New Haven Manufacturers Association Elects New Officers, Hosts Export Awards
The New Haven Manufacturers Association elected new officers at its annual meeting held Thursday, June 14. Bill Neale, chief operating officer of Radiall USA Inc. in New Haven, will serve as president during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The association's new vice president is Marna Wilber, director of corporate communications and public relations at Sargent & Company/ASSA ABLOY in New Haven. Second vice president is Tom Auray, executive vice president of Bridgeport Fittings Inc. in Stratford.
Treasurer is John Ermer, principal of Beers, Hamerman & Co. PC in New Haven. Secretary is Judi Otton, president of Advanced Decisions Inc. in Shelton.
In addition, four people joined the NHMA board of directors: Alan Booth, owner of Alan Booth Coach in Westport; John McCraw, vice president of the tea division of R.C. Bigelow Inc. in Fairfield; Richard Laurenzi, president of Prospect Machine Products Inc. in Prospect; and Norman Schaefer, manager of business services for Connstep Inc. in Rocky Hill.
The NHMA presented a plaque to outgoing president Alex Sommers, who recently retired from the University of New Haven, recognizing him for 42 years of involvement with the organization.
In addition, two area manufacturing companies received export awards from the U.S. Commerce Department. Anne Evans, district director of the Connecticut office, presented the Export Achievement Award to Bead Industries of Milford and NAIAD Dynamics of Shelton.
More than 220 people attended the annual meeting at The Woodwinds in Branford. "It was very vibrant," said Neale, who praised the main speaker, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Peter Perez, who discussed exports.
"Perez made the point that 58 percent of small businesses export only to one country," Neale said. "Many of those firms have opportunities in other countries and could increase their manufacturing sales, and they can work with the commerce department to identify those opportunities."
Perez said the commerce department has developed "sector/market strategies" to help U.S. manufacturers sell more products abroad.
"Developed in partnership with industry and agencies across the federal government, we have developed and are implementing strategies in manufacturing and service sectors where U.S. products are globally competitive, in markets with great demand for U.S. products and where U.S. government support can be impactful," he said.
Commerce officials are currently developing specific strategies for 12 countries including Brazil, China, India, and Mexico, and 32 sectors including aerospace, construction, chemicals, medical devices, semiconductors, renewable energy, and travel and tourism.
"Based on these strategies, we have developed action plans and trade promotion activities, including trade missions," Perez said. "To learn about upcoming trade missions, reach out to Ann Evans at our Export Assistance Center in Middletown, Connecticut, or go to www.export.gov. Then we can directly link you to promising opportunities overseas."
Neale said he plans to invite Evans to speak at an upcoming NHMA meeting so that members can learn more about the help available to them through the Connecticut office of the commerce department.
For more information about the New Haven Manufacturers Association, visit www.newhavenmanufacturers.com.