• Date: February 26 - March 1, 2017
  • Held At: Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona

The theme of the 2017 Equipment and Moldmakers Leadership Summit is “The Multi-Generational Workforce: How to Succeed in Today's Marketplace.” There will be interactive discussions focused on the multi-generational workforce and how to build a cohesive and innovative workforce to be successful in today's global marketplace. There will also be presentations from the plastics industry, local manufacturers, and the U.S. military sharing insight into building a strong workforce and plenty of networking opportunities with like-minded professionals.

The Equipment Council is proud to be hosting a conference that is beneficial for the entire plastics industry and welcomes all who are interested to join in this significant dialogue.

You don’t want to miss this conference.

The 2017 Spring Fluoropolymers Division Conference will be co-located with this event.

For more information, contact:

Katie Masterson
Senior Manager, Industry Affairs - Equipment Council  |  202.974.5296

  • Speakers & Agenda

    Buddy Hobart

    Founder and President

    Solutions 21

    Solutions 21 is a global enterprise that provides services in leadership development, strategic planning, and employee life cycle. At Solutions 21, Buddy works with companies to build, shape, and prepare
organizations to compete in a modern
marketplace and preserve their business legacy. He has led Solutions 21 in providing leadership and management solutions to companies around the world, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises. 

    Colonel Terance Huston

    U.S. Army Commander, 5th Recruiting Brigade

    Colonel Huston received his commission as a Military Intelligence Officer from Howard University in 1993. He is a graduate of the Military Intelligence Officer’s Basic Course, the Infantry Officer’s Captain’s Career Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. His military schools include Airborne, Ranger, Air Assault, and the Signals Intelligence Course.

    Charles Sholtis

    Chief Executive Officer and Owner

    Plastic Molding Technology, Inc.

    Charles A. Sholtis is the Chief Executive Officer of Plastic Molding Technology, Inc. (PMT), a Texas-based manufacturer of small, precision-engineered, injection-molded plastic components used in an array of applications in diverse industries. Under Charles’ leadership, PMT was named the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s 2014 Manufacturer of the Year and was recognized for its industryleading sustainability initiatives and operational excellence.

    William J. “Bill” Harness

    Director, Human Resources

    Berry Plastics Corporation

    William J. Harness (Bill) possesses 38 years of global Human Resources experience with some of the world’s premier companies, including General Electric (GE), Frito-Lay, Colgate-Palmolive, Tyco, and his current organization, Berry Plastics Corporation. His expertise is in the areas of organizational & people development, labor & employee relations, compensation, team building, and talent acquisition. Bill possesses a degree in Social Psychology from Indiana University, and is an accredited Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR).

    Rick Shaffer

    V.P. Business Development

    Precision Plastics Group

    Over 30 years of experience in designing and implementing injection molding solutions for precision plastics applications.  Rick joined Flex in October of 2013 at the outset of the precision plastics initiative including selection of our strategic acquisitions.  Prior to joining Flex, Rick spent 8 years as President of the US division of the Swiss company, Netstal.  Prior to Netstal, Rick spend 20 years as the General Manager for the US division of the German company Demag.  Rick has spent his career developing and implementing concepts for highly efficient turn-key solutions for a wide variety of complex medical applications.

    Robert A. Malloy, Ph.D.

    Emeritus Professor, Plastics Engineering Department

    University of Massachusetts Lowell

    Robert Malloy is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Plastics Engineering Department.  He has been a faculty member at UMass Lowell since 1987.  Prior to joining the faculty at Lowell, he was a faculty member at the Algerian Petroleum Institute in Annaba, Algeria.  He has taught courses on the subjects of Plastics Materials, Physical Property Testing, Plastics Processing and Plastic Product and Mold Design, and is an active researcher and consultant in the areas of thermoplastic processing, plastic part design, mold design and plastics recycling. 

    Jacob Groh

    Director of Strategic Accounts

    Milacron LLC

    Director of Global & Strategic Accounts at Milacron LLC, Jacob Groh has been working in the Plastics Industry for the last 15 years with experience in Injection Molding, Blow Molding, and Hot Runners.  He has held positions at Eaton Corporation, Greif GmbH, Husky Injection Molding Systems, and SIPA spa.  After earning an M.S. in Supply Chain Management from Eli Broad College of Business (MSU) and a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from Michigan State University, Jacob Groh started his professional career in the Plastics Industry as a Project Manager and now holds a global sales leadership role at one of the industry’s largest manufacturing companies.

