Category Archives: Alumni & Friends

From Manager to Owner: Lessons Learned

President and Owner of Delkor Systems Dale Andersen shared the lessons he learned during his transition from sales manager to company owner

When Dale Andersen made the decision in 1999 to purchase Delkor Systems he went from being the Sales Manager to the company’s President and Owner. At the time, the company had sold off its main product lines and was a small company of about 10 employees.

The transition from employee to owner was more difficult than Andersen imagined, but he learned quickly that losing money was a great motivator for innovation. That innovative spirit has allowed Delkor to not only transform into one of the leading U.S. manufactures of case packing and robotic packaging machinery, but revolutionize the way many products are packaged and sold. Today, Delkor employs nearly 200 people.

Andersen shared several leadership tips that he learned along the way:

  • Put Communication First – From public speaking to the written word, good communication has become a never-ending, lifelong pursuit for Andersen. And how the message gets delivered is just as important. Andersen stressed that e-mail is not always the best method and when it comes to delivering difficult news, a phone-call or a face-to-face meeting can prevent a lot of miscommunication.
  • Lead with Humility & Understanding – Listening to employees has always been an important part of Andersen’s job. He recently asked employees what changes they would make if they owned the company and is now in the process of implementing many of those suggestions.
  • Lead with Grace – Leaders should be direct, thoughtful and accept responsibility.
  • Focus on Culture – Hiring the right employees is critical the success and growth of a company. Employees need to not only have the technical knowledge, but they need to be a good fit with the company’s culture.
  • Think Strategically & Write It Down – Andersen said when he first bought the company in 1999 he didn’t have a written plan. By taking the time to define how the company should allocate its resources, it enables you to use those resources more effectively.
  • Build Creativity – A creative culture is a benefit to any organization and one of the best ways to stifle creativity is to come down hard on mistakes.

Watch the video of Andersen’s Leadership Lecture:

Machine Tool Alum Provides Lead Gift for New School of Engineering

Dunwoody College of Technology is thrilled to announce a $2 million gift from Ray, ’65 Machine Tool, and Nylene Newkirk for the new School of Engineering.

School of Engineering Concept ImageryNewkirk founded Tape, Inc., which filed nine patents for fusion bonding thermoplastics and developed a proprietary line of machinery known as Hydra Sealers. He sold Tape, Inc. in 1987 and then purchased two local businesses, Teamvantage plastics injection molding and then Custom Mold Design, maker of precision molds.

Today, Newkirk’s business is the largest single employer in Forest Lake, and a global player in the medical, electronics, defense and industrial markets.

Newkirk is a 1989 recipient of the Dunwoody Alumni Entrepreneur Award and a former Trustee of the College, 1999-2011.

Transforming the Campus

Dunwoody College of Technology, a leader in technical education for more than a century, is taking a big step toward its next hundred years. The College unveiled plans for its new School of Engineering and a major renovation of its campus. The renovation, which will create more interactive learning spaces and enhance the overall student experience, was recently boosted by Newkirk’s donation.

The first phase of the new School of Engineering is a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, with other traditional engineering degrees to follow.

Dunwoody’s new bachelor degrees build on the College’s current expertise in training technicians for in-demand fields and were requested by and developed in concert with local industry. Engineering degrees will incorporate Dunwoody’s renowned method of real-world, applied, hands-on learning.

The College pioneered, and perfected over decades, an approach to technical education that places equal emphasis on providing students direct experience with the tools, techniques, materials and professional standards of their chosen industry as well as rigorous academic learning.

“We’re diversifying and expanding ways in which students can come to Dunwoody and study with us,” says President Rich Wagner. “More importantly, by doing so we help to bridge the skills gap across our region and meet the increasing workforce demands of industry, and class by class, brick by brick we’re staying committed to our mission of helping people change their lives. And, as always, we’re able to do that thanks in part to the ongoing and generous support of our industry partners and donor community.”

