When I was first considering starting a SolidWorks User Group in Central Texas, I turned to Michelle Pillers of the Seattle Area SolidWorks Power Users Group (SASPUG) for advice. Michelle was kind enough to send me a wonderfull email full of great ideas. One piece of wisdom stood out, and has always stuck with me - "Feed Your Guests".
I know it seems trivial on the surface, but think about it for a moment. While SolidWorks User Group are thought of as primarily training events, a close second is the networking opportunities available. "Breaking Bread" with fellow SolidWorks users adds a tremendous social significance to any meeting.
Plus...people will be coming to the meeting straight from work, and they'll be hungry.
Michelle's contribution to the SolidWorks User Group Network goes far beyond advice to local user group leaders. Michelle created the first SNUG website, and included a discussion area, resources for local chapters, and links to various engineering and community places (remember..this was before Google). The SNUG website was the first public look at the new SolidWorks User Group Network back in 2000.
Michelle's legacy lives on in SASPUG, swugn.org, and the entire SolidWorks User Group Network. If not for her sound advice and willingness to help, my own user group might never had happened. I'm forever grateful, and certainly far better off for having contacted her that day.
Michelle's name graces the SWUGN Lifetime Achievement Award plaque. In fact, she's the first SWUGN rep to have earned the award. If you ask me, the award should be renamed in her honor.
Thanks for everything Michelle!!