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Press Release

FABTECH 2017: Keynote Speakers Discuss Industry and Workplace Transformation

Inspiring innovation and fostering creativity are among the topics being discussed by keynote speakers

(CHICAGO) – A powerful lineup of speakers, including Discovery Channel’s Richard Rawlings and Pixar’s Matthew Luhn, are on tap to deliver keynote presentations at FABTECH 2017, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event.

The keynote speeches at FABTECH, which takes place Nov. 6-9, at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will be held during the morning of the event’s first three days. Each presentation will address a different topic, but all will be aimed at motivating and inspiring the audience of manufacturing industry professionals.

The keynote presentations kickoff on Monday, Nov. 6, with a new and exciting format of short inspirational TED-style talks given by visionary industry leaders. More information about the talks, dubbed the FABx Tech Talks, will be released in the coming weeks.

“It’s hard to believe that a reality television star and a Pixar storyteller are our keynote speakers this year, but that shows how far our industry has evolved,” said John Catalano, FABTECH show co-manager and SME Senior Director.

Richard Rawlings, co-host of Discovery Channel’s popular “Fast N’ Loud” series and founder of world-renowned hot rod shop Gas Monkey Garage, will be the keynote speaker the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 7. Rawlings will speak about the business challenges and opportunities that he has faced as well as the discipline and persistence required to be successful with an emphasis on innovating and risk taking. With time remaining, he also will answer audience questions about his life, business and building hot rods.

Matthew Luhn, one of the original story creators at Pixar Animation Studios, will speak on Wednesday morning. Luhn will discuss how audience members can inspire creativity in the workplace by revealing how Pixar built and has sustained its creative culture. In doing so, he will share strategies on how to create a company culture that encourages and nurtures new ideas, and embraces fear and failing as part of the creative process.

“Their presentations will provide a fresh and entertaining look at what attendees can do to achieve further success in their careers and personal lives,” said Catalano.

To learn more about the keynote presentations, and to register for FABTECH 2017, please visit:


FABTECH is North America’s largest collaboration of technology, equipment and knowledge in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries. The event provides a powerfully aligned hands-on, face-to-face business growth experience, attracting more than 1,700 exhibitors and 50,000 attendees. The event is made possible by its five co-sponsors, all of whom representing the varied and diverse makeup of the manufacturing industry. They include the American Welding Society, the Chemical Coaters Association International, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, the Precision Metalforming Association and SME. Read more about FABTECH’s co-sponsors here


If you have questions about the press release or need additional information, please contact SME Public Relations at