Physical Renovations to Encourage Collaboration,
Cater to Growing Enrollment

Physical renovations, additions and upgrades have all been designed in such a way as to encourage and promote the College’s immersive, hands-on teaching methodology, foster collaboration and enhance overall student life on campus.

Planning is already underway to create a state-of-the-art welcome center, to open up the lobby space and many of Dunwoody’s original high windows bricked over in the 1970s (originally done to reduce heating costs during the energy crisis of 1970s). Space for the School of Engineering will feature a two-story multi-functional learning environment that will house group work and presentation spaces as well as a virtualization and visualization lab to promote collaborative and immersive learning.

Over the next five to seven years the College will re-purpose no less than 53,000 square feet of the existing campus. The expansion will come from a remodel and fill-in of the current, under-utilized gymnasium; the employment of unused space in the main building’s attic; and the extension of spaces in several other areas.

“Our plan for updates and renovation is focused on enhancing the campus footprint we already have,” Wagner says. “We’re making design choices that preserve Dunwoody’s heritage and ensure the College’s physical spaces truly reflect and promote our teaching philosophy and methodology. That means open, collaborative spaces; innovative reuse of existing space; adaptive environments that encourage even more exploration and engagement between faculty members and our students. We’re focused on creating a better overall experience for prospective students, current students and campus visitors. It’s about creating spaces that better reflect our status as a leader in technical education.”

Program Additions Meet Industry Needs

In addition to the School of Engineering, Dunwoody recently added a Bachelor of Architecture program. The program is structured as a two plus three stackable credential, awarding an Associate of Applied Science degree after the first two years and a Bachelor of Architecture degree upon completion of the final three years. The first Architecture class will graduate in 2017. The college is also accepting applications for the first Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with classes beginning August 2016.

In their first two years architecture students will become experts in current design and building technologies, making them ideal employees in building design and construction industries. In their final three years, they will become leaders in the profession of architecture as well as in the advancement of design and building technologies.

The addition of the School of Engineering and the Bachelor of Architecture exemplifies how Dunwoody stays true to its mission of providing a world-class, hands-on, applied education that meets industry needs.

Q&A with a Dunwoody Auto Alum

Dunwoody alumni are innovators, entrepreneurs, top technicians and skilled workers.  Here is a quick Q&A with just one!

Photo of Jeremy Leizo

Jeremy Leizo

Jeremy Leisenheimer, ’06 Automotive Service Technology
Emergency Vehicle Technician & Fleet Manager,

City of Rochester Fire Department

Q. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?

A. At Chester’s Kitchen and Bar in Rochester.

Q. Has there been a moment in your career when you thought “My job is awesome!” and what was that moment?

A. Almost every day is awesome, what little boy doesn’t dream of playing with fire trucks everyday? One particular moment was when I was verifying a repair made to our aerial platform. It’s quite the view from way up there.

Q. What would your former classmates be surprised to know about you now?

A. That I work on fire trucks instead of cars and that I have taken woodworking up as a hobby.

Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?

A. I don’t have just one favorite memory, I enjoyed most of my time in school.

You can read more Q&As with Alumni & Friends in the Spring 2016 edition of the Alumni & Friends Magazine.

Q&A with a Dunwoody Baking Alum

Dunwoody alumni are innovators, entrepreneurs, top technicians and skilled workers.  Here is a quick Q&A with just one!

Photo of Tiffiny Meinert

Tiffiny Meinert, ’88 Baking
Owner, Tiffiny’s Tipton Bakery

Q. Where is the weirdest place you have ever met a fellow alum?

A. I live in very rural Iowa so I have not met a fellow Dunwoody alum yet. I have, however, through social media contacted my roommate from when we were both attending Dunwoody. She is in California now.

Q. Has there been a moment in your career when you thought “My job is awesome!” and what was that moment?

A. My job is awesome…. Well to be honest I have not had a “job” since I purchased the bakery 4 years ago. See I don’t have to go to work, I get to do what I love. Yes, there are trying times and I put in a lot of long hours but it has never felt like a “job.”

