Regional Meetings

Grace Kilbane The NFPA 2018 Cleveland Regional Meeting date has been set. We’re returning to The City Club in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, for a lunch meeting on Thursday, November 8, 2018. In addition to the quality, casual networking these meetings are known for, a special presenter, Grace A. Kilbane, the Executive Director of the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board and of OhioMeansJobs, will explain how her agency works with local leaders to help implement federal programs and assist with workforce issues. They need more businesses involved, and this is your chance to find out more about these already funded programs.

NFPA Regional Meetings are free and open to everyone regardless of their geographic area. Members, non-members, customers, distributors, and suppliers—all are welcome!


NFPA Regional Meetings offer a chance to meet with other area fluid power professionals over lunch. NFPA members and non-members alike are welcome to attend and the meetings are free! Recaps from last year’s meetings are below. For questions, please contact Leslie Miller at (414) 778-3369 or


Meetings Recap | 2017-18

Recap – Milwaukee Regional Meeting | InterContinental Hotel, Milwaukee, WI

The co-located Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC) seminar and Milwaukee Regional Meeting brought together over 40 fluid power professionals for networking and presentations on robotic automation at the InterContinental Milwaukee on September 7. The morning seminar presentations covered an array of use cases for robotic automation, including several types of collaborative robots, robots with specific applications such as food processing or medical plasma coating, and use of robotics in small-to-medium manufacturers. A smaller group stayed beyond the networking lunch for the Milwaukee Regional Meeting, which featured presentations by Thomas P. Heraly; Instructional Chair, Electronics Department, School of Technology and Applied Sciences – Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Mike Shiels, Dean, School of Applied Technologies—Waukesha County Technical College. Their presentations, under the topic of Robotics in Manufacturing & Distribution: Collaboration, Communication & Creating the Future Workforce, covered the ways these local technical schools are preparing students for careers in robotics.

Recap – Minneapolis Regional Meeting | MTS Corporation

Minneapolis RegionalThe meeting room was full on Thursday, May 10, when MTS Corporation opened its headquarters for the NFPA 2018 Minneapolis Regional Meeting. Bringing in people from not only the Minneapolis region, this meeting’s attendees also came from upstate New York, Chicago, Cleveland, and the greater Detroit area. The diverse group represented fluid power manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers and all voiced a positive outlook for their customer markets. In addition, Joe Mahon, Regional Outreach Director of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, presented a very interesting look at the regional economy and how labor trends are currently affecting, and could continue to affect, productivity. The meeting closed with a look at how MTS testing platforms serve a variety of customers and how fluid power technology provides the flexibility and adaptability to enable testing of automobile safety, racing performance, tire safety, and infrastructure strength to name a few.

Recap – Detroit Regional Meeting | Westin Southfield Detroit, Southfield MI

Regional MeetingsOver 30 fluid power professionals met over breakfast this year for the 2018 Detroit Regional Meeting in Southfield, Michigan. This year’s featured speaker was Tom Kennedy, President and Founder of MadsenArcher Consulting, Inc., who presented, “Attracting, Engaging and Growing Talent.” Tom’s presentation covered the growing talent shortage, how companies can improve their Employee Value Proposition, develop and sustain employee engagement, and build their leadership strategic plan. Each of these provided useful tips and strategies that Tom has collected from over 40 years in leadership and human resource consulting. In addition to leaving with insights from Tom, attendees also got the pulse of the current business climate from across the fluid power supply chain in everyone’s short business updates.

Recap – Chicago Regional Meeting | Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL

NFPA Chicago Regional MeetingThe December 7 Chicago Regional Meeting at Moraine Valley Community College delivered workforce development information and lively discussion to attendees from across the fluid power supply chain. Business updates from attendees showed good conditions and growth across the board as well as optimism for the next year, and attendees were able to discuss their own hiring and workforce concerns during the presentation Q&A. Tamima Farooqui, a Job Resource Specialist at the college, shared ways companies can take advantage of local technical schools to fill their needs for skilled workers. Neil Barker, the Program Coordinator for the school’s Integrated Systems Technology program, gave an overview of the program and its students and showed attendees around the fluid power training lab.

Recap – Cleveland Regional Meeting | The City Club, Cleveland, OH

Almost 50 attendees filled the City Club for the 2017 NFPA Cleveland Regional Meeting. Attendees had the opportunity to network with NFPA members from all areas of the fluid power industry. As attendees went around the room to provide updates on their companies, one thing was made clear—the fluid power industry is still seeing growth! NFPA welcomed guest speaker Reed Stith, Senior Growth Advisor, Marketing and Sales with MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network. Reed used his experience with fluid power to discuss marketing and strategy around market research and branding as well as go-to market plans for B2B product launches in various stages of the process. Attendees came away knowing:

  • how to improve “early stage” marketing to uncover unmet needs that are truly important to target customers,
  • how to customize launches using the right media and messages,
  • and how to become both “easy to recommend” and “easy to find.”