Everything is bigger in Texas and so it was with GAWDA’s 2013 Spring Management Conference in San Antonio. With over 630 members in attendance, valuable speakers, various networking opportunities and bigger exihibit space, the 2013 Spring Management Conference was a great success! The SMC was hosted at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio along the riverwalk. The meeting kicked off on Monday, April 15th with the First Timers’ and President’s Welcome Reception at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center. Members and guests enjoyed the scenic riverwalk while catching up with old friends and business partners. President Craig Wood kicked off the first Business Session on Tuesday, April 16th with an update on the Association. He announced GAWDA’s plan to be independently managed and provided a comprehensive update on the status of the association. Steve Forbes energized members with his insight on navigating the economy for business growth and success. Robert Werner addressed members on the significant hidden waste and associated cost with their businesses. GAWDA Consultants Rick Schweitzer and Brian McLaughlin provided valuable updates on the Helium Crisis and Health Care Reform. Most presentations from the business sessions are available on the members only section of the website.
The Contact Booth Program was held at the former home of the San Antonio Spurs, The Alamodome. Several Exhibitors took advantage of the larger booth space offered this year.
On the last day of the conference, ITR Economist Brian Beaulieu provided members with a financial outlook for the next few years. Carole Jesiolowski, GAWDA Media moderated a panel discussion on disaster planning. The panelists included: GAWDA DOT, Homeland Security, OSHA and EPA Consultant Mike Dodd, GAWDA Management Information Committee Chair Chris Dominiak, Ken Tidwell – WDPG Insurance, Lori Kneeppel - Gas and Supply, Kristen Lanzano – General Welding Supply Corporation and Bill Visintainer – Atlas Welding Supply. Lori, Kristen and Bill shared their recent experiences in recovering after natural disasters. Mike, Chris and Ken provided insight from their respective areas of expertise.
The conference concluded with the Golf Tournament at the Hyatt Hill Country Club.