Home > Presidents Message - December 2010
Presidents Message - December 2010

By Peter Drechsler

Adding value the STLE way

You talked, we listened. The result? A batch of new membership benefits.
STLE is constantly looking for ways to improve membership value. A recent approach we took was asking the McKinley Marketing group (an organization that specializes in helping associations) to canvas our corporate members to see what they liked and disliked about STLE and to seek suggestions on how to improve the society’s value. We simultaneously conducted a membership survey asking the same types of questions.

The majority of answers we received indicated that members highly value not only the education and training STLE offers but also networking opportunities such as the annual meeting, conferences and section meetings. We listened and in the past year have been hard at work in both areas.

Members indicated that they would like to see more variety in the format, location and content of STLE education and training, so we generated a number of new outlets. We created online content, sponsored our first Webinar in September, offer biweekly podcasts and recently held a MWF certificate course in Detroit.

Online content comes in the form of educational modules and certificate courses created in conjunction with our education partner, Learning Management Systems. We currently have five online educational modules addressing base oils, additives, grease, MWFs and lube maintenance. These modules are typically 15-30 minutes in length, and more are on the way.

The online certificate education programs are self-paced training courses that include an exam at the end of each exercise. We are working with our corporate members to develop programs that fill niches not currently being addressed. Again, our ears are open.      

The biweekly podcasts are typically 12-15 minutes long. The first addressed “The Future of Wind Energy,” and the second examined “Tribology of the Eye.” If you happened to miss one, no problem—they are archived on www.stle.org and available to review at any time.

The September Webinar was our first, and I’m glad to say it went off without a hitch. Titled “VOCS: Regulation, Measurement and Industry Impact,” the free event was attended by 35 people. It also is archived and available free in the Members Only section of STLE’s Web site. I found it to be most informative and certainly of value to those whose products contain VOCs.

STLE networking opportunities traditionally came in face-to-face events such as the annual meeting and the International Joint Tribology Conference. Today, though, the world is networking through digital media as well. Recognizing this, STLE now offers discussion forums and videos on Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and a blog on our homepage.

Surveyed members said they view STLE as an industry authority and top provider of accurate technical information. To enhance this vision, we created the Emerging Technology Committee. This group will be the radar of the society, alerting us to new and novel technologies in all areas. This will lead to articles in TLT, technical sessions at the annual meeting and perhaps a dedicated symposium to address a new and upcoming technology.

I have shared these new activities with many of you in person through my visits to STLE local sections. While I am not able to meet with all our sections, I wanted to share with you what is going on behind the scenes at STLE. These and many other activities are adding value to your membership.

We are always listening and willing to act on your suggestions for more ways to add value to your membership. Keep the suggestions coming!

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