FIA Annual Meeting Set for May 13-16

April 2, 2006
Discussion topics will stress management strategies

The Annual Meeting of Members of the Forging Industry Association will be held May 13-16, at The Hilton Head Marriott Beach & Golf Resort, Hilton Head Island, SC. This event provides members with a forum to address essential strategies for operating successful forging businesses.

Several executive roundtables will be held at this meeting, including Open Die/Seamless Rolled Ring Producers, General Business, and General Business — automotive focused.

During the annual meeting, the society also will present industry awards and provide briefings on the status of several FIA/FIERF activities. FIA officials point out that based on member recommendations to the FIA board of directors, the annual dinner-dance will take place on Monday evening, rather than as the Tuesday-evening closing event.

Attendees who choose to stay for Tuesday afternoon may participate in an additional informal round of golf, or tour Savannah, GA.

Registration brochures can be obtained by contacting FIA at Tel: 216-781-6260. Fax: 216-781-0102; e-mail to [email protected]; or visit online at The deadline for guaranteed lodging is April 11, 2006.

Detailed here a several of the presentations FIA has scheduled:

- "How U.S. Businesses Can Prepare for a Future Terrorist Crisis," presented by Susan Neely, former U.S. Assistant secretary for Homeland Security. Having weathered natural disasters, a crash of the NASA Shuttle, widespread power outages, and numerous terrorist simulations from dirty bomb explosions to smallpox attacks, Neely shares strategies and practical tips on how to prepare a company now for the terrorist crisis of tomorrow based on 25 years experience in senior communications and management positions in the public and private sector. Currently, she is the president of the American Beverage Assn. where she provides expertise in health policy and communications.

- "Five Years into an Expansion, Can Manufacturing Continue to Forge Ahead?," by Dr. Ken Mayland, president, ClearView Economics, L.L.C. Manufacturing activity entered 2006 with plenty of momentum, but a fundamental question arises: after more than four years, is the expansion getting "long in the tooth"? Will nearly two years of Federal Reserve interest-rate increases doom the economy? What can keep this expansion alive? Will raw material prices ever stop rising? For the most recent forecast year (mid-2004 to mid-2005), Bloomberg magazine chose Mayland as the best forecaster (tied) of the unemployment rate and the fifth-best forecaster of the inflation rate.

- "Growth Strategies for Tough Times," by David Braun, president, Virtual Strategies, Inc. Although many forge shops currently are enjoying robust economic conditions, a low point on the cycle will come and companies need to be prepared. Tailored to the forging industry, Braun will present an overview of manufacturing market forces affecting business, various business models for growth, and what can be done to grow and prosper. A case study will be used. Prior to his present position, he led the specialized-acquisition consulting division of a $40-million information technology company, where he was part of the management team that grew revenues 400% over four years.

- "Building Relationships with Toyota," Rebecca Vest, assistant general manager, Vehicle Parts & Materials Purchasing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc. Vest will share Toyota’s purchasing philosophy including supply management, cost reductions, current supplier relationships, and future outlook for the company and supplier relationships. She joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 1988 from the University of Kentucky, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.

- "The Winning Coach: The Art of Leading an Inspired Team," by Gary M. Heil, president, Heil and Associates. When people begin the process of reaching their potential, organizations soar. They compete more effectively in the marketplace, serve their customers with distinction and can even ignite passion and leadership in practically everyone around them. In most cases, the people charged with helping us reach our potential are coaches. But, a coach’s responsibility involves much more. Leadership expert Gary Heil documents the journey that coaches must make, from coach, to winning coach, to leader. He is an author, educator, lawyer, consultant and coach, and has served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

- "Balancing Work and Life," by David Belden, chair, The Executive Committee. The objective of this program is to help people look at their own behavior in new ways. The first portion will discuss The Impostor Syndrome, The Cycle of Drama, and the particular stresses for executive couples, and how each of these phenomena affects our daily lives, at home and at work. The program will lead a discovery process designed to provide tools and a focus for simplifying our daily lives. David Belden has 30 years of experience in international trade, garnered while living abroad. His main focus for 10 of those years was establishing new offices and restructuring dysfunctional operations in the U.S. and offshore, providing him with some unique insights into the universal nature of organizations. Belden is the founder of a consulting and facilitation company, ExecuVision International, which specializes in team alignment and executive coaching.