Kentucky Auto Manufacturers to “SPARK” Business at KAIA Conference

Louisville Forward sponsors speed networking with top manufacturers

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (April 4, 2016) – Every successful relationship begins with a spark – and the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) is playing matchmaker at SPARK, a new half-day automotive conference in Louisville.

SPARK is designed for Kentucky’s robust automotive supplier sector, particularly procurement and supply chain representatives.

Manufacturers looking for a long-term relationship with that special supplier should try SPARK’s speed-networking session, which matches procurement representatives with potential suppliers for short one-on-one pitch meetings.  The KAIA conference, sponsored in part by Louisville Forward, also includes sessions with industry leaders on timely topics such as diversifying your supply chain and developing export connections.

“One of the benefits of KAIA membership is the continuous networking opportunities with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA.  “SPARK will accelerate those potential relationships between suppliers, driving new business and partnerships among Kentucky’s world-class auto manufacturing facilities.”

SPARK’s novel speed-networking opportunity is a must for auto supplier businesses seeking new growth.  A limited number of attendees will meet one-on-one with procurement representatives from Ford, Toyota, Mubea, AGC Automotive, Akebono Brake, Asahi Forge, Hitachi Automotive, Sumitomo Electric, and more.  These speedy sit-downs will give each attendee about 15 minutes to make a connection with the professionals directly involved in materials and services acquisition.  Each attendee is guaranteed at least four matchmaking meetings.

For those who want to hear the latest automotive news and innovations from industry insiders, the SPARK sessions won’t disappoint.  Speakers and panel discussions will cover topics from sparking a supplier relationship to the global automotive economic forecast.

Lindsay Chappell, industry editor for Automotive News magazine, will serve as SPARK’s keynote speaker and panel moderator.  He will be joined by industry leaders including:

Kentucky’s vast network of automotive manufacturing, supplier and service-related companies provide a significant impact on Kentucky’s economy, adding $14 billion annually to the state’s GDP. With four major auto manufacturing plants, the state is the third-largest producer of light vehicles in the country, topping more than 1.3 million cars, trucks and SUVs last year.

“KAIA is the only professional association designed just for Kentucky’s booming automotive industry, and conferences like SPARK show how KAIA provides real and repeated value to our members,” said Tatman.

SPARK will be held at Noah’s Event Venue at 12451 Plantside Drive in Louisville on Monday, May 23, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is open at www.kyautoindustry.com/SPARK.

Tickets for the SPARK conference are $100 for KAIA members, $150 for nonmembers.  Ticket packages for the speed-networking session include the SPARK conference and at least four matchmaking meetings, and are $350 for KAIA members, $400 for nonmembers.  The speed- networking option cannot be purchased separately.

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