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Headquarters Report - June 2015

By Edward P. Salek, Executive Director and CAE

Make STLE your expert advisor

Use these five practices to turn your membership into business success

CONNECT. LEARN. ACHIEVE.—STLE’S VALUE PROPOSITION—tries to create a mental picture of the membership experience by using these three powerful words. But making the jump from imagery to a tangible benefit can be a challenge, especially for people new to the organization or for those not deeply engaged with STLE activities.

Association management research stresses that tangible benefits are the key to membership value for most professionals. For example, according to a new study completed by McKinley Advisors, “Expert advice was about three times more likely to be perceived as important than many other common association offerings.” McKinley Advisors is a market research and consulting firm that STLE has used on a number of assignments, including the popular Emerging Trends report.

Given the strong correlation between membership value and tangible benefits, let’s look at a list of five practical tools members can use to support their professional needs.
1. Read the print edition of TLT. STLE members get the magazine delivered to their office or lab each month. To aid in the technical education and professional development of STLE members, each issue focuses on technical topic selected by a unique editorial board comprised of other members. There’s good reason why TLT is rated as the top membership service STLE provides.

2. Use the TLT digital edition (DTLT). Arriving 2-3 weeks before the print version, DTLT also gives readers access to an article archive of 100 issues of the magazine dating back to 2009. Included are all of the world-class technical information as the print version plus topic-search capability by individual issue or archive. You also can email individual articles from DTLT or the entire issue to a co-worker or colleague. Articles in DTLT can be translated into 38 languages. You can access hundreds of archived TLT articles through www.stle.org.

3. Visit the library. Not the one in your company research center or community but STLE’s technical library called Tribology NetBase. This digital library of scientific and technical books includes a special section on tribology, lubrication and related topics in one centralized location. The search feature makes it easier to browse for books by authors, chapters or topics. Users have access to 33 titles, and individual book chapters can be downloaded for immediate reading for only $20 in many cases. Tribology NetBase is a joint project between STLE and CRC Press, the organization’s book publishing partner.

4. Access peer-reviewed research. Being among the first to access original tribology research is a major competitive advantage in the lubricants industry. Members working on tomorrow’s breakthroughs get free access to more than 75 years of journal-quality research published in Tribology Transactions and Tribology Letters. These researchers have full online access to both of these publications and a searchable archive of papers. This is an amazing benefit far exceeding STLE’s annual $145 membership dues cost.

5. Have lunch with an expert. One of STLE’s newest education programs is the live Webinar series. Sessions are offered on a variety of topics several times a month and run from noon to 1 p.m. Central Time in the U.S. Some people look at them as a way to build their knowledge base by having lunch with an expert speaker on a regular basis. More than 100 archived versions of presentations also are available through the STLE Website and cover fundamental information as well as current topics and issues. Member price for a Webinar, either live or recorded, is only $39.

One final point. When we conducted our most recent membership satisfaction survey, the majority of people put the organization at the top of the rating scale. Practical benefits like those listed above, as well as the dozens of others that could have been listed if space allowed, are the reason why. Check for yourself, and you’ll see why Connect. Learn. Achieve. is more than a slogan. It’s a strategy for tangible success for you and your organization.

You can reach Certified Association Executive Ed Salek at esalek@stle.org.
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