Letter from the President - February 2016


Another Autodesk University has come and gone. I thought I would take a few minutes of your time and describe the event from AUGI’s perspective.

There is a lot of work for AUGI that goes on behind the scenes before the event even starts. The logistics of supplying materials and setting up the booth was ably overseen by David Harrington, AUGI’s Director of Operations.

Planning and preparation for AUGI’s Annual General Meeting also began several months before the event. Kate Morrical, Scott Wilcox, and myself worked on various aspects (more on that later.)

Autodesk’s opening main stage event started with Lynn Allen (AUGI’s Sweetheart) being escorted onto the stage by a squad of Imperial Stormtroopers, setting a Star Wars theme that was evident throughout the conference. The rest of the main stage event was well-paced and inspirational. I know there are folks that skip opening keynotes, but they missed out on a great one. 

AUGI hosted a luncheon to invited volunteers on the opening day to acknowledge their contributions to AUGI and to seek their input. Volunteers such as these are very important to AUGI. The directors wanted to let them know that their efforts are recognized.

The AUGI Annual General Meeting was held in a large room filled to capacity. AUGI continued the Star Wars theme by starting the meeting with an opening crawl similar to the movies. Scott worked tirelessly to create it. It introduced Lynn Allen. She talked briefly and then invited me onstage. I recognized two of our strategic partners, Autodesk and HP. I then spoke about AUGI’s features. Just as I was going to start talking about the AUGI Wish List I was “interrupted” by Kate Orthographica (Morrical) running up on the stage seeking AUGIWan Kenobi (myself ). As the dialog progressed, we were joined by Curt Linedrawer (Moreno). This skit was used to introduce the AUGI Wish List (also giving me a great excuse to buy a quality lightsaber to use during the skit!) When the skit was complete I invited Brenda Discher from Autodesk onstage to accept the entire list. The meeting concluded with the distribution of the AUGI beer glasses and the start of the AUGI Reception (formerly known as the AUGI Beer Bust) in the exhibit hall.

The conference concluded the next day with another main stage event in which a couple of Stormtroopers were in the room. At the closing party I was asked to escort the Stormtroopers for the night, thanks to my lightsaber. That lightsaber was borrowed by many of the attendees who wanted photos of themselves wielding the lightsaber against the Stormtroopers.

AU is not just about the main stage events. The classes and the networking are the real reasons to be there. If you did not get a chance to go, not all is lost. You can still access many of the classes at

I hope to see you at Autodesk University 2016 (note, November 15-17) so start planning soon!

Until next time,

R. Robert Bell
AUGI President

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