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Press Release

SME Announces Forthcoming Executive Leadership Change

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich.) ─ 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 August 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 on the forefront of helping its members, the manufacturing industry and manufacturing professionals meet the challenges that come from impactful changes in the industry,” said Dr. 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.


If you have questions about the press release or need additional information, please contact SME Public Relations at