Skip to content

Press Release

SME Education Foundation Announces New President and VP of its Board of Directors

(Dearborn, Mich., Feb. 1, 2017) – The SME Education Foundation has announced the election of Kathy Burnham as the organization’s new president and Susan Shimoyama as new vice-president/secretary. Both bring a level of manufacturing expertise that will reinforce the Foundation’s commitment to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in the U.S.

“We look forward to the significant contributions Kathy and Susan will make to the SME Education Foundation Board of Directors,” said Jeff Krause, CEO of SME. “Both have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the manufacturing sector that will help the Foundation further fulfill its vision and mission to assist in the educational development of the next-generation manufacturing workforce.”

Burnham is a senior vice president at PadillaCRT, a Minneapolis marketing and communications agency. As leader of Padilla's manufacturing practice, Burnham directs strategic planning, conducts research and manages integrated campaigns that help companies build their brands and reputations. She is a founding member of the Minnesota Manufacturers’ Coalition and serves on the boards of the Performance Excellence Network and Top Tool Company.

Shimoyama is vice president of global sales and marketing operations for Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee). Her leadership at Rockwell has resulted in a transformation of the company’s global market-to-quote processes. Her credentials include global product management, commercial marketing, channel management, market development and business operations.

Peter Mackie continues his position of treasurer/chair of finance for the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Mackie is first vice president – investments fundamental choice portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Advisors LLC.

Directors for 2017 include: Ashok Agrawal,  PE, managing director, professional development, American Society for Engineering Education; Ray Betz, director, R&D Site Partners, Arconic; Elizabeth Kautzmann, Midwest regional sales manager, Ophir-Spiricon LLC; Gwendolyn Malone, senior manager/GM technical fellow, General Motors; Karla Middlebrooks, contributing partner, Excellence in Action; John Miller, vice president of strategy, Siemens PLM Software; Irving Pressley McPhail, EdD, president and CEO, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc.;Pamela Ruschau, Esq., attorney, Leydig, Voit & Mayer Ltd.; Ted Peachee, executive vice president (retired), Emerson; Brian Ruestow, LSME, operations manager, F.W. Roberts Manufacturing Co. Inc.; and Mike Schmidt, director, Education and Community Development, Ford Motor Co. Fund.

About the SME Education Foundation

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists. Since its creation by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. Each year, the Foundation awards several hundred scholarships to students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and technology disciplines closely related to manufacturing. The organization also administers scholarship awards on behalf of major corporations connected to manufacturing. Additionally, the Foundation’s PRIME® initiative was created to provide high school students with a tailored advanced manufacturing /STEM education.

Visit the SME Education Foundation at Follow @mfgeducation on Twitter or

About SME

SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or