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Ken Braney's monthly look at SPE's activities.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Central Europe Annual General Meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I was joined by Karen Hately (SPE Europe Coordinator); Olivier Crave, Chair of SPE Europe and a current Vice President of SPE; and Maria Ciliberti, who was Chair of the SPE Automotive Division in the USA and is now living and working in Germany for her company, Ticona.

The meeting, chaired by Section President Klaus-Dieter Johnke, was held to review the past year, confirm plans for 2010-2011, and agree to the budget forecast. I updated the attending members on the worldwide activities of SPE, and I discussed in great depth the situation regarding membership levels in our Society, suggesting ideas based on the activities of certain Sections that have resulted in increases in membership.

The current position of Central Europe is that they have a strong financial base, and they are well prepared for their upcoming SPE Central Europe Automotive Awards Gala, which takes place on the Monday before the K Show. They have appointed Vice Presidents for regions such as Austria and Switzerland, who are now responsible for growing membership in these areas.

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Olivier Crave welcomed these new ideas and promised full backing from the SPE European Board. Maria Ciliberti offered to sit on the new membership committee that will be set up in the Central Europe Section. We will be discussing this plan in the next few weeks.

Also present was Peter Seida, President of the Hungarian Affiliate Section; he gave a presentation on the activities and the current membership of the Section. The activity calendar is strong, and they reported growth in membership; their aim of doubling the current membership--by the launch of the SPE EUROTEC[TM] Conference in November 2011--is on target.

Regarding EUROTEC, to be held in Barcelona, Spain, the new sponsorship brochure has been presented; our discussions centered on how to attract sponsors. Various ideas were suggested that have now been incorporated into the package to be officially launched at the K Show in Dusseldorf, Germany, this October-November. Proposals have been sent to potential sponsors, and the initial reaction is very good; already, a few companies have either confirmed their interest or have agreed to meet us at "K" to discuss in greater depth. The minimal budget plan for sponsorship money is within our grasp, and we fully intend to surpass this figure shortly.

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The photos accompanying this article show the meeting and the dinner that was kindly provided by Dr. Johnke and the SPE Central Europe board.

On to the USA

As of this writing, I am about to leave for the USA to attend the SPE Thermoforming Conference (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 18-20), followed by meetings with the Chicago and Milwaukee Sections; I will then go to the University of Akron and to Cleveland where I will meet with members of Ohio Sections. After that, I will be in Connecticut for the Fall Council Meeting.

Regarding the Council Meeting: By the time you read this article the meeting will be over, and all attendees will have returned to their "own lives." The meeting is the most important one in the year for us as members of SPE. The budget is presented and voted on; this year, VP/Treasurer Scott Owens, and Executive Director Susan Oderwald and her staff, have worked tirelessly to produce a zero-based budget, one that offers the opportunity for a reasonable balance at the end of the financial year. They have also incorporated into the budget the costs to cover the installation of a new association-management system, which can be used for a multitude of activities, including purchasing, payments, and membership tracking. This will increase SPE's ability to retain membership, gain new membership, and propel us firmly into the 21st century.

Also at the September Council Meeting, various votes will take place for officers of the Society; it is an important step for a number of people, and I salute their dedication and commitment to the Society. From someone who is currently enjoying every minute of his office, welcome to the Society's governance. You are among friends!

If any member is thinking of standing for a role in SPE's governance in the future, I would be pleased to offer any advice and guidance.

K Show

The K Show will be opening at the end of October, and I will be in attendance for the first four days. If you are attending, please stop by the SPE booth (Hall 11, Booth E-21); it will be manned for the whole of the exhibition by Karen Hately of the SPE Europe office and by a number of SPE staff and volunteers.

Ken Braney

kbraney@4spe.org

Ken Braney, SPE President

2010-2011
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Title Annotation:SPE news roundup
Comment:Ken Braney's monthly look at SPE's activities.(SPE news roundup)
Author:Braney, Ken
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Oct 1, 2010
Words:788
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