SME Appoints New Director of Membership


The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has named Joe LaRussa, P.E., as its director of membership. He will be responsible for increasing awareness of the value the society has to offer manufacturing professionals. Debbie Holton, who was previously responsible for SME’s membership activities, will be assuming a leadership role as director of industry strategy and product development, focusing on both existing and new event strategies which engage SME members and outside organizations.

“Joe will be a tremendous asset to the SME management team,” says Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of SME. “His work as a volunteer and his understanding of manufacturing at a practical level will assist in the nurturing and development of existing and future members.”

Before joining SME LaRussa was project manager, customer quality office for Chrysler Group LLC. Prior to that, he held various positions in product development, project management, and manufacturing engineering at Visteon Corp., culminating with his position as a mobile electronics project manager. During his tenure at Visteon he was responsible for generating profitable revenue and achieving production cost savings for the organization. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering a master’s degrees in automotive systems engineering and engineering management. He has been an SME member since 1994, previously serving as an SME membership consultant, and he was appointed to the SME member council in 2009. In 2008, he received the SAE Foundation’s Young Manufacturing Leadership Award.

Founded in 1932, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education, and networking. Through its many programs, events, and activities SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, and motor vehicles, including motorsports, oil and gas, and alternative energy. More information is available at