About the GFA Fall Meeting


Attending the GFA’s semi-annual meetings is one of the most valuable benefits of membership, and it provides priceless opportunities to connect with top quality fabricators and suppliers, learn from industry experts, solve problems, and have fun doing it. With meeting highlights, including the Supplier Expo, presentations, and multiple discussion forums, attending GFA meetings is a must.

Keynote Presentation


 Wednesday, September 18, 2024
Manufacturing Engagement: Smart Strategies to Keep Your Top Talent from Becoming Someone Else’s
Lisa Ryan, Engagement and Retention Expert

The manufacturing, construction, and distribution industries were facing a talent shortage, aging workforce, and inadequate pipeline of younger workers before the pandemic. Today, it’s even more crucial to RETAIN the employees that you already have on your team. Now that employees have found they have lots of options when it comes to how, when, and where they can get their work done, your business needs to adjust to this new work environment.

Companies that succeed in the post-pandemic economy are those that figure out how to master technology, community, and collaboration. Yes, employees still must show up at work to get the work done, but business owners may need to adjust and adapt to new ways of engaging and communicating with employees and their leadership teams.

It’s going to be awhile before we figure out what the next normal is going to be, but whatever those changes are – there is no more “business as usual.” The only thing we know for certain right now is that things are going to change.

If you want to keep your top talent from becoming someone else’s, it’s time to master a few simple strategies now … and reap the rewards for years to come.

Lisa was born, raised, and still lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Before speaking on stages across the nation, Lisa spent 13 years in industrial sales — including seven years in the welding industry. In fact, she’s about as good with a welding torch in her hand as she is with a mic.

Special Presentation


 Tuesday, September 17, 2024
Embracing “Yes, And” in the Converting/Fabricating Industry
By Avish Parashar

In today’s rapidly evolving industrial landscape, adaptation is key to success. However, amidst the pressures of innovation and change, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of resistance and complacency.

In this engaging session, professional speaker and improviser Avish Parashar will guide you through the transformative power of two simple words: “Yes, And.”

In this high-energy, high-fun, and high-content presentation, you’ll discover how to break free from the confines of “yes, but” thinking and unlock the potential of “yes, and” to drive innovation, collaboration, and growth within your organization.

By the end of this session, you’ll gain valuable tools and strategies to:
+ Understand the profound difference between “yes, but” and “yes, and” thinking.
+ Cultivate a mindset that embraces change and fosters innovation.
+ Overcome burnout and inertia by focusing on actionable steps forward.
+ Transform self-limiting beliefs into opportunities for growth and progress.

Supplier Expo


If you want access to top quality fabricators and converters, there is no better way than exhibiting at the GFA Fall 2024 Meeting. The cost-effective table top display format allows you to have exposure to decision makers without having to arrange for elaborate displays and logistics.

Discussion Sessions


Welcome Breakfast and Orientation

Tuesday morning will begin with a Welcome Breakfast and Orientation, open to all meeting attendees, to kick off a day of committee meetings and discussion sessions. New members and first-time attendees, along with their spouses, are encouraged to attend this orientation for a brief overview of the GFA, and for a chance to meet a few people before the general meeting.

CEO Luncheon

On Tuesday, we will again have a CEO Luncheon Meeting, featuring a roundtable discussion of items that would be of interest to CEOs. Attendance will be limited to CEOs and senior officers with P/L responsibility. A maximum of two people per member company may attend, provided that they both meet the provisions.

Fabricator Forum

Enjoy an opportunity to discuss the issues that are of specific interest to Fabricators and that are most relevant to you and your company with your peers in the industry. Pre-registration for the Tuesday afternoon session is required, but there is no additional fee. Attendance will be limited to Fabricator members of the GFA.

