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June President's Message - Incoming President, Greg Gdowski

03-Jun-2020 10:03 AM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

Dear Colleagues,

I am honored to be taking on the role of President of the RES.  The RES has a long history of remarkable Past Presidents dating back to 1897.  I am humbled to be among some of the most accomplished engineers within Rochester area over this time period.  I am also grateful to those that have preceded me, especially Joe Dombowski (2018-20), Mike Triassi (2017-18), and Jon Kriegel (2016-17).  They have been instrumental in setting the stage for the continued success of the RES. 

I am very fortunate to have an extremely talented set of officers in navigating the RES forward including Michelle Sommerman (1st Vice President), Dennis Roote (2nd Vice President), Andrew Hirsch (Treasurer), and Lynne Irwin (Administrative Director).  The Board of Directors also provides extraordinary depth in expertise that guides RES activities and endeavors.  These individuals include Joe Dombrowski (Immediate Past President), Kenton Hines, Richard Rice, Neal Illenberg, Stephen Day, Brett C. Eliasz, Mike Kurdziel, and the newly added members Dan Weaver and Nancy Crawford.  It is with great sadness that Michael V. Triassi, and Lee Loomis will be departing from their roles on the Board.  Their guidance and help will have a lasting impact on the RES and will look forward to engaging them on future special projects.

As I look forward, the RES is rapidly approaching its 125th Anniversary.  It is hard for me to imagine what Rochester must have been like in 1897 when seventeen engineers came together to begin the RES.  Kodak was in its infancy, electricity had been just introduced, and the first Ford model-T had yet to be invented.  It is remarkable to me that the first RES President, Edwin Fisher, likely personally knew Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.  While we have made strides since that time in eliminating racism and establishing equal rights, clearly the recent incidents resulting in the death of George Floyd illustrate that we as a society in Rochester must aggressively continue the work of our most celebrated historical figures.  Like you, I am angered and saddened by the recent incidents in our country.  Violence is not the solution.  Frederick Douglass once said: “I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”  It is time for us to take a more pro-active role within the community to move us closer to the United States originally envisioned by Douglass and Anthony.   

How can you help make a difference?

We have tried to make this easy for engineers at the RES by facilitating engagements in important community STEM-related activities such as: E3, Stem-Bridges, and the Terra Science Fairs.  One activity where we need your help is in providing tutoring for the Walter Cooper Academy, School #10.  With the help of Lee Loomis, the RES established the Tutoring Team Project in 2012 at School #10. A school named in honor of Dr. Walter Cooper (1996 RES Engineer of the Year).  In 2019, the RES Tutoring Team included more than 20 tutors, providing over 100 hours of support to the scholars and their teachers, each month.  They were making a difference in the lives of many students.  Your help is needed more now than ever!  School #10 experienced layoffs and was closed for the Covid-19 crisis.  The new school is slated to be completed shortly and we are hoping to continue our efforts in tutoring in the upcoming year.  Please contact me or Lynne Irwin if you are interested in helping with this effort.  If you do not have the time to help with tutoring, please consider giving a charitable donation to this effort.  Your sponsorship will greatly help us to continue to support tutoring and other stem-related activities such as Science Fairs.

All my best, Greg Gdowski

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