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Chapter Officer Spotlight: Anwelli Okpue & Kristen Forti

Welcome to Chapter Officer Spotlight, a new monthly feature highlighting leaders from various SME chapters where we highlight one professional and one student chapter leader to showcase recent accomplishments. This month, we spoke with Anwelli Okpue, Chair of the Detroit Chapter 1, and Kristen Forti, Chair of the Indiana Tech Student Chapter S345 Chapter.

Anwelli Okpue
Project Engineer, Gasbarre
Detroit Chapter 1 Chair
SME member since 2019

Anwelli likes being an officer because of the opportunities to bring members together to facilitate networking, grow their careers, and achieve their professional goals.

His advice for other officers is to understand everyone is very busy, so it is important to be creative while communicating with members and designing programs. Additionally, it is beneficial to create strong relationships with leaders of other chapters to share best practices, challenges and support one another. Recently, Anwelli was contacted by another chapter leader who needed Anwelli’s expertise in industrial furnaces on a project they were working on.

Anwelli said this was a very exciting call, not just because of the opportunity for both organizations to work together, but because it highlights the importance of SME membership, and the benefits of the networking events membership offers.

Kristen Forti
Intern, Plant Engineering Services
Chair of Indiana Tech Student Chapter S345
SME member since 2020

Kristen likes being an officer because it connects her with other student organizations at the school. She is a resource for other members and gets to help people, which is always a great feeling! Kristen works closely with the faculty advisor, Dr. Dusseau, who is always mentoring and helping her to grow. There is a lot to enjoy about being an officer. 

Kristen’s advice to other officers is to make sure meetings add value to your organization. Partnering with other organizations and clubs can be really helpful to grow interest and momentum. Finally, have fun and encourage effective and regular meetings.

Kristen noted SME is awesome and has helped her with her internship and finding opportunities, such as attending FABTECH. When she attended FABTECH for the first time, it really made her excited about the future of engineering. Kristen will graduate in a couple of weeks and is looking forward to continuing her education outside of the classroom. She hopes to find an area of engineering she is deeply passionate about. Her other passion is horses. Kristen completed her senior project capstone on Improving Efficiency in Thoroughbred Training Barn.

Do you want to be highlighted in our leader spotlight, or suggest one of your fellow officers be included? Each month there will be a professional and student chapter officer spotlighted. Email Heather Palermo, Manager of Chapter Development for SME to be included.

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