Dear Fellow Engineers,
I have helped with a number of professional societies, like many of you, and have often wondered if my efforts in creating events have had value or long lasting impact on Rochester. Having run numerous events, I have often thought the probability of having lasting impact is often so small that it is too difficult to perceive. That said, even the occasional small success will drive you to continue volunteering your time and effort.
A few years ago, I tried to reignite a group called the Rochester BioBeers organization that was established by a good friend, Bill Rader. The first event we tried was a local new technology pitch session that was hosted at Excell Partners by CEO Theresa Mazzullo and COO Rami Katz. I brought in two clinicians, including Drs. Charles Duffy and Jonathon Stone, to speak about medical technologies they were interested in commercializing. I left the meeting gratified by the success of filling the small auditorium at the Kodak headquarters which is the home of Excell Partners. That meeting had far more impact than I could have even imagined.
At that meeting was an acquaintance of mine, Dr. Michael Wilson, who was looking to get involved in the startup community, which is difficult to penetrate as a young entrepreneur. Also in attendance was Steven Griffith, an engineer and colleague I had met through the MedTech Association. Steve has given wonderful presentations to IEEE about the engineering behind the small vineyard he manages in Rush.
From that small meeting, the collision of Dr. Stone (CEO), Dr. Wilson (COO) and Mr. Griffith (CTO) resulted in the Rochester-based company, Simulated Inanimate Models (SIM). As I look back at that successful event, I don’t think these three individuals would have met any other way. It gave me great pleasure in having them provide the cover story in this issue that recognizes their recent success within the local Luminate competition!
The moral of this story is that the RES relies on volunteers like yourself to create a community with events that generate “collisions of value”. Your efforts as a volunteer within your professional society often have far more impact then you realize. That impact comes in many different ways. For example, the scholarship that helps an individual pursue a career path. Science fairs that inspire young individuals to become engineers. Tutoring that results in an individual graduating with honors. Meetings that result in personal contacts that create new job opportunities. I have been lucky enough to have seen many of these transpire long after the initial effort was put in as a volunteer. If you haven’t volunteered before, take a look through the Rochester Engineer. Your efforts will clearly have impact on the Rochester community.
All my best,
Greg Gdowski, PhD
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