Nancy Berg had a plan. In 1982, when she started at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in an entry-level position in association management for one of the tech groups, she wrote down her goals. “I still have that piece of paper,” she laughs. “And one of my goals was to become the executive director of SME. I don't know why — I didn't really expect to stay with the organization very long — but that goal and a few others have stayed with me all this time.” She achieved her goal in 2000, ...

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