Executive Forum in Napa: Speakers

Join your rotomolding colleagues March 25-27 at the Archer Hotel in Napa, California for the ARM Executive Forum. Below we’re highlighting a few of the event speakers.

Dr. Christopher Kuehl, Armada Corporate Intelligence , is one of our highest rated speakers and we’re glad to welcome him back after speaking at the Executive Forum in 2015. He has been Armada’s economic analyst and has worked with a wide variety of private clients and professional associations. He is the chief editor for the Business Intelligence Briefs, distributed all over the world by business organizations and he is one of the primary writers (with Keith Prather) for the Executive Intelligence Briefs.

Chris Kuehl

Seeing the Dark Cloud Behind the Silver Lining – Five Things to Worry You in 2019

There is no doubt that 2018 was a good economic year – low unemployment, solid growth, a robust (if volatile) stock market. But trouble is never very far away and 2019 is likely to be a lot less encouraging. The five most worrisome aspects of the coming year will include the return of inflation, negative reactions to the trade wars, truly bitter partisanship in government, mounting debt levels for the government, corporate community and the consumer and drastic changes in leadership for countries that matter to the US (Mexico, Brazil, UK, Israel, Germany and others).
There will be some bright spots as well – nobody wants to be utterly depressed so early in the year. The real question will be whether the bad stuff can be managed and dealt with soon enough to avoid a recession at the end of the year or early 2020.

Ben Varquez is a partner at Whistle Work, an employer and industry branding, recruiting and retention solution. He’s also the managing director of Youth Marketing Connection, the largest student-focused marketing agency in the United States. Throughout his career, he has worked closely with industry leaders such as Google, Capital One and Spotify and leading trade and professional associations such as the American Institute of CPAs and the Center for Audit Quality. Varquez is a graduate of The George Washington University’s School of Business, an outdoor enthusiast and a lifelong learner. He enjoys cooking, building furniture and playing ultimate frisbee.


Ben Varquez

Attract and Retain the Next Generation Workforce

Many plastics processors  struggle to find candidates to fill their job openings. Low unemployment, while a great sign for the economy, compounds this issue. In this session, you will take an all-encompassing look at developing, recruiting and retaining your future workforce. You’ll learn best practices by reviewing multiple research studies, engaging with experts and analyzing real-life examples of what Millennials and Gen-Z are looking for in a career and employer.

John Mackay

John MacKay, Chairman of the Mackay Research Group, served as Vice President of the Profit Planning Group, a research and executive education firm headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. He joined the Profit Planning Group in 1982 to head up its profitability survey activities. Over his 20 year tenure, John helped build PPG’s client roster from 1 to 80 associations, most of which were distributor-member based. In 2001, PPG began to expand its client base to include more trade associations with manufacturer members. In the process, it became clear that many of the tools PPG had developed for distributor clients did not quite fit for manufacturers and that some changes would be required. To respond to this growing need, in 2003 Mackay spun-off a segment of the company so he could work with manufacturer clients in a more targeted manner. John is a frequent seminar and convention speaker on topics such as Improving the Bottom Line, Getting Serious About Profit, and Doing More with Less. John received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and his MBA from the University of Colorado.

Insights from the ARM Wage and Benefits Survey

John Mackay and Taylor Mackay will present on the compensation they conducted of ARM members. They will present key insights to the entire meeting, and conduct an additional discussion with those companies that submitted data.

Jon Ratzlaff, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, is the Technical Service Manager (for Rotational and Injection Molding Polyethylene) responsible for business development and support through design, processing, and polymers (technical services).  Jon has been involved in the plastics industry for 30 years. He holds experience in rotational molding, injection molding, compounding, extrusion, film, sheet and thermoforming. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University in Chemical Engineering. He has time well spent in management, manufacturing, quality, research and development, and technical service which includes his favorite: product/application & business development.  He was on the Executive Board of the Society of Plastics Engineers for 7 years including the President in 2013-2014.

Jon Ratzlaff

Exciting Growth in Plastics Require Sustainable Solutions

Today  is an exciting time to be in plastics industry.  With an ample supply of low cost feedstock, North America has seen unprecedented increases in plastics production.  Polyethylene in particular has seen the highest production growth in the history of North America.  But in spite of high growth coupled with strong worldwide consumer demand, plastics have come under fire in the public’s eye with increased attention being placed on mishandled plastics entering our waterways and oceans.  Some have proposed plastics bans,  but the truth is these materials are needed by a growing middle class to meet basic human needs for safe food, safe water and energy efficient homes and transportation.  In response, a range of programs are under development to address post consumer plastics mismanagement around the world while continuing to meet the needs of a growing middle class. This presentation will highlight drivers behind this unprecedented industry growth, the challenges faced by our industry and the illustrate examples of programs under development to deliver sustainable solutions globally.

Panels and additional speakers will be announced as well. For more information and to register visit: https://rotomolding.org/page/ExecutiveForum 

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