Regional Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

Chicago 2017

When: Thursday, December 7 from 11:30am-2pm
Where: Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60646

NFPA’s 2017 Chicago Regional Meeting will convene at Moraine Community College in Palos Hills, easily accessible right off I-294. Moraine County is the second largest Community College in the state of Illinois and one of 12 community colleges nationwide recognized as a national Vanguard Learning College, indicating that the college is learning-centered and actively works to advance teaching and learning at the college. Plus, the school has a very robust fluid power curriculum and a popular Integrated Systems Technology program under the direction of Neil Barker, MS, Program Coordinator.

Chicago Speaker and Presentation Details 

Neil Barker, Associate Professor of Integrated Systems Technology at Moraine Valley, has worked with fluid power for much of his career, whether from 2 miles underground to 2 miles high. An engineering graduate from the University of Bath, the UK’s Center for Fluid Power, he developed hydraulic systems used in both mining equipment and aircraft landing gear. After 20 years in industry, he made a career change to bring his expertise to a new generation and now instructs Engineering Technicians at Moraine Valley Community College. Recognizing the increasing gap between contemporary secondary education and the needs of industry, he completed his Masters of Education in STEM Leadership at Illinois State University. In his role at Moraine Valley, he is championing real-world technology to youngsters that appreciate the importance of hands-on skills and hard work.

Our program will feature not only a tour of Moraine Valley’s fluid power lab and insights from Neil, but also a presentation by Tamima Farooqui, Job Resource Specialist. Tamima will share ideas on how companies can better take advantage of the opportunities schools like Moraine offer to companies in need of workers.

Register for Chicago

See Who’s Attending

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

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.”

Recap – Milwaukee Regional Meeting | Friday’s Front Row Grill, Milwaukee, WI

Miller Park

Photo by Greg Hume

The 2017 NFPA Milwaukee Regional Meeting attendees filled Friday’s Front Row Grill at Miller Park. Over 50 people attended, including representatives from NFPA’s newest members, providing quality networking for everyone and solid representation from all areas of the fluid power industry.

By listening to the attendee updates on business conditions, you could feel pretty sure the industry is in an upswing with solid growth expected — good news! The meeting also featured two special presentations. First, Mike Schiels, Dean of Applied Technologies at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), described the many ways WCTC is working toward providing a skilled manufacturing workforce to meet the needs of fluid power employers. Fluid power is already embedded in many of the school’s Applied Technology curriculums, and they are also exploring apprenticeships and other programs to help high school students be ready for manufacturing jobs. Next, Chad Repp, Business Development Manager – CANect Telematics, Hydro-Electronic Devices (HED) based in Hartford, Wisconsin, presentedDelivering Value Beyond Fleet Management,” focusing on the opportunities and challenges telematics can provide. Chad’s presentation reinforced the idea that big data and IoT are here to stay and sparked questions and good dialogue from the attendees.

Recap – Detroit Regional Meeting | Somerset Inn, Troy, MI

“…I wanted to pass along that the regional meeting was fantastic, and I’m so glad I took the time to attend. Expect to see a face from our company at every regional meeting!” – Beth Gornowich, General Manager, National Filters, Inc.

Beth’s great experience is due to over 50 additional fluid power professionals that made time in their schedule for the NFPA 2017 Regional Meeting, held May 17, in Troy, MI. NFPA has been hosting these meetings for 15 years and Detroit, the greater Michigan area, plus NFPA members from Ohio, Indiana, Canada, and anywhere in between always respond with great attendance and energy. This year’s featured speaker was Martin LaVelle, a business economist in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit Branch. Because Martin’s research revolves around the Michigan economy and its impact on the 7th District and national economies, his presentation was timely and relevant. NFPA’s free Regional Meetings continue to provide casual networking, a glimpse at the state of the industry, plus important information.


Recap – Minneapolis Regional Meeting | Hennepin Technical College

Minneapolis RegionalThe latest Minneapolis Regional Meeting was held April 11 at the Brooklyn Park, Minnesota location of Hennepin Technical College (HTC).  The meeting drew about 45 people, with a mix of NFPA member manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers, as well as some prospective members and fluid power instructors from HTC. John Stenz of Force America and the NFPA Board of Directors served as master of ceremonies, kicking off introductions and a round of discussion on the state of the industry and the biggest challenges companies are facing. The biggest challenge was almost invariably finding and maintaining a talented technical workforce.

Following introductions, Ernie Parker, a retired instructor and fluid power consultant, spoke about the importance of the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge in generating interest in fluid power among students. HTC fluid power instructors, including Jeannine Uehling, Chad Grimmer and Bill Martin recognized industry support for the HTC fluid power programs and lab, and noted how continued monetary donations and donations of fluid power products are essential in maintaining and operating a program that attracts students to fluid power courses and careers. A tour of the fluid power lab at HTC concluded the meeting.

Meetings Recap | 2016

Recap – Chicago Regional Meeting | Harper College

Mechatronics Lab - Harper College - Chicago Regional Meeting 2016The NFPA 2016 calendar of Regional Meetings ended on a high note with the Chicago Regional Meeting on December 7 at Harper College.  NFPA hosted over 40 fluid power professionals with excellent networking and many new connections marking the day. Other highlights included:

  • Special guest Donna Pollander, Executive Director of the International Fluid Power Society, was on-hand to promote the Society’s exciting, updated curriculum. NFPA and IFPS have long been partners and work together to heighten the awareness of fluid power certification.
  • The meeting’s keynote speaker was Brad Terry of the Keystone Group.  Brad’s presentation focused on the critical connection between sales and operations in manufacturing environments.
  • Another great highlight at the close of the meeting was visiting Art Peter’s Mechatronics lab to see the students’ final project of the fall semester—a very impressive packaging conveyance system.


Recap – Cleveland Regional Meeting | City Club

cleveland-regionalAfter a long hiatus, NFPA came back to Cleveland for a very successful Regional Meeting.  Long a hub of the fluid power industry, the Cleveland fluid power community came out in force to support this networking and educational event. Over 50 people convened at the historic City Club in downtown Cleveland. The program featured two excellent presenters: Alicia Booker, Vice President, Operations, Workforce, Community and Economic Development at Cuyahoga Community College, and Kim Tillstone, Principal, B & B Management Labs, LLC. Ms. Booker’s presentation provided tangible information on both recruiting and retaining talented employees, while Ms. Tillstone offered insight and tools to help manage data in your sales and operational functions.




Recap – Milwaukee Regional Meeting | Milwaukee School of Engineering

The second annual Milwaukee Regional, held on September 27, 2016, brought together over 40 NFPA members and guests to network, hear presentations, and experience the new Grohmann Towers on the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus. This year’s Milwaukee Regional featured two NFPA members presenting on solutions to well-known challenges with fluid power systems—contamination and leaks.  Bruce Riley of Ultra Clean Technologies and Thomas Braun of FasTest both showed ways to alleviate these issues in order to bring more reliability and cost effectiveness to fluid power systems.  You may view their presentations using the links below.  The meeting concluded with special tours of the MSOE Fluid Power Lab.  NFPA would like to send out a special thank you to MSOE for their help in making this meeting a success.

Presentation by Bruce Riley of Ultra Clean Technologies

Presentation by Thomas Braun of FasTest