Young Leaders Committee

The Young Leaders Committee (YLC) develops and strengthens young professionals in the mining and underground construction industry while adding value to the entire SME organization.

As a member of the YLC you will find opportunities for personal development, chances to gain and share professional knowledge, and professional network growth, as well as the ability to provide development opportunities to others. YLC members work within SME to reach student chapters, the general public, and provide value to SME members throughout the year.

Organizational Structure

See how the YLC is organized and how you can get involved.

Meet the Class of 2022

The Young Leaders Committee Class of 2022

YLC Alumni Page

Many notable SME members got their start in the YLC.

YLC Members:

  • Join a growing professional network in SME.
  • Represent and encourage a critical demographic in our society.
  • Develop and promote professional development activities and content.
  • Support students and student chapters entering the industry as young professionals.
  • Gather and share technical information.
  • Foster long-term SME engagement.
  • Engage the mining industry and local communities

Upcoming Events:


Monday, February 27th
MINEXCHANGE 2023 - Lucky Strike Denver 

PieLC is the first of its kind fundraising event hosted by the SME Young Leaders Committee. The SME Leaders listed below have selected a program they would like to raise money for. The person with the most money raised is safe and gets to throw cream pies in the faces of the other participants. Click here to learn more.

Student First Aid Training
Tuesday, February 28th
1:00pm - 5:00pm
MINEXCHANGE 2023 - Colorado Convention Center

Are you an active student interested in getting trained on the essentials of First Aid/CPR?
SME Young Leaders Committee in coordination with the Health and Safety Division is offering a free Hands-on First aid essentials training for students, during MINEXCHANGE 2023 Annual Conference. This training aims to cover all major aspects of First Aid and CPR using modern equipment and practical knowledge from experienced safety experts in the Mining Industry. You must attend MINEXCHANGE 2023 SME Annual Conference & Expo to participate in this training. 
1. Kimberly Walster, Interim Safety Manager, Prairie State Generating Company
2. Adam Gregor, Director Safety and Health, Coeur Mining, Inc."
Register here:
Please contact James Tabinski ( or Muthu Vinayak( if you have any questions or concerns.


Each year, energetic young professionals who have demonstrated leadership abilities and the desire to become more involved with SME join the YLC. Members of the YLC serve a term of four years and work with other members of the committee to develop critical components of SME and the YLC. Applications are open to all members of SME who are 35 years of age or younger and meet at least five of the leadership criteria listed on the application form.

Young Leaders Committee Yearbook

What's your story?

Matthew Ulizio was born and raised in Redondo Beach, California and currently resides in San Antonio, Texas. He is a PSU Mining Engineering Graduate 2015. He has been an SME Member since 2012 and YLC Class of 2021. He currently works as a Superintendent for Barnard Construction Company, Inc in their Underground Division. 

He found the mining industry by dumb luck when he was in college at The Pennsylvania State University. Since that time, it has grown into something that will never not be a part of his life. The mining industry has provided him with the most challenging and rewarding career and that is what he gets up every day for.  He thinks it is amazing to be a part of an industry that provides so much for society and that so few people truly understand. He may not be in the mining industry in the traditional sense, but the Heavy Civil/Underground Construction allows for the support of society and building of some of the most challenging projects in the world.  In his role as a Superintendent, he can be hands-on in the field doing what he loves every day as a job and that is a blessing. 

The Mining Industry is all around a very tough industry by nature. He can point to countless stories and examples and is happy to share his experiences over a beer or bourbon. However, the most valuable part of the Mining Industry is the people and managing people has proven to be the most difficult part of his job on a daily basis. Leading a crew of miners to build underground projects inherently comes with a lot of attitudes, problems, and opinions. 

He recommends recent graduates to join YLC because YLC and SME is a family above all else and the relationships that one will gain by being a part of SME and YLC will last a lifetime. Everyone is different and we come together for an industry that provides so many things to society. He is proud to be a part of the mining industry, SME, and YLC. YLC is simply a gateway to becoming more involved in SME and the Mining Industry.

He has learned that it is up to you to become involved with SME/YLC and no one else. Just jump in and take on a task or multiple tasks. The mining industry needs you for the future. The relationships that he has made through YLC will be there for him throughout his career and life. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone but remember to have fun along the way.



Have a question or comment for the Young Leaders Committee?

$4k by 40 Challenge

Matt Furniss, $4k by 40 founder, shares his thoughts on the importance of the foundation and why we give to the foundation.