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Presidents Message March 2009

Robert W. Bruce

See you in Florida!

If you haven’t already, make plans now to attend the lubricant industry’s
premier technical event—STLE’s 2009 Annual Meeting.

STLE’s 2009 Annual Meeting & Exhibition, May 17-21 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is getting closer. At this writing we just finished the winter board meeting at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, site of the ’09 event.

The conference rooms are great, with very short walks between them. Restaurants are right next to the conference area, all under one roof. From your room you can choose to walk to the conference area—or not if you want to generate a little tan. The weather was beautiful during our stay, and in May the temperature range averages between highs near 87 F (30 C) and lows of about 66 F (19 C).

The technical program for the annual meeting looks great. Featured are some 350 technical presentations, many with exciting titles; 10 one-day education courses taught by world-class instructors, including one on grease in collaboration with NLGI; 70 exhibitors and the keynote address on Disney’s renowned innovation process. 

Last year we used the annual meeting to preview the society’s new Web site. This year we will demonstrate the digital edition of TLT, which we plan to launch later this year.

We also plan to demo our first education Webinar.  Making it was a real learning experience. We hope to create many more and make them available on the STLE Web site, giving you education when you want it and at your own pace. Let us know which topics interest you the most.

And then there is the wide range of Disney activities detailed in the annual meeting promotional brochure that members received with their January issue of TLT.  The brochure also is available online at www.stle.org. Area attractions include Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Cypress Gardens, Dinosaur World, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Universal Studios. As an alternative, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival is scheduled from May 15 until May 25. You can visit Sea World Orlando or even swim with the sharks at Discovery Cove.

I just finished reading the book Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney by Lee Cockerell, a long-time Disney executive. This excellent book is about leadership and the ways of Disney. Everybody should read it, not just managers. It describes how the “cast members” at Disney work together to exceed expectations of the “guests”. That spirit was clearly felt during our busy two days of board meetings.

Disney provides a shuttle to and from the Orlando International Airport. The shuttle is free if you make your reservations 30 days in advance through www.stle.org.  Otherwise the shuttle fee is $20 one-way and $33 round-trip. Taxi fare between the airport and the resort is about $60. Parking at the Coronado Springs Resort is free.

In the March TLT, Bob Gresham, STLE’s director of professional development, offers a long list of reasons why attending the society’s 2009 conference makes sense from a business point of view. I completely agree with Bob’s reasoning—a challenging economy is the time to recommit to the business disciplines that made your organization successful in the first place.

You can even save $75 on your meeting fee by registering by the April 20 Early Bird deadline. Just log on to www.stle.org and make your room reservation while you’re there.

I’ll look forward to seeing you in sunny Florida.
Bob Bruce is principal engineer, tribology, at GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati. You can reach him at president@stle.org

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