Change is occurring more rapidly in manufacturing than ever before. Obviously, most of that change is due to the development and deployment of new techniques, technologies and processes. But another factor is at work: the departure of the Baby Boom generation from the workplace. And that is as true in the editorial department as it is on the shop floor.
About a year ago, I had the great honor and privilege of introducing myself to you on this page as the editor in chief. Now I have the bittersweet task of stepping down from that position. I have enjoyed the past 11 months (and my nearly 10 years at SME) immensely, through IMTS, podcasts, webinars, Yearbooks and Manufacturing Engineering’s special Tooling and Workholding issue. It has been hard work, but also highly enjoyable and fulfilling.
Yet the realization has arrived that I am much, much closer to 70 than to 17 and there are many more things I want to accomplish and experience. Fortunately, I am able to do so knowing that ME is in the capable hands of a great staff and an exceptional new editor in chief.
I won’t say farewell. Rather I wish you the best until we meet again.—Jim Sawyer
When I joined ME as a senior editor last year, I was excited to be back in the manufacturing business but as a writer, free to work on news, features and columns. I had been in management as a chief editor or editorial director for more than 30 years, and it was great to be doing what had drawn me to the trade in the first place: writing. Plus, I had a great boss, Jim Sawyer, who provided sound advice and counsel—along with his unique brand of humor.
So, of course, that couldn’t last. Jim up and retired. I can’t imagine why he would want to spend less time in the office and more time having fun, but that’s that. Our boss, Vice President Dave O’Neil, asked me take over as editor in chief, so I’m back in editorial management, sorting through hundreds of emails, signing authorizations and planning issues. Actually, it’s a great gig. I like it and get to work with a talented group of writers and editors. And the good news is Jim will be helping us out part time as he eases into retirement. So, Jim, many thanks for your years of service to ME and the industry, and enjoy retirement—but don’t forget that next deadline!—Alan Rooks