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SMTA "Members of Distinction" Awards Announced

Sep 26, 2022

The SMTA is proud to honor the 2022 “Members of Distinction” award recipients who have shown exceptional dedication to the association and the electronics manufacturing industry.

The association’s highest honor, the Founder’s Award, recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions to the industry, as well as support and service to the SMTA. This year, the organization selected Irene Sterian (posthumously) to receive this prestigious award. In her corporate and industry leadership roles, Irene influenced and inspired many in the SMTA and the electronics industry for decades. She was an especially bright spark encouraging countless women in technology. A member since 2003, Irene served on the SMTA Global Board of Directors from 2004-2009. She continued to support various SMTA conferences, committees, and mentorship efforts over the years. SMTA and the electronics industry have benefited immensely from Irene's contributions over the years and her death earlier this year was a great loss for everyone that knew her.

The Member of Technical Distinction Award recognizes individuals who have made significant and continuing technical contributions to the association. This year the Awards Committee selected Richard Coyle, Ph.D., Nokia Bell Labs, as the recipient of this award. A former VP of Technical Programs on the SMTA Global Board of Directors, Richard has presented numerous award-winning technical papers at SMTA conferences and supported several technical committees over the years.

The Excellence in Leadership Award honors strong leaders who continue to support and elevate the association. This year the award goes to both Jeff Schake, ASM Assembly Systems, and Sherry Stepp, KYZEN Corporation. The SMTA thanks Sherry and Jeff for their many valuable years of service.

Jeff Schake joined SMTA in 2004 with regular participation in technical activities and committees over the years. Jeff has diligently supported his local Empire (NY) Chapter in a leadership role since 2016, becoming chapter president in 2019. His efforts have significantly improved the engagement of members within their chapter as well as at a global level.

Sherry Stepp has been an advocate for the SMTA on a national, international, and most recently at the local level. Since she joined SMTA in 2009 Sherry has been an important voice with the Marcom Committee, the Women’s Leadership Program, and the Expos Committee. Since 2020 she took on leadership roles with her local Huntsville chapter, first as President and most recently as VP of Membership.

The Excellence in International Leadership Award recognizes members who have provided outstanding support and leadership to the SMTA's international members, chapters, or educational programs. The recipient selected for this award is Morgana Ribas, MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions. Morgana has been a prominent leader in the SMTA India – Bangalore Chapter for several years as well as supporting association activities globally.

Lockheed Martin received the SMTA+ Corporate Partnership Award this year. As a Corporate Bronze member, Lockheed Martin has shown support at every level of the association from supporting chapter leadership positions to technical contributions for conferences and committees. They embody the SMTA mission by encouraging employees to become members, attend meetings and share their knowledge. Lockheed Martin is most deserving of this honor.

SMTA has recognized exceptional individual and corporate members for their immeasurable contributions to the association since 1994.

View details at the website: https://smta.org/page/current-recipients

Please contact Tanya Martin, tanya@smta.org or +1-952-920-7682, with questions.


SMTA is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in Electronics Manufacturing (EM), including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations.

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