Report from America: Cleveland

By May 8, 2007Report from America

Report from AmericaYesterday the blogger-in=-chief was out in sunny Cleveland, Ohio, manufacturing mecca, to speak to the Wire Association International’s “Wirenet” Conference. We got a bigger audience than we deserved, that’s for sure, but were there for the awards ceremony. It was great to hear the many tributes to the various award winners, each one a story of persistence and innovation, the two key elements that make manufacturers special, and great. A special congratulations to Sharon Young, a leader in the industry and the first woman President of the Wire Association International (WAI), a few years back. She won the WAI’s Donnellan Memorial Medal. Congrats are also due to Harry Petrohilos — engineer, innovator and manufacturer — who was awarded the WAI’s “Mordica Award.”

In any event, we talked about manufacturing and urged them all to tel their story, to invite their elected Representatives into their plants. Interestingly, we got one question from the crowd, expressing concern over inviting elected officials into their facilities, worried that they might instead try to cause problems for them. We assured the questioner that this would likely not happen, but what a sad commentary on the public’s view of elected officials, no? The question was honest and legitimate, a real fear that maybe their elected official might just turn on them. That it was not out of the realm of possibility spoke volumes. Our electeds have a huge perception problem, don’t you think…?

In any event, here’s a link to our slides. Thanks to WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll and to WAI President Tom Moran, who did a very nice introduction (Given what he had to work with) and as always, to our wire pal John Martin of Mar-Mac Wire, a true warrior for manufacturing.