You may also make your hotel reservation by calling   (813) 973-1111.
The deadline to register and to make your hotel reservation is February 11, 2019.
You are invited to attend the GFA’s Spring 2019 Meeting, which will feature a special Plant Management Program!

This meeting will offer a unique learning opportunity specifically designed for key production personnel in leadership roles, or those who aspire to such positions. 

Plant and operations managers will have the opportunity to share ideas and solve problems with peers in the industry, as well as to learn from experts on best practices that can improve company operations. It will also give top executives the opportunity to discuss new ideas with the leaders who are responsible for production in their respective companies. Everyone will leave with fresh ideas and perspectives, and develop new contacts with industry peers who share similar everyday issues and challenges. 
Plant Management Program Highlights!
Presentations are open to all attendees, including spouses and guests.
Keynote Presentation - Wednesday, March 13th at 8:45 am

"Everybody Everyday" Creating a True Improvement Culture
Bruce Hamilton
The Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership (GBMP)

While the impact of lean manufacturing methods and philosophy are well documented, few manufacturers reap the full benefits of quality, cost, and delivery that they should expect. According to Bruce Hamilton, President of GBMP and creator of “Toast Kaizen”, most organizations are too happy, too soon, settling for mediocre gains that may feel good but are well below excellent. Too many companies become complacent when their lean implementations move them from chaos to stability.  At that critical point, improvement efforts stagnate when they should just be accelerating.  In his two-hour keynote presentation, Hamilton will share the key characteristics of manufacturers who genuinely profit from lean transformation.

Borrowing from 35 years of experience as a manufacturing executive, consultant, and student of lean, Bruce will focus on the non-transferable role of senior leaders to provide both the information and inspiration needed to create compelling year-on-year financial outcomes. In Bruce’s words, “Once we understand lean, it makes perfect sense to everyone – company, employees, and customers. But lean concepts and tools are such a departure from traditional manufacturing that without a visible commitment from top managers, employees will be afraid to risk the new approach.” Is your organization breaking through to best in class productivity and customer service or are you struggling to sustain an early gain from your lean implementation? Discover the difference your roles can make to affect an authentic breakthrough. 
Workshop - Tuesday,
March 12th at 2:00 pm
Theory of Constraints
CGR Products
Darin Carr, Plant Manager 
Richard Wilmoth, Plant Manager
Brandon Shaneyfelt, Plant Manager

Learn how production constraints are created, recognized, and eliminated. This workshop highlights the concepts developed by Eliyahi Goldratt in his famous book “The Goal.” Participants will leave with an understanding about how constraints impact costs and profits, and will be better equipped to improve lead times and customer satisfaction in their business.
Workshop - Tuesday,
March 12th at 3:15 pm
Building a Health and Safety Culture in a Coverter's World
American Biltrite
Serge Veilleux, VP Operations 

Whether you are a small or a large operation, having your employees leaving their day of work as healthy as they came in is critical to your success. In this workshop, Serge Villuex will use the American Biltrite experience, where the team was able to achieve a 30% reduction in recordable injuries and a 40% reduction in lost days, to present the importance of supported culture in improving Health and Safety process.
Workshop - Tuesday,
March 12th at 4:30 pm
Implementing Continuous Improvement in Converting Facilities
Canada Rubber Group Inc.
Stewart Anderson, Director of Continuous Improvement 
Angelo Lyall, Director of Business Development  

The complexity and variety inherent in converting environments require a different approach to continuous improvement than that for repetitive manufacturing or assembly line production. This workshop highlights the unique challenges of implementing continuous improvement in converting facilities, explores what works and what doesn’t, and provides managers with a roadmap for continuously improving their operations.   
Workshop - Wednesday,
March 13th at 1:00 pm
Chaos to Excellence
Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership (GBMP)
Bruce Hamilton, President

In this entertaining workshop, Bruce Hamilton will provide hands-on simulations of each stage of improvement to demonstrate the connection between the technical and social sciences practiced by lean implementers, and how each contributes to individual and organizational development. The workshop will focus in particular on management’s role to create an environment that will enable a consistently high level of just-in-time performance.
Production-Focused Roundtable Discussion Session

On Wednesday morning, participate in a lively discussion of timely, production-focused topics, such as process improvements, compensation for production jobs, recruitment strategies for hourly positions, health and safety, and much more! Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange ideas, challenges, and solutions with other plant managers.  
CEO Luncheon

On Tuesday, we will again have a CEO Luncheon Meeting, featuring a roundtable discussion of items that would be of interest to CEOs. Attendance will be limited to CEOs and senior officers with P/L responsibility. A maximum of two people per member company may attend, provided that they both meet the provisions. There is a $55 per person fee in addition to the meeting registration fee to attend this session.
Registration Fees

Member Registration Fee: $495 per person

Reduced Member Registration Fee: $225 per person
To be eligible for this rate, at least 2 other representatives from your company must be paying the full fee.

Spouse Registration Fee: $225 per person
Spouses who are full-time employees of GFA member companies must pay the full member registration fee.

