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Presidents Message - July 2010
The meaning of volunteerism
There’s no secret to becoming STLE president. It all starts with a simple decision.
I want to begin my first column by thanking my predecessor, Dave Scheetz, and the other past presidents who have set the bar so high. While rising to their exceptional level of service won’t be easy, it is a challenge I embrace.  Many people have asked me how you become a senior leader with STLE. I can assure you that there is no mystery to it—all it takes is a sincere desire to serve our society and make our industry a better one for all of us.
Twenty-six years ago I attended my first STLE Annual Meeting. Little did I know then that some day I would be leading all of you as president of our wonderful organization.

I have two individuals that I must recognize as playing a major role in leading me down this path. The first is STLE Past President Phil Miller. After I had attended several meetings of the Connecticut Section, Phil asked if I would be willing to serve on the section’s Executive Committee. I was quite honored to be asked. As it turns out, I went on to serve two terms as chair of the Connecticut Section, thoroughly enjoying every minute. It was a tremendously gratifying experience to work with such a dedicated group of individuals.

The next individual I must recognize is John Hermann, another dedicated STLE volunteer and past president. I met John when he was on STLE’s Executive Committee, and he asked if I would be interested in serving as a regional vice president on our board of directors. Once again I was flattered and without hesitation I replied yes, serving two terms as RVP and then two terms as a director on the national board.    

That’s really all there was to it. No mystery, no great secrets. Just a simple decision to work with other similar-minded individuals in creating a better STLE. I would like to thank STLE’s many volunteers, from the local section level to the national. Without you we would not have an organization that today is recognized around the world as a leader in the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering. 

I also would like to acknowledge the many corporate members that support STLE. Only with their generosity can STLE flourish and function at the level it has for more than 65 years now. 

Of course, I also would like to thank The Timken Co. and the management team at our Technology Center?Gary Doll and Doug Smith—for their complete support of my STLE activities. Again, it is only with the support of corporations such as Timken that we have such a strong society.

If any of you have thought about volunteering for STLE, I would strongly encourage you to participate. Volunteering starts with something as simple as presenting a paper at the annual meeting or giving a technical talk at a local section. Perhaps you can serve on your local section’s Executive Committee or join one of STLE’s many technical committees or industry councils.

Who knows, like me, you might find that a single decision to become involved could lead you to the STLE presidency.

I am humbled and honored to serve as your new president and promise you my best effort.  Thank you for this wonderful privilege.
Peter Drechsler is a senior tribology specialist with The Timken Co. in Canton, Ohio. You can reach him at peter.drechsler@timken.com
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