Midwest Chapter Roundtable Conference

On Oct. 5 and 6, 12 SME chapters met at the Midwest Chapter Roundtable Conference (Aimes, Iowa). The conference agenda consisted of four modules: Leadership, chapter operations, engagement, recruitment and retention.

The leadership panelists were made up of industry and SME volunteer leadership: Matt Edwards, Pella Windows; Duane Dierschow, Emerson Flow Controls; Wayne Frost, 2015 SME president; and James Schlusemann, international director, SME Board of Directors. Participants discussions were centered around:
  • Collaborative leadership.
  • Working with four generations of the workforce.
  • Workforce adaptation of automation and artificial intelligence.
  • A genuine leader: Expectations, commitment, integrity, listening and more.  
Krishna Vuppala and Rob Drumm, Waterloo Chapter 186 officers, discussed:
  • Chapter officer roles and contemporary approaches to communications and how members want to receive communications.
  • How to utilize social media for instant announcements for chapter events and programs.
  • Interest groups and meetups
  • How to recognize and involve chapter thought leaders from industry and academia. 
  • Understanding members by walking in their shoes.
Joe Vanstrom, faculty advisor for SME's Iowa State University S132 student chapter, discussed senior and student chapter initiatives to engage students and senior members.

Kyle Riegel, 2018-19 SME Member Council representative, gave a presentation titled "SME Member Council. What is it?"

As part of my presentation, I discussed:
  • "Engagement: Member Participation, Recruitment and Retention"
  • "How to plan a company tour and networking."
  • "Why be a member: Features, benefits and value"
  • "What's your chapter’s purpose, mission and vision?"  
Kurt Carlson, a technician and instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College, was also presented with his 2018 SME Award of Merit


On Saturday, Joe Vanstrom hosted our meeting at Iowa State University, College of Engineering. The keynote speaker presented on 3D printing with examples of industry adaptation and changes to production processes. A laboratory tour was then conducted demonstrating the curriculum of the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. We concluded the conference with a professional and student chapter summit.  


My appreciation for our team presenters and participants. We are excited about planning future chapter conferences and workshops.

Posted by Mark Price on Oct 19, 2018 2:34 PM America/New_York