SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Kendra Wardlow

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.

Kendra Wardlow – Panama City Beach SOLIDWORKS User Group

Kendra Wardlow

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Kendra Wardlow in person, but I’m looking forward to it.  Since taking over the Panama City Beach SOLIDWORKS User Group, Kendra has been actively reaching out to new members, procuring some great venues, and putting together the type of meetings that make members happy.  We caught up with Kendra and asked her to answer a few questions.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a CAD modeler, wife and mother. I work for Engility Corporation, a government contractor, who creates models for Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City. Before my life of CAD, I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Newspaper Photojournalism. I worked for newspapers for five years and a portrait studio for a year.

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

I took classes toward an AutoCAD Foundations Technology certificate from the local community college in 2008. Besides the college courses, I had to obtain an internship to receive the certificate. I became an intern at L-3 Communications and they hired me on afterward (which would later become Engility Corporation). For one of my first projects, I had to learn SOLIDWORKS so I utilized the tutorials and practiced, practiced, practiced. It was a new way of looking at things and I really enjoy it!

Tell us a little about your SOLIDWORKS User Group.

I was asked at the beginning of the year if I would be interested in rebooting the User Group in Panama City. We had our first meeting in March of this year with 20 attendees. Since then, with our bi-monthly meetings, our numbers have grown and we have had about 40 attendees at each of the past few meetings. Our mailing list is much larger than that and I hope to one day meet everyone on the list.

What as the best meeting you’ve had?

Any meeting that has my coworkers talking about the event the next day makes me a happy User Group Leader!

What was the worst meeting you’ve had?

The last meeting was more stressful because one of our presenters backed down, so I found a replacement and then the first presenter wanted back in. It turned out just fine… After all, the more the merrier – for presenters and attendees!

Why should people attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

I think it’s a great way to keep up with what is on the horizon for our industry, to learn how to be more efficient and to network with colleagues. Every meeting is a learning experience… And the free dinner and amazing giveaways aren’t bad either!

What has your experience been like working in a predominately male industry?

It’s always interesting how different perspectives come together to create a finished product.

Thanks Kendra, and continued success with the user group.  See you in Dallas for SOLIDWORKS World 2016.













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