CFPA general meeting inspires members to act

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON – The inspirational voice of Olympic gold medalist Jayna Hefford graced this year’s annual general meeting of the Canadian Fluid Power Association.

0 October 21, 2014

Hefford spoke of “calculated chaos” on the road to the women’s ice hockey championship in Sochi, but she also left AGM delegates with advice on how to succeed: preparation, preparation and more preparation.

Preparing CFPA fluid power specialists for the future will require cooperation, education, communication and market analytics, judging by the presentations.

Eric Lanke, CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, said that the NFPA is always looking for partnerships to achieve member objectives more effectively. The U.S.-based organization includes working with the CFPA, in addition to its regular programs such as member market condition forecast polls, data mining from outside sources like government statistics and producing “voice of the customer” technology trend reports.

Roy Pietila, VP Finance at Festo Canada, provided the Market Insights committee report to the meeting and mirrored some of Lanke’s thoughts. “Multiple data sources are best for creating forecasts,” said Pietila. The CFPA is contemplated accessing “paid” data from outside the association such as The Conference Board of Canada, he added.

The CFPA has worked to improve its communications over the last year, according to CFPA director Alan Wheatley of Hydraflow-Pumptech. “The website redesign and social media initiatives on Twitter (@canadianfpa) and LinkedIn” have been launched, said Wheatley.

WebCFPATed O’Donnell, Bosch Rexroth Canada (left); Eric Lanke, NFPA; and, Don Trenn, Gir Del Hydraulics. Images courtesy John Bachmann.

Education committee director John Bachmann appealed to members for more involvement in the CFPA’s Fluid Power Challenge series at middle schools in the Toronto area and at Strathcona High School in Edmonton.

For members with technical talent that could use practical business knowledge, Bachmann pointed to a mini-MBA program that he also took a hand in creating curriculum – the Industrial Distribution Leadership Certificate Program. The IDLCP is delivered online in cooperation with Mohawk College.

With the greying of the industry, inspiring students towards careers in fluid power spurred on by additional scholarship awards would also help, Bachmann said. Current long-time scholarship sponsors Bosch Rexroth Canada, Flodraulic and DPN magazine (on behalf of the CFPA) make awards to Toronto-area Mohawk and Centennial technical colleges.

The challenge from the Education committee is for CFPA members to step forward and create even more scholarship awards to students pursuing fluid power studies at the many other technical institutions across Canada.

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