Over the past couple of years there have been a few volunteers for the “SWUGN Shuttle”, providing transportation to the SOLIDWORKS World event location for user group leaders arriving around the same time (a trend started by Richard Doyle in San Antonio I think). Last year, Craig Gilbreath really surprised us! A few of us social media #BaconBrotherhood butterflies started talking about when and where we were arriving at the airport in Dallas, and Craig offered to pick us up. In the end, Todd and Jade Blacksher were arriving at the same time as me, and Peggy Frantz was able to join us as well. Craig arrives in the family minivan (it is very important to note, that it was not “his” minivan…). I call “shotgun” and jump in the front seat and say “you’ve got to be kidding me…” There in the front was the most beautiful bouquet of Bacon Pops (in a beaker to top it off) I have ever seen. Well, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen! Craig made them just for us, drove an hour to pick us up, and give us a tour of the city, complete with tour guide quality information, a stop for a bite to eat and a local brew stop, and finally off to our hotels. He came all the way out to get us, show us around and drop us off, just to drive another hour home – since he was local, he was commuting into the event each morning. It just shows you what kind of a guy Craig is, and what true hospitality means. The man understands what life is all about, and has serious respect from the Bacon Brotherhood! I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about him in the following SOLIDWORKS User Group Leader Spotlight. You da man, Craig!
John Matrishon, Western Massachusetts SOLIDWORKS User Group
“PIZZA and BACON of course! Seriously though, a strong user group is a wonderful community and resource to be a part of. The fresh content and networking are well worth it to me to attend and I’m a group leader. #BaconBrotherhood”
Craig Gilbreath, the Fort Worth, Texas SWUGN Leader, has been using SOLIDWORKS since 2007. As a designer for a medical supplies company, Craig designs patient handling devices, therapeutic sleep surfaces, and beds.
After being a part of the steering committee for the Greenville, South Carolina SWUGN, Craig was approached by Richard Doyle and asked to become the lead member of the Fort Worth, TX group. As a person who has a passion for helping others, it was natural for Craig to take the initiative when the opportunity of becoming a SWUGN Leader was presented.
Craig has been leading the Fort Worth SWUGN, a group averaging 20 attendees per meeting, since the fall of 2014. When asked about his group, Craig explained: “We have met quarterly in 2015 and I plan to increase the meeting frequency throughout this year. I learn so much from all the quality presentations. My favorite presentation was from Roland Robles with his presentation on using “Master Parts” to model completely parametric/associative sheet metal multi-body parts for odd shaped vessels”.
As an active leader in his church, Craig often finds himself helping communities outside of his own. He has even been on mission trips to Mexico, South Texas, Costa Rica, and will be travelling to Kenya later this year. In addition to this, he is also a HAM radio operator (W5ZYM) and home brews his own beer.
His advocacy for helping others has expanded to outside of the SOLIDWORKS Community; Craig has combined two of his passions, quality beer and serving others, to create a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Homebrew for Heroes. The group focuses on supporting military or first responder units by donating variety packs of craft beer; “We coordinate fellow home brewers to adopt local-to-them military or first responder unit, brewing enough beer so each of the personnel receive a variety 12-pack of well-crafted beer. It’s a unique way to pay a thank you to those who are often times not thanked.”
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.