On May 19, 2011, Dalton, Georgia hosted the 2011 Manufacturing Summit at the Northwest Georgia Trade & Convention Center. The Summit featured such high profile speakers as T. Boone Pickens; Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal; Georgia Congressman Tom Graves; Tom Fanning, the CEO of Southern Company; and Dr. Bud Peterson, President of Georgia Tech University discussing the growth of manufacturing in the United States – and all the challenges associated with that growth – and manufacturing’s importance to the national economy.
The Manufacturing Summit was held in Dalton, Georgia which is one of the last manufacturing centers in America where products are conceived, designed, manufactured and marketed. The purpose of the Summit was to re-ignite the manufacturing spark in the region and across the nation as manufacturing is the driving engine behind growing the nation’s economy.
The Summit was sponsored by The City of Dalton and Dalton Utilities, as well as The Carpet & Rug Institute, Grow Greater Dalton, Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, J & J Industries, Textile Rubber & Chemical Co., Barnsley Gardens resort, Thalo Creative Studios, Cycle Tex, Ceridian InView, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Accenture, Wallace, First Bank of Dalton, Southeast Industrial Development Association and Thompson Hine.
Other speakers included Matt Reilly of Accenture; and Chip Howalt of Textile Rubber & Chemical Company. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker also appeared via video. Additionally, three panel discussions were conducted on the subjects of Energy, Workforce Development and State/Federal Regulations.
The Energy Panel was hosted by Don Cope, President & CEO of Dalton Utilities and included Suzanne Sitherwood, President of Atlanta Gas Light; Paul Bowers, President & CEO of Georgia Power; Norman Holmes, President of Southern Natural Gas; and Robert Johnson, President of MEAG.
The Workforce Development Panel was hosted by Melvin Everson of the Governors Office of Workforce Development and featured Joe Yarbrough, Jr., Executive Vice President of Operations for Mohawk Industries; Ron Jackson, Commissioner of TCSG; and Dr. James Catanzaro, President of Chattanooga State Community College.
The State/Federal Regulations Panel was hosted by Werner Braun, President of the Carpet & Rug Institute and featured Vance Bell, CEO of Shaw Industries; Rosario Palmieri, Vice President of Legal & Regulatory Policy of the National Association of Manufacturers; and Mark Irion, CEO of Dutko Worldwide.