Hotel Monteleone


The Hotel Monteleon, nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, sits just 15 miles from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, a convenient 25-minute drive. Boasting a prestigious four-star rating, this luxurious establishment features the city’s sole rotating bar, offering a unique experience. Surrounded by renowned dining establishments, guests can indulge in exquisite culinary delights just a stone’s throw away. Additionally, iconic attractions such as Jackson Square, the Audubon Aquarium, museums, and vibrant live music venues are all within easy walking distance, promising an unforgettable New Orleans adventure.

Address: 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Phone: (504) 523-3341

Make Your Hotel Reservation

Golf Tournament


 Thursday, September 19, 2024

This Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, Par 72 Championship Golf Course presents a unique challenge to golfers of all skill levels. Every hole has an individual personality including numerous bunkers, large waste bunkers, plentiful grass depressions and mounds which line the sculpted fairways. The property was designed with meandering lakes surrounding the golf course giving a separation from the community and a magnificent Plantation Style Clubhouse making your visit at English Turn an unparalleled experience.

The Signature Course at English Turn was originally designed in 1988 for the New Orleans PGA Tour event, which was held at the facility until 2004 and in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina. The Inaugural event was the USF and G Classic in 1989 and the course proved to be a challenge for the PGA Tour with notoriously undulating greens, water in play on seventeen of the eighteen holes and the signature fifteenth Island Green. In Addition, the 18th Hole had been ranked the hardest hole on tour many times during the tournament tenure.

Creole Queen Chalmette Battlefield Cruise


 Thursday, September 19, 2024

Participants will walk (1/2 mile) to the wharf from the Hotel Monteleone, a  where they will board the Creole Queen. Focusing on 300 years of New Orleans history, this cruise is narrated by a local historian who takes guests on a journey through the story of the city as you sail downriver to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and the historic Chalmette Battlefield. Highlights of the tour include the founding of the city by the LeMoyne brothers, the expansion of the city into the “French Quarters” of the Treme and Marigny, the Louisiana Purchase, and the critical Battle of New Orleans. A one-hour shore excursion at the battlefield features a guided tour and talk by National Park Rangers.

Participants are able to purchase Bottomless Mimosas on site.

Spouse/Companion Activities


The spouse/companion registration fee includes admission to all sessions unless otherwise noted on the program. This includes all general sessions and presentations, breakfasts, lunch on Wednesday, and all cocktail receptions. Please note that spouses/companions who are full-time employees of GFA member companies must pay the full member registration fee.

Mentor Program


The GFA Mentor Program focuses on improving the initial experience of new GFA members and first-time meeting attendees by matching them with an active member of the GFA’s Membership Committee who will help to familiarize them with the organization, facilitate engagement in GFA activities, and answer any questions that they have. A strong personal connection helps to build relationships and connections and makes it easier for new members and first-time attendees to participate actively. Mentors will reach out to first-time attendees prior to the meeting, and they will connect onsite at the Welcome Breakfast and Orientation on the morning of Tuesday, Septembere 17th to assist with introductions. If you are a first-time attendee who would like to be assigned a mentor, please select this option when registering.

GFA Committees


All the committees will meet concurrently from 9:30 am to 11:00 am on Tuesday, September 17, 2024. All attendees are welcome!

The Communications Committee considers enhancements to the GFA’s website, newsletter, social media program, and other tools to promote the GFA and deliver information to members.

The Membership Committee develops and implements initiatives for the recruitment of new members, reviews and recommends for approval the applications of potential members, and encourages participation in GFA activities.

The Program & Content Committee selects future meeting programs and speakers for the GFA’s semi-annual meetings, Gasketing/Converting Expos, and special content meetings.

The Technical Content Development Committee develops technical content of interest to GFA members for delivery through webinars, newsletter articles, and meeting programs.

Frequently Asked Questions


May I Go to the Meetings?

Meetings are open to all attendees except as noted on the schedule. Please note that Manufacturer Representatives are NOT permitted to attend any GFA functions.

What is the Proper Attire?

For all committee meetings and general sessions, the attire is casual. The cocktail receptions are informal.

What will the Weather be Like?

The daytime temperature in New Orleans is expected to average about 86°F. Evening temperatures are expected to average about 70°F.