MRO Magazine

PTDA’s Canadian Conference Targets Distributor Needs

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Niagara Falls, ON -- The 2009 Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) Canadian Conference brought together the power transmission/motion control industry's leaders for an insiders' focus on...

Niagara Falls, ON — The 2009 Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) Canadian Conference brought together the power transmission/motion control industry’s leaders for an insiders’ focus on Canadian industry trends. Held May 28-30, 2009, at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Centre in Niagara Falls, ON, participants left the conference with a heightened understanding of the drivers of the Canadian economy and associated opportunities for power transmission/ motion control (PT/MC) manufacturers and distributors.

The conference was kicked off by Jayson Myers, president of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), who set the stage with an enlightening Canadian economic forecast. Myers reiterated the importance of manufacturing in Canada — manufacturing is the single largest business sector in Cana- da, accounting for 14% of Canada’s GDP — and provided an in-depth economic overview. He also emphasized new market and business opportunities for Canadian manufacturers and distributors.

According to Myers’ presentation, Canadian companies will continue to be challenged by the tightening of the US credit market and high levels of risk and uncertainty, but there are a number of opportunities for companies that build a strategy around differentiation. Organizations that continue to innovate and explore new markets, while focusing on what customers value and on eliminating waste, have an advantage as the economy stabilizes.

Following Myers’ analysis, delegates attended in-depth market briefings on:


• Infrastructure with Martin Doble, global managing director, Hatch Engineering

• Mining with Tim Gallant, Iron Ore Company of Canada

• Hydroelectric with Rick Everdell, project director, Niagara Tunnel Project, Ontario Power Generation, and

• Aerospace and industrial engine manufacturing with Kevin Sodhi, commodities management global purchasing, and Antonio Columbo, key supplier initiatives, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Attendees also listened to a presentation by Pat MacDonald, director of consulting for continuing education for Mohawk College; Ted Chisholm, vice-president of finance and IT for BDI Canada Inc.; and Richard Ayuen, regional vice-president, Central Canada, for Kinecor LP, on the Industrial Careers Pathway program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON.

A partnership between industry leaders and the college has yielded the unique Industrial Distribution Leadership certificate program at Mohawk College, helping local distributors hone key skill sets in business principles, operational awareness, client service principles and leadership training/coaching. A cohort of nearly 25 students is making its way through the program, which includes five core courses and a capstone course that provides an opportunity for students to apply the program’s lessons to their own work environments.

An energizing closing keynote address by Larry Smith, president and CEO of the Montreal Alouettes Football Club, concluded the Canadian Conference. Smith is an expert on successfully managing people within an ever-changing environment and shared the strategies he uses to bring out the best in a team. Smith emphasized the importance of developing a personal life plan that includes lifelong learning.

Next year, the Canadian Conference will be held June 3-5, 2010, in Montreal. The program is open to all PTDA members selling product in Canada — distributors and manufacturers — as well as non-members who qualify for membership.

For more information, visit the website at

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