2016 CIC Recap


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This year’s College Industry Conference (CIC) was held on Thursday, November 17 and Friday, November 18 in Chicago at the Westin Michigan Avenue. Highlights of this year include 101 student delegates representing 27 FEF certified and affiliated schools, along with more than 200 industry leaders.

Keynote speakers for the morning session were industry leaders Mackenzie Meekhof, Director of Quality Control and Assurance, Denison Industries; Jim Kundratic, Operations Manager, Neenah Foundry; and Tom Cobett, owner of T. Cobett and Associates. All three spoke about their personal journey and included thoughts and ideas on how to view success and failure.

“Don’t ever mistake being a millennial as a bad thing,” said Mackenzie, “but make sure you leverage your differences with your colleagues – you don’t know everything.” Tom Cobett encouraged students to go outside their comfort zone and understand that “Failure is necessary to learn.” “Being willing to take responsibility for your mistakes will go a long way in being successful, just don’t make the same mistake twice,” said Jim.

Lunch highlights included a concluding presentation by Rick James, Chairman & CEO of Metal Technologies. He encouraged the students to take opportunities, but always give back. “Being a philanthropist is just as important to me and my wife, as my career and family are,” said Mr. James. FEF thanked him for all of his work with FEF, industry and as a philanthropist by awarding him their highest award, the prestigious E.J. Walsh Award. The annual FEF/AFS Distinguished Professor award was presented to Alan Druschitz, Key Professor at Virginia Tech. Additionally, over $75,000 in scholarships were awarded at this year’s CIC.

Next year’s conference will be held on November 16 & 17 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Plan now to attend this exciting event!

Click here for list of scholarship recipients