meet automation alley’s new directors: bruce legge and nancy smith

Automation Alley recently hired two new directors to support the association’s commitment to its members and dedication to its mission. Bruce Legge, director of defense, and Nancy Smith, director of membership and sales, report to Automation Alley Executive Director Ken Rogers.

 Bruce Legge

Bruce Legge

As director of defense, Legge oversees Automation Alley’s efforts to assist local companies looking to diversify into the defense industry. Automation Alley’s relationship with defense industry leaders provides multiple access points for companies to approach the industry, including the Department of Defense and defense-sector original equipment manufacturers. In addition, Automation Alley partners with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to find innovative, high-tech companies with capabilities related to ground vehicle technology.

Legge retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994 as a lieutenant commander. He joins Automation Alley with more than 35 years of hands-on and management experience leading people and highly technical project teams.

Most recently, Legge served as program manager and manager of business development at Alion Science and Technology, where he provided technical and programmatic oversight and engineering expertise to projects being performed at Alion’s Warren, MI, site, and interfaced with vehicle OEMs, government vehicle program management offices and TARDEC. Prior to joining Alion, Legge served as director of business development for Maryland-based Sotera Engineered Solutions and also worked for General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI, as a senior manager of technology and business development.

Legge holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the United States Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Illinois State University.
As the new director of membership and sales, Smith is responsible for managing and growing Automation Alley’s membership portfolio, which includes nearly 1,000 businesses, educational institutions and government entities in Southeast Michigan. Smith is also in charge of enhancing the overall member experience by identifying new trends and best practices to improve Automation Alley’s membership offerings.

 Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith

Smith comes to Automation Alley with extensive business experience, having worked most recently as national sales manager at Global Office Solutions in Novi, MI, one of the largest independent providers of office supplies and services in Michigan. Prior to that, Smith held senior sales positions at large corporations including Sprint-Nextel and Xerox.

Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of Detroit (now Detroit Mercy) and her master’s degree in organizational communication from Wayne State University in Detroit.

save the date: automation alley technology industry outlook

Come celebrate the art of innovation at Automation Alley’s signature event: The Technology Industry Outlook, Feb. 22, 2016, 8-11 a.m., at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

Join hundreds from the metro Detroit technology business community as we unveil the key findings of our annual Technology Industry Report. We’ll discuss what the future holds for tech talent, jobs and innovation in the region and reveal how we compare to other nationally recognized technology hubs. This annual sellout is Michigan’s only major event reporting on the state of Southeast Michigan’s technology economy.

The event will include a strolling breakfast, networking and a Technology Center Partner Spotlight, featuring cutting-edge technology demonstrations designed to educate and engage attendees in the majestic Great Hall of the DIA. The cost is $25 for members and $45 for non-members. Visit to register.

This event is sponsored by Oakland County, Oakland University, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the New Economy Initiative.

sign up for automation alley’s trade mission to hannover messe 2016

Automation Alley is planning a trade mission to Hannover Messe, April 23-29, 2016. Located in Hannover, Germany, Hannover Messe is the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology. In addition to trade show exhibits, local companies attending the trade mission will participate in matchmaking meetings at the show, breakfast briefings, a city tour, receptions and more. Interested companies should contact Automation Alley at 800-427-5100 or


Join Automation Alley for networking and educational events this fall

The fall calendar is packed with Automation Alley events where the Southeast Michigan business community can network and learn. To register or find out more about these and other Automation Alley events, visit

• Education and Industry Partnership Summit: Growing the Manufacturing Pipeline
On Oct. 20, join the Automation Alley Education and Workforce Committee at TechShop Detroit in Allen Park, MI, for an important discussion on developing the manufacturing talent pipeline. Featuring a keynote presentation by Karen McPhee, senior education policy adviser for Gov. Rick Snyder, the summit is intended to facilitate partnerships between the manufacturing business community and area K-12 schools, resulting in employer-backed school programming to promote manufacturing as a viable career path.

• Fall Members-Only Networking
On Oct. 22, this popular networking event will take place at Pratt & Miller Engineering in New Hudson, MI. Home of Corvette Racing and Cadillac Racing, Pratt & Miller will open its doors for an evening of networking and mingling amid some of the most sophisticated sports cars on the track today. Attendees will get a rare glimpse into the world of professional motorsports while enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

• Social Media: The Secret to Attracting and Recruiting Talent
On Oct. 27, join the Automation Alley Business Growth Committee at Automation Alley in Troy, MI, to learn the secrets of building a successful social media marketing plan to attract and recruit talent. Presenter Joe Serwach is a brand communications and social media consultant who recently served as senior director of marketing and counseling services at The Quell Group in Troy. Serwach was also responsible for launching and was a contributing author to PRNews’ “The Book of Social Media Strategies and Tactics, Volume 1.”