Print Friendly, PDF & Email

PMPA’s Award-Winning Mastery Program

PMPA’s Mastery Program wins ASAE 2022 Gold Circle Award for Excellence in the New Product/Service Launch category. But the real reward was realized on the tours.

by Carli Kistler-Miller

Director of Programs & Marketing, PMPA

Published June 1, 2022

PMPA’s Mastery Program  was born on a car ride when I asked Miles Free what his craziest idea was and his answer turned into the three two-day bus tours that completed on May 4, 2022. On May 18, 2022, PMPA was honored to accept the award for ASAE’s 2022 Gold Circle Award for Excellence in the New Product/Service Launch category. As thrilled as we are to be recognized for the uniqueness and value of our Mastery Program, the true reward was seeing the results of our work in the reactions of the participants after each tour. 

The Goal

Miles wanted them to “smell the steel” — which is his way of saying that virtual experiences aren’t enough, all the senses must be engaged to truly appreciate our supply chain and our industry. So many have a myopic view of precision machining which can limit the ability to problem-solve. Miles’ goal was to enhance problem-solving by providing experiences to shop teams. Because several members of the shop would be seeing, hearing — and smelling — the same thing, the effectiveness of their conversations and problem-solving would increase exponentially. 

The Experience

Goal achieved. There were three tours: Cleveland in August 2021, Detroit/Toledo in March 2022 and Milwaukee/Chicago in May 2022. After each stop on all three tours, the bus was filled with conversations, ah-ha moments and revelations. The 50 participants saw four PMPA member shops, three steel mills, one brass mill, one stainless and nickel bar and wire mill, one copper and bronze mill, one toolmaker, one machine tool builder/distributor, the Ford F-150 assembly line and Miles led them through the Precision Machining Technology Show. The participants asked great questions on the tours, received insight as to how and why materials have certain properties and how things are done. We saw contact information being exchanged on the bus as new connections were made, which highlights the networking benefit of the program.

The Next Program

As of this writing, the next Mastery Program cohort is being planned for fall 2022 and April 2023. Because many of our manufacturing members are so busy, we are developing two three-day bus tours so they don’t have to be away from their shops three times. (Yes, PMPA is always working on continuous improvement.) We will go to different cities on this next adventure, but the goal remains the same — provide unparalleled experiences to enhance networking, communication and problem-solving. 


Download Magazine Article 




Carli Kistler-Miller, MBA has over 25 years of experience with
communications, event/meeting planning, marketing, writing and
operations. Email: gro.apmp@rellimc — Website: