Announcement From SME

Dear SME Members,

For more than 86 years, SME has been at the forefront of helping its members, the manufacturing industry and manufacturing professionals meet the challenges that come from impactful changes in the industry.

You, our members, remain vital to our goal of furthering an inspired, educated, and prosperous manufacturing community. I know SME means a great deal to each of you, as it does to me. I have been a member of this organization for 35 years, and have been attending meetings even before that with my father, who became an SME member in 1964. I care deeply, as I know you do, about this organization’s future and the future of manufacturing.

Just as manufacturing regularly faces change — changes in technology, changes in workforce expectations, and changes in national and global economies — SME also faces change as we continue our commitment to achieving our mission and vision. We must lead, not react to, the challenges and changes manufacturing faces. We must anticipate the demands of the future and be prepared to meet the community’s needs. We must continue to evolve as an organization, just as manufacturing evolves as a thriving part of the world economy.

Accordingly, on July 17 we announced publicly that the leadership team at SME have decided that it is time for a change and that Jeff Krause will no longer be serving as Executive Director and CEO. A search process will begin with an executive recruitment firm to find his successor. An interim CEO will be announced on July 23, and this person will lead the search committee for the new CEO.

Managing change is always difficult, but it is an important part of what it takes to be a leader. SME has always focused on doing what is best and being that leader in manufacturing. Below is the announcement we are issuing this morning.

I am confident that, with the help and commitment of all of SME’s leadership, staff and members, SME will continue to be a powerful advocate and resource for the manufacturing community, and we will be strong and ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow. On behalf of the leadership and staff of SME, I thank you in advance for your support during this period of transition.

Tom Kurfess, PhD, FSME, PE
2018 SME President


Manufacturing Advocacy Organization To Begin Immediate Search For New CEO

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich., July 17, 2018) — SME, a manufacturing association promoting the interests of manufacturing industries, advanced manufacturing technologies and the development of the manufacturing workforce, announced today that it is beginning a nationwide search to identify the organization’s next leader. Jeff Krause, who has been the executive director and CEO since late 2014, is departing the organization as of Aug. 15.

Under Krause’s leadership, SME has experienced several significant milestone achievements, including:

• 22% revenue growth;

• Strong new partnerships with industry organizations AMT, TCT, MMA, as well as more than 50 partners within its Tooling U-SME TU workforce development business unit;

• Expanding its student training partnership program, PRIME, to 46 schools, with growing corporate and partner support, including Arconic, GM, Shape, MMA, NASA and others;

• Investing in the organization’s first new headquarters facility in more than 50 years, moving SME from Dearborn to the Southfield Town Center.

“It’s been an honor to work with so many talented expert professionals from across the manufacturing spectrum, as well as a passionate and dedicated staff at SME,” said Krause. “What we have accomplished over the past few years is nothing short of amazing. I know there are more terrific things to accomplish, and that SME will continue to build an inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturing community.” 

SME offers many resources to the manufacturing community, from workforce development and training services through its Tooling U-SME business unit, to the industry’s leading and most prominent trade shows and conferences, to scholarships and student education opportunities through its Education Foundation, to publishing the industry’s leading publications on advanced manufacturing, to technical communities that offer networking and peer-to-peer connections for both learning and business development.

“For more than 86 years, SME has been at the forefront of helping its members, the manufacturing industry and manufacturing professionals meet the challenges that come from impactful changes in the industry,” said Tom Kurfess, PhD, FSME, PE, the HUSCO/Ramirez distinguished chair in fluid power and motion control and professor of mechanical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the 2018 SME president. “The global challenges and rapidly changing workforce demographics make the things that SME does for manufacturing so important, and we are committed to meeting the needs and helping to lead manufacturing for the future. Jeff has truly been a valuable contributor and leader in making SME successful during his tenure at SME, we thank him for his dedicated service to our organization, and we extend our best wishes to him going forward.”

The search for Krause’s replacement will begin immediately, with the SME Executive Compensation Committee engaging an executive recruitment firm to assist in the process.


About SME
SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or
Posted by Dianna Helka on Jul 18, 2018 12:55 PM America/New_York