SME to hold annual meeting.

Press Release Summary:

SME and its Southeast Michigan chapters will host "A Passion for Manufacturing: 2008 SME Annual Meeting & Interactive 'Unconference'", May 31-June 3, 2008 in Detroit. It will include a free day of sessions and networking for members on June 1, and on the 2nd, a keynote presentation by John W. "Mac" MacIlroy. There will also be a Learning Session: Innovate Like Edison: Five Steps for Creating Competitive Advantage for Your Manufacturing Enterprise, led by Sarah Miller Caldicott.

Original Press Release:

SME Shows Its "Passion for Manufacturing" in Detroit, May 31-June 3

Event Features Annual Meeting, Interactive "Unconference," and Awards Gala

DEARBORN, Mich., April 10, 2008 - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and its Southeast Michigan chapters will host "A Passion for Manufacturing: 2008 SME Annual Meeting & Interactive 'Unconference,'" May 31-June 3, 2008 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. SME is proud to hold its flagship member event in Detroit, Michigan where the Society was founded more than 75 years ago, and show its continued support for manufacturing in the Great Lakes region.

A Passion for Manufacturing will convene industry leaders, innovators, and educators from throughout the U.S. and Canada to share their ideas and best practices, and discuss advancements in manufacturing technologies and business practices. Open to SME members and nonmembers alike, A Passion for Manufacturing combines an Interactive "Unconference" with networking, leadership and industry recognition activities. The entire program has been built by SME members, with other manufacturer practitioners in mind.

According to SME President Neil A. Duffie, PhD, FSME, CMfgE, "A Passion for Manufacturing will provide a glimpse into what SME is doing to help manufacturing companies and individual manufacturing professionals bridge their workforce competency gaps." With approximately 75 million baby boomers nearing retirement, this is a particularly critical factor in safeguarding the competitiveness of North American manufacturing. Duffie added, "At this event, attendees will connect with other individuals who, while they may come from a different industry setting, are facing similar business issues at home. A Passion for Manufacturing provides them with a venue to share their wins and challenges. We'll also be showcasing the SME Education Foundation and its youth and scholarship programs that are inspiring, supporting and preparing the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow."

The following are highlights of A Passion for Manufacturing. Event details, registration and housing information are available at Membership info is at:

Sunday, June 1, 2008, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
A Passion for Manufacturing will bring SME members a full day of FREE educational sessions and networking activities with other members and SME leadership groups. SME chapter and technical community members from the U.S. and Canada will be on hand to share their Best Practices and Ideas through a poster competition, and will describe how they are leveraging SME as a conduit to connect with professionals from across all manufacturing industries and disciplines. Advanced registration is required.

Sunday, June 1, 2008, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. SME members and nonmembers will join together for the memorable A Passion for Manufacturing: Opening Reception at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum's Detroit Industry fresco cycle, by noted Mexican artist Diego Rivera, will serve as an apropos backdrop as manufacturing executives, managers and other industry professionals network and connect in an intimate setting. This free reception is open to members and nonmembers; advanced registration is required, and space is limited. Cash bar.

The Interactive "Unconference," which begins on Sunday evening with the Opening Reception at the DIA, continues with a full day of activity throughout Monday. Advanced registration is required for all activities; $150 SME members/$250 nonmembers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Keynote and Presentation of SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Awards Keynote Speaker: John W. "Mac" MacIlroy, President and CEO, Michigan Manufacturers Association During this group breakfast, which is FREE for SME members, attendees will hear the MMA's perspective on how manufacturers can use innovation to overcome obstacles. SME will also present its Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers award.

9:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. "Unconference" Learning Session: "Innovate Like Edison: Five Steps for Creating Competitive Advantage for Your Manufacturing Enterprise Featured Speaker: Sarah Miller Caldicott, President, The Power Patterns of Innovation Manufacturers are true problem solvers and inventors. Today, manufacturing is such a complex industry that being the best engineer, technician or manager is no longer enough to guarantee success. Challenging current practices can result in new business directions. This session is about innovation and its integral role in manufacturing.

A great-grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott has been surrounded by creativity and innovation throughout her life. In this presentation she will share:

-Edison's Five Competencies of Innovation
-How these competencies apply today
-A hands-on exercise that demonstrates relevance to attendees' problems

Additionally, each attendee will receive a signed copy of the book, "Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America's Greatest Inventor," signed by the author, Sarah Miller Caldicott.

11:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Lean-In-Action Manufacturing Facilities Tour
Ross Controls, Madison Heights, Michigan
Attendees will go behind the scenes to explore lean transformations first hand, and see how other manufacturers are implementing and sustaining lean. Discussions pre- and post-tour will be facilitated by industry leaders, and the tour participants will be encouraged to offer their own suggestions for continuous improvement. Through this experience, participants will gain the ability to recognize and evaluate lean improvements. Advanced registration for this tour is a must, and is limited to 40 attendees. Registration includes box lunch and transportation.

June 1-2, 2008 "Unconference" SME Connections - Problems & Solutions Board 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. As part of the Interactive "Unconference," attendees are invited to stop by the SME Member Center during A Passion for Manufacturing to post problems and receive solutions and connections from manufacturing experts.

Monday, June 2, 2008 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Reception - Featuring the SME Education Foundation 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Dinner and Awards Presentation

Each year, SME pays tribute to individuals who are making an impact on the advancement of manufacturing. This is also the venue where the Society showcases the SME Education Foundation, and generates greater awareness about its youth and scholarship programs, which together are helping to inspire, support and prepare tomorrow's manufacturing workforce. Advanced registration required; black tie optional; $45 SME members/$90 nonmembers/ $795 for table of 10.

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About A Passion for Manufacturing:
A Passion for Manufacturing: 2008 SME Annual Meeting & Interactive "Unconference," is for anyone who is passionate about manufacturing. This one-of-a-kind event will be the gathering place to discuss manufacturing trends and best practices; share ideas and success stories; learn more about the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and its Education Foundation; and develop cross-industry business contacts. For details, online registration and housing information, visit. For SME membership information, visit

About SME:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide. Visit


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