Industry leaders and executives gathered in Atlanta July 30-Aug. 1 for the second ITPS (International ThermProcess Summit), and by all accounts and comments, the event delivered a wide array of timely and critical information.

Anne Goyer, IHEA’s executive vice president, noted that attendee evaluations showed executives felt the speakers and their presentations were very valuable. “I have been involved in organizing conferences and summits for more than 35 years," Goyer said. "This year’s ITPS was one of the highest evaluated events we’ve ever produced.”

From the opening session where attendees learned about the “Factory of the Future” from Dr. Irene Petrick of Intel, to the closing presentation on “Transitioning Your Business to the Next Generation” by The BrainzoomingTM Group founder Mike Brown, the audience was engaged throughout the entire event. The diverse general-session program was packed with topics of significant relevance to today’s manufacturing leadership. Additive manufacturing expert Todd Grimm offered insights into how this growing technology might impact manufacturing operations, while Georgia Tech’s Thomas Kurfess introduced the audience to Manufacturing USA initiatives that bring together industry, academia and government partners to grow advanced manufacturing innovation. Chad Hunt, special supervisory agent for the Atlanta Field Office of the FBI, provided tips to help manufacturers prevent and react to cybersecurity threats. Noel Ginsburg, CEO of CareerWise Colorado, shared the journey of establishing a state-wide apprenticeship program that promises to address workforce development challenges faced by most manufacturing organizations.

The program would not have been complete without addressing the latest happenings in Washington, D.C. and economic indices that impact manufacturers. Omar Nashashibi of the Franklin Partnership shared the latest information out of Washington, including the status of tariffs of concern to manufacturers. In this environment of constant political change, Nashashibi was literally updating his presentation information as he took the stage. Supplementing his Washington update was IHEA’s economist, Chris Kuehl, who addressed the topic of managing in an unpredictable economy.

The general program was enhanced with a breakout session that focused on the thermal-processing industry. Honeywell’s Tim Lee addressed opportunities and threats in the industry, and Chris Della Mora, risk consultant with HUB International Risk Services, discussed risk management strategies for industrial combustion systems. John Deere’s Chad Spore provided an OEM’s perspective on thermal processing, and a consultants' panel provided a peek into the industry’s future.

The program’s highest-rated presentation came from Dr. Amber Selking of the Selking Performance Group. She addressed ways for executives to drive consistent performance excellence within their companies. Dr. Selking dove into the science behind how the brain works and what leaders should do to develop their staff to drive a workforce that feels empowered.  

Along with the outstanding program, ITPS included the opportunity for attendees to socialize and mingle with speakers and industry peers during evening gatherings. It was the perfect combination of business and networking for all those in attendance. IHEA has offered many conferences and educational opportunities over its 89-year existence, but 2018’s ITPS was among its best-rated events ever. Diverse and unique in the industry, those who attended felt it was extremely worthwhile.