The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. reports that its WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo captured the interest of 1,158 participants representing 37 states and 17 countries. The conference and exhibits coincided with the association’s 88th Annual Convention. All activities took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, May 14-16, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
 
Remarking on the event, WAI 2018 President Richard Wagner said, “Wire Expo 2018 was a successful show for the Wire Association International. The venue was excellent and there was much enthusiasm expressed about the content of the training and various meetings on the agenda. There is an upbeat vibe for the future of the industry that was consistent throughout the event. We are excited for the four deserving individuals who were recognized at Wire Expo and appreciative of the participation of all the hard working volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors of the convention.”

More than 175 exhibiting companies exhibited this year covering more than 90 product types including wire and cable making machinery, supplies and ancillary equipment, and industry services. KEYNOTE & OPENING REMARKS  Curt Cronin, former Navy SEAL, delivered an engaging keynote address entitled: “Tapping into Your Potential: Attempting the Absurd and Achieving the Impossible,” on Tuesday, May 15. John T. Johnson, owner and president, Mid-South Wire Company, Nashville, and president of the American Wire Producers Association, followed the keynote address with a welcome to Nashville. His opening remarks emphasized the impact of challenges facing the industry such as imported steel tariffs, and the significance of attracting new talent to the wire industry.

EXHIBITS More than 175 exhibiting companies exhibited this year covering more than 90 product types including wire and cable making machinery, supplies and ancillary equipment, and industry services. The Ask the Expert Express and the live Production Solutions demonstrations remain popular activities on the exhibit floor.
 
EDUCATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS • Far reaching effects of process automation • Intellectual property profits • Three tools to drive high performance • Employee engagement of wire manufacturing – a Nexans case study • Data-driven safety – A Leggett & Platt case study • Fundamentals of Wire & Cable Manufacturing Course, led by 11 industry experts • Manufacturing management workshop: Perfecting your leadership qualities, led by Ed Krow, of TurboExecs LLC • Mordica lecturer, Gary L. Spence, former VP at Encore Wire Corporation, discussed his career devoted to the continuous cast copper rod processes

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS • More than 450 people attended WAI’s popular Welcome Reception May 15 on Delta Island within the Gaylord campus, where entertainment was sponsored by James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp. • WAI members shared a meal at the WAI Rewards Breakfast and Annual Meeting on May 16, where several won raffle prizes. • WAI’s highest honors went to Mordica Memorial Award winner Gary L. Spence; Donnellan Memorial Award winner and WAI Past President Bill Avise; President’s Award winner Patricio Murga; and Wire Link Travelling Scholarship winner Chris Palisch. • Post-show plant tour of the Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant on Thursday, May 17. 

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