Q. What would your former classmates be surprised to know about you now?

A. My former classmates would most likely be surprised that I became a grandmother this year to twins.

Q. What is your favorite memory of Dunwoody?

A. My favorite memories of Dunwoody are when we would all work around the big wooden table rolling dough with Mr. Galloway, and
Mr. Letty showing me how I can make my flower cake designs have more dimension.

You can read more Q&As with Alumni & Friends in the Spring 2016 edition of the Alumni & Friends Magazine.

 

Dunwoody welcomes more than 400 alumni to proud tradition

This weekend, Dunwoody welcomed over 400 new alumni to its long history of outstanding graduates. The College’s Commencement Ceremony took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 21.

Photo of Scott Crump

S. Scott Crump, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys Ltd.

In his keynote speech, S. Scott Crump, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys Ltd., shared the experiences, personal habits and attributes that led to his success as an inventor and innovator, including the invention of the first 3D printer with FDM, which revolutionized the product process by automating prototyping. He discussed the importance of creative, free thinking and the ability to follow through with the ideas that arrive through such thinking:

When you have a great idea, you need to create a clear vision of your new idea and have the persistence to prove its feasibility and then eventually convince others that new is possible. However, as a heads up, you should expect resistance to new.

We are all curious but generally, we resist change. So: most people are too afraid of the risk of social criticism and ridicule to take the chance of sharing inventions and innovations.

In fact, I believe this is the single biggest barrier to invention, because it actually threatens your comfort zone. To counter that fear, I always try to operate out of my comfort zone.

Mr. Crump also gave a challenge to the graduates:

Learn to use your creative zone, and make sure that you have a lot of fun along the way, which gives you the passion to make a difference; because it’s not just about a job.

Dream and follow your dreams; I challenge you to make a difference in this world. Solve big problems and don’t conform, be a non-conformist.

Alex Mars, who served as the Class of 2016’s student speaker, shared the impact an applied education at Dunwoody has made on her life:

Photo of Alex Mars

Alex Mars, Dunwoody Class of 2016 student speaker

We often hear the clichéd phrase “the sky is the limit”. I finished my last semester of the Welding program at Dunwoody in December. I took a welding position at an Aerospace company in Eagan. I build helicopter frames and airplane engine mounts for a living. The phrase “the sky is the limit” has taken on a literal meaning for me. Using the skills I have earned at Dunwoody, I build aircraft and send my dreams up into the sky.

In his concluding remarks, President Rich Wagner reminded the graduates:

Photo of Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

Dunwoody College of Technology President Rich Wagner

The Dunwoody legacy is evident around our city, from the buildings Dunwoody alumni have designed and built, to the companies they’ve started, to the products they manufacture, to the designs they’ve created, and the projects they’ve managed. It is humbling and overwhelming to look at the impact Dunwoody alumni have had and continue to have on our neighborhoods, on our communities, on our state and on our nation.

And now, you carry a responsibility to hold fast to the values a Dunwoody education represents and to take with you the challenge of perpetuating Dunwoody’s great legacy through your actions and accomplishments.

Additional photos from Commencement can be found on the College’s Facebook page.

Photo credit: Stan Waldhauser Photo/Design

Stratasys Co-Founder S. Scott Crump to Keynote Dunwoody College 2016 Commencement

Photo of Scott CrumpDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that S. Scott Crump, Co-Founder of Stratasys, Ltd, the leading organization for 3D printing innovation, will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

About S. Scott Crump

Scott Crump is the Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys, focused on leading and managing innovation by originating and encouraging new ideas, which will result in new solutions and products to market.

Mr. Crump is the inventor of Fused Deposition Technology (FDM) and a co-founder of Stratasys, which began in his home garage along with his wife Lisa Crump. They shipped one system in the first commercial year and now Stratasys has over 150,000 3D Printers with customers.

