Enduring an early winter snow storm on its opening day in Chicago, Nov. 11, 2019, the FABTECH show nevertheless was a great success by any measure. Even though the extreme weather led to cancelled speakers and created logistics challenges, FABTECH 2019, held Nov. 11-14 at McCormick Place in Chicago’s South Loop, still boasted record attendance. The final tally included 816,000 paid net square feet, 48,278 attendees, 1,064 education program delegates, and 1,800 exhibitors.
Keynote Presentation: FABx Tech Talks
For the opening keynote on Nov. 11, FABTECH paid tribute to Veteran’s Day by showcasing five noted veterans for a series of inspirational talks. The highlight was a motivational speech by Chad Henning, ex-quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and an Air Force fighter pilot with 45 combat missions in the First Gulf War. The experience of combat and three Super Bowl Championships helped him identify what he thinks are the five most important concepts towards a successful, satisfying life. They are: 1) have a vision. The best vision is one that leads to service for others. 2) Evaluate your actions against that vision. 3) Train both your abilities and your character, ideally by following a respected mentor. 4)Plan and 5) Expect to face obstacles to overcome. “Life is a series of choices,” he advised. “Strive to make the best ones.”
Other discussions included Hernan Luis y Prado, founder and CEO for Workshops for Warriors. He had a more directed presentation, discussing how his organization trains veterans for work in manufacturing. He described 16 weeks of training that provides industry-ready veterans with seven nationally recognized credentials, from proficiency in SolidWorks to CAM among others. Shelly Rood, educational consultant for Mission Ambition LLC shared her experiences as an intelligence officer during some of the times most fraught with danger in our recent history. As to why she became attracted to the military, while in college, she felt “I had a choice to make—I chose to serve others,” she said. A valuable vision that can easily lead to a life lived with character.