Pittsburgh SWE Leadership Summit a Great Success

The goals of the summit were 3, 2, 1: Meet at least 3 people who can help you or your SWE section, take back at least 2 new things that you will do as a SWE section, and work together as 1 geographic area to advance Professional Development and STEM Outreach.
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The Pittsburgh professional SWE section organized and ran a Leadership Summit on September 15, 2018 for the eight collegiate SWE sections within an hour’s drive of Pittsburgh.  The six-hour summit was held on the Robert Morris University campus as that location was the most equidistant for those driving in. A total of 39 SWE leaders attended.

The theme and goals of the summit were “3-2-1” – Meet at least 3 people who can help you or your SWE section, take back at least 2 new things that you will do as a SWE section, and work together as 1 geographic area to advance Professional Development and STEM Outreach.

The presenters and discussion leaders were all members of the Pittsburgh section.  Topics included How SWE Works, led by Mary Ann Walsh, a former Region G Governor; What Every Section Leader Should Know About Budgets, led by SWE Fellow and former Region G Treasurer Marilyn Reeder; Bylaws – Why Do We Have Them and How to Update Them, led by SWE Fellow and FY18 Bylaws Committee Chair Helen Patricia, and Strategic and Tactical Planning, led by SWE Leadership Coach, Mary Zeis.

The keynote address was given by Pittsburgh SWE member Melissa Martinez, Vice President, New Product Development at Allegheny Technologies Incorporated.  Melissa addressed the Importance of Teamwork, using Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” as a framework.  Melissa gave suggestions on how to Build Trust, Master Conflict, Achieve Commitment, Embrace Accountability, and Focus on Delivering Results.

The summit was a great success, with an overall score of 4.6 out of 5, and 100% of participants agreed that they met the three goals.  And 97% would recommend that other SWE leaders participate in future summits. The networking and the keynote address on teamwork were the favorite parts of the day.  Suggestions for next time include more interactive sessions and more time for networking.  And there will be a next time!  The Pittsburgh professional section plans to make this an annual event.

The collegiate sections attending were Carnegie Mellon, Geneva College, Grove City College, Robert Morris University, University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, Youngstown State, and Duquesne University.

For more information on the best practices from this summit, contact swe.pittsburgh@gmail.com.