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CCAI 2017 Annual Meeting Speakers
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Developing Internships/Apprenticeships
Kelli Vallieres, Sound Mfg.
Marjorie Valentin, Three Rivers Community College

Like many manufacturing companies, Sound Manufacturing, a small sheet metal manufacturer located in Old Saybrook, CT, faces the challenge of finding and retaining skilled workers. With the help of the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance and Three Rivers Community College, Kelli Vallieres decided to do something about it, establishing a successful US Dept. of Labor-registered apprenticeship program. Kelli and Three Rivers Community College Associate Dean Marjorie Valentin will share their journey, the program format, and the benefits of apprenticeship.

Susan Biszewski-Eber, St. Petersburg College
Stephen Seville, Florida Dept. of Education

There are a variety of federal and state resources available to manufacturers for the development of apprenticeship programs. Stephen and Susan will give an overview of some of these resources, tips on how to access them, and examples of how they can be used.

MaryLinda Schumann, Chemetall

BASF Chemetall has worked with local universities and their students for more than 15 years near their headquarters in New Jersey. The mutual benefits are beyond the basic work that is done.  The students have an opportunity to learn from industry professionals, while the company often gains a fresh insight to our projects and processes.  MaryLinda will share BASF Chemetall’s experiences with their successful internship program.

Developing Stronger Organizations
Lee Ann Schwope Cochran, PRADCO

The most successful organizations take notice of their people throughout the employee life cycle. Lee Ann will share best practices that are important to think about when developing your organization’s strength to maintain a successful company and committed, productive employees. 

Lee Ann Schwope Cochran received her BS in Materials Science & Engineering from The Ohio State University and has led numerous teams in Research & Development, Quality, Manufacturing and Sales.  Currently, Lee Ann leads Sales and Marketing at PRADCO where she is creating a strategic vision which will take the organization to the next phase in its growth. Prior to PRADCO Lee Ann spent 15 years in the Defense and Aerospace industry and was a passionate advocate for diversity in STEM.  Lee Ann was named the youngest VP at Battelle in their 80-year history.  She has negotiated mission-critical licensing agreements within complex environments and with international partners, engaging in licensing and/or new business transactions in the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, and Japan.  Ms. Cochran has been recognized as 2017 Smart Business Progressive Woman, named as one of the 2014 Women You Should Know by Women for Economic and Leadership Development, and acknowledged by Battelle as a Women’s History Month Honoree for bringing forward ideas to drive change and shape the future. 

What’s REALLY Going on in Washington?
David Goch, Webster, Chamberlain & Bean

Any way you look at it, there has never been a time in Washington, DC, quite like now. David Goch will share his insight on what’s happening in our nation’s capital and what he thinks lies ahead. David’s presentation is sure to generate lively discussion.


Annual Economic Update
Chris Kuehl, Armada Corporate Intelligence

A perennial favorite among Annual Meeting speakers, CCAI economist Chris Kuehl returns to give us an update on the economy. Given everything that is going on with the economy, this promises to be one presentation you won’t want to miss.


Meet Our End Users
Jim Gallagher, Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
Kevin Reagan, Pro Powder Coating, Inc.

We received great feedback last year when we heard from several end users of industrial coatings. We’re bringing two different end users in to talk to our membership again this year. After presentations, you’ll have a chance to ask questions!