Inteva CEO and President Lon Offenbacher served as the first-ever keynote speaker at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and SME Education Foundation (SMEEF) International Awards Gala on Sunday, May 19.
Offenbacher addressed an audience of 150 industry leaders, students and SME members from around the world who attended the event at the Detroit Westin. While this event has been held annually by SME and SMEEF to honor members and future manufacturing engineering leaders, this was the first time the organizations have invited an outside speaker to keynote.
Offenbacher opened his speech by describing Inteva and highlighting his personal journey in manufacturing and engineering. In looking ahead, he noted that the future is bright, with many opportunities to innovate in manufacturing.
“Our biggest constraint is not time or money,” he noted. “It is talent, having the right people working for us who are ready, willing and able to solve some pretty cool problems (such as how to) design, engineer and manufacture vehicles with autonomous driving features… and electrification-enabled features.”
During the evening, Inteva representatives had the pleasure of meeting some of the nation’s best and brightest high school students vying for SMEEF Director and Family Scholarships to pursue college degrees in manufacturing engineering. Following the keynote address, scholarships were presented to the top students. The evening culminated with the award of a $40,000 grand-prize scholarship to Rachel Linder, a student from Kentucky.