Keynote
8:30 am – 9:30 am (ET)

FABx Tech Talks

  • Location: FABTECH Theater

This year’s FABx will feature a powerful line-up of speakers who are embracing change and navigating through uncertainty. Hear these experts discuss the key to success lies in transforming fear and doubt into innovation and growth. In this dynamic world of manufacturing, forward-thinking leaders understand that they can overcome the barriers that stifle progress. Embracing change isn’t just about survival; it’s about seizing opportunities to redefine the landscape of manufacturing for the better.

Andrew Kossowski – Embracing Change: Lessons from Immigration Stories Applied to Manufacturing Transformation

Rhonda Dibachi – Tackling the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt That Limit Manufacturing

Troy Underwood – Reviving the Flatlining Steel Business & Embracing Change

Adrian Little – Leading Aircraft Equipment, Design & Technical Staff Solutions

Presenters

Andrew Kossowski

Owner

Veterans Metal LLC

Rhonda Dibachi

CEO and founder

HeyScottie

Troy Underwood

Owner

Urban Metals LLC

Adrian Little

Founder

JETechnology

Panel Discussion
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm (ET)

Leadership Exchange Panel – Advanced Manufacturing: Integrating New Technologies & Materials for The Fabrication Industry

  • Location: FABTECH Theater

Explore the cutting-edge of industrial innovation with our panel on “Advanced Manufacturing: Integrating New Technologies & Materials for Fabrication.” This dynamic discussion will delve into the innovative practices and materials redefining the manufacturing landscape. Our expert panelists will unpack the complexities and advantages of integrating these advancements into current manufacturing processes. Attendees will gain invaluable insights into how these transformative technologies are not only enhancing efficiency and precision but also opening new possibilities for product development and design. Join us for a thought-provoking session that promises to expand your horizons and inspire innovation within the realm of advanced manufacturing.

PRESENTERS

Moderator

Jake Volcsko

Vice President, Integrated Media

SME

Rhonda Dibachi

CEO and founder

HeyScottie

Andrew Kossowski

Owner

Veterans Metal LLC

Troy Underwood

Owner

Urban Metals LLC

Adrian Little

Founder

JETechnology

Keynote
8:30 am – 9:30 pm (ET)

Performance Under Pressure

  • Location: FABTECH Theater

Steve Young has encountered seemingly insurmountable challenges at every step of his football career. Though under continuous pressure, Young never lost touch with his own identity. Whether scrambling to avoid the clutches of blitzing linebackers or trying to live up to impossible expectations placed on him by 49er fans, Young remained devoted to community, religion, and his fierce desire to succeed. Young’s focus and commitment shines through in this presentation in which he inspires audiences to be true to themselves and never let go of your dream.

 

Presenter

Steve Young

Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback, Co-Founder and Managing Director

HGGC

Panel Discussion
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm (ET)

Leadership Exchange Panel- Attracting, Engaging, Training, and Keeping Next Generation Employees

  • Location: FABTECH Theater

The growing need for manufacturing employees warrants different outlooks and methods for attracting new generations into the industry. The wants, needs, and goals of outgoing employees are different from those entering the job market today. This dynamic panel of industry leaders and educators will address some of these changes and explore new ideologies, strategies, and alternatives to help meet the current employment challenges.

 

Attendees will find out what approaches other companies are taking – what is working, as well as what isn’t working and hear perspectives from those currently educating the next workforce. Prepare to leave with new ideas and outlooks you can take back and implement in your search for the new workforce.

Presenters

Max Ceron

Owner SMC Fabrication Regina and Executive Director CWB Association

Michael Cole

Regional Campus President

StrataTech Education Group

Angela Phillips

CEO

Phillips Tube Group, Inc

Lori Tapani

Co-President

Wyoming Machine, Inc.

Panel Discussion
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm (ET)

Leadership Exchange Panel: FABTECH 2024 State of the Industry

  • Location: FABTECH Theater

Join us for a riveting panel discussion featuring leaders who will share their invaluable insights on current trends, challenges, and innovations shaping the metal fabrication industry. This session will delve into topics such as the impact of global economic dynamics and current business challenges and outlooks.  The impact processing technology and AI is having on the industry and how these major companies are navigating those challenges will also be discussed.  Attendees can expect to hear how these companies and leaders approach these challenges and how they are preparing for the year ahead.

Presenters

Moderator

Tim Heston

Senior Editor

The Fabricator

David Harrold

Vice President – Corporate Purchasing

Alro Steel Corporation

Greg Frye

CEO and President

Anchor Fabrication

Eric Miller

President

Miller Fabrication

FABTECH Speakers

Andrew Kossowski

Owner, Veterans Metal LLC

Andrew is the owner of Veterans Metal LLC, a medium job shop located in Largo, Florida.

Andrew started his career in the USAF, where he contributed to the manufacturing of the C-17 & E-8C Aircrafts. He has since held several executive positions, most notably as CIO for Airtel Africa and prior to that, VP of Operations for Ericsson in Latin America and Caribbean. Andrew has a BSc from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a MSc from Boston University.

