Educational Sessions

There’s something for everyone at BCMC, but most critically, there’s a full schedule of learning opportunities at the show for everyone in your plant. You’re welcome to attend whatever interests you most, but if you’re new to the show or looking for a clear path, consider following a Session Track.

No Mistake: Designing to Get It Right the First Time

Wednesday, October 25 • 9:30-10:30a

Hear how these panelists manage design issues in their departments, from training designers and overseeing the design process, to tracking design work, errors and the associated costs. Come with questions about strategies to minimize and mitigate design mistakes, and leave with tips on how to manage mistake tracking data and recognize designers whose work is mistake free.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Estimating Edge at 2:30p, and on Thursday check out Codes & Creativity at 12p and Designer Diaspora at 1:30p.

Panelists:

Randy Luetkenhaus, Millard Lumber

Randy has been designing with Millard Lumber for over a decade. His educational background in architectural drafting and design as well as industrial technology and engineering was good preparation for his current position as design and estimating manager and head of the project management team.

Rob Sjoholm, True House

Rob started producing trusses in 1990 in Chetek, Wisconsin. He worked his way up, building roof and floor trusses, operating saws, staffing the maintenance department, and supervising the plant before moving to the design office. In 2000 Rob moved to Florida, where he continued to design trusses and get involved in SBCA chapter leadership. In 2016, Rob joined True House/Apex Engineering where he has the opportunity to work side by side with engineers as well as HVAC and architectural designers.

Adam Freyenberger, Big C Lumber

Adam has been in the lumber industry and with Big C Lumber for 18 years. He started out driving a forklift but was always interested in architecture, so when the company bought a truss plant, he inquired about a career change and has been designing for the past 10 years. Today, he is the senior designer at his location, responsible for floor truss, roof truss and wall panels designs as well as I-Joist layouts.

Moderator:

Dan Morris, True House

Dan has been in the industry since 1996 and has been the design manager for True House since 2001, supervising seven designers in three different locations and serving manufacturing facilities in both Florida and Georgia.

Operation IT: The Power of a Business Tech Partnership

Wednesday, October 25 • 9:30-10:30a

What is the role of the IT staff in a component manufacturing business? How much does company size or focus matter? Whether you’re a large operation focused on in-plant automation and regular design software upgrades or a small business trying to support office communications and keep equipment running, there’s something to learn from this diverse panel. Gain some insight into how IT expertise can improve business operations, and how a solid understanding of business goals can improve technical support. Come ready to join the discussion of how to measure IT effectiveness, how to incorporate IT concerns into operation planning and budgeting, and how to realize saving through investment in technology solutions.

Take the conversation further: SBCA’s IT Committee will gather for an informative lunch-and-learn roundtable on Wednesday at 12p. Use this time to grab a bite to eat and confer with your peers on specific tools, technical questions and technology trends. Also, be sure to check out the Data & Devices Learning Lab on the show floor on Wednesday at 1p.

Panelists:

Greg Dahlstrom, Villaume Industries

Greg has been in component manufacturing IT for well over a decade. His focus is behind-the-scenes applications of technology that improve productivity, safety, and happiness, both in the office and on the production floor.

Jared Dix, Apex Truss

Jared has worked in component manufacturing for just over two years. He has been heavily involved in the installation and set-up of new equipment and the implementation of processes to make a more efficient plant and sales force. Jared is keenly focused on social media strategies that promote the component manufacturing industry and aid in sales, marketing and workforce development.

Dale Nord, Huskey Truss & Building Supply

Dale has spent 35 years in the computer field, first as a CAD designer and then as a system administrator. He has brought several companies up to modern network standards of access and security. Over the past seven years, he has been working to increase computer capacity, security and agility at Huskey Truss.

Moderator:

Chris Cozart, Builders FirstSource

As Director of Manufacturing Systems, Chris leverages technology to ensure stability and efficiency within Builders FirstSource manufacturing facilities. Having been in the industry 18 years, Chris focuses on standardizing processes and keeps an eye out for new technologies than improve productivity and profitability.

