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Events and Exhibitors

Leadership Series



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At each SME Leadership Series, the following presenters will take active roles in providing the highly interactive leadership training only found in this series.

Lead Presenter

Mark Michalski
Mark Michalski
Senior Director of Technical Operations and Strategy
MKS Instruments
Member Since 1992

Favorite Leadership Quote:
 "Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." ~ General Colin Powell 

Personal Thoughts on Leadership: Every day I challenge myself to be fully engaged in enabling my team to reach their goals, by listening to their issues and doing all I can to remove their barriers to success. Leadership is not telling people what to do — it is being there for them every day, in every way. In the Leadership Series, we strive to provide the tools that current and future leaders need to dream more, learn more, do more. 


Matt Hilgendorf
Matt Hilgendorf, CMfgT
Advanced Components and Systems Supply Chain
Caterpillar Inc.
Member Since 2002

Favorite Leadership Quote:
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” ~ W. Edwards Deming, PhD

Welle, Matthew
Matt Welle
Lean Manager
Putnam Plastics Corp.
Member Since 2011

Favorite Leadership Quote: "No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent." ~ Abraham Lincoln

SME Staff Presenters

Ralton Emory

Ralton Emory
Member and Industry Relations Manager
Member Since 1994

Personal Thoughts on Leadership: Leadership, to me, is all about having a positive impact. A leader impacts the overall goal of the organization by making smaller, yet no less significant, impact on the team that he or she leads. People follow those who can give them the courage and direction to act, support them as they make good decisions, give constructive improvement suggestions where necessary. Our goal with the Leadership Series is to equip people to become that type of leader.

Kevin McCormick

Kevin McCormick
Member and Industry Relations Manager – Canada
Member Since 2013

Favorite Leadership Quotes: Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price [that] all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” ~ Coach Vince Lombardi 
“Never give in — never, never, never, never.” ~ Winston Churchill
"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority." ~ Ken Blanchard

Personal Thoughts on Leadership: Leaders are not born, they are made. They are a product of their upbringing and desire. The best definition of a leader, in my opinion, is a leader is someone who will take you to a place where you were not prepared to go on your own. One of the biggest misconceptions with regard to leadership is that not everyone can be a leader. I believe anyone, with the right training, the right mindset, the right attitude can become a leader regardless of background. Napoleon put a Field Marshal’s Baton in every soldier’s knapsack, a powerful signal to people conditioned to accept personal limits on their careers as dictated by the class system. He promoted those showing ability, as opposed to those born into a certain class.

It is never too late to become a leader. If Winston Churchill had quit politics before he turned 65, the world would have never known him as one of the greatest, most influential leaders in history. Deep down, you know you are a leader, join us at a Leadership Series and learn how to hone your skills as a leader. Stay calm and lead on.