by Peter Drechsler
STLE has thrived for more than 66 years due to the support of a very special group of companies.
When I was asked to speak at the corporate member breakfast at STLE’s 2010 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, I thought of the usual speech to give. I planned on discussing the many benefits corporate members receive, including free registration to annual meetings, free education courses and discounts on exhibit space and the Commercial Marketing Forum.
For most companies involved in STLE, the decision to join as a corporate member becomes a no-brainer when analyzing the cost vs. the benefits. STLE actually loses money when a company utilizes all of its corporate member benefits. There is certainly a lot of value in the package.
While all of this is interesting and relevant, I knew this was not the message I wanted to concentrate on in my speech. After giving it some thought and looking back at the history of our society, I decided to talk about the role corporate members have played in STLE’s ongoing success.
The formation of our organization back in 1944 as the American Society of Lubrication Engineers (ASLE) would not have been possible without the support of corporations from the steel industry, lubricant suppliers, lubrication-device manufacturers, additive suppliers, oil companies and the aluminum industry. If not for the support of these titans of industry 66 years ago, our society would not have flourished. The focus in 1944, as it is today, was on creating a society that meets the needs of industry.
Some of the principles established back then include:
Education and the dissemination of knowledge were the principles upon which our society was founded. STLE’s founding fathers recognized that an educated workforce benefits employers. Corporations recognized and embraced this concept and supported ASLE.
The generous support of our corporate members over the years has contributed to STLE’s success, and today our society is recognized as the global leader in tribology and lubrication science. Corporate member support comes not only in the form of dues but, more important, through their commitment at annual or local section meetings either through attending or by teaching a course or presenting a paper.
Today, as back when STLE was created, corporations still play an important role in the success of our society. They also realize the importance of the society and the benefits they reap through STLE education and training programs that allow for a more educated workforce that produces better products and services.
STLE grew through the years with the support of corporations. Even if you are an individual member and your employer pays your dues, consider this a form of corporate support. It means your company recognizes the benefits and value of STLE membership.
Peter Drechsler is a senior tribology specialist with The Timken Co. in Canton, Ohio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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