Dan A. Cunningham has been named president and chief executive officer of the Smart Card Industry Association.
The chip card industry veteran had been a volunteer president of SCIA, devoting considerable effort to the trade group for card manufacturers and system providers, which was said to be floundering before his involvement.
Mr. Cunningham said he has decided "to put my full resources into a growing trade association and to take it to the next level."
He will be working for the nine-year-old SCIA, which is based in Lawrenceville, N.J., on a consulting basis. He will no longer be devoting full-time to Phoenix Planning and Evaluation Ltd., Rockville, Md., where he was a senior vice president.
He said he will still be available to Phoenix as a consultant.
"SCIA is going through a reincarnation, and it is intent on delivering a value proposition to its members," said Peter Quadagno, a member of the association's board.
The president of Quadagno & Associates in West Chester, Pa., said, "Dan is an industry veteran who is well versed in smart card technology, both here and abroad and across the various industries that would look to use chip cards."
"Having Dan Cunningham, with his experience, fill that position is really good news and marks a new era for SCIA," said Joseph Schuler, senior vice president of Pathways Group, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Before joining Phoenix 18 months ago, Mr. Cunningham was president and chief executive officer of the U.S. subsidiary of Gemplus of France, the leading smart card manufacturer.
He has also served on the boards of the Smart Card Forum, Electronic Funds Transfer Association, and the Cardtech/Securtech conference. At that event later this month, SCIA for the second straight year will be sponsoring a major "state of the industry" panel discussion.
In the past year, SCIA's membership has surged more than threefold, to 45 companies, a sign that it is finding a voice apart from other high- profile groups like the Smart Card Forum. Several initiatives are under way to articulate and promote the association's goals.
Mr. Schuler said it can provide a service to the industry by addressing issues such as consumer privacy. The group's newfound energy and Mr. Cunningham's appointment helped convince Pathways Group to join, Mr. Schuler said.
"My guess is there were a number of companies who were sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what SCIA would be when it grew up," Mr. Schuler said. "Now it has started to grow up a bit."