NPE Trend Watch: Education - NPE Targets "C Suite" with New Educational Program

“Leadership Summit” program focuses on the business of plastics, designed to give tips to execs to improve the bottom line.

NPE is well known as a giant triennial trade show that showcases new technology that helps plastics processors make better products. This May, it will be all that and more.

In addition to a show floor buzzing and humming with the latest advances in processing machinery and equipment, NPE2018 has set aside the mornings of Tuesday to Thursday, May 8 – 10 for a conference aimed specifically at the business side of plastics. It targets “C-Level” executives with an educational program intended to help them make better-informed strategic decisions that pump up their bottom lines.

This program, called The Plastics Leadership Summit, is the brainchild of William Carteaux, president and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), and well-known industry consultant Jay Gardiner of New York-based Gardiner Plastics, Inc. The program offers executives from processors, brand owners and OEMs a first-of-its-kind educational and networking opportunity, while giving them ample time to walk the sold-out show floor afterward.

The summit, for which there is a separate registration fee, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Speakers and presentations are organized through what Gardiner calls “three unique lenses,” assigned to different days: Profit (Tuesday), Product (Wednesday), and Production (Thursday). Dow Chemical is the event’s Platinum Leadership sponsor.

On Tuesday, May 8, the Profit track will cover topics such as capital sourcing for growth and acquisition, company valuation, and corporate financial strategies. Speakers and panelists include:

 •  Sharon Miller, managing director, head of small business, Bank of America
 •  Charlie Gailliot, managing director, Goldman Sachs
 •  Craig P. Staub, managing principal, Odyssey Partners
 •  John Hart, managing director, P&M Corporate Finance
 •  Sam Smith III, senior v.p., Customers Bank Commercial Finance


On Wednesday, May 9, the Product track is geared towards senior business development, sales and marketing, and product/divisional business managers. It will provide insights into projected demand for markets like aerospace, medical, food and beverage, lawn and garden, etc. Speakers and panelists for that morning include:

 •  Theresa Hermel-Davidock, worldwide director, Core Technologies, Becton Dickinson
 •  Stephen Livernois, v.p. procurement of direct materials, Becton Dickinson
 •  Rene Lammers, senior v.p., Global Beverage R&D, PepsiCo
 •  Catherine Hawkins, senior director of procurement, The Boeing Co.
 •  Jay Olson, global manager, Materials Engineering and Technology, John Deere


On May 10, the Production track will cover topics such as workforce development and additive (3D and 4D) manufacturing, as well as “smart manufacturing.” Speakers and panelists include:

 •  Jay Timmons, president and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
 •  Greg Haye, general manager Materials & Process Development Center, Local Motors Inc.
 •  Cheryl MacLeod, global head of 3D Fusion Science, Hewlett Packard Inc.
 •  Peter Stansky, digitalization development manager, Siemens Inc.


Notes Gardiner, “The Plastics Leadership Summit is an education event aimed at top management that looks at plastics from a business perspective. Executives who attend can come away with ideas that can improve their profit margin.”

You can learn more and register for the event at

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