Table Top Fee: $200
Meeting Location
Saddlebrook Resort
The Saddlebrook Resort is located approximately 30 miles, and 40 minutes from downtown Tampa and the Tampa International Airport.

Address :
5700 Saddlebrook Way
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543


At the Saddlebrook Resort, you'll enjoy stylish guest rooms with complimentary daily newspaper, tea/coffee, water bottles, and high-speed internet access.

Our group rate is $239/night plus state and local taxes.

Check-in Time: 4:00 pm
Check-out Time: 11:00 am
Fitness & Activities

 The fitness facilities at Saddlebrook Resort cater to every interest and skill level. Their Sports Village complex features 6,000 sq. ft. of equipment, volleyball courts, a basketball court, and a sports field.

The resort also features a 43 tennis court complex, where players can enjoy night play on five lighted courts.
Pool & Spa

After a hard workout, cool off and refresh at the Saddlebrook Resort's 500,000-gallon Superpool, an expansive 270 ft. long free-form pool with lap lanes, as well as water basketball, water volleyball, and nearby hot tubs. 

The Saddlebrook Resort's European-style spa offers the ultimate in luxurious relaxation with a variety of body treatments, facials, and salon services.
Optional Activities
Golf Tournament
Thursday, March 14th at 8:00 am

Each of Saddlebrook's golf courses was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, incorporating wilderness areas full of cypress, pines, palms, and wildlife with rolling fairways.

The Golf Tournament will begin at 8:00 am on Thursday on the Palmer Course .

Golfers at all skill levels are encouraged to participate.

Cost Per Person: $95*
Club Rental: $60*
*All fees will be charged to your room if you are staying at the Saddlebrook Resort.
Tampa Pirate Cruise and History Tour (Full Day Tour)
Thursday, March 14th at 8:30 am

Embark on Captain Memo's pirate cruise, and s oak up the sun and revel in the scenic views of Clearwater as we comb the horizon in search of dolphins. Get lost in the pirate antics during a two-hour odyssey including a treasure hunt, face painting, games, stories and dancing for all ages.

After the pirate cruise, you will board a water taxi, where you will see one of Florida’s most picturesque harbors on a history cruise that transports travelers back in time. See the real-life pirate ship known as Gabrielle up close and take in views of million dollar homes, and popular museums as you listen to expert commentary about the city’s rich past. 

Attendees will return to the Saddlebrook Resort by 3:45 pm. 

Cost Per Person: $216*
*The tour fee is nonrefundable as of March 1, 2019.
Activity Fees
CEO Luncheon: $55 per person

Golf Tournament: $95 per person*

Golf Club Rental: $60 per person*

Pirate Cruise and History Tour: $216 per person**

*Golf fees will be charged to attendee's hotel room.
**The tour fee is nonrefundable as of March 1, 2019.
Spouse Activities
The spouse registration fee includes admission to all sessions unless otherwise noted on the program. This includes all general sessions and presentations, continental breakfasts, lunches, and all cocktail receptions. Please note that spouses who are full-time employees of GFA member companies must pay the full member registration fee.
GFA Committees
All committees will meet from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Tuesday, March 12th. All attendees are welcome!

The Communications Committee considers enhancements to the GFA’s website, newsletter, social media program, and other tools to promote the GFA and deliver information to members.

The Membership Committee develops and implements initiatives for the recruitment of new members, reviews and recommends for approval the applications of potential members, and encourages participation in GFA activities.

The Program and Locations Committee selects future meeting programs, speakers, and locations for the GFA’s semi-annual meetings.

The Technical Committee develops technical content of interest to GFA members for delivery through webinars, newsletter articles, meeting programs, and the GFA’s Technical Handbook.
Ground Transportation
The Saddlebrook Resort offers valet parking at $15+ tax for overnight parking
Saddlebrook Transportation
The Saddlebrook Resort offers a variety of transportation services. Transportation must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. You may book by calling 813-907-4455. For more info click here.

Cost for one-way transportation between the airport and hotel:
Shared Ride Shuttle: $40 per person
Private Sedan (fits two): $85
Please call the Saddlebrook Transportation office if you would like to book a larger vehicle.

The ride-sharing apps, Uber and Lyft, are available for local transportation, and can be downloaded to your smart device via the app store on IOS and Android products.

Taxi services are available at the hotel and airport. The estimated cost from the Tampa International Airport to the Saddlebrook Resort is $90.
Frequently Asked Questions
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May I go to the meetings?

Meetings are open to all attendees except as noted on the schedule.

Please note that Manufacturer Representatives are NOT permitted to attend any GFA functions.
What is the proper attire?

For all committee meetings and general sessions, the attire is casual. The cocktail receptions are informal.
What will the weather be like?

The daytime temperature in Tampa is expected to average about 77°F. 

Evening temperatures are expected to average about 57°F.
If you have any questions, please contact Pete Lance or James Wolfington in the GFA office at 610-971-4850 or