AGMA Annual Meeting packed with information, opportunities, fun

Many Benefits at the AGMA Annual Meeting

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In just 12 months our country has undergone a rebirth. The television pundits have begun referring to the “The Recession” in the past tense, statistics from the manufacturing sector are positive for the immediate and long-term future, and the reality from the midterm 2010 elections are here to stay.

In late summer of 2010, the Annual Meeting Planning Committee—chaired by Rustin Mikel of Forest City Gear—began to plan the 2011 Annual Meeting, which will be held April 14-16 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas. They focused on key topics and key themes: you, your company, and the end user.

Thursday’s speaker is all about you as the business executive. This session will encourage you to let your hair down and help you connect more directly with your employees and customers. You and your AGMA/ABMA colleagues will interact with Tom DeLuca as he helps open your eyes to new ways of capturing and focusing the inert creativity in each one of us.

Friday’s sessions are all about the big global picture, and how that affects your company. Just when we thought the economic picture had stabilized somewhat, the TV images of a revolution 5,000 miles away kicks us into a new reality. The global economic ramifications from this recent Egyptian revolution were not conceived when the committee invited Jim Meil, chief economist at the Eaton Corporation, to return as a speaker, but he will take the current climate into account to present us with the most up to date picture of the economic future. The speed at which the world’s political situation changes directly relates to the global economic picture and your company. If you doubt that, just think about the price of energy and the impact on your company’s bottom line.

The committee was particularly interested in addressing the business ramification resulting from the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. Now that seems like yesterday’s news. Instead we are now focused on those who won, how they got on top, and how this Congress will influence legislation that impact your company. Howard Fineman, political columnist from Newsweek, is in the trenches with these politicians and pundits. He will follow Jim Meil and address the big picture political situation. Our world has indeed gotten smaller. Your company will be affected in several key aspects, and you need to understand and respond to the big picture.

Saturday is jam-packed with four speakers who will look at the end users of our industry. Much of our gearing industry products support the key industries of automobile manufacturing, defense, and wind energy. Understanding how these end users operate and knowing their objectives is a critical component as you plan your company’s future.

Your trip to San Antonio for the 2011 AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting will not be complete without the opportunity to taste the culture of the Southwest and network with your colleagues in a fun, festive atmosphere. For the first time ever the Annual Meeting will be headed to Texas, where things are bigger and better. The networking starts Thursday evening with a reception and silent auction sponsored by the AGMA Foundation. Join your colleagues at the annual golf tournament, then share the best golf stories over barbeque and beverages. The weekend concludes with a complimentary trip to the San Antonio River Walk and closing dinner. This is the place to be—the perfect close-knit environment where you can meet the speakers, discuss your company, and share ideas about the future.

Mark your calendar and make your plans to join the AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting in San Antonio (detailed info in the following pages). It is a great chance to stay connected and take advantage of new opportunities. We live in a very dynamic time, and you can’t afford to stay complacent. When you are riding ahead of the curve take a look back every now and then, analyze the situation, and set your sights on the future.

Practical Applications for End-Users at AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting
Executives of member companies from the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) and the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA) will head to Texas April 14-16 for the AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting. The event presentations will focus on the industries at a micro-level with applicable information specific to the gear and bearing industries and their end users.

The meeting will kick off with a bit of entertainment. Tom DeLuca, president of DeLuca Enterprises, uses the power of suggestion and humor to showcase the wonderful imaginations and personalities within the AGMA/ABMA audience. Part entertainment and part theater, this program demonstrates the inherent creativity of the participants when they are relaxed, comfortable, and given permission to be themselves. It is also a reminder that our creativity lies just below the surface.

On Friday, April 15, AGMA welcomes back Jim P. Meil, vice president and chief economist at the Eaton Corporation. He will offer his economic analysis from his unique perspective within the manufacturing sector. He has a keen understanding of what impacts our sector and will present this in “Recovery from the ‘Great Recession’: Half-Hearted or Full Steam Ahead?” The scorekeepers say the recession ended in June 2009, but the economic recovery since then has been slow and erratic. April is an excellent time to review how the global economy is progressing and to see what direction interest rates, inflation, and government policy are headed. Let’s check out how industrial markets are faring and look ahead at prospects for the rest of 2011 to see what’s in store for 2012 and beyond.

Following on Friday is a “View from Washington” with Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent and political columnist for Newsweek. He will discuss the impact of the midterm elections and the upcoming 2012 presidential race. Fineman will focus on the political maneuvering within the Obama Administration and what outcomes he expects for the current Congressional session.

On Saturday, attendees will listen to three presentations that will provide practical applications to end users. The day opens with a presentation from the Department of Defense. Robert Cunningham (COL, U.S. Army, ret.), director of Army Future Programs and Monica Gorzelnik (COL, U.S. Army, ret.), director of Strategic C41 will discuss DOD “Spending: Impact for the Manufacturing Sector.”

Like most businesses, the department’s budget is built around an analysis of future market trends. However, that is where the similarity to other budgets ends. Being the Department of Defense, they alone have unique and significant parameters that must be addressed when looking at the budgeting process for their spending and programs. All of these must come into play as we take a hard look at the DOD budget process and analyze potential end-user opportunities in its infrastructure.

The second part of this update will take an in-depth look at how these budgeting challenges also impact the acquisition cycles of the military services and their spending. Current programs within all branches of the armed forces will be addressed. Attendees will learn how these programs have been impacted by recent events. Find out which programs have been terminated or are on the chopping block, and what lies ahead for these and future programs.

The day’s second presentation will be on “The New North American Auto Industry: Moving Forward on Less Gas.” Presented by Jay Baron—president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and director of the Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology Group—this presentation will review the state of the North American auto industry and discuss current and future trends. New products and new players will face challenges as the uncertain future unfolds. Key technologies continue to evolve in manufacturing and product design. These will increase the importance of the supply chain and business partnerships. Smaller operating margins necessitate that all companies evaluate and prioritize strategic initiatives. Legislation, especially involving fuel economy, will significantly affect power train technology and vehicle design. Technological and legislative uncertainties are putting pressure on the auto industry, which is finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the range of possibilities.

The third presenter is on “Opportunities in the Wind Energy Sector.” Jeff Anthony, director of business development at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), will provide up to date information about manufacturing opportunities in the current wind energy industry. He will discuss how and why we need to increase domestic content of wind turbine components in the United States.

All attendees to the AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting will walk away with practical information to move their company forward in the remainder of 2011. More information on this event can be found on the AGMA Web site, www.agma.org.