Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Names Tracy Cullen Senior Director Strategic Communications and Brand Management

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — October 27, 2022 — SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, announced the appointment of Tracy Cullen CAE as the organization’s first senior director, Strategic Communications and Brand Management. She will report to SME Executive Director and CEO Robert “Bob” Willig.

Cullen joined SME from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) where she served for six years as assistant vice president, Communications and Brand Management. She was hired at NEMA as a change agent to form the first fully integrated Communications and Marketing department in NEMA history directing corporate communications, membership marketing, and meeting planning teams as well as leading NEMA through a repositioning campaign that included brand modernization, infrastructure reconstruction, and material redesign. As the in-house strategist for 56 product sections, Cullen led many sector-specific initiatives, including advocacy outreach, stakeholder engagement, and consumer education campaigns.

Prior to NEMA, Cullen led global marketing and communications initiatives for the Plastics Industry Association rising to senior vice president. There, she led the association through a name change, dues restructuring, and rebranding initiative. She developed multimillion-dollar event marketing campaigns for NPE, one of the largest global trade shows, spanning one million square feet and attracting 65,000 attendees, which fueled gate revenue of $1 million. She also managed aggressive advocacy campaigns to fight material and product bans.

While at Plastics her team became the first industry group to successfully reverse a blanket material ban by Walmart, and she partnered with Edelman Public Relations to fight proposed plastic bag bans at state and local levels. She also managed the plastic industry partnership with Walt Disney Corporation in a $7 million multi-year consumer education campaign about the benefits of plastics.

In the area of crisis management, Cullen led the chlorine industry’s crisis response through two fatal train derailments in a six-month period as well as managed the industry role through multiple community-wide terrorist drills held along the Gulf Coast in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. While at Plastics, she led the successful move of its international trade show to a new venue after 40 years in the same location.

“Tracy is a seasoned marketing communications pro with a proven track record of leading innovative outreach strategies that drive growth and engagement to advance America’s manufacturing sectors,” Willig said. “We’re looking forward to her leading our team through a number of new strategic communications and branding initiatives that will position SME for continued relevance and growth over its next 90 years.”

“I’m a long-time supporter of the SME mission and believe manufacturing is key to economic growth and prosperity,” Cullen said. “I am delighted to dedicate my skills and abilities to advance manufacturing technologies and develop the manufacturing workforce.”

Cullen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where she graduated Cum Laude, as well as earned a Professional Certificate in Digital Media Management from Georgetown University in Washington. She maintains a professional certification in association management from the American Society of Association Executives and is an active member in the National Press Club and Washington Women in Public Relations.

Posted: October 27, 2022

Source: Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)