Director’s Message

Why join SAMA?

While we have a separate page on this website giving you bullet points of our value proposition, it doesn’t contain the passion I, and our board members, have for manufacturing.  In one form or another, I have been involved with manufacturing for exactly 30 years now.  (“But how can a 29-year old have been in the industry for 30 years?” you kindly ask.  😊)  No matter what my title or role has been, it was always my goal to help the company as a whole, and the family of employees within.  I bring that passion to the manufacturers within our Suncoast region.

I have many goals for SAMA, with the most obvious one being the growth of our membership.  SAMA wants every manufacturer, in every niche market, to become members.  The more members we have, the more engagement between manufacturers there will be, and the more learning from each other will occur.  We don’t need to steal trade secrets from each to make our individual companies better, just share best practice ideas.  Look at the beer brewing industry for example – most collaborate to form large events for their patrons, brew special releases together, even promote each other – all of which has resulted in individual and industry growth.  Our broad category of manufacturing can have the same results if we follow similar principles.  The various roundtable events that we conduct are only successful with collaboration between manufacturers.

SAMA has always orchestrated great educational events, including roundtables, webinars, seminars, lunch-and-learns, etc., and we will continue to do so.  Plant tours are a primary focus of events, with the goal of having a minimum of six per year.  Working with our Business and Resource Partners, we’ll bring training opportunities to you, both private and open enrollment, so you can send just one or two employees to be trained.  And while we will always focus on local providers, SAMA is also able to offer resources through the FloridaMakes Network, vetted service providers from around the state.  It is Dave Ferguson’s (our FloridaMakes Business Advisor) job to match resources with your needs.  With over 40 years of manufacturing experience, and specialization in Process Management (Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen, Toyota-Kata, etc.), you should be taking advantage of his no-cost assessments and insight.

Lastly, it is healthy to become a part of your community, both manufacturing-related and within the general community.  We are getting ready to unveil our Adopt-A-School program which will not only help manufacturers fill their pipeline with future hires, but it’s also a way for you to give in a philanthropic manner to your local community.

At minimum, please use the “Join Email List” link within the top menu to receive our e-newsletters.  It will keep you up-to-date on forth-coming events and manufacturing news.  Did I convince you to join SAMA?  Money cannot be an excuse, as our manufacturing membership can be as low as $100.00!  Come be apart of your manufacturing community.

Rob Harris, Executive Director