    Mark McElfresh

    V.P. Operations & Supply Chain

    West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.

    Mark McElfresh has over 30 years of extensive technical and management experience in delivery systems for drugs, OTC’s and consumer products.  Over his career, he has worked in product development, quality assurance, project management, validation, and operations.  He has led multiple start-ups of new manufacturing systems and facilities for both large pharma companies and contract manufacturers.  He also holds five U.S. Patents and associated foreign patents.

    Wolfgang Meyer


    W. Müller USA, Inc.

    Wolfgang Meyer is president of W. Müller USA since 2010.  W. Müller is a German manufacturer that specializes in extrusion heads and complete extrusion systems for blow molding machines. The W. Müller affiliate for the Americas is located in Agawam, MA. For a 10 year period prior to joining W. Müller, Wolfgang was president of the North American subsidiary of Kautex in Branchburg, NJ. From 1977 through 2000, he held various positions within the Battenfeld Injection Molding Technology group of companies and was president of Battenfeld of America for 16 years until 2000.

    Tom Stone

    Regional Manager

    Thermal Care

    I started at Thermal Care as an inside sales engineer immediately after graduation. This position essentially consisted of me acting as the technical support for our various representatives throughout the US and our regional sales managers. After a few years, Thermal Care created a new position for me known as Systems Project Manager. I helped to design and sell large central chiller and cooling tower systems as well as managed the projects from receipt of order through to shipment. In 2014, I took over as the East Coast Regional Manager. My territory consists of all the East Coast states from Maine to Florida, but I also cover Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia as well as supporting the Caribbean Islands.

    Charles F. Sears, Jr.

    President & CEO

    Dri-Air Industries, Inc.

    Charlie Sears is President and CEO of Dri-Air Industries, which he founded in 1985 following positions he held with plastics companies Polymer Machinery, Automated Assemblies and Nelmor, an AEC Company.

    Previously he had spent 10 years with Sprague Electric including managing their capacitor manufacturing plant in Hong Kong; and 10 years as a plant manager for Ano-Coil, a manufacturer of lithographic printing plates.

    Dr. Peter J. Mooney


    Plastics Custom Research Services

    Dr. Peter Mooney holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the founder and president of Plastics Custom Research Services. From 1970 to 1980 Peter served as an economist within the Irish government in Dublin. In 1980, Peter returned to the United States and joined a company conducting materials-related market research. He became head of the plastics research division. In 1993 he set up his own company. Peter has produced over 100 plastics industry market research reports, and he has conducted over 100 custom research programs for domestic and international clients. He has organized and made presentations to numerous domestic and international conferences. 

    Bill Wood

    Founder and President

    Mountaintop Economics & Research, Inc.

    Bill Wood is the founder and president of Mountaintop Economics & Research, Inc., a supplier of market analyses and forecasts for decision-makers in the plastics industry. He is an economist with 27+ years of experience in industrial market analysis. Prior to starting ME&R, he was a Senior Economist at Cahners Publishing Co.

    He is also the Economics Editor for Plastics News magazine. His articles have been published in many plastics industry magazines as well as Design News, Modern Materials Handling, Furniture Today, Industrial Distribution, Interior Design, Variety, and The Wall Street Journal.

    Network with your industry peers as you learn about:
    • The multi-generational workforce as a key to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage for success in today's global marketplace
    • Strategies and methods professionals from the plastics industry, local manufacturers, and the U.S. military use to build a strong and competitive workforce
    • The newest generation of workers and how to integrate them into today's workforce from keynote speaker Buddy Hobart, Founder and President of Solutions 21
    • Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) Annual Meeting to be held at the same location on Wednesday, March 1 
    And more...
  • Register
    PLASTICS Member Early
    (Extended to Feb. 1, 2017)
    PLASTICS Member Regular $895
    Non-Member Early
    (Extended to Feb. 1, 2017)
    Non-Member Regular $1,150
    FLiP (eligible individuals under 40 yr old) $695
    Spouse $495
  • Venue
    Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
    8000 S. Arizona Grand Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85044

    The deadline for a discounted hotel room has passed.

    You may visit the hotel website to book a room, or call 877-800-4888. 

    This hotel offers:

    • Larger-than-average guest rooms, separate sitting area, wet bar
    • 6 unique dining venues
    • 18-hole golf course with par 71 layout, mountain vistas
    • Bar and grille, fire pits, waterpark and lazy river, private pool for adults, spa and fitness center

    Resort 10 minutes from PHX Sky Harbor Int’l Airport

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