From the CEO: Change is challenging but essential

AME | January 12, 2024

2024 is commencing with great energy! It is exciting to see members collaborate and innovate as we design new training and workshop opportunities for members. This year, AME will host the annual virtual Back to Basics Lean Summit and offer in-person events again, including the AME Nashville 2024 Lean Summit.

It is funny: we all start the new year with goals, objectives and promises to ourselves that we will be healthier, happier, nicer, more active, and more ___ fill in the blank. Week two of the year hits, and we are already internally negotiating our commitments. Isn't this human nature? We propose a change that we know will be good for us, and we find it challenging to commit to.

As continuous improvement professionals, we view each year as an opportunity to improve, stabilize processes, make life easier for our teams and embrace change. AME is also looking at ways this year to change further, improve continuously and focus on the future. We will focus on our vision of a "renaissance driven by people-centric leadership coupled with enterprise excellence." Our mission is to "inspire a commitment to enterprise excellence through experiential learning by bringing people together to share, learn and grow." As we all know, we must adapt and change to be successful. Change is hard and always necessary.

In the spirit of change, I would like to recognize our board chair, Rich Fitzgerald, in this week's letter. Rich was recently announced as the chief executive officer of NEOTech's Industrial & Medical division. NEOTech stated its primary objective was to "identify a next-generation leader with a proven track record in leading professional management teams within the demanding high-technology sectors. This new leader had to be capable of steering the growth of NEOTech's Industrial & Medical Division in the years to come."
Kunal Sharma, president and chief operating officer of NEOTech, shared the following about Fitzgerald. "With his extensive background in electronics manufacturing operations, his leadership in assembling management teams that drive enhanced production efficiencies, and his impressive achievements in customer and revenue growth, Fitzgerald was the obvious choice to lead NEOTech's Industrial & Medical Division into an exciting future for these high-tech product market segments."

Over the last two years, Fitzgerald has served as a global executive and consultant for numerous industry-leading corporations, where he made significant contributions to enhancing operational efficiency. Before that, as the chief operations officer of SMTC Corp., he played a crucial role in driving continuous improvements in the company's operations, resulting in remarkable revenue growth. For several years before this, Fitzgerald held the position of global vice president of operations and supply chain at Avnet Integrated, overseeing a $1.3 billion operation of Avnet, Inc.

Fitzgerald shared, "It is an honor to be appointed as CEO of the Industrial & Medical Division, and I am eager to join this exceptional team. I am strongly customer-centric, and throughout my career, I have prioritized organizational growth by exceeding customer expectations. I am eager to get back to the industry that I enjoy so well and excited to reestablish the relationships I developed."

Please join me in congratulating Rich Fitzgerald on this exceptional recognition of his leadership. AME is honored that he shares this same passion and leadership with AME. We look forward to his vision as AME international chair of the AME Board of Directors this year. 

Once again, I wish you all the happiest New Year. As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.