AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting can help build your network


According to LinkedIn, 80 percent of professionals consider networking to be a significant driver of career advancement and success. While many professionals view networking as a tool to be used solely for personal career growth, it can be even more valuable for senior executives and business owners to stay connected with industry peers.

Your professional network serves as the ideal soundboard to exchange ideas, ask for advice about issues you may be facing, and stay on top of the latest technologies and innovations. The AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting was designed to help members build and sustain valuable connections in the industry. This annual event is a great place to meet with like-minded professionals and suppliers to add value to your business. Join us April 26-28 in Naples, Florida, and start building your network of peers.

For first-time attendees, the thought of building a professional network can seem daunting, but there are simple steps you can take to make the process of networking more comfortable for those new to the process:

Dress the Part: Check the event dress code in advance to ensure you blend in with the group. Not only will this make you instantly feel less awkward, but you will look like you’re an Annual Meeting regular. Check with the event organizers if you aren’t sure what you should pack.

Arrive on time: It may be tempting to show up to a reception fashionably late, especially if you are new to the group or don’t know many attendees yet, but arriving on time gives you an edge. People may not be settled into a group conversation yet, and it’s a good opportunity to casually make your rounds and have discussions while it’s calm and quiet.

Focus on relationship building: While your first instinct at a networking event might be to jump into a sales pitch, try to focus your efforts on genuine conversation. Be yourself and be authentic.

Take advantage of the First Timers Reception: If you are new to the AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting, you can’t miss the First Timers Reception on April 26. Exclusively for first-time attendees, this reception matches new guests with seasoned meeting veterans to answer your questions about the meeting and introduce you to their network.

In addition to the ample opportunities to build your professional network, the AGMA/ABMA Annual Meeting is your go-to source for top tier, innovative industry education. Business presentations at the 2018 event include:

  • J.R. Martinez, Iraq War veteran, actor, motivational speaker: Adapt and Overcome
  • Jim Meil, principal industry analyst and economist for ACT Research Co.: U.S. Economic Expansion or Extension? Or Will it Come to an End? and Next Steps: Automobile Manufacturing and the Economic Consequences
  • Brett Smith, co-director for Center for Automotive Research (CAR): The Automobile: Unprecedented Change, But at What Speed? and Next Steps: Automobile Manufacturing and the Economic Consequences
  • Curt Stenhorst, consumer trends expert and founder/CEO of Focuswise: Thriving in the Age of Distraction
  • Arun Sundarajun, New York University-Stern School of Business: Capitalizing on the Sharing Economy and Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism

We hope to see you April 26-28 in Naples, Florida. Register at or

Thank You AGMA/ABMA Committee

Chair, David Goodfellow, Star SU, LLC

AGMA Participants

  • Jim Bregi, Doppler Gear Company
  • Dean Burrows, Gear Motions Inc.
  • Nitin Chaphalkar, DMG/Mori/Seki USA
  • John Cross, ASI Technologies
  • John Grazia, GearTec Inc.
  • Dave Long, Chalmers, Kubeck Inc.
  • Anne Miner, Machine Tool Builders

ABMA Participants

  • Kevin Herkner, Standard Locknut
  • Jeff Manzagol, NN Inc.
  • Tony Richey, Specialty Steel Treating Inc.

Get Inspired By The 2018 AGMA/ABMA Speaker Line Up

Adapt and Overcome

J.R. Martinez, Iraq War veteran, actor, and winner of ABC’s 
“Dancing With The Stars”

There is a learning curve to anything, and our ability to adapt in the midst of change is what helps to strengthen our character. Join Martinez as he shares his life story of constant change that has forced him to adapt to new environments and challenges. Walk with him as he explains how his childhood challenges enabled him to cope with the unexpected following a traumatic event during his Iraq deployment. Despite his copious injuries and limitations, this unbelievable situation has blessed him with a whole new perspective on life. During this presentation, Martinez will encourage each of you to look deeply at your obstacles, embrace them in a different light, and call upon fortitude and grit when facing your challenges head on.

