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The Pennsylvania Anthracite Section of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding June 19th with a dinner meeting at the Valley Country Club, Sugarloaf.

AIME was founded in 1871 by a group of 22 mining engineers (15 from Northeastern Pennsylvania) at a meeting in Wilkes-Barre.  AIME has 4 Member Societies representing over 150,000 engineers worldwide, including SME. On February 17, 1914, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Section became a local chapter of SME/AIME.   

Troubadour Van Wagner entertained the 100+ attendees during the hospitality period before the meeting. Members and guests were also able to look at exhibits of mining artifacts with items from the collections of John Podgurski, Reading Anthracite, Eckley Miners Village, the Scranton Anthracite Museum, F. Charles Petrillo, and Mike Korb; and a table publicizing the 2015 Field Conference of PA Geologists.  An exhibit of sculptures from the WYSO Foundation showed several examples of potential models for a 100th anniversary monument proposed for Wilkes Barre.

De Ann Miller, 2013-2014 Chair of the Section opened the meeting by welcoming the members and guests, thanking sponsors, reading a congratulatory citation from the Pennsylvania Senate sponsored by Senators David Argall and John Yudichak, and introducing Michael Shay, who read a congratulatory letter from Representative Lou Barletta. 

The speaker for the meeting was John Stuart “Stu” Richards, a Orwigsburg historian and researcher who talked about the evolution of an anthracite miner, Once a Man Twice a Child, and related anecdotes about mining during 1871 to 1914, the period between the founding of AIME and the founding of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Section. 

Daniel Synoski and Walter Price were presented the Section’s 2014 John Kaminski Memorial Scholarships.  The scholarships are named in honor of the late 1980-81 chair of the section, and are endowed by the Kaminski Family and the section.

During the 100 years, 69 people have served as Chairs of the Section, 22 of these are still alive and 14 were in attendance at the meeting.  Four of the five surviving secretary treasurers were also there and these Past Chairs and Secretary Treasurers were recognized: Robert W. Rissinger, R. Peter Haentjens, Jr., Michael C. Korb, Louis J. Pagnotti III, John B. Shutak, John R. Ackerman, Frank Derrick, Frank C. Hourigan Jr., Gerald M. Gatti, Lisa M. Mahall, Joseph A. Frank Jr., Kenneth J. Levitz, Michael Duran, David Mazaika, Leonard J. Lentz, Josh Derrick, John O. Voigt, Brian Monaghan, Jason Tarnoski, Hank Zielinski, Walter Kaufman,  De Ann  Miller, Ed Charney, Bill Shellhamer, and Joe Martarano. 

Several national SME and AIME representatives were in attendance: Dr. Barbara Arnold, Distinguished Member of SME, SME Foundation Board of Trustees; Dr. Raja V. Ramani, Past President of SME, Distinguished Member of SME, SME Foundation Board of Trustees; David L. Kanagy, Executive Secretary of SME, SME Board of Directors; J. Steven Gardner, 2015 President-Elect of SME, SME Board of Directors, SME Foundation Board of Trustees; and  Dr. Nikhil Trivedi, Past President SME, Distinguished Member of SME, SME Foundation Board of Trustees, 2016 AIME President-Elect.  Dr. Trivedi read a Congratulatory Resolution from AIME and Mr. Gardner offered comments.

Mike Korb, 2014-2015 Chair offered closing remarks, announcing the start of an effort to raise a Mining Engineers’ Memorial, outlining goals for next year, and encouraging people to keep turning out like they did for this event. Everyone that attended had a great time, and those that missed it missed it.


Past Section Chairs Hank Zielinski. Ken Levitz, Peter Haentjens, John Ackerman, Mike Korb, 
De Ann Miller, Leonard Lentz, David Mazaika, Jason Tarnoski, John Voigt, Walter Kaufman

SME Representatives Mike Korb,  Dr. Nikhil Trivedi, Dr. Raja V. Ramani, Dr. Barbara Arnold, J. Steven Gardner, David L. Kanagy