About NPA: Our Value and History
NPA – Advocate for the International Network Computing
The Network Professional Association (NPA) was founded (1993) to
support the network computing professional and the ideals of an
empowered, continually developing, professionally certified, educated
and experienced IT practitioner. Among the objectives of the Association
are to unite computer industry professionals throughout the world,
to identify and meet the networking and career development needs
of these professionals, and to identify and to meet their education
and training requirements on their path to career growth.
The NPA does this today by ....
Before NPA there was CNEPA — In the February1990 following a Novell Enhanced Support Training (NEST) class lead by Ken Kirkham in Orange County, California, an active discussion ensued wherein students were sharing their technology experience and knowledge. From this discussion there arose an agreed desire for an organization to promote learning and interaction. A contact was made to Novell by a newly Certified
Netware Engineer (Mark Loos). Through Mark Jones,
Novell CNE Program Manager, Novell showed a strong
interest. The first meeting was held October 39, 1990 with 37 students and CNE's attending.
Ken Kirkham, Mark Jones, Stuart Pastman, Mark Loos, and Tim Burkley met to layout the foundation for the CNEPA. Key features were: 1)To be a focal point for learning and sharing, a free exchange for the sake of learning 2) members should be able to seek out solutions amongs each other.
Novell, Word Perfect and HP were the original sponsors of the NPA. Tim Burkey,
Stuart Pastman along
with Mark Jones became the founding Board of Directors. Novell provided
permission for the name of ‘CNE Professional Association’
and established bylaws based on the bylaws of the Novell Users Group.
Offices of the CNEPA were established in Costa Mesa, CA, and the
organization was officially announced in January, 1991. The first
seven chapters initiated were: Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Sacramento, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Bill Haase of the Columbus Chapter became the first elected Chairman of the Board.
By the end of 1991, membership had reached 600 with 12 functioning
chapters. Given the CNEPA’s limited resources, growth stalled
and it became apparent that the fledgling organization could not
sustain itself without financial assistance. Novell, seeing an opportunity
to lead the growth of an industry professional association, helped
the CNEPA close their offices in California in May, 1992, and relocate
to Novell’s Provo location. At that time, several Novell employees
took on volunteer positions to aid development of the independent
organization, and six temporary employees were hired full time using
In June, 1992, the first CNEPA newsletter, Network News, was published,
and two months later, the first Hands on Technology Labs were staged
at NetWorld Dallas with the help of Novell and HP. In March, 1993,
the first sponsors of the CNEPA were announced at BrainShare: Blue
Lance, Brightwork, Hewlett Packard, Novell, Univel, and WordPerfect.
During board elections in November, 1993, at the request of Novell
Services as custodian of the organization, Novell’s board
seat was officially relinquished, leaving seven member elected volunteer
board members. In March, 1994, both Novell Services and Novell Education
informed the board that is was time for the Association to change
its name and continue on its path as an industry-based professional
association. In June, 1994, with the endorsement of Novell and all
other sponsoring vendors, the official name, Network Professional
Association (NPA), was announced. NPA incorporated as a 503c(6)
non-profit professional association in the state of Utah. Also,
in 1994 the Certified Network Professional program was launched
followed by the Integrate Conferences in 1996.
2002 began a change in the NPA. With the industry and market forces
mandating a change for non-profit professional associations worldwide,
the NPA moved to restructure, refocus its goals, and offer a better
menu of benefits to its members. A new website for network computing
professionals opened. The NPA launched the "Awards for Professionalism"
at Networld+Interop. Professional services for members were added.
In 2003 the Network Professional Association was selected as an
inaugural member Microsoft ITpro Advisory Council. Fifteen user
group and association representatives were selected to be inaugural
members of an initiative by Microsoft to be more active in our groups
and eventually many other groups around the world. As a result,
the NPA is a founding partner in GITCA (originally called Culminis), a Microsoft and IT initiative
to bring education, products and opportunities to IT professionals
through a channel of user groups and professional associations.
GITCA, in 2009, now represents more than 800 associations and user groups and nearly 5 million members.
Also in 2003 NPA members participated in the Microsoft Windows 2003
Server Launch followed by Exchange and Office.
In response to increased demands by employers and recruiters for
highly qualified networking industry job candidates, the Network
Professional Association (NPA) introduced an interactive job board
in 2004. The NPA laid the framework for the new global membership
class, Distinguished Fellows, to recognize individual outstanding
contributions to the profession and/or industry over a lifetime.
In 2005, the Network Professional Association revealed the new
chapter incentive program. The program is designed to increase leadership
experience for members and reward accomplishments in the chapter.
October 2005, NPA re-introduced the Certified Network Professional
(CNP) certification. The redesigned program includes verification
of education, certification, experience, employment, continued professional
development, and contains an ethics component.
In 2006, NPA re-incorporated in California as a 503c(6) professional
association. Future plans for the NPA include being the advocate
for our professionals, growing chapters, growing our membership,
rewarding professionals for their accomplishments; produce an industry
worthy independent Journal, and providing the hallmark “gold
standard” independent “professional credential”
and designation for network computing professionals – the
In 2007, new chapters are forming and existing chapters host valued
social and technical opportunities for network computing professionals.
The Awards for Professionalism are planned. The first edition of
the Journal is due out in February. NPA is participating in bringing
Microsoft technologies to members. And a range of new events and
opportunities are expected for our members. The number of CNP holders
is growing. We are encouraged by our industry partners’ support
of the need for an independent professional body for our industry.
2009 begins with a new focus on chapter expansion and growth. A multiple chapter leadership team has begun expanded events in the Southern California region. The Board of Directors has directed development of the CNP program with increased emphasis on professional ethics. NPA has four strong programs to support the IT professional: Certified Network Professional (CNP), Awards for Professionalism, Network Professional Jourmal (NPJ), and Chapters.