Looking At The Baltimore SMC And Beyond

Are we approaching a light at the end of the tunnel? That continues to be the question on everybody’s mind. For the last several years, we’ve gone from flat out bad news to somewhat encouraging mixed indicators. With each economic report, there’s always the ray of hope that next quarter, or next year, will bring better days. And so, distributors and manufacturers alike continue to cautiously move forward making adjustments to business plans as more information comes in.

At this this year’s SMC, we continue to look at how domestic and international factors continue to shape our business landscape. Andy Bauer, a Baltimore-based regional economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia, will bring us his perspective on what significant factors have contributed to the slow recovery of the economy and how regional and national economic factors will affect the future economic situation as we look down the road.

Spring Management Conference 20122012 is also an election year, which brings up the question of how changes in Washington will affect business policies over the next several years. Juan Williams is a leading political analyst and writer for the Fox News Channel. He also writes for several publications, including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Williams has worked as a White House correspondent and national correspondent. Williams brings us his perspective on how developments in the political arena over the past several months may affect how Washington is changing and how those changes may affect future business.

We then turn our focus to technology strategies and tools that are available today. Karl Meinhardt has served as a strategy consultant, technology, social networking and the media expert to many companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 to start-ups. He is the co-author of The Leader’s New Clothes: The Naked Truths, a book based on his management experiences set in modern-day corporate America, that presents new insights to authentic leadership through self-awareness. You can read more about this in Karl’s article, “Return On Relationships.” Meinhardt will share his insight on how technology can improve your existing business.

Karl Meinhardt will also participate in our technology panel discussions, which are being organized by the GAWDA Management Information Committee. These discussions will focus on new and better ways to take advantage of existing technology. Come prepared to engage the technology panel members and discover how today’s technology can improve your business.

We’ll continue to bring you important updates on existing programs, such as the GAWDA Foundation, CGA Subscription Program, GAWDA Gives Back and much more. As always, there will be plenty of opportunities to network during our receptions, meals and social activities.

Our Contact Booth Program continues to offer a special opportunity to visit with our supplier members and gather information on the latest equipment and services. See the Guide to Exhibitors.

I look forward to seeing all of you this spring at the GAWDA SMC in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
John Ospina John Ospina is GAWDA’s executive director. He can be reached via telephone at 877-382-6440 (fax extension 3) or e-mail jospina@gawda.org.