As our team at Rubber & Plastics News prepares for the 12th edition of our International Tire Exhibition & Conference, it occurs to me I have no memories of the inaugural event in 1994.
That's because I was on my honeymoon when the first ITEC became one of the first full exhibitions held at the then-new John S. Knight Convention Center in downtown Akron. I do remember the announcement here at our office for the event, which was a big deal as RPN was taking its first step outside our comfort zone of publishing to put on a tire show aimed at the tire manufacturing end of the business.
But as I had become engaged the week before the announcement, I was absolved from covering that first ITEC. I've attended pretty much every one since, and I am excited about what lies in store for those attending ITEC 2016 on Sept. 13-15, once again in Akron.
The one constant through all the years has been Harold Herzlich, who has served as conference chairman at every ITEC. After retiring from a career in the tire industry, he came on board at RPN, where he has served as technical editor for about 25 years.
This year he has had help in assembling the program from two co-chairmen, Larry Evans of Larry Evans Consulting, who retired from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Walter Waddell, retired from ExxonMobil Chemical Co.
The three have put together a top-notch program featuring more than 55 technical sessions. One of the highlights will be a set of papers honoring the centennial of the invention of the Banbury mixer.
Also on the agenda is a keynote speech from David Stafford, an executive vice president from Michelin North America who will speak on innovation, advanced manufacturing and what the tire maker is doing to engage a changing work force.
If that isn't enough, ITEC 2016 will feature more than 85 exhibitors and have a host of networking opportunities. Registering is easy; just visit the conference website at www.itec-tireshow.com.
And since this one is being held the week before my anniversary, I'll see you there.
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.