After two of the most tumultuous years for transportation and logistics in the home furnishings industry, the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) 2022 Logistics Conference program, presented by the Specialized Furniture Carriers division, has been developed around the theme of “Seeking Calmer Waters.”
“Our goal was to assemble an agenda with presenters whose expertise can help companies navigate out of the turbulent seas of the last two years and focus on successful strategies for the future,” says Mike Padjen, director of AHFA’s Solution Partners and Specialized Furniture Carriers divisions.
Registration is $499 per person ($199 for AHFA members) and is now open online at https://www.ahfa.us/event-template/2022-logistics-conference.
The conference will be held June 13-15 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront in Wilmington, N.C. Reservations may be made at a group discounted rate through May 11 or until the room block is full. Use the conference link above to access the hotel reservation page.
Kicking off the program is keynote presenter Chad Porter, an author and motivational speaker. His 2019 book, “Severed Dreams,” is a powerful account of perseverance, overcoming obstacles and dealing with life’s challenges. Porter has been delivering inspiring messages for professional and college athletes, nonprofits and corporations of all sizes for more than 20 years. Attendees will receive a signed copy of Porter’s book.
Addressing the complex topics of reshoring and nearshoring is Rosemary Coates, president of Blue Silk Consulting and a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in supply chain and operations management. In 2014 she founded the Reshoring Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization focused on expanding U.S. manufacturing. She has authored five supply chain management books, including “The Reshoring Guidebook” and “42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China.” She will bring her decades of supply chain experience to a discussion of reshoring and its impact on our industry’s global logistics.
Bringing important insights to the current state of ocean freight is Peter Tirschwell, vice president of maritime, trade and supply chain for S&P Global. He is responsible for conference programs and independent editorial content produced by the leading team of journalists covering the global container shipping supply chain, trade and logistics for The Journal of Commerce magazine. Tirschwell is the founder and chairman of the annual TPM conference in Long Beach, Calif., one of the world’s largest shipping events, and he led the development of JOC Port Productivity data, the first global database of container port and marine terminal performance.
Also on the agenda is John D. Bassett III, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, who will address the long-term logistics challenges in our industry and the impact of those challenges on the future of manufacturing and sales.
Two panel discussions bring added depth to the agenda. The first, a retailer panel, will discuss today’s logistics climate and its impact on store operations. Participants include Mike Lesso, divisional vice president of supply chain for American Freight Furniture and Mattress, Biloxi, Miss., which has 350 locations in 40 states and Puerto Rico, and John Gray, owner with his brother, Kevin, of Custom Home Furniture Galleries of Wilmington, N.C.
The second panel features executives from TCDI, a Greensboro, N.C.-based firm specializing in legal services technology and cybersecurity solutions for over 30 years. Steve Wujek, TCDI’s senior network and cybersecurity engineer, and Greg Michalek, senior director of business development, will be joined by moderator Tom MacKenzie, an independent privacy and security consultant, in a discussion of logistics system cybersecurity and data protection.
Addressing the critical issue of hiring and retaining labor will be Seth Becker, vice president of sales and talent intelligence for Randall Reilly, the top truck driver recruiting firm in the United States and owner of Trucker News and Overdrive Online.
Finally, Hans Bean, chief commercial officer of North Carolina Ports since 2019, will offer an update on North Carolina’s port operations, and Ken Smith, former managing partner and one of the founding partners of Smith Leonard in High Point, will provide a “state of the industry” report.
Additional program highlights include a welcome address from North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore, an optional golf outing on June 13 and a tour of the North Carolina Railroad Museum.
The premier conference sponsor for the third year is North Carolina Ports. “Their commitment has allowed us to move forward with a great agenda we think will help equip our industry to manage future challenges,” Padjen says.
In addition, Bluewater Logistics Group and Gulfstream Shippers Association are gold sponsors; the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina is a silver sponsor; and Bassett Furniture Inds. is a bronze sponsor. J.B. Hunt, Wiseway Transportation Services and the Furniture Shippers Association are sponsoring special conference events. Conference partner sponsors include American West Worldwide Express, A.R.C. Transit (Evans Network), Bennett, Cooke Trucking Co., CV International, Deliveright Logistics, Fragilepak, Ideal Transport, Massood Logistics, Murrows Transfer, Sunbelt Furniture Xpress and Sun Warehousing & Distribution.