Compelling and educational keynote addresses covering the vital role of manufacturing in the economy, new technology, and tactics to identify and target new markets and customers, highlight The FABRICATOR®'s Leadership Summit: 7th Annual Metal Matters, February 29-March 2, the premier conference for the metal fabricating industry.

Keynote presentations will be delivered by Donald McNeeley, president and CEO, Chicago Tube and Iron Co, a multi-million dollar steel company headquartered in Chicago with subsidiaries throughout the United States; Jim Hawkins, Director–Machine Design Center, Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives; and Sarah Miller Caldicott, innovation author and great-grandniece of Thomas Edison.

McNeeley is a longtime leader and former chairman of the Metals Service Center Institute, as well as a professor with two decades of seniority at both DePaul and Northwestern Universities. His keynote, “Political & Economic Realities Coming Home to Roost,” on March 1 will identify distinct strategies for today’s leaders to successfully navigate the nuances of the changing global market as well as define the value of manufacturing and its vital role in the economy.

“Once upon a time, if you ran a good company, you were invincible. You were immune to attrition in the industry because attrition was going to take the poor companies, not the good ones,” McNeeley said. “But now all the poor companies are gone, and today even the good ones are vulnerable.”

Also on March 1, Hawkins will discuss how, for more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Hawkins’ keynote will focus on CAT’s general outlook for business, as well as new technologies the company is utilizing.

On March 2, Sarah Miller Caldicott, a great grandniece of Thomas Edison, will present insights on how today’s executives can apply Edison’s world-changing innovation methods to build competitive advantage in the global economy. Author of Innovate Like Edison, the first book ever written on Edison’s innovation process, Sarah will share Edison’s extraordinary approach to identifying new markets, targeting new customers, building new product/service platforms, and transforming his customers’ buying experience.

Innovate Like Edison has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune Small Business, and USA Today. Sarah has also appeared as an innovation expert on PBS television, CNBC, the Fox Business Network, and NPR. She is President of her own Chicago-based consultancy, The Power Patterns of Innovation, offering organizations of all sizes expert training and guidance on how to achieve innovation success in the global economy. Her clients include Microsoft, Intel, John Deere, and Abbott Laboratories.

The FABRICATOR®'s Leadership Summit includes a unique format of peer- and consultant-facilitated roundtable discussions for attendees to exchange ideas and solutions that affect their business’ bottom line. Topics include growth and success after the recession, skilled workforce development, new business development, innovation, next generational leadership, plus sessions on forming and fabricating technology.

The three-day event, sponsored by the FMA and The Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), begins February 29 at The Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Executives seeking to gain expert perspectives to help them in today’s competitive market can register to attend online at, via phone by calling 888-394-4362, or on-site at the event.

The FABRICATOR®'s Leadership Summit: 7th Annual Metal Matters will be co-located with FMA’s 16th Annual Toll Processing Conference, offering attendees the chance to network within a diverse group of industry professionals.

About FMA
Based in Rockford, Ill., FMA is a professional organization with nearly 2,300 members working together to improve the metal processing, forming, and fabricating industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, and the FABTECH® trade show. FMA also has two technology affiliates: the Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating; and Green Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individual members dedicated to working toward environmentally-friendly manufacturing.