Five Questions with Chris Adams and Linda Wood

With the ARM Institute Annual Member Meeting about a month away, we’ve asked Chris Adams, ARM Program Manager, and Linda Wood, ARM Senior Certification Manager, to provide more insight into the Technology and Workforce tracks.

The ARM Annual Member meeting is the pinnacle event each year, open only to members. It will be held on November 15-17 at the Wyndham Grand in Pittsburgh and live streamed for virtual participation.  ARM Members can log into the ARM Member Community for more information and to register. If you are interested in ARM membership, please contact us at [email protected].

Last month ARM Marketing & Communications Manager Livia Rice shared an overview of the member meeting. Let’s get into more detail now!

Linda and Chris, your teams have been very busy this past year, and we’ve had to make some accommodations for the pandemic. This year, ARM will be hosting a hybrid event, allowing members to participate in-person or virtually. What are some of the themes that members can expect to hear about or engage with from your areas?

Linda: There is so much good news to share with our members regarding RoboticsCareer.org, the Workforce of the Future, and our pathway forward.  ARM’s Chief Workforce Officer Lisa Masciantonio will provide an overview of the year and we will host an interactive session outlining the current and future capabilities of RoboticsCareer.org, a keynote presentation on Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Finally, we will host an interactive session outlining three new ARM Institute-led working groups and solicit input from members.

Chris: Overall, one of the main themes will be networking.  With so many new members joining the consortium and the member meeting last year being held virtually, there will be ample opportunity to network.  As far as what members can expect on the Tech side, we will be covering topics such as Consortium-developed Intellectual Property (CDIP), the ARM Institute Fellowship program. We will also be hosting short pitches from our new members and a Tech Day for an upcoming project call.

Can you highlight a session that you think will be interesting to our members?

Chris: I think the session “Discovery Workshops as a Tool to define the Future” is going to be really interesting.  The incredible success of the AI Discovery Workshop has put this tool centerstage and there are plans to host additional workshops in the non-so-distant future.  The panel discussion will also provide insight from those who were a part of this process.

Linda:  I would not want to miss the keynote presentation by Ms. Liz Reynolds. The EWD team was engaged with Ms. Reynolds through her work at MIT concerning the workforce of the future, prior to her being called to serve in the White House.  In her new role, Ms. Reynolds will be able to provide insight on our current administration’s vision of the future of manufacturing and the workforce required to keep the US competitive.

Can you highlight a session that encourages member engagement and discussion at the meeting?

Linda: The EWD break-out session on Tuesday afternoon is focused on providing an update to members while obtaining their ideas for enhancements, additional capabilities, and our roadmap for the future. On Wednesday afternoon, we’ll also solicit input surrounding 3 new working groups to support EWD efforts.

Chris:  The Tech breakout on technology themes and projects is going to be a great opportunity to engage with the ARM Tech team along with select project teams.  One of our goals for this session is to better understand what improvements can be made so our members can easily access project-generated CDIP.  We hope this session inspires our members to use the valuable CDIP that’s been created and build upon it during future project calls.

What else can members expect to experience at the meeting – whether participating in-person or virtually?

Chris: Our members can expect a great mix of networking, general sessions and Tech/EWD breakout sessions. The ARM Institute staff worked hard to capture the successes of our virtual event last year, and implement that into our in-person meeting strategy to create an impactful member meeting.

Linda: Networking, networking, networking! The entirety of ARM is looking forward to seeing old friends and engaging with new members. We love the feedback and input we receive from our growing membership.

Are you excited about the opportunity to engage with members next month?

Linda: Although we did have our virtual member meeting last year, it just wasn’t the same as engaging with members one-on-one to hear their ideas, share best practices, and brainstorm ideas. I always come away from the ARM Member Meeting rejuvenated and inspired.

Chris: Absolutely!  I started at the ARM Institute in December of 2019 and was with the organization just a few months before the pandemic hit, so I’ve only met a few members in person.  Being able to engage, in person, with members from my project teams, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), as well as all our new members is something I’m very excited about.  The Member Meeting last year was great, but there is nothing like meeting with people face to face and establishing those relationships.

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