AWPA’s The Wire: Highlights from the Annual Meeting in Florida

Brian Burr, AWPA President, and Kimberly Korbel at the 2022 Annual Meeting

The 2022 Annual Meeting took place last month in Clearwater Beach, Florida, and it’s fair to say after the covid hiatus that we are back to business! Attendance was strong, and everyone was happy to be meeting in-person again. The sunshine certainly didn’t hurt, either. In case you missed it, here’s an overview.

The meeting kicked off on Monday with committee meetings, and then the Opening Reception. Each year our supplier members support the organization by sponsoring this event. The space was packed, full of enthusiastic members working the room. It was a great way to get started.

The first general session began on Tuesday morning with Dana Wood, from Kelley Drye giving us the latest on policy and politics. She provided a recap of 2021 and then focused on possible developments for trade legislation and policy changes in 2022. There are a lot of possibilities, but not too many probable outcomes. You can check out her presentation, with a great timeline of key upcoming dates, on the Past Events page.  You’ll find the other presentations there as well.

Next we heard from Caren Skversky Marlowe, with an energetic presentation on how to handle workplace accommodations during and post-covid. The main take-away was what you do before a complaint is made is what will make the difference for your company. Be sure to have procedures and policies in place and administer them consistently.

Tuesday morning wrapped up with an update from Kathleen Cannon on trade cases, and the new circumvention investigation undertaken by Commerce to determine whether imports of stainless steel round wire from Vietnam are circumventing the antidumping duty order on stainless steel wire rod from the Republic of Korea. The results of this action could have broad implications for the industry, and we will be keeping a close eye on it as it proceeds.

While the members were hearing the latest at the general session, the spouse program continued with a brunch in the Heron room, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. This year’s spouse program expanded to include more activities, and improved communication. We’ll be working to continue that at next year’s meeting.

Tuesday afternoon was filled with outdoor activities – the golf tournament, fishing, and enjoying the surf and sand. Weather was beautiful, but the best part was the opportunity to socialize again in a relaxed, covid-safe outdoor space. Golf this year ran long, but everyone arrived at the evening reception just in time to see the sports awards presented. Thank you to Tim Dillon (golf chair) and John T. Johnson, (fishing chair) for helping to coordinate these events, and of course,  congratulations to all our winners! We also took the opportunity to celebrate Kimberly Korbel, and her 37 years of service to the organization. This was Kimberly’s last meeting with AWPA, and she will be greatly missed.

Wednesday morning began early with the Board of Directors Meeting, and the Member business meetings. We wrapped up the meeting at the final general session, getting an economic update from John Manzella, and then we had an update about the latest improvements to rod mills from Leggett & Platt, Optimus Steel, and Nucor. Presentations on upgrades, increased capacity and future plans were a great way to wrap up the meeting.

If you would like to see photos from the meeting, you can view a slide show here.

The next Annual Meeting will be in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club, February 27-March 1, 2023. See you there!