Rhonda Dibachi

CEO and founder, HeyScottie

Rhonda Dibachi is an American business executive, entrepreneur, and author. She is the co-founder and chief executive officer of HeyScottie, an artificial intelligence-powered platform delivering superior sourcing options for manufacturing finishing services.  She was also co-founder and CEO of Noribachi, a custom LED lighting manufacturer specializing in industrial and commercial applications. Prior to Noribachi, she co-founded Niku Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based infrastructure productivity software provider, with her husband Farzad Dibachi.  After going public in 2000, Niku was acquired by CA in 2005. Previously, Dibachi worked for Oracle and has been recognized as a leading female entrepreneur.

In an earlier career, she served as nuclear engineer for GE, and is an author, U.S. patent-holder, and has served a Board Trustee and Advisor for a number of educational, non-profit, government and educational organizations.

Troy Underwood

Owner, Urban Metals LLC

Troy Underwood is the owner of Urban Metals LLC, which does business in the Tampa Bay Area under the name of Tampa Steel & Supply (TSS).  TSS is a full line metal service center located in Ybor City that also produces decorative metal products.  Troy purchased TSS in 2018 having served as President since 2014.  The business was recognized by the Business Observer as one of the top 500 largest companies on the Gulf Coast in 2020.

 

Troy has an extensive record in management and sales of consumer and industrial building products.  Prior to his positions at TSS, Troy oversaw the stone veneer manufacturing facility for Environmental Stoneworks in Atlanta where he learned and implemented LEAN manufacturing principals.

 

In addition to being on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Manufacturers Association (BAMA), Troy is on the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Leadership Council and he volunteers as an Advisor to both Hillsborough Community College’s Office Administration Program and Welding Program.

 

Troy is a Veteran, having served honorably for nine years as an Officer in the Army Reserve.  His company is Certified by the State of Florida’s Office of Supplier Diversity as a Veteran Owned Business.

Adrian Little

Founder , JETechnology

JETechnology Solutions, Inc. was founded by Florida State University and UCF graduate, Adrian Little in 2004 with one simple premise — customer focus. Currently, our team has over 75 years’ experience in the design and manufacturing of ground support equipment.  We are known worldwide for our custom fall protection equipment for aircraft such as the F-16, F-15, A-10, F-18 and more.  Our manufacturing facility is located in Apopka, FL and provides us a base to deliver our equipment worldwide including the Americas, England, Germany, Japan, just to name a few.

Today, JETechnology, continues to be led by Mr. Little.  Its 25 employees cover a wide array of disciplines, including Assemblers, Project Managers, Engineers, Accountants, Machinists, Welders, and more ensure that its products and services are provided to its customers and as they strive to be leaders in the fall protection industry.

Mr. Little is a family man and loves spending time with his wife and twin teenage sons engaging in activities including basketball, saltwater fishing, and traveling.

Jake Volcsko

Vice President, Integrated Media, SME

Jake Volcsko joined SME in August 2023 as Vice President of Integrated Media where he leads a team of talented individuals charged with creating dynamic and innovative media products that connect with users and sponsors. Jake previously served as General Manager of SEO and Digital with DealNews, Inc. Prior, Jake spent 20 years in media and has led significant digital transformation initiatives in roles ranging from Digital Media Director at a small newspaper to Chief Digital Officer at a Public Media organization. During his career, in addition to websites, mobile apps and other digital products, Jake has successfully launched several online subscription models, and a digital services agency. He launched the first local news OTT application on Roku TV in 2013, and in 2014, his was the first local media organization to launch on Amazon FireTV, including a digital linear streaming channel. He is passionate about media and finding ways to use online platforms to bring all audiences into an organization’s engagement funnel. He holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts/Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Jake has been a high school football official since 2003 and a Division III NCAA football official since 2023. 

Steve Young

Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback, Co-Founder and Managing Director , HGGC

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young is an NFL analyst for ESPN. He travels with Monday Night Countdown during the NFL season and on several occasions has been part of ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader announcing team, in addition to contributing to ESPN’s annual Super Bowl coverage. Young continues to build a successful private equity company, HGGC, where he is currently a Partner, the Chairman and Co-Founder. While being a Celebrity Ambassador with Childrens Miracle Network for almost 40 years, he is also Chairman of the Board for his Forever Young Foundation, lifting up underserved communities and children all over the world. Steve co-authored the New York Times best-selling book, QB: My Life Behind the Spiral and has just written and published his latest book The Law of Love and in progress a part 2 of The Law of Love.

A former Super Bowl MVP, Young retired after 15 NFL seasons in 1999. He appeared on Sunday NFL Countdown in 2000 and expanded his ESPN role full-time beginning in 2001. Young served as an analyst on ABC’s Super Bowl XXXIV (2000), XXXVII (2003) and XL (2006) pre-game shows. He was part of ESPN’s main set at Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft telecast for five years (2006-10).