Thriving in the Age of Distraction

Curt Steinhorst, Consumer Trends Expert & Founder/CEO of Focuswise

For the first time in history, we live in a world without any barriers to connection or communication. This has fundamentally altered the way people work, engage, communicate, and relate to one another. We are asked to process four times the information Americans used to decades ago, but with less space and time to actually think. In reality, the same technology that promises to simplify processes also makes it even more difficult to focus and reach increasingly distracted customers. Join Steinhorst, a highly rated 2017 Annual Meeting speaker, as he shares how we regain our attention and overcome the challenges we face in our digitally distracted, constantly connected workplace. This presentation gives a realistic picture of focusing and how to tackle the attention barriers, interruptions, and distractions we all face daily.

Capitalizing on the Sharing Economy 
and Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism

Arun Sundararajan, Ph.D. Professor and the Robert L. and Dale Atkins Rosen, Faculty Fellow at New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business

In the 18th century economy, most business was conducted between individuals — the one-person shop and the small business were the heart of the economy. Over the next two centuries, we witnessed the emergence of the organizational economy, with most economic activity conducted in large cohesive companies with managerial hierarchies and full-time employees. We are now entering a third phase, transitioning from 20th century managerial capitalism to 21st century crowd-based capitalism. Platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, Didi Chuxing, Upcounsel, and WeWork — what we collectively call “the sharing economy” — are examples of a future where peer-to-peer exchange is increasingly prevalent, and the crowd replaces the corporation as the center of capitalist enterprise. Author, professor, and technology consultant, Sundararajan has been invited to bring perspective into the convergence of digital and socioeconomic forces that have catalyzed this transition. His discussion will show how this shift to crowd-based capitalism will alter economic growth, what it means to have a job, and how all of this will affect our social fabric of being connected to each other.

Trade Policy Update and Perspective: 
A View from Washington

Derek Gianino, Director of International Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

International trade became a heated topic of debate during the 2016 presidential campaign and continued during the Trump administration’s first year. With the focus on re-negotiating NAFTA, the business community has been actively working behind the scenes to protect and preserve the benefits from the pact while welcoming the opportunity to update, modernize, and improve the agreement. Gianino is prepared to review what the future holds for trade agreements and trade policy in general. He will share the Trump administration’s goals and objectives on trade, and what all of this means for the manufacturing community. In addition, he will discuss the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s role as a grassroots organization, promoting international trade agenda to business and third-party stakeholders.

U.S. Economic Expansion or Extension? 
Or Will It Come to an End?

Jim Meil, Principal, Industry Analysis, ACT Research Co., LLC

In April 2018, the U.S. economy will be on the verge of its second longest expansion in the post-World War II period. If it lasts until the 2019 meeting, it will be precedent setting. But what does all this mean and — more importantly — how does it relate to your business now and in the future? As AGMA and ABMA members, you need to recognize economic cycles. Meil’s economic analysis has become a staple for providing critical data in effective business planning. Meil expands his overview this year to include Information on consumer spending, interest rate projections, international economics, business confidence, investments, and steel/commodity pricing.

Automation in Your Plant — A Practical Discussion

Robotics and automation have been primarily used by automobile manufacturers. But as the technology changes, and smarter, more agile units are being built — in an affordable manner — robots are being brought into all sorts of manufacturing sites. Small and medium-sized manufacturers can now consider adding automation to their facility. AGMA will bring in experts from top robotics companies to discuss, in panel format, current trends in industrial robot and cobot use in manufacturing. The panel will discuss the advances in computing that have removed the necessity of IT professionals setting up complex programming and have a practical discussion on how you can bring automation to your plant floor and see benefit in the short term. A complete list of panelists is available on the AGMA website.

The Automobile: Unprecedented Change, 
But at What Speed?

