SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Ricky Jordan

Since 1996, SOLIDWORKS User Groups have been a valuable resource for SOLIDWORKS users all over the world.  The SWUGN Committee and DS SOLIDWORKS provide ample support, but the real stars are the SOLIDWORKS User Group Leaders. Every couple of weeks we’ll spotlight one of our group leaders and the local user group chapter that they are responsible for leading.

Ricky Jordan – North Alabama SOLIDWORKS User Group

Ricky Jordan
Ricky Jordan

I’ve known Ricky Jordan for a long time now, and I will tell you he is one of the kindest, friendliest, most respectful people I’ve ever met.  The details of our first meeting have been relegated to the depths of my mind, but I remember the phone call that got the North Alabama SOLIDWORKS User Group back up and running.  Since then, the group has held over 70 meetings and has hosted a variety of SOLIDWORKS Community members – CEO’s, VP’s, SOLIDWORKS employees, and SOLIDWORKS World presenters just to name a few.  These days Ricky is co-leading the group along with Brian McElyea as his family and work duties have increased exponentially these past couple of years.  Still, Ricky helps plan and attends every meeting and is all smiles as the meeting gets started.  We asked Ricky a few questions about himself and his group, and here’s what he had to say.

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Ricky Jordan. I am the Lead Mechanical Engineer for the Space Vehicles Department at Dynetics, Inc. in Huntsville, AL.  Over the past 15 years I’ve worked on projects in spacecraft design, automotive test equipment design, unmanned aerial systems, customer specific product design, and consumer product design.  I am currently the SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM Administrator for Dynetics.  I’ve been a user group leader/co-leader for the North Alabama SOLIDWORKS User Group (NASWUG) since 2004.

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

I first learned SOLIDWORKS in college starting with SOLIDWORKS 97plus.  I’ve been an avid user ever since.

Tell us a little bit about the North Alabama SOLIDWORKS User Group?

There was a group in Huntsville prior to 2004, but the group had pretty much disbanded.  I started things back up in late 2004.  For the past few years, Brian McElyea has been my co-leader.  Our group has close to 400 members on our mailing list.

What is the best meeting you’ve ever had?

Two meetings come to mind.  John McEleney spoke at one of our meetings towards the end of his tenure as CEO of SOLIDWORKS and our 50th meeting with Richard Doyle was the most highly attended meeting to date.

What’s the worst meeting?

That is a tough one.  I can’t think of any meetings that didn’t go well….so I really don’t have a worst meeting.

What have you learned personally from your UG?

That so many people use SOLIDWORKS in many different ways to design MANY different products!

Why should people attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

Two things:  The information and the people.  Nothing beats a good technical presentation which is what we try to have at most of our meetings.  The people you meet and get to know at the meetings is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of being involved with a SWUG.


Thanks Ricky.  I always look forward to attending the NASWUG meetings, and I’m just about due for a visit.


Richard Doyle
My official title is Senior User Advocacy & SolidWorks User Groups - but most people just call me "The User Group Guy". I've been a SolidWorks user since 1997, and was one of the founding members of the SWUGN Committee. Since starting the Central Texas SolidWorks User Group in 1999, my career path has led me to DS SolidWorks and a dream job supporting the SolidWorks User Group Network worldwide.
Richard Doyle
Richard Doyle