Steve Young was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2005, and the 49ers organization retired his No. 8 in a special ceremony at Candlestick Park in 2008. Young retired as the highest-rated signal-caller in NFL history. He was the Super Bowl XXIX MVP and the league’s MVP in 1992 and 1994. A dual-threat throughout his career, he amassed 33,124 passing yards and 232 passing touchdowns, while also totaling 4,239 rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns.

As a collegian, Steve Young, the great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young, was a consensus All-American and a Heisman Trophy runner-up at Brigham Young University in 1982. He received a degree in political science with a minor in finance in 1985, and returned to BYU and was graduated from the school of law in 1994. In 2003, Young was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

In 1983, he was a first-round draft pick of the United States Football League’s Los Angeles Express.  After two seasons with L.A., he was released from his contract and signed by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49ers signed him as a back-up quarterback to Joe Montana in 1987. He succeeded Montana as the starter from 1991 until his retirement in 1999. In all, Young won three Super Bowl titles, two as a back-up and one as a starter, when he threw a record six touchdowns in a 49-26 victory over the Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX.

Max Ceron

Owner SMC Fabrication Regina and Executive Director CWB Association

Max has been in the steel trades since the age of 17. Working as both a welder and fabricator, Max has extensive experience in all levels of the trades – from welders’ helper, welder/fitter, educator, manager, Business owner, and now National Director at the Canadian Welding Bureau. Max hopes to support, educate, and provide opportunities to all persons in the steel trades across Canada and beyond.

Michael Cole

Regional Campus President, StrataTech Education Group

Experienced Education Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Career Development, Student Recruiting, Coaching, Admissions Counseling, and Customer Retention.

Angela Phillips

CEO, Phillips Tube Group, Inc

Angela Phillips brings 30 years of operational and strategic business experience to the precision welded steel tube industry. The daughter of company founder Ralph H. Phillips, she literally “grew up” in the business, gaining a broad-based understanding of manufacturing and has been successfully leading the organization following her father’s passing in 2009.

Ms. Phillips continues this powerful legacy today, growing Phillips Tube Group to even greater heights through acquisitions and other major investments. Today, she is focused on leading Phillips Tube Group to be the most successful welded steel tube producer in the US.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor, The Fabricator

Tim Heston, The Fabricator’s senior editor, has covered the metal fabrication industry since 1998, starting his career at the American Welding Society’s Welding Journal. Since then he has covered the full range of metal fabrication processes, from stamping, bending, and cutting to grinding and polishing.

He joined The Fabricator’s staff in October 2007. Since then his technical articles, case studies, and company profiles have won national and regional awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

He is a 1996 graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

David Harrold

Vice President – Corporate Purchasing, Alro Steel Corporation

Dave Harrold is Vice President – Corporate Purchasing of Alro Steel Corporation, an industrial materials distributor with over 80 locations in 16 states headquartered in Jackson, Michigan.  The Company was founded June 1, 1948, by Alvin Glick and Robert Glick.

 

Alro operates much like a grocery store for metals and plastics, offering a tremendous variety of products with next day delivery to 25,000 customers throughout the eastern half of the United States.  Alro distributes a full line of steel products, as well as aluminum, stainless steel, and plastics. Alro also provides extensive processing services to its customers.

 

Mr. Harrold started with Alro in April 1996 holding various sales, credit, operations, and Purchasing positions.  In 2002, he was promoted to Director of Corporate Purchasing, and in 2012 to Vice President–Corporate Purchasing.

 

A Michigan native, he holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Hope College in Holland, MI.

 

Dave and his wife Monica have 3 boys and live in Jackson, Michigan.

Greg Frye

CEO and President, Anchor Fabrication

Greg Frye is the CEO and President of the Anchor Fabrication Division, as well as serving concurrently as COO of Anchor Partners, overseeing operations at all Anchor companies. Greg is a tenured manufacturing industry expert with more than 30 years of experience. He has simultaneously managed a diverse aerospace manufacturing company with facilities worldwide (U.S., Mexico, England, India) with combined sales exceeding $300 million annually. He has overseen the successful turnaround of several underperforming business units. He approaches management with uncanny strategic foresight and a vision for optimizing internal operations with a relentless focus on process improvement. Before his involvement in manufacturing, Greg served six years in the United States Air Force.

Greg holds a BS in Management & Ethics from Manhattan Christian College and a MS in Christian Ministry and Leadership from Friends University in Wichita, KS.

 

Greg and his wife Sheila have two adult sons. Greg enjoys golfing, hunting, and spending time with his family.

Eric Miller

President , Miller Fabrication

As the President of Miller Fabrication Solutions, a leading provider of metal fabrication services, I have been leading the company’s strategic growth and operational excellence for over five years. I have a strong background in information technology, databases, and manufacturing, which enables me to leverage data-driven insights and innovative solutions to optimize processes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.

I am passionate about delivering exceptional value to our customers, partners, and stakeholders, and I have successfully spearheaded new business development initiatives, expanded our market presence, and secured large contracts with key clients. I am also committed to fostering a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and continuous improvement among our talented and diverse team of over 400 employees. My goal is to position Miller Fabrication Solutions as a trusted and reliable partner for complex and challenging fabrication projects.

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