Published On: 11/24/2015

SME Executive Director receives prestigious MMSA Gold Medal award

David L. Kanagy honored at MMSA Annual Dinner

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is proud to announce that Executive Director David L. Kanagy was awarded the 2015 MMSA Gold Medal by the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America (MMSA) at their annual dinner on February 16, 2015 in Denver, CO.

The MMSA Gold Medal is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the mining industry. Since its founding in 1908, MMSA has bestowed only 34 Gold Medal Awards. In presenting the 2015 award to Kanagy, MMSA Past President and Gold Medal Committee Chairman Mark K. Jorgensen noted that, as the new executive director of SME, Dave had spoken to MMSA members in 2004 about his vision for the future of SME and the mining industry.

“Over the next 10 years, Dave was able to accomplish some remarkable things,” stated Jorgensen. “He took ideas that were brought to him by people in this room and shared a vision about how to achieve them.” Jorgensen continued by saying that the Gold Medal Committee has cited David for, “Outstanding leadership that has advanced the global collaboration of technical information, networking and professional development for mining professionals and enhanced public education about mining and minerals.”

Mr. Jorgensen mentioned the value that SME provides to its members and stakeholders, and noted specifically:

  •, the largest online digital mining research library in the world

  • The Government and Public Affairs Committee which provides technical briefing papers to policy makers

  • Establishment of the SME Congressional Fellowship program

  • Leadership of the World Federation of Engineering Organization’s task force on Mining and Sustainability

  • Collaboration with other organizations to form the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance

  • Establishment of PhD Fellowship and Academic Career Development Grant programs

  • Significantly downsized the SME Board of Directors

“I accept the MMSA Gold Medal with a sense of humbleness and gratitude to all those whom I have worked with during the past eleven years,” said Kanagy in accepting the award. “Without the success that SME has had in recent years, we couldn’t take on projects of the magnitude as stated by Mark Jorgensen. It is the volunteers and staff working together that has put all of this together; I just provided a little vision and leadership.”

Kanagy has more than 30 years experience in the non-profit association industry and has been Executive Director of SME since 2004. During his tenure, SME has tripled revenues and increased global membership to more than 15,000. Through collaboration and cooperation with other organizations, as well as a strong connection to the institutes of higher learning which teach mining and metallurgy, SME continues to evolve to provide greater value for its members worldwide. The 2015 SME Conference drew 7,804 attendees, with 740 international members and 685 students. A total of 906 exhibit booths provided attendees with information and demonstrations of the latest trends and technologies.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or