For over 120 years, Thomas has served the manufacturing industry by providing manufacturers with a wide variety of B2B services and resources. On March 14th, 2019, President and CEO of Thomas Tony Uphoff continued this legacy by going to the White House and leading a manufacturing roundtable discussion.
The sun shined with an early spring-like glow, with a few wispy clouds embellishing an otherwise clear blue sky, setting the tone for what would be a powerful dialogue between industry leaders and government officials.
Before the manufacturing roundhouse begins, Tony poses in front of the White House alongside four Thomas clients, as well as one of our Certified Thomas Partners.
From left to right: Sean Duclos, President of Millennium Precision LLC; Tony Uphoff, President and CEO of Thomas; Ken Carlton, President of Corrugated Metals; Eoin Lynch, President of Tex Tech Industries; Karen Norheim, Executive Vice President of American Crane Corporation; and Mark Manuel, Certified Thomas Partner (CTP).
As they wait to enter the White House, the reigning mood is one of excitement.
Tony and the others climbing the stairs, readying themselves for a productive conversation.
Moments before the roundtable begins, Tony and the others talk as they walk down the hallway.
The roundtable commences. Tony kicks off the discussion by touching upon the manufacturing industry’s steady expansion in recent years, as well as the challenges that the industry face.
Many subjects are discussed, including digital transformation. “Digital transformation contributes to all aspects of our business: equipment, technology, opportunity generation and culture,” explains Karen Norheim of American Crane. “All pieces need to work together to grow your business.”
Everyone present at the roundtable discussion is there for one thing: to support the manufacturing industry as it squares off against challenges such as public misconceptions about the industry, disruptive technologies, international trade, and workforce issues. “These types of discussions go a long way toward shaping America’s perception of manufacturing,” Tony explains. “They provide real examples and identify what is being done by leading U.S. manufacturers to continue the growth in this sector.”
Several government officials were in attendance, including representatives from the Congressional offices of Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), Co-Chair of the House manufacturing Caucus, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY), SBA Regional Administrators Wendell Davis and Steven Bulger, U.S. Department of Commerce ITA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing Ian Steff, and U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Director Anne Evans.
By the end of the day, Tony is in high spirits about the productive roundtable discussion. “This was a great opportunity to share what our data shows on manufacturing and industrial trends with senior government leaders and to illuminate some of the key challenges our industry is working to overcome.”
Of course, no trip to the White House would be complete without a selfie!
From left to right, Sean Duclos, Mark Manuel, Tony Uphoff, Eoin Lynch, Rita Lieberman, and Karen Norheim.