Forming Our Future 2024: Lots of Fun, Some Sun and a Bunch of Networking, Learning and Leading

Tuesday, March 12, 2024
By: Drew Gutierrez

300 PMA members and their families gathered for four days in Orlando, FL, for Forming Our Future 2024! For four days, PMA members heard from industry leaders, learned the latest industry trends, and got to see old friends and make new ones!

Check out the conference photos and recap video!

Day One–Networking Receptions
PMA’s executive board welcomed Forming Our Future first timers at our special First Timers Reception. This reception allowed first timers the chance to network with one another and meet PMA’s executive board members and their spouses. After the reception, the first timers were joined by the rest of the conference attendees for the Early Arrivals Reception.

Day Two—Keynotes, Washington D.C. Update and Chairman’s Themed Reception & Dinner
Amber Selking opened the conference with a presentation about how to win the mental game. As a performance consultant/coach, Amber shared stories from work with professional and collegiate sport teams on changing their mental mindset and how those concepts can be used in manufacturing leadership.

After Amber, Chris Kuehl provided his thoughts and predictions on how the economy will perform in 2024. Chris covered inflation, recession, interest rates, the labor shortage and other challenges that will affect the economy this year.

The final presentation for the day was from PMA’s Washington, D.C. team. The team provided an update on everything happening in the nation’s capital—elections, taxes, tariffs, supply lines and regulations—and how that affects manufacturers.

No trip to Orlando is complete without meeting your favorite heroes and villains! We ended the second day with a themed event—Heroes & Villains Unite! Attendees and their families dressed up to see who had the best hero or villain costume! From Superman to the Joker to Batman and more, it was a night to remember!

Day Three—Metals Update and Orlando Activities
PMA’s metal experts from Eagle Metals, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp. and Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals Inc. provided members with the current market situation and an outlook for the next six to 12 months for metal service centers, mills and the global metals marketplace.

After the metal panel, we moved into our breakout educational sessions that covered key topics in our industry: ESG reporting, nearshoring, workplace culture, executive benefits, technology, workforce and more.

Day three concluded with some fun activities in the area: golf scramble at Disney’s Magnolia Course, half-day at Magic Kingdom and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Cirque du Soleil.

Day Four—Annual Business Meeting, Officer Recognition, Closing Keynotes and Dinner and Dancing
The final day of #FOF2024 started with PMA and PMAEF annual business sessions, followed by a celebration of our 2023 officers and welcoming our 2024 officers. PMA’s 2023 chair, Jeff Aznavorian of Clips & Clamps Industries, introduced our 2024 chair, Gregg Boucher of Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals Inc. Gregg discussed his path to becoming chair, his experience with PMA and what his executive board’s mission is for the next year.

After the officer recognitions, the closing keynotes took the stage. Laurie Harbour provided an industry update based on the data her team has been collecting and steps that manufacturers can take to minimize their risk to market changes.

After Laurie, Dennis Snow closed out the conference by drawing on his more than 20 years of experience at Walt Disney World to show attendees how they too can deliver world-class customer service to create “walk-through-fire” customer loyalty.

The final event of #FOF2024 was dancing with a side of dinner! After dinner, the DJ opened the dance floor to get attendees to dance the night away.

Forming Our Future 2024 was magical! This is the only event that brings together our industry’s leaders plus the next group of leaders making their way up their company’s leadership ladder. Thank you to our sponsors and speakers and participants for making this an amazing conference!

Forming Our Future 2025 will take place in Puerto Rico on March 5-8.