IEEE, American Welding Society Searching for New Executive Directors

Both of these large organizations announced last week that their current EDs have decided to retire soon.

Both IEEE, which calls itself the world's largest technical professional organization advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, and the American Welding Society are now searching for new executive directors. Last week, IEEE announced that Dr. E. James Prendergast, its current ED, has decided to retire in early 2018 after almost nine years of service and AWS' board of directors announced its ED, Ray Shook, will retire at the end of 2017.

Both organizations credited them with spearheading significant improvements. IEEE, which has more than 420,000 members worldwide, reported that during Prendergast's tenure, IEEE's global presence and engagement grew significantly with new offices in Vienna, Austria, and Bangalore, India, and expansions in China, Japan, and Singapore. He "orchestrated the acquisition of IEEE GlobalSpec and the Engineering360 platform, which supplies first-rate content to the desks of today's engineers. This acquisition marked the first time in its history that IEEE, a not-for-profit professional organization, acquired a for-profit corporation," its announcement said, adding that the IEEE executive director leads 1,200 professional staff members at 11 U.S. and overseas locations.

Shook has been AWS' executive director since 2002 and has been closely associated with the welding industry for 44 years, according to its announcement, which said AWS has grown significantly to more than 73,000 members and has seen its revenues rise from $15 million to more than $40 million annually during his tenure. Shook was instrumental in the alliance of the AWS Welding Show with FABTECH, and the society moved into a new, 125,000-square-foot world headquarters in 2012; acquired Weldmex, Mexico's leading welding show; and under Shook's leadership, two other organizations -- the Resistance Welding Manufacturing Association and the International Thermal Spray Association -- merged with AWS, it says.

The IEEE board has retained Korn Ferry to conduct the search for its new ED. The AWS announcement said the AWS board, staff, and Shook "are committed to a process that will result in a successful succession of leadership at the American Welding Society."

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