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SME Executive Team Bios

Christopher BargerChristopher Barger

Christopher Barger joined SME in 2018 from Brain+Trust Partners, a consulting organization he helped establish. Barger has also served in communications leadership roles at Voce Communications, General Motors and IBM. He has been recognized as a PR News Social Media Leader of the Year and is author of the Amazon marketing best-selling book “The Social Media Strategist” (McGraw-Hill, 2012). Barger is an active author, commentator and thought leader. He has a master's degree in public relations from Boston University and a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in political science from the University of Minnesota.

Kathleen BorgulaKathleen Borgula
Human Resources

Kathleen Borgula joined SME in 2000 and currently serves as the vice president of Human Resources. In this role, Borgula is responsible for leadership coaching, staffing, employee relations, compensation, benefits and payroll, as well as statutory and legal compliance for all SME employees and businesses across three locations. Prior to joining SME, Borgula was a technical recruiter at Acro Service Corporation. Borgula earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Michigan State University, as well as a master’s degree in management and a master’s degree in business administration from Walsh College.

Erica CiupakErica Ciupak
Information Technology

Erica Ciupak joined SME in August 2013 as the vice president of Information Technology, with additional responsibility for the Customer Service division. Ciupak has been in strategic technology roles in many industries, including higher education, engineering services, healthcare and manufacturing. She is also involved in many community and industry organizations, including the Michigan Council of Women in Technology, Detroit Yacht Club and Pewabic Pottery. Ciupak has a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Public Policy from Indiana University.

Debbie ClarkDebbie Clark

Debbie Clark joined SME in 1978 and currently is the manager of Governance. In this role, she works directly with the SME Officers and Board of Directors. In addition to the Board activities, Clark is the staff lead for the Past Presidents Committee, Officer Nominating Committee, Director and Member Council Nominating Committee, Awards and Recognition Committee and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. As a longtime SME employee, Clark has held various roles with experience in all areas of SME — membership, events, certification and communications.

Julie DuffJulie Duff

Julie Duff joined SME in January 2013 and currently serves as the vice president of Finance. In this role, she is responsible for all of SME’s finance and accounting across the organization. This includes finance support for all of SME’s businesses including SME events, Advanced Manufacturing Media, membership, Tooling U-SME and the SME Education Foundation. Prior to joining SME, Duff served as a finance and accounting executive for various companies including the director of Financial Services for Michigan Conference of Teamsters Welfare Fund, as well as controller of various private and public companies. Duff is a certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Jeannine KunzJeannine Kunz
Tooling U-SME

Jeannine Kunz joined SME in August 2000 and currently serves as the vice president of Tooling U-SME and vice president, director of training and development. In her role, she leads the areas of SME that are dedicated to the ongoing education of the current and future manufacturing workforce. Kunz also has oversight of SME’s Marketing Department. When she joined SME in 2000, Kunz supported research and new product development, before taking on the workforce leadership position. She led SME's acquisition of Tooling U (now Tooling U-SME) in 2010. Tooling U-SME is the leading provider of learning and development solutions for the manufacturing community. Prior to joining SME, Kunz worked for CSL International where she conducted feasibility studies for the building of arenas and stadiums. She is on the Industry Advisory Committee for the College of Technology at Pittsburg State University, serves on the executive committee for America Makes and is a member of ASTD. Kunz earned a bachelor's degree in business and marketing with a concentration in economics from Eastern Michigan University and has served on EMU's Alumni Board. SME Member Since 2008

Dave O'NeilDave O’Neil

Dave O’Neil joined SME in December 2014 as vice president of Media. In this role, he is responsible for managing and developing AMM’s print and digital media products. Prior to joining SME, O’Neil was group publisher of the Life & Health Insurance Group for Summit Professional Networks. There, he successfully launched several new electronic and lead generation products. O’Neil also served as chief executive officer of CK Media LLC from 2006 through 2009. As the CEO of CK Media, he successfully built one of the leading multiplatform businesses in the enthusiast media sector. From 1998 to 2006, O’Neil was the vice president/group publisher of the Primedia Crafts Division. During his term at Primedia, O’Neil built and managed the fastest growing division within the company delivering double-digit revenue and profitability growth. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois.

Steve PrahalisSteve Prahalis
Canadian Operations and SME Studios

Steve Prahalis joined SME in October 2003 and currently serves as the vice president of SME Studios and Canadian Operations. Previously, he was the director of Business Development and Innovation. In his current role, Prahalis is responsible for the growth, strategic direction and financial performance of SME’s Canadian business. SME Studios is a program that produces one-of-a-kind customer initiatives and special projects for SME. Upon joining SME, Prahalis was responsible for the introduction of several key strategic initiatives, including the creation and launch of imX — the Interactive Manufacturing Experience. Before joining SME, he was president of Reed Exhibitions Canada, a leading producer of trade shows and events serving a variety of markets coast to coast. Prahalis also served in various positions at Key3Media, including director of strategic alliances, general manager of Canadian events and vice president of the International division. He is a member of the International Association of Expositions and Events and has served as chair on its Executive Task Force. Prahalis earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Concordia University.