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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Networking, Education Opportunities Abundant At PTDA 2014 Canadian Conference

More than 200 people gathered June 5-7, 2014, at the historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, in Québec City, Québec for PTDA’s 13th annual Canadian Conference. Networking between channel partners and peers was the top priority, and there were numerous opportunities to meet with fellow industry executives.
The Canadian Conference kicked off with the Industry Showcase and Welcome Reception, a combination of business (with tabletop displays by 28 PTDA manufacturer members) and informal conversations. A highlight of the event was a reception and dinner at the Parliament Building, home of the Assemblée nationale du Québec.

Canadian Conference Co-Chairs Gerry Prezeau of Rotator Products Limited and Bruno Mylchreest of Timken Canada LP alternated as the conference’s emcees, presenting PTDA President Ken Miko of BDI speaking on PTDA’s strategic plan and PTDA Foundation President Barbara Ross of Garlock Sealing Technologies addressing recent successes of the Industrial Careers Pathway® program.

Prezeau and Mylchreest, and an industry committee of volunteers, developed a program of keynotes and educational sessions including:
  • Lifting the Loonie with BNN’s Andrew Bell: Andrew Bell, reporter and news anchor on Business News Network, entertained and informed attendees.  Bell interspersed his rather bleak outlook for manufacturing in Canada with clips of bloopers from various news media outlets.
  • Take Back Manufacturing with Nigel Southway: Nigel Southway, president of Nexus Consulting and chair of the Toronto chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), informed attendees about the need for and the goals of SME’s “Take Back Manufacturing” initiative.  More information is available at
  • Market Briefing: Aerospace Industry with Dale Gordon: A briefing on the aerospace market was presented by Dale Gordon, director of supplier quality assurance for Aerojet Rocketdyne.  Speaking on behalf of the International Aerospace Quality Group (, Gordon discussed the organization’s efforts in product and supply chain improvements.
  • Panel Discussion:  How Technology is Affecting the Distributor/Manufacturer Relationship: In response to recommendations for industry-relevant content, the Canadian Conference called up a panel made up of a quartet of industry executives to discuss how technology is affecting distributor/manufacturer relationships.  Distributors Ali Moghadam of Canadian Bearings and Mitch Bouchard of General Bearing Service joined manufacturers Jean-Sebastien (JS) Lavigne of Baldor Electric Company and Dave Strutt of C&U Bearings to share their perceptions.  The panel discussion was facilitated by Peter Helston of Annex Business Media.
  • Striving for Excellence with Stephan Maighan: Canadian Conference attendees were entertained, motivated and engaged by Stephan Maighan’s closing keynote.  Interspersing his six lessons for achieving excellence with activities involving combination locks and dancing, Maighan used his own experience to demonstrate how a positive attitude can produce a positive result.
A conference recap and a link to photographs from the event are available at PTDA members also gain exclusive access to presentations from three of the speakers.

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) is the leading global association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. Headquartered in Chicago, PTDA represents power transmission/motion control distribution firms that generate more than $16 billion in sales and span over 3,400 locations. PTDA members also include manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry.PTDA is dedicated to providing exceptional networking, targeted education, relevant information and leading-edge business tools to help distributors and manufacturers meet marketplace demands competitively and profitably. For more information, visit or follow @PTDAorg.

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