Brett Smith, Assistant Director, MET, Co-Director, Conference Strategy, Center for Automotive Research (CAR)

With seemingly unprecedented suddenness, 2017 was the year of technology awakening for the automotive industry. An industry traditionally based on a methodical pace of innovation and change is now facing a revolution. It is a certainty that the automated, connected, and electrified (ACE) technology will drastically change the automobile and the industry that builds it. The future of the combustion engine has become, and will continue to be, a paramount topic among those companies representing the powertrain industry. Expert and strategic planner Smith will share his vision as an insider in the automobile research arena. His background as the chairman of CAR’s management briefing seminars on the car of the future brings his trained and qualified perspective to this critical topic.

Next Steps: Automobile Manufacturing 
and the Economic Consequences

Jim Meil and Brett Smith

After the presentations from Meil and Smith, join them for a robust point/counterpoint discussion that could answer some questions, raise new ideas, or trigger alarms about coping with a potential revolution in manufacturing. We all recognize that the automobile industry will not look like it does today. What we don’t know is how fast it will change, who will be most affected, and who will our consumers be. This final session will integrate the key points from the shared economy session and synthesize all three components into a dynamic, thought-provoking discussion that will be one of the highlights of the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Some Annual Meeting Events

NEW! Corn Hole Tournament
Registration required
Friday | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. casual attire
ESPN Game Day is coming to Naples, Florida, to cover the first official AGMA/ABMA Corn Hole Tournament. Grab a teammate, design your uniforms, and get ready to compete in a bracket-style tournament that will make March Madness seem tame. If bean bag tossing is not your thing, spectators and cheerleaders are welcome to join in for the amazing food and side-line activities. Prizes will be awarded throughout the tournament, so bring your A-game and team spirit.

Friday Night Arcade Adventure
Friday | 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. casual attire
Join the AGMA/ABMA attendees as we transform the Naples Grand ballroom into an Arcade Adventure. Who can resist Skee-Ball, Air Hockey, or Pac-Man with your friends and colleagues? Now in the 21st century, we will be adding some virtual reality challenges into the evening along with a lot of new and exciting opportunities and adventures. The evening will include a casual dinner, several comfort food stations, and ample opportunities for everyone to participate at various games.

Local Tours
Registration required (limited space)
Saturday | 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. casual attire
Spend your afternoon getting to know the local area of Naples, Florida. Choose from two optional tours to partake in with your AGMA/ABMA colleagues.

The Revs Institute Automotive Tour (limit 12)
The Revs Institute is the premiere destination to study and explore one of the largest archives of automotive history ever preserved for scholars and connoisseurs alike. The tour is about two hours long and features more than 100 rare automotive innovations.

Florida Mangrove Eco Tour
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida will host AGMA/ABMA guests for a guided nature walk on the half mile Briggs Boardwalk. View the unique Florida mangrove trees, whose roots grow submerged in water, and the chance to see local birds, reptiles, and plants. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Night of Comedy
Saturday | 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. business attire
Let’s celebrate our last night together in grand style with dinner and a lot of laughs. Comic Wayne Cotter will be returning to the AGMA/ABMA center stage to provide the night’s entertainment. Once a computer engineer, Cotter is now a favorite of the talk show circuit and is returning to the Annual Meeting as a repeat performer. The evening will include a reception, dinner, and awards presentation.

Be A Sponsor For The Annual Meeting

Are you going to attend the Annual Meeting? Wouldn’t you like your logo to be visible for all to see? Sponsor one of the many parts to the Annual Meeting and get your company name out there.

All sponsors will receive:

  • Company logo on the annual meeting web page with links to your company’s website from the time of securing the sponsorship through the post-meeting press activities.
  • Your company’s logo will be printed in all materials for the meeting and in the onsite program. The earlier you sponsor, the more times your logo will be seen.
  • Printed signs and video screen recognition during the event.
  • Specific recognition for the item/event.

Visit to see the spaces available and fill out the sponsorship form to get started. Please contact Leah Lewis for any sponsorship inquiries at