SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Chris Scarlett

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 week or so we’ll spotlight one of our group leaders and the local user group chapter that they are responsible for leading.

Chris Scarlett – Yakima SOLIDWORKS User Group


Visiting the Yakima SOLIDWORKS User group usually means a really nice drive over the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state, but the real treat is getting there and meeting Chris Scarlett and the members of his user group.  We asked Chris a few questions about the group, and here’s what he had to say.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a designer and I design consumer products and produce online CAD related “how to” tutorials.

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

In the fall of 1998.

Tell us a little about your SOLIDWORKS User Group.

I took over the group about four years ago from founder John Walden. The group has been going strong for more than eight years now.  We have more than one hundred names on our mailing list, and we usually get thirty people to show up at the meetings.

What as the best meeting you’ve had?

Every meeting is great, but a meeting with Avelino Rochino presenting on certification and myself presenting on “SOLIDWORKS, MakerBot and Invention” was very fun.

What was the worst meeting you’ve had?

A meeting where only 8 people showed, bad timing I guess.

Why should people attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

To network and gain skills learned from other user’s experiences.  It also allows people to meet the company (SOLIDWORKS).  Along with the VARs, a user group meetings often serves as the face of the company to learn new skills and about new products.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Meeting now at “Yakima Maker Space” instead of the Oxford Suites has enhanced the attraction of our meetings and draws more participants.

Thanks Chris.  I’ll look forward to my next visit and the drive over the pass (in the summer, please).


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