Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meeting Minutes May 19, 2009

Central Wisconsin SolidWorks Users Group

Subject: Meeting Minutes
Meeting Date: May 19th, 2009
From: Raj Deshpande

The first SolidWorks User Group meeting for Central Wisconsin area was held on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The meeting was held at Kumon Math and Reading Center, 1345 8th Street South, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494. We followed the set agenda for the meeting.

Agenda: 5:00-5:15 Welcome
5:15-5:35 Introductions
SW Experience
Expectations from SW Users Group
5:35-5:50 Keynote speaker –
Mark Swanson, CTO, Renaissance Learning
Purpose of the group
Potential benefits
SW Community involvement
5:50-6:00 Presentation – Graphics System
5:55-6:30 Future meeting agenda
Officials/Volunteers (President, VP, Secretary) Time / Frequency
Website/advertising/promoting the group
Guest Speakers
6:30:7:00 Refreshments/Informal gathering

The meeting started on time. I welcomed all the participants and thanked volunteers, VAR, and SolidWorks for sponsoring the event. We had a good turnout considering this was our first meeting. We went around the room as every one introduced themselves.

Mark Swanson, Chief Technology Officer at Renaissance Learning Inc. gave a keynote speech. He highlighted some of the objectives and purpose for the User Group and encouraged feedback from attendees. A list of items participants expected from the User Group included;
Leaning new features – Lot of us felt that we use similar software features on day to day basis for our work. Therefore, it would be beneficial to share knowledge from other group members and learn new features of the software. We also decided to invite experts from VAR or other SW partners to give a speech on a specific topic. One of the suggestions was to set aside some time during each meeting to address any SW modeling challenges a group member may have.
Communication and networking - As a group, it is easier to receive and share information readily as compared to individually.
Keeping group active and interesting to all participants – Mark S. stressed that the group needs to be active and inclusive for all participants. One of the ways of doing this is to keep contents practical and include hands on projects.
Community outreach - The advantage of SW User Group is access to diverse technical knowhow and expertise. We may be able to use this knowledge to sponsor community projects that benefit local area students interested in engineering curriculum. Mark S. mentioned that it is easier to get funding for community project as a professional group than for an individual.

Some of the discussions and suggestions for ongoing activities were focused on communication.
· We decided to set up a blog where all Group Users can share their thoughts. This will avoid sending and receiving mass e-mails for communication and give opportunity for each User to participate at their own time and will. I want to thank Caleb Bahler for volunteering to set up the blog. Caleb also did a great job designing the logo and coming up with a catchy name for our User Group.
· We talked about possibility of holding meetings in Wausau in the future. Wausau area may have larger number of SW users and potentially more participants. All users were open to the idea. We need local Users from Wausau area to take the lead to arrange the meetings in Wausau. Technical college in Wausau may be a good location for a meeting. Few members suggested rotating the meetings at different locations. For the next meeting, we decided to meet in Wisconsin Rapids at the same location. The next meeting is scheduled on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009. The meeting will be advertized on SWUGN Calendar (SolidWorks User Group Network)
· We discussed frequency of the meetings. We planned our next meeting in two month and plan to adjust the frequency as we gain more experience.
· We also decided to postpone election of officers and focus on networking and getting to know each other better.
· I made an announcement of SWUGN Summit in Minneapolis on August 18. Please let me know if you need further information or plan to attend the meeting.


Next meeting: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Meeting Location: Kumon Math and Reading Center
1345 8th Street South (Shopko Plaza Mall Shops)
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
Facilitator: Raj Deshpande
Phone: (715) 424-3636 Ext. 4632 (work)
(715) 423-7323 (Meeting Location)
E-mail: rddeshpa@renlearn.com
(Mention: SW User Group in Subject column)

Topic: Presentation on DriveWorks
(Raj to contact DriveWorks and arrange presenter and post agenda)
We will get some feedback on our User Group name and blog
Please contact Raj if you want to present or make an announcement in the meeting.

Participants for May 19th meeting:

Al Javoroski – MSTC
Caleb Bahler – Genesis Tech
Chris VanAsten – Clover Industries
Dean Goodmanson - Renaissance Learning
Dennis Fritz – Graphics System
Eric Pilsl – Graphics System
Joe Tylka - MSTC
Kent Huchthausen – FRP Composites Inc.
Mark Ptak – MSTC
Mark Swanson - Renaissance Learning
Raj Deshpande - Renaissance Learning
Shane Burling – Point Precision
Stephen Turner – Renaissance Learning
Tim Lonsdorf – Clover Industries