AMT Director of Industry Partnerships Bonnie Gurney is connected to many people throughout the United States and around the world. From England to China, from California to Florida, Bonnie develops partnerships with manufacturers, associations, disruptive start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and government research centers. She aims to uncover and promote nascent technologies that can help manufacturers be more globally competitive.
“I love working with people and learning what they are passionate about,” says Bonnie. “I love the people in the manufacturing industry. They are genuine, interesting, and creative. Every day is different for me because manufacturing technology is always advancing. One day I am coordinating a regional show with SME, and another day I am learning about a new additive material from Oak Ridge.”
Latest trip: England
In March, Bonnie traveled to England to visit the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, England, to meet 16-year-old Sean Delaney, recipient of the new three-year apprenticeship sponsored by IMTS. A Sheffield native, Sean expressed his gratitude to AMT and IMTS as the sponsorship is allowing him to pursue a career he truly enjoys. The AMRC fosters academic growth and skills in manufacturing technology and carries out research for advanced manufacturing techniques for industrial companies. As luck would have it, her trip corresponded with the Manufacturing Technology Association’s 100th Anniversary Dinner, which she attended.
Bonnie’s tour de force
Every even-numbered year since 2012, thousands of people experience Bonnie’s tour de force: the AMT Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) at IMTS. An IMTS “must-visit” exhibit, the ETC’s are renowned around the world for showcasing disruptive technologies and ground-breaking innovations that excite and advance the manufacturing industry.
Bonnie works closely with AMT VP and CXO Peter R. Eelman, and AMT’s Manufacturing Technology team to identify innovative technologies that AMT displays at the ETCs. She’s formed long-term partnerships with Local Motors and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, both of which have made advancements in additive manufacturing and presented in the ETC's. At IMTS 2018, and for the first time, AMT hosted two ETCs, one on Digital Transformation and the other on Additive Manufacturing.
Wait, there’s more!
Bonnie serves as the liaison between AMT and SME to produce the Manufacturing Technology Series, which brings together four long-standing regional events (HOUSTEX, EASTEC, WESTEC, & SOUTHTEC) under one umbrella. Located in key manufacturing hubs across the country, the MT Series addresses the unique challenges of each location. The events showcase the latest equipment and processes associated with artificial intelligence, 3D printing/additive manufacturing, robotics, automation, and big data. In 2018, AMT and SME launched the Smart Manufacturing Experience in Boston. Focused on hands-on learning for manufacturers, the Smart event will be held in even-numbered years.
In addition to fostering partnerships, Bonnie is the media and public relations contact for IMTS—a post she’s held since 2009. Familiar with IMTSTV, MyShow Planner, IMTS.com, and IMTS Insider? These are just some of the achievements Bonnie has launched and managed in her 20-year career at AMT.
Most memorable career moment
Standing on the set of the NBC Today show with Carson Daly on October 7, 2014, with the Strati, is one of Bonnie’s most exciting career moments. After the first-ever 3D-printed, electric car was printed, assembled, and driven off the show floor of IMTS 2014, it gained international media attention. “It was amazing to see manufacturing on prime-time TV to a mainstream audience,” says Bonnie.
What’s her secret to success?
“Bonnie connects with people. She’s genuinely interested in everyone she meets,” says Peter. “She’s a great listener and naturally intuitive. She asks great questions to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle. She also stays in touch with many people she has met in her 20 years at AMT.”
When asked what’s helped her be successful, Bonnie credits her desire to know more and enjoying her responsibilities. "Being part of an organization for 20 years is invigorating when each year you have opportunities to build and develop new ideas," says Bonnie. "I thrive on new experiences."
An accomplished equestrian, Bonnie says, “As a young lady, I learned that connecting with people needs to be done on different levels. Horses are similar to people. They have personalities … some are playful, some timid, others stubborn,” says Bonnie. “Each horse requires that you get to know each other. That way you bring out the best of both.”
Outside of work
Bonnie is an accomplished triathlete, skier, and needle-pointer. She loves to spend time with her husband (a partnership of more than 20 years), two teenage children, and her very friendly Goldendoodle in the great outdoors. On winter weekends, they’re often skiing on Pennsylvania’s southern slopes. In the warmer months, they’re paddle boarding on one of several lakes in their hometown of Reston, Va.