The PTDA's Industry Summit recently took place in Washington D.C. This networking and educational event provided networking opportunities, programming and various social events. Attended by top-level decision-makers from leading distribution and manufacturing firms, the Industry Summit is a unique mix of educational sessions on industry trends, distributor-manufacturer meetings and peer networking forums. It is designed to help distributors and manufacturers work together to move their companies and the industry forward. Keynote and educational sessions help attendees grow their businesses and bottom lines by focusing on using existing capabilities and careful planning to tap into new markets and capture new opportunities.
More than 530 industry professionals registered and attended the conference including international delegates from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Trinidad and the United Kingdom. Highlights of the Summit included the opening keynote address by Alison Levine, "Ascending from Summit to Summit," the second keynote address by economist Alan Beaulieu of the Institute for Trend Research, "The Beaulieu Report" and a panel discussion: "Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions on The Distribution Channel" moderated by Barb Ross, vice president sales & marketing, Timken Drives LLC, with participating panelists Chris Bursack, director marketing, Industrial Supply Co., Inc.; Jay Greyson, principal, Supply Chain Equity Partners and co-founder, Vetus Parnters; George Rizza, president, Rossi Gear Motor Division, Habasit America; Steve Smidler, president, Kaman Industrial Technologies Corporation; and Ed Ralston, executive vice president, Baldor Electric Company, a member of the ABB Group.
The PTDA Industry Summit features invaluable networking, learning and social events including the signature event, the Manufacturer-Distributor Idea Exchange (MD-IDEX), where distributors and manufacturers efficiently bring together existing and potential channel partners to strategically plan for the upcoming year. The 2011 program featured well over 600 meetings through pre-scheduled appointments and open times. For the sixth year, the Industry Summit included a Motion Control Showcase, featuring 20 motion control suppliers with live demonstrations of the latest hardware. The showcase is targeted at members considering expansion into the motion control arena, looking for additional suppliers to support current offerings or interested in networking with other market players.
The closing event of the Industry Summit included a private social at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where delegates and their spouses/companions and families enjoyed dinner and the opportunity to wrap up their convention activities, in addition to the chance to get up close with some true American treasures.
During the event the PTDA named Carlos Ingram, former vice president of business systems, Kaman Industrial Technologies Corporation, the 22nd recipient of its Warren Pike Award for lifetime achievement in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry. The award is named for the PTDA's co-founder and first president and was established in 1984 to honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, continuous, long-term support of PTDA and the PT/MC industry.
Upon receiving the award, Ingram took the podium and said, "As I look over past award winners, this is such an elite group that I feel honored. I look at other leaders who have done so much and haven't won this award, and I think maybe a mistake has been made. I want to thank the association staff and all the members. I especially want to thank Kaman Industrial and Jack Cahill, who supported me so much over the years. I also want to thank my beautiful wife Darlene for all her support."
Ingram has been a leader for PTDA for the past 20 years. Beginning as a member of the Business Information Systems Committee in 1991, Carlos has served on committees ranging from Marketing to Industry Relations. He joined the PTDA board in 1998 and served as president in 2003. He continued to serve the association right up until his retirement in May 2011. Kevin McCloskey, a colleague of Ingram's at Kaman and a fellow past PTDA president, heaped praise on Ingram for his forward-driving influence over the entire industry. In the 90s, Ingram was part of a core group of people who saw what was coming and made sure the association helped the industry take advantage of new systems for handling data and new processes. He was a champion for emerging technologies before that term was in vogue. One of his core contributions was the development of PPIF, which gave the entire power transmission/motion control market a framework for sharing price and product information. It's impossible to calculate how much time and money the PPIF has saved both distributors and manufacturers.
Barb Ross, Timken Drives, LLC, served as chair of the Manufacturer Council when Ingram was president in 2003 and spoke of Ingram's involvement with PTDA. "I have been fortunate to work with Carlos over the years. He is a true professional who understands the industry and is a true partner," said Ross. "He is a man of integrity and is respected in the industry. While Carlos was president, the industry was going through some tough times. Carlos was an inspiration he was always smiling and charging forward with a positive attitude."