More than 700 manufacturing leaders gathered at the fourth edition of The MFG Meeting (Manufacturing For Growth), March 5-8, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona, to address the most pressing topics manufacturers face today.
“Opportunity has no limits…leap for it” was the theme of this year’s event, organized by AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). Together, their members comprise more than 4,000 small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors from all 50 states. Their member companies provide products and services for aerospace, defense, automotive, construction, energy, medical and many other industries in the United States and abroad.
Supported by Gold Sponsors Sandvik Coromant, Modern Machine Shop and Gardner Business Media, Inc., the 2014 edition of The MFG Meeting featured outstanding presentations from an array of industry experts.
Event highlights included:
- A keynote on competitive advantage, organizational change and transformational leadership by Jack Uldrich, a renowned global futurist, independent scholar and best-selling author;
- Lively discussion about the state of the economy and the industry with John Walker, chairman, Oxford Economics, and Alan Beaulieu, president, ITR Economics;
- A report from Markos I. Tambakeras, chairman of Xylem, Inc., on water and the future of American manufacturing;
- A discussion on closing the skills gap with Dr. David DeLong, president of David DeLong & Associates;
- A presentation on the role that “A, B & C players” have in determining strategic competitiveness by Dr. Brad Smart, president of Topgrading, Inc.,
- A closing keynote from Luke Williams, professor of innovation at NYU Stern School of Business, and executive director, Berkley Entrepreneurship Center at NYU, on driving innovation by intentional strategic intervention;
- Breakout sessions focused on innovative talent management and knowledge transfer, building a team of “A” players and using disruptive innovation to move beyond the status quo and transform business; and
- Numerous social events to network with industry peers.
There also was a changing of the guard at all three associations during The MFG Meeting. The newly elected chairmen are Kevin J. Kilgallen, president, Mid Atlantic Machinery, Inc. in Harrisburg, PA, for AMT; Ted Toth, vice president and managing director of Rosenberger-Toth in Pennsauken, NJ, for NTMA; and Jody Fledderman, president and CEO of Batesville Tool & Die in Batesville, IN, for PMA.
AMT President Douglas K. Woods said, “The MFG Meeting continues to bring the top leaders in the manufacturing technology industry together to network and hear from thought-provoking speakers. The topics this year on the future of technology, Smartforce and educational issues, and disruptive innovation help to fuel the big ideas that can position our businesses for success. The MFG Meeting was, once again, a great event that holds a lot of value for our members.”
NTMA President Dave Tilstone said, “The joint programming by our three associations creates great opportunities for our respective members to meet and discuss the common challenges of being a manufacturer. It’s clear that there are opportunities for cooperation and collaboration as we continue the comeback of U.S. manufacturing in this country and ensure the sector’s long-term success.”
PMA President William E. Gaskin stated, “One of the most positive takeaways from the 2014 MFG Meeting is confirmation that the outlook for U.S. manufacturing is bright. From our speakers to our participating PMA, AMT and NTMA members, most agreed that our sector will continue to expand and add jobs. All agreed that it was important that we ensure that our elected representatives in Washington, DC create tax, economic and regulatory policies that help manufacturers continue to create jobs and expand their businesses, and not work against the sector by passing onerous regulations and raising taxes or failing to renew important tax incentives used by manufacturers to invest in their companies.”
Plans are underway for next year’s MFG Meeting, March 4-7, 2015, in Orlando, Florida.