SAE's Contributor of the Year Celebration and Award

SAE Recognizes and Celebrates Top Contributors and Volunteers

SAE International understands the importance of recognizing our most engaged volunteers for their dedication to the success of our organization.  Their time, knowledge, and passion for the betterment of the mobility community allows SAE to develop world-class content, publish leading technical standards in both the Aero and Ground Vehicle communities, inspire the minds of future engineers, and serve the needs of students and members worldwide.

SAE Contributor of the Year Celebration

SAE has established an annual event dedicated to recognizing their top volunteers for their contributions to the organization. As part of this invitation-only event, SAE hosts an Awards dinner, where the Contributor of the Year, SAE's highest honor bestowed on a volunteer, is presented to one of the attendees (see more information below on the Contributor of the Year Award).

To be invited to the celebration, SAE Staff nominates individuals based on their volunteer and engagement contributions across the entire organization. Staff is looking for individuals who provided valuable insight and played a key role in advancing the mobility industry through involvement in SAE activities. For example, he/she might have provided an exceptional level of support and/or leadership over an extended period or served as a judge at a Collegiate Design Series event.

Those interested in being considered as part of a future year’s Top Contributor Class should contact your staff representative and express interest. Your staff representative can guide you on ways to become more engaged with the organization based on your current level of involvement.

SAE's Contributor of the Year Award

Contributor Award

SAE’s Contributor of the Year is our highest honor bestowed on a volunteer for their contributions to SAE.  From the nominations, a Top Contributor Class is identified and invited to attend the yearly Celebration trip. The Volunteer of the Year is chosen from the Top Contributor Class and announced at the annual Awards dinner.

Winner of the 2021 Contributor of the Year Award

Myra Blanco
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Director of Advancement, Partnerships & Outreach

Myra is the ultimate advocate and ally to develop opportunities for women in STEM and diversity, equity, and inclusion. These topics were in the spotlight during 2020 and she found multiple opportunities to advance these critical initiatives, creatively integrating them through SAE engagement, VTTI and her work with Daimler. Myra's support of SAE Awards helps to generate awareness while her leadership by example in submitting nominations for colleagues and peers not only recognized them, but aids in encouraging others to nominate.

Myra's enthusiasm and passion for DEI is contagious, shining through her volunteer contributions and leadership. Her many contributions have enabled SAE to deliver on the mission of advancing mobility knowledge and solutions. Myra is a connector and an outstanding role model for life-long learning, work-life integration, and resilience to inspire and enable future growth across generations.

Congratulations to the 2022 Top Contributor Class


David Antanaitis, General Motors LLC

Len Kata, Unemployed

Kevin T. Slattery, DSc, The Barnes Global Advisors

Sue Bai, Honda

Drew Kresmery, FCA US LLC

Daniel Carey Smith, Google LLC

Christopher Bartholomew, DENSO Corporation

Bill Mazzara, Stellantis NV

Lisa Stacey, General Motors LLC

James Bielenda, Retired

Matt Meyer, General Motors LLC

Kevin Stofflet, EnGenius Inc

Alba Colon, Hendrick Motorsports

Dan Mikat, Toyota Motor Corp

Dr. Andrea Strzelec, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ray Corbin, AVL North America

Donna Mosher, BASF

Dmitry Tananko, General Dynamics Corp

David Craig, General Motors LLC

Jody E. Muelaner, PhD, Muelaner Engineering Ltd

Jim Tarchinski, General Motors LLC

Gabriele Di Blasio, STEMS of the National Research Council of Italy

Mark Roboff, SkyThread

Kunjan Vyas, Dpscd

Don Floyd, General Motors LLC

Craig Rodine, ChargePoint Inc

Steve Woodard, Retired

Lisa Fodale, FCA US LLC

Corina Sandu, Virginia Tech


David Harrington, Retired

Bill Shelmon, Toyota Motor North America Inc


Congratulations to the 2021 Top Contributor Class


Richard Fox, Aircraft Environment Solutions Inc.

Matthew Meyer, General Motors

Mike O’Neil, Essex Parts Services, Inc.

John Steiner, Mecanica Scientific Services Corp.

Mark Pope, DG Technologies

Steve Sayovitz, Energy Harbor

Christian Yaeger, Leap Racing

Seong Rhee, SKR Consulting LLC

Myra Blanco, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Dave Andrea, Plante Moran

Barbara Wendling, Quantitative Scientific Solutions

Gregory Saunders, Retired from Department of Defense

Rhonda Brender, Nexteer Automotive

Steve Woodard, Retired

Kevin Walsh, The Boeing Company

Allison Collins, Ford Motor Company

Mark Zachos, DG Technologies

Ritesh Ghimire, U. S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office

Roy W. Goudy, Nissan Technical Center North America

Chad Zagorski, General Motors

Robert Ireland, Airlines for America

Fred J. Kelley II, Prysmian Group

Mark Boeckmann, Polaris Inc.


Roy Link, Link Engineering Co

Tim Fornes, Parker-Lord


2020 Top Contributor Class


Amalia Batori
Robert Bosch LLC

Derek Logan
Nissan Technical Center North America

Kelly Schmitz
Cummins Inc.

Anne O'Neil
Anne O'Neil Consultants

Don Robins
Retired General Motors

Mark Herman
GM Retired

Brandon Hance
United States Steel Corporation

George Nicols
Toyota Motor North America

Maura Chmielowiec
General Motors LLC

Carla Bailo
Center for Automotive Research

Glenn Cashion
North Carolina Volleyball/Sand Volleyball USA JR Olympics - Director
North Carolina A&T State University - Adjunct Professor

Dr. Richard Greaves FREng. FSAE FInstP
Retired, CTO Emeritus of Meggitt Plc

Craig Barnes
Retired, Cummins Inc. & Founder and President, CAB Consulting LLC

James Shaw
Fastway Engineering

Scott Sluder
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Danny Bocci
John Deere

Jason Rounds

Steve Rohde
Retired GM

Dave Andrea
Plante Moran

Jennifer Bastiaan
Kettering University

Sue Bai
Honda R&D Americas, LLC

David Downey
Downey Aviation Services

Jennifer Morrison
Mazda North American Operations

Ward Atkinson

Dean Case
Motivo Engineering

Justin McNew
JMC Rota Inc.