PTDA 2014 Industry Summit Participants 'Imagine' Success

PTDA's annual summit convened Oct. 22-25 in Orlando, attended by nearly 600 power transmission and motion control industry representatives.

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CHICAGO — Nearly 600 power transmission and motion control industry representatives from over 250 PTDA member companies attended the PTDA 2014 Industry Summit. Along with an additional 230 spouses, companions and guests, the top executives convened on Oct. 22-25 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Fla. The theme of this year's summit was "Imagine."

“The relationships we begin, nurture and evaluate here at the Industry Summit allow us to imagine an even stronger distribution channel,” said PTDA President Ken Miko (BDI, Cleveland, Ohio).  He continues, “In my own experience, this year’s Industry Summit just continued to reinforce the association’s mission to bring together distributors and manufacturers, working for the benefit of our mutual customers.” 

PTDA Manufacturer Council Chair Brian Kolman (Brewer Machine & Gear, St. Louis, Mo.) concurs, stating “The networking we can do at the Industry Summit — both in formal settings like MD-IDEX and in informal settings like our Industry Summit Bash — just further the value of the association and help me keep strong relationships with all of my channel partners.”

Industry Summit Highlights

  • Mike Ditka’s keynote, “ACE — Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm,” emphasized that goals mean nothing unless you define the methods to achieve them.
  • In this year’s The Beaulieu Report, Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics predicted a growing economy, peaking in 2016, but noted a recession is probable for 2019.
  • Philippa Gamse’s workshop, “Bricks to Clicks,” advocated talking to your customers, reviewing your analytics, defining measurable outcomes and focusing on two to three key platforms to expand online business.
  • Jeff Hargett explained the psychology of service epitomized by The Ritz-Carlton, detailing the basics of establishing a service culture that improves customer and employee experiences.
  • Ryan Meray of C! Tech Solutions presented best IT practices and provided tips on how to economically achieve the goals of increasing employee productivity, efficiency and ensuring the safety and security of company data.
  • Mindi Hertzog of the Orlando U.S. Export Assistance Center informed attendees how to address international orders and export products with confidence.
  • In a workshop developed by the PTDA Next Gen Task Force specifically for emerging leaders, Mitch Bouchard of General Bearing Service Inc. and dozens of others shared their stories of gaining the respect of their peers as a leader.
  • PTDA Next Gen Task Force members also coordinated small groups of those new to social media in building effective, business-oriented digital footprints in the hands-on Social Media Learning Lab. 
  • A charity walk organized by PTDA spouses and companions raised $1,850 for the Lupus Foundation of America. In addition, through Operation Military Kids and with funding from Industry Summit registrants, 140 backpacks were filled with school supplies, crafts, stuffed animals and toys and presented to children of parents called into active duty by the National Guard and Army Reserve.
  • PTDA member companies pledged over $57,000 in contributions to the PTDA Foundation, supporting the work of the Industrial Careers Pathway.


The Industry Summit’s signature event, the Manufacturer-Distributor Idea Exchange (MD-IDEX), each year efficiently brings together existing and potential channel partners to strategically plan for the upcoming year. Nearly 120 manufacturers exhibited at MD-IDEX in 2014, and the program featured close to 700 meetings through pre-scheduled appointments and open times.

PTDA Industry Summit Bash

Participants capped off their experience by boarding motor coaches, escorted by the Orlando Police, as they headed toward an unforgettable night of networking — with PTDA-exclusive access to a huge bash covering three different clubs at Universal CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort. Then, to continue the fun, the party moved on to Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park.

Looking to 2015

PTDA’s 2015 Industry Summit will be held on Oct. 21-24, 2015 at the Hilton Chicago in PTDA’s hometown of Chicago, Ill.

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