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President’s Message

President of SMILeading By Example

From Hap Porter, President of SMI

I suppose it could be said that I am a somewhat unusual person, at least politically. Having grown up and gone to school in Massachusetts (also known as “The People’s Republic of Massachusetts”), home of the Kennedys and bastion of various liberal enclaves and institutions, I nevertheless ended up on the conservative side of the political spectrum. And while a Yankee Republican is likely less conservative than, say, many Texas Democrats, we are still an endangered species here in good ole Mass.

I raise this issue because, on the national scene, our country is in the midst of a particularly contentious time between political parties, liberal and conservative factions, and even within groups which might be considered otherwise like-minded (think Tea Party vs “establishment” Republicans). The current rancor and dysfunction between the legislative and executive branches of the federal government make progress on important issues nearly impossible.

Respectful discourse and resulting compromise seem to be quaint notions from another time and place. And this fall, with 435 House of Representatives races and 36 Senate seats up for grabs, the tone and tenor of our national politics has been thoroughly mind-numbing.

But, fear not, there is one environment where people, enterprises and international groups can, and are, working together, supporting one another, and striving for the common good. I am, of course, speaking about SMI.

The SMI membership is an admirably engaged group. There is an uncommon willingness from springmakers to support not only the Institute, but also their fellow members. When I was preparing to attend the European Spring Federation meeting in Düsseldorf this past April, I reached out to many of our board members, to hear directly from them about the state of their businesses, as well as their perception of the health of the overall economy. All were gracious and open in sharing their views and I was deeply appreciative for their support.

Beyond that specific event, SMI members have for years demonstrated their commitment to the organization, by serving as directors, committee chairs, or simply by participating on committees at our regular meetings. I have consistently been impressed by the degree to which our membership has willingly engaged in the running of SMI.

Lynne Carr, our executive director, has been asked to help set up a possible U.S. tour by Italian springmakers. I have been struck by the welcoming invitations by many SMI members to host visits by these guests, should they come our way.

The success of SMI over the decades is directly attributable to our members, both regular and associate, working together with the organization’s staff, and with each other. I tip my hat to you all, in grateful appreciation of your selfless support of SMI.

Commitment…dedication…cooperation…success. What a novel concept!

I only wish our political leaders could see how a group of competitors has looked beyond their parochial self-interest, to the benefit of the larger group.

Our organization has thrived thanks to this mindset, and we look ahead with excitement and confidence to all we will achieve in the coming months and years.

SMI members – be proud!.

Hap Porter
President and COO, SEI MetalTek

SMI Springmakers

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