20 Years: The Seattle Area SOLIDWORKS Power User Group

Recently, the Seattle Area SOLIDWORKS Power User Group (SASPUG) celebrated its twentieth anniversary. You read it correctly…20 years of meetings have been held in the Great Northwest educating, connecting, and inspiring users from all over the region. For our latest guest blogger post, group leader Jeff Mirisola recaps the meeting for us, and shares some of his thoughts on how the group has shaped his journey over the past few years. Enjoy!

We celebrated the Seattle Area SOLIDWORKS Power User Group’s 20th anniversary and, from what I’ve heard, a good time was had by all. The evening started with a buffet dinner, prepared by the culinary arts department of Renton Technical College. The food, in my humble opinion, was delicious! Kudos to the whole crew who set up, served and cleaned up.

I got the talking started with thank you’s to those who helped me out, the leaders who came before me, the dignitaries who were in attendance, and to the group members for their continued attendance.

Next up was Richard Doyle who spoke a bit about SASPUG and then presented me this absolutely awesome plaque (Thank you, Richard!):

Seattle Area SOLIDWORKS Power User Group 20 Years
Eric Beatty, SASPUG’s founder, took the mic next. He talked about SASPUG’s roots, growth, and his amazement that it is still around, 20 years later. He spoke glowingly of Michelle Pillars, who we lost in 2010, and how instrumental she was in taking SASPUG to the next level.

SOLIDWORKS CEO, Gian Paolo Bassi, made the trek from headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts to celebrate with us and talk about some of SOLIDWORKS’ new offerings, including SOLIDWORKS Xdesign and SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. It was an honor to have him join us.

Adam Smith
, of Product Creation Studio, presented a year-by-year What’s New Overview of SOLIDWORKS, from 1995 – 2016. It’s amazing how many features we now take for granted, didn’t exist 10+ years ago.

Adam Smith What's New SASPUG
Our last presenter for the evening was Kevin Berni, Senior Manager, User Experience Design for SOLIDWORKS. He shared a look at the User Interface for SOLIDWORKS 2016 and gave some insight into how the software is researched, designed, and tested with users.

Thank you to Gian Paolo, Adam and Kevin for their presentations.

The evening wrapped up with the raffling of some absolutely awesome giveaways. In addition to the traditional group giveaways, we also raffled off three $100 gift cards, an Apple TV, multiple 3DConnexion devices and $25 gift cards. (anyone attending a SASPUG meeting for the first time is going to be really disappointed at future meetings…) Thank you to all of our sponsors for their continued support.

SASPUG Winners

SASPUG Winners
Thank you to my fellow user group leaders who made the trek to celebrate with us: Chris Scarlett, Cory Derico, Phil Sluder and Jose Saldana.

Thank you to the Seattle area SOLIDWORKS user community who allow me to continue to lead the group. It’s been a privilege these past four years. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some great people, watch some awesome presentations and eat way too much pizza. I always look forward to the next meeting. Every one –  especially when I’m able to convince someone to travel out to this far-flung corner of the States to present to our group. Granted, it’s become easier these days by offering the Pacific Northwest Tour (Seattle, Yakima, Portland) as a way to entice the weary traveler.


As always, thanks for reading! See you someday in Seattle…perhaps we’ll be celebrating 30 years… 🙂

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.