Momentum - February 2021 - 21

SAE News
" I think we're all contributing to the same goal, which is to
build a better industry, build better engineers, and everything
you do is just pointed to that end, " said Frank Menchaca, SAE
Chief Growth Officer. " So, many thanks for your support. You
have helped to keep SAE not only viable but sustainable and
vibrant. We look forward to your contributions and to working
with you next year and many years beyond. "
" From hearing about the ways each of you engage with
SAE, one thing is completely evident: Our contributors choose
many diverse ways for giving back to the mobility industry, and
that's what makes the organization so truly awesome and
special, " said Chris Ciuca, SAE Vice President of Programs.
" Thank you, in your own ways, for supporting the industry. In
some cases, it's not hundreds of hours, it's thousands of hours
that you volunteer to help drive the mission and organization
that we all serve. "
" It's unfortunate that we can't be together, but the value
that you provide to the organization through your
volunteership is just astonishing to me, " Ciuca added. " I'd like
to also recognize the hard work that Nicole Iorfido, Donna
Edenhart, and the entire team have done to present this event
for you this evening. "
Planning for the 2020 celebration began more than a year
ago, on the heels of the 2019 in-person event, with nearly all of
the heavy lifting being done by SAE Volunteer Engagement
Manager Nicole Iorfido-from soliciting Contributor of the Year
nominations to making travel arrangements for the nominees
to organizing and executing November's virtual event. One of
her many tasks was sending to each of the 26 nominees a gift
basket that included a beverage to be enjoyed by nominees
during the virtual program. Afterward, she mailed Contributor
of the Year pins to each nominee and a special plaque to Case.
Iorfido had also overseen the 2019 Contributor of the Year
program/event, which was held at The Paris in Las Vegas. Bob
Ireland was named winner of the award. She'd booked the
Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Ariz., as site for the 2020
program. To mimic a " ranch experience " as much as the
COVID-19-caused pivot from an in-person event allowed, she
employed a photo from Tanque Verde promotional materials to
create a ranch background for each speaker during the virtual
program, which was held via Microsoft Teams.
" For tonight, we'll just have to pretend we are there, " joked
Edenhart, noting that enabling Top Contributor nominees to
network is an important aspect of the program. She said all of
those in the 2020 Top Contributor Class will be invited along
with next year's Class to the 2021 in-person event, for which
Tanque Verde is again booked. Although the 2020 program
was held virtually, " that doesn't make this event or your
accomplishments any less significant, " Edenhart emphasized.
Only one of the 26 nominees was unable to participate in
the November event. Each of those who did offered brief
remarks about who they are, how they volunteer for SAE, and
why they volunteer.
" Many people helped me early in my career, " said Case,
" so I feel passionate about mentoring and connecting. I'm
confident in the future of our industry, and hopefully we can


continue to get more students to engage in SAE at various
levels-whether it's AWIM [SAE's A World In Motion
program], local sections, or tech committees. "
A 39-year SAE Member from the Southern California
Section, Case in 2019 was influential in supporting dozens of
students to continue as SAE Professional Members after
graduation. He gave presentations to students and young
professionals at the 2019 WCX World Congress Experience in
Detroit, participated in SAE's Student University Days initiative,
was a featured guest in SAE's online Mentor Mixer series, and is
the most requested presenter in the organization's Industrial
Lecture program.
" Dean serves as a tremendous ambassador, " said Edenhart,
" and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he works on SAE
activities in some capacity all 52 weeks of the year. Dean is a
true SAE treasure. "
Case himself expressed appreciation and humility at
receiving the Contributor of the Year Award, crediting the
other 25 nominees and describing the whole 2020 Top
Contributor Class as a team. " Yeah, I've done a lot...but every
one of them has done some amazing work too, " he said. " This
is really an all-star team. " n
By Patrick Ponticel, MOMENTUM editor

Members of the SAE 2020 Top Contributor Class
David Andrea
Ward Atkinson
Sue Bai
Carla Bailo
Craig Barnes
Jennifer Bastiaan
*Amalia Batori
Danny Bocci
*Dean Case
Glenn Cashion
*Maura Chmielowiec
David Downey
Richard Greaves
Brandon Hance
Mark Herman

Derek Logan
Justin McNew
*Jennifer Morrison
George Nicols
Anne O'Neil
Don Robins
Steve Rohde
Jason Rounds
Kelly Schmitz
James Shaw
Scott Sluder

*Also member of the SAE 2019 Top Contributor Class

February 2021 21


Momentum - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2021

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