Leaders in the electronic components supply chain will meet in Chicago next week for the Annual Executive Conference of the Electronic Components Industry Association. The meeting will take place at Loews Chicago O’Hare hotel Sunday through Tuesday, October 25-27, and will feature presentations from industry leaders, economists, and others. The conference is designed around the theme “Bridging the Gap” and aimed at helping ECIA members compete in today’s increasingly connected and complex business world.
“Is your business equipped to meet the demands of an increasingly connected workforce and customer base?” ECIA asks in its promotional materials for the event. “The 2015 Executive Conference ‘Bridging the Gap’ explores the current economic and industry landscape, a view of what’s on the horizon, and a vision of an electronics industry of the future.”
Speakers include executives from TE Connectivity, Avnet, and Electrocomponents plc, who will be joined by economist Scott Brown of Raymond James and Associates, inspirational speaker and military veteran Justin Constantine, visibility coach David Avrin, and others on topics ranging from millennials to the maker movement.
Returning to the conference this year is engineering student Tim Balz, who spoke to ECIA members at the 2013 Executive Conference, detailing his experience with the FIRST Robotics program, a science and technology education program run by entrepreneur Dean Kamen. FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology—gives students hands-on experience in engineering and technology applications through volunteer programming and an annual robotics competitions. In 2013, Balz, a student at Indiana’s Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, chronicled his experiences as a high school student in the FIRST program and how it inspired him to create Freedom Chairs, an organization that rebuilds powered wheelchairs for people in need.
Balz will talk about his continued involvement in FIRST and why more companies should support the organization. Many ECIA members support FIRST by providing the program with needed electronic components, services, and volunteers. Balz will also talk about the maker movement and “how businesses can use the opportunity to build brand loyalty and create a relationship with the future of innovation,” according to ECIA.
Constantine will offer another conference highlight with his presentation on leadership and the Hiring our Heroes program. The Marine Corps veteran will discuss his experiences in the military and on the battlefield, relaying the importance of effective leadership in all aspects of business and life. He will also lead a separate breakout session on Tuesday afternoon, October 27, on how hiring U.S. military veterans can improve your business. Constantine speaks to groups nationwide about the Hiring Our Heroes program, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce program designed to help military personnel make the transition to the private workforce.
Visit the ECIA website for more Executive Conference program information.