Service Industry Association was incorporated in 1985 as the National Computer Service Network (NSCN).  The organization was formed in response to the pressing need for independent service companies to band together against powerful manufacturers and secure mutually beneficial partnership contracts.  With a membership comprising 30 to 40 independent service companies, we rapidly gained recognition and momentum under the leadership of its first President, Al Andrus, who also served as the President of Grumman Systems Support


Global Expansion and Changing Identity

In 1987, the association organized its inaugural summit at the prestigious Anatole in Dallas, Texas, providing an invaluable platform for industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and forge lasting partnerships.  The next year, the association extended its membership beyond the US and in 1988, the SIA welcomed its first international member, Hitachi Data from Japan, followed by a small medical company from Australia.  In recognition of its growing global presence, the association changed its name to Computer Service Network International (CSN).


Commitment and Challenges

The late 1980s and early 1990’s saw several changes in leadership, with short-term Presidents such as Andy Michuda and Mark Streety taking the helm. In 1988, Claudia left to start her own company, the association struggled and asked her to come back in 1989.  Facing financial difficulties by trying to expand too quickly, the unwavering dedication and passion of its members prevailed.  Claudia was named the Executive Director and the new board demonstrated the profound belief in the SIA’s mission and paved the way for overcoming financial obstacles.


A New Era and the Right to Repair Movement

Recognizing the need for a more inclusive and forward-thinking identity, the board decided to incorporate “Independent” into the association’s name, leading to its evolution into the Independent Service Network International (ISNI).  Frank D’Alessio assumed the role of President from 1990 to 1992, guiding the association towards continued growth and success.  The board formed and got a bill passed, Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that was enacted in 1998 to address the challenges posed by digital technology and the internet with respect to copyright infringement.  Its main objectives are to protect the rights of copyright owners while promoting online innovation and the free flow of information.


The Turn of the Millennium and Expanding Influence

As the new millennium dawned, the SIA continued its mission of empowering service companies and advocating for their rights. From 1995 to 1997, Alex Violassi led the association as President, fostering growth and strengthening its position in the industry.  The SIA’s annual summits became highly anticipated events, with the 1995 and 1996 summits held at Caesar’s in Las Vegas, followed by the 1997 summit at Desert Inn, also in Las Vegas.

As the association continued to hold evets and thrive, expanding to office products and medical groups.  During this time, the name was changed, once again to better describe its mission and became the Service Industry Association (SIA) as it is known today.  As the medical groups were consolidated, the SIA refocused on our core group of service providers in IT.  Oracle bought SUN and the SIA helped its members respond through that time by advocating for them and bringing them together to have one voice.


A Major Milestone: The Birth of the Right to Repair Association

In 2011, a significant milestone in the SIA’s history occurred when the International Competitiveness Committee was formed.  This committee later spun out to become the Right to Repair Association, reflecting the association’s commitment to advocating for the rights of service companies and consumers alike.  The SIA’s involvement in the Right to Repair movement played a crucial role in shaping legislation and promoting fair repair practices worldwide.


Steadfast Leadership and Continued Success

From 2008 to 2014, first Rich Gulgiamo then Randy Parks served as President, followed by Tom York from 2014 to 2020. Their visionary leadership and dedication propelled the SIA to new heights, ensuring the association’s continued impact and relevance in the service industry.  Summits during this period were held at various prestigious venues, including Paris in Las Vegas in 2017, 2018, and 2019.


The Future of the SIA

In 2020, just as we entered the covid pandemic, Dwight Strayer assumed the presidency, further strengthening the SIA’s position as a driving force in the service industry by keeping the networking and collaboration going even though gatherings were not possible.  After a year off, the annual summit in 2021 took place at Caesar’s, marking another remarkable chapter in the SIA’s journey.  As the SIA looks towards the future, our events are more popular than ever by offering excellent content, networking, and collaboration opportunities for all of our members.  We remain dedicated to empowering service companies, fostering collaboration, and advocating for their rights, including the vital aspect of the Right to Repair.  Join us as we continue to make a meaningful impact in the service industry and shape a more inclusive and equitable future for all.