Improving People Processes

Wednesday, October 25 • 9:30-10:30a

Renee reports on a visit to a component manufacturing plant, where she facilitated a Kaizen event – a focused, process improvement initiative that is one critical tool in crafting a lean operation. She will walk through the goals of the event, the Kaizen process and the outcomes. Don’t miss your chance for expert insight from someone who’s implemented lean manufacturing in a variety of industries.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Estimating Edge at 2:30p, and on Thursday check out Designer Diaspora at 1:30p.

Speaker:

Renee Held, Nebraska Business Development Center

Renee is a lean enterprise consultant for the University of Nebraska Omaha, Nebraska Business Development Center. She has 25 years of business and management experience, including practical experience effectively implementing lean manufacturing techniques. Her background includes successful leadership in production control, LAN management, procurement, manufacturing systems and general business consulting.

Leading Today’s Designers

Wednesday, October 25 • 11a-12p

What does it take to manage a design team these days, when you have remote staff, generational turnover and detailed productivity tracking to worry about? Find some new perspectives and walk away with some actionable advice as these panelists discuss four key topic areas: managing the complex team dynamics that come with various ages, skill levels, experiences and personalities; keeping tabs on employees across locations; training and re-training to prevent design errors; and measuring designer productivity to establish benchmarks and set goals.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Estimating Edge at 2:30p, and on Thursday check out Codes & Creativity at 12p and Designer Diaspora at 1:30p.

Panelists:

Tony Acampa, Shelter Systems Limited

Tony joined the component industry in 1998 after a school internship. His AutoCAD skills brought new possibilities to the design department and opened the door to more opportunities in multi-family design. Tony became design team lead in January 2015. His current team consists of 13 in-house designers and three support staff members. Tony enjoys hanging with his young son, playing bass guitar and fly-fishing.

Allegra Pound, Universal Forest Products

Timothy W. Riegel, PE, Rigidply Rafters, Inc.

Moderator:

Mike Kozlowski, Apex Technology

Mike began his career in 2000 as an engineering intern for Apex, holding a dual role of structural engineer and truss engineer. Today, Mike leads the two companies that comprise the BeLit design services group – Apex and True Design Studios – which together provide architectural, structural, mechanical and component design services to the single and multifamily housing industry. Mike was awarded the 40 Under 40 Award from Professional Builder magazine in 2016.  

Lean Q&A

Wednesday, October 25 • 11a-12p

Put lean principles into practice throughout your business. Join this panel-moderated session to discuss the efficiency strategies that are most effective in component manufacturing. Come with questions, and be ready to share your stories of successful operation improvements.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Staying Safe at 4p, and on Thursday check out Career Costs at 3p.

Panelists:

BJ Louws, Louws Truss

BJ is president and co-owner of Louws Truss Inc. He started in the industry in 2007 after earning a degree in Economics and Business Administration at Seattle Pacific University. He started learning Lean in 2009 with a grant from the state of Washington and continued developing his expertise with local seminars in 2012.

Greg Griggs, Builders FirstSource

Greg is senior vice president of manufacturing at Builders FirstSource. He has 37 years of experience in the industry in production, design, operations, management and leadership. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma green belt.

Jeff Taake, Mead Lumber Co.

Jeff is a 26-year veteran of the building materials industry and holds a Lean Management Certificate from the University of Nebraska Omaha. As VP of manufacturing and commercial sales at Mead Lumber, Jeff provides strategic leadership and oversees ten retail operations. In addition to involvement in the national SBCA organization and the Iowa chapter, Jeff is active in the Nebraska Green Council and Associated Builders and Contractors.

When to Say No (& Why): The Increasing Liability Exposure of Truss Design

Wednesday, October 25 • 11a-12p

Increasingly, claims and lawsuits challenge truss designs and truss designers’ responsibilities. Why? Because as projects are built and building designers shirk responsibility, some truss designers remain eager to help. As a result, CMs can fall victim to “no good deed is left unpunished” syndrome. Come to learn what your responsibilities are, where many CMs err in taking on too much liability, and why exposure to risk is increasing in truss design. Leave with a better understanding of the legal system as well as implementation strategies that can help you follow best practices to manage your risk.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Estimating Edge at 2:30p, and on Thursday check out Designer Diaspora at 1:30p.

Speaker:

Kent Pