July 10, 2017

Gearing Up for AutoVision 2017

Third annual event offers more networking opportunities than ever


If you want to know more about the automotive industry’s changing fuel-efficiency standards, the potential impact of the proposed border adjustment tax or what workforce initiatives are being formed throughout Kentucky, there’s only one place to find out what’s next: AutoVision 2017.

The third annual AutoVision conference – scheduled for Aug. 7-8 at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington – promises to deliver the quality lectures from years past featuring some of the brightest minds in the auto industry, with even more opportunities for networking and matchmaking between companies from every corner of the industry.

The ever-growing presence of autonomous technology in the automotive industry will be a major focus of this year’s event. Lindsay Chappell, industry editor at Automotive News, will lead a panel discussion on how auto companies can come together to improve the technology. Back by popular demand is Gary Silberg, national sector lead partner with KPMG, who returns following stimulating discussions during each of the conference’s first two sessions.

Jon Coleman, Ford Motor Co. fleet sustainability and technology manager, will illuminate ways the company is helping its fleet customers improve their results. Lawrence E. Brown, executive director of LIFT consortium, will highlight progress in lightweighting. Joseph McCabe, president and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions, will discuss current market trends and where the industry is headed in the future. These are just a few of the industry leaders who will be on hand to share their knowledge, experiences and views for the future.

AutoVision is an initiative of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA), and Executive Director Dave Tatman expressed eagerness to kick off this year’s event.

“We at KAIA could not be more thrilled to get AutoVision 2017 underway,” he said. “The conference has been a remarkable success each of the past two years, and we have more opportunities than ever to bring industry leaders together to help further company and industry-wide goals. I cannot wait to see what’s next, and that’s what this event is all about.”

New to this year’s conference will be the SPARK Matchmaking event, which will be held on Monday, Aug. 7 and will provide an opportunity for attendees who purchase one of the limited matchmaking packages to hold exclusive one-on-one meetings with leading OEM and tier-one company executives. The event allows automotive suppliers from around the state to build connections and establish a foundation for new business opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to coordinate. The inaugural SPARK conference was held as a standalone event in 2016, and the program’s success led to its incorporation into AutoVision 2017.

Other features include additional networking opportunities on Aug. 7 during tours of the new Bluegrass Community and Technical College training center and of the new Creform Material Handling Systems facility in Georgetown, lunch at Country Boy Brewing’s new operation in Scott County, and during the Mubea-sponsored DinnerView reception and dinner that night, which requires additional registration required.

AutoVison’s keynote speaker will be announced soon. The event’s breakout sessions with a focus on workforce initiatives, a Soft Skills Boot Camp and a discussion on efforts at several Kentucky universities to fill demand for engineering positions.

“We have some great events on the slate for this year’s conference, and I look forward to hearing what each of the speakers has to say about where the automotive industry is headed,” said Mandy Lambert, KAIA chair and commissioner of the Department for Business Development with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “However, it is the additional matchmaking opportunities at AutoVision 2017 that set this event apart from previous editions. It is our hope that this event not only assists attendees to determine the appropriate next steps within their respective companies, but also sets the foundation for those steps to be taken sooner rather than later.”

The AutoVision conference was a resounding success in each of its first two years. Last year, not only did 100 percent of surveyed participants say they would recommend the conference to others, but 88 percent noted valuable connections made at AutoVision.

Lexington-based MakeTime Founder and CEO Drura Parrish summed up AutoVision succinctly following a previous event.

“Kentucky is an automotive state, and AutoVision is our prom,” he said.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event. For the latest news on, or to register for, AutoVision 2017 visit www.autovisionconference.com. For inquiries about sponsorships or exhibit space, contact Dave Tatman at dave.tatman@kyautoindustry.com or (270) 349-2355.

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