The big opportunity the auto industry is missing — and when you can hear more

August event offers more matchmaking opportunities than ever in its third year

July 11, 2017

With the AutoVision 2017 conference less than a month away, the best opportunity to register for the state’s premier automotive-related event, hosted by the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, is now.

In its third year, the conference will address issues facing the auto industry including a growing focus on autonomous technology, fuel-efficiency standards, a proposed border adjustment tax and innovative new workforce strategies.

The event, scheduled for Aug. 7-8 at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, will feature a multitude of networking and matchmaking opportunities for parts suppliers and OEMs within the automotive sector, as well as public discussions featuring top industry executives and experts that will help attendees position themselves and their companies for future success.

"We at KAIA could not be more thrilled to get AutoVision 2017 underway," said Dave Tatman, the association’s executive director. "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 industrywide goals. I cannot wait to see what’s next, and that’s what this event is all about."

Autonomous technology and its growing presence within the auto industry will be a focal point at the conference with a panel discussion on the topic hosted by Lindsay Chappell, industry editor at Automotive News. Gary Silberg, national sector lead partner with KPMG, is back by popular demand following captivating discussions during each of the first two sessions to discuss the changing automotive landscape.

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 the industry’s overall direction. These are just a few of the industry leaders who will be on hand to share their knowledge, experiences and views for the future.

"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 board chair member 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."

Those new opportunities to connect members of the auto industry come in the form of the SPARK Matchmaking event, which will be held on Monday, Aug. 7. The event provides an opportunity for attendees who purchase one of the limited matchmaking packages to hold exclusive one-on-one meetings with leading OEM and tier 1 company executives. The inaugural SPARK event was held separately in 2016, and the success of the conference led to its incorporation into AutoVision 2017.

AutoVision this year offers additional networking opportunities, including a tour 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 the Mubea-sponsored DinnerView reception and dinner, which requires separate registration.

The event’s breakout sessions will focus on workforce initiatives, a Soft Skills Boot Camp, financial benefits of using renewable resources and leveraging efficient-vehicle R&D.

The conference follows prior successful AutoVision events from 2015 and 2016. After last year’s event, 100 percent of surveyed participants say they would recommend the conference to others, while 88 percent noted valuable connections made at AutoVision.

AutoVision is an initiative of KAIA. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event.

For inquiries about sponsorships or exhibit space, contact Dave Tatman at or (270) 349-2355.