Chris Wurtele – Omaha Nebraska SOLIDWORKS User Group
“The networking alone has paid dividends for me. There is such a wealth of knowledge in the user group network. We have some real Rock Stars within our network and I really appreciate their input.”
Chris Wurtele is a “newbie” (his words, not mine) to the SWUGN Group Leader world. Although he’s been a member of the ONSWUG since 2007, he only became the leader in the March of 2016. “After being involved with ONSWUG since its inception, the founder of our group wanted to step away from the leadership role. In January of this year (at SWW2016), he approached me and asked if I would like to take over leadership of the group. Because I am passionate that Omaha needs, and can support, this group, I chose to take on this leadership role.”
What has Chris learned from being a SWUGN leader? “I have a lot to learn but everyone is willing to help and teach. That is what I love about the users groups.”
Chris is so dedicated to the User Group community he even visited a fellow group in New York City while he was on vacation! “We are such a close community and it is always great to see how others conduct their meetings.” Chris, Ed Gebo (CONNSWUG), and David Antanvige (LISWUG) all took the time to support Matt Rohr and SWUGNYC at their July 2016 meeting.
Chris lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife of 25 years, Shelly, and his son Aaron. He’s been working at RD Tool & Engineering as a design engineer. “I originally started with them as a Toolmaker, within 5 years, through continued education and company growth I was able to move into the design and engineering department. I started out on the drafting board, then various industry cad tools finally settling on SOLIDWORKS around 2006-07. We design and build custom plastic injection molds for industry.”
If Chris wasn’t in the engineering industry, he would probably be building custom cars for a living. Recently, he has restored and sold a 1968 Mustang. Because he’s so passionate about cars, he helps run an event called “Coffee Cruise Omaha” where other enthusiasts can participate in a weekly casual car shows.
In addition to being the ONSWUG leader, family man, car enthusiast, Chris spends his spare time helping others. “I volunteer with a local group called ‘Wounded Warriors Family Support‘ where I have driven for them to raise awareness to their cause. They provide specially modified handicapped accessible trucks and SUV’s to our wounded veterans for free. In 2014 a friend and I drove from Washington DC to Chicago and rose close to $30,000.00 that week. Currently I am helping them behind the scenes with their social media and various other tasks.”
Lastly, we asked Chris if there was anything he would like to add and he responded: “BACON.”
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.