He served as the CEO, Chairman, and Treasurer of Stratasys from the 1988 start up through 2012.

In addition, he is on the Board of Directors and is currently serving as Chairman of the Executive Committee since February 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Chairman of the Board since inception in 1988.

From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Crump was co-founder and Vice President of Sales of IDEA, Inc. They were a premier brand manufacturer of load and pressure transducers. Mr. Crump continued as a director and shareholder until its sale to Vishay Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: VSH) in April 2005.

Mr. Crump holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and attended UCLA’s Business Management Development for Entrepreneurs. Mr. Crump is a registered professional engineer.

Developing a Leadership Mindset: Five Points

Ted Ferrara, ’77 Refrigeration, describes his personal leadership as a “work in process,” not a “work in progress.”

Photo of Ted Ferrara speaking at Dunwoody.

Ted Ferrara, ’77 Refrigeration, was the April 2016 Leadership Lecture speaker at Dunwoody.

“Some days progress, some days regress, but all days are part of a process,” Ferrara said. One of the owners of Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, a local, family-owned business, Ferrara shared his thoughts on leadership during the April 7 C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series at Dunwoody College of Technology.

The Dunwoody alum and immediate Past Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Ferrara also holds a B.A. and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Metropolitan State University and an MBA from Harvard University.

During his talk, Ferrara defined “Leadership that Matters,” as “Helping people get to a place they would not have otherwise been inclined to go,” and touched on five main points.

  1. Be a Good Follower.  Know what it is to be a good follower.  It is an active pursuit, not a passive one. Ask yourself, “Would I want me as a follower?” Good followers push back when they disagree and help ensure that their leaders are successful. Becoming a good follower helps future leaders develop understanding and empathy.
  2. Take Ownership. The organization you work for is an extension of yourself and taking ownership means going beyond the job description and taking responsibility to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. At the same time, don’t take on everyone’s problems. Instead, empower others to become problem solvers.
  3. No Excuses. Leadership is difficult and risky personally, and things don’t always work out, but nobody buys excuses. Instead, ask yourself if you had a “do-over” knowing what you know now, would you have done anything different. By adopting a “no excuses” mentality you put your best efforts forward and unleash a lot of creative problem solving.
  4. Define Reality. Whether it’s an established and well-functioning enterprise or a total turn-around, a leader’s job is to first figure out where the organization is at and then help others understand that reality.
  5. Lead With Values. Define and communicate your core values. In an uncertain world, this is where you find certainty.  Shared values are the strongest reasons for people to follow you.

Watch the video

Dunwoody College celebrates Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and Dunwoody is celebrating in some very exciting ways!

Starting tomorrow, the College has several women-focused events on campus, including:

The 76th Diversity Forum: Women’s History Month with guest speaker Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
March 15, 12:30 p.m. in the McNamara Center
Contact: lparvis@dunwoody.edu

A Kate’s Club Meeting for all Dunwoody women interested in attending  a supportive, networking event.
March 17, 2:45 p.m.
Contact: katesclub@dunwoody.edu

A Salary Negotiation Workshop for students in Dunwoody’s Women in Technical Careers (WITC) Scholarship program.
March 18, 4:30 p.m.
Contact: mwhitman@dunwoody.edu

Note: If you are not a WITC student and are looking for salary negotiation tips, please contact rborchardt@dunwody.edu.

The College has also launched a social media campaign to celebrate women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) professions—occupations that have been historically dominated by men. The campaign features Dunwoody women employees, students, and alumni who are pursuing or already working in a STEAM career.

Several of the campaign’s participants include:

Melysia_Cha

Emily_Miner

Beverly_White

Nicole_Nusbaum
The College invites all women in STEAM careers to participate! To join the campaign, simply tweet or instagram your photo, career choice, and a sentence about what makes you, you.

Make sure to use the hashtag #STEAMwoman or use our social media handle @dunwoodycollege.

Happy Women’s History Month from Dunwoody!