Mark Peter's contribution to the SolidWorks Community cannot be measured by the success of his user group because he's never been a user group leader. Mark's involvement with several local chapters in the Midwest is the reason he got that call back in 1999, and the SolidWorks User Group Network should be glad he did.
Mark's initial contribution to SWUGN came in the form of the SWUGN charter, a document that has needed minimal changes since it was first drafted. The SWUGN charter covers things like board membership, meetings, etc., but the documents brilliance is revealed in the first line:
The purpose of the SolidWorks User Group Network committee is to assist in the development, support and continuation of local SolidWorks users group chapters for the purpose of promoting the free exchange of information related to the use of SolidWorks.
It's a mouthful to be sure, but it really spells out exactly how SWUGN Committee members feel about their role in the SolidWorks community.
Mark's legacy also includes the wildy successful Midwest SolidWorks User Conference, a two-day training and networking event that was held for five straight years in Racine, Wisconsin. Modeled after SolidWorks World, this mini-conference featured technical sessions presented by some of the best talent in the area, dozens of SolidWorks Partners, and hundreds of attendees each year.
Mark retired from the SWUGN Committee in 2007 as it's longest serving member, but continues to stay involved. We were happy to have Mark on stage at SolidWorks World this year announcing the SWUGN Award winners.
I know Mark still gets a few emails each year wondering when the Midwest conference will be held, and many user group leaders still look to him for advice. He's one of a handful of people that have attended every single SolidWorks World conference, and you can expect to see him again in San Antonio next year.
Mark never led his own SolidWorks User Group, but his role in the founding of SWUGN, his continued involvement in the community, and his willingness to help has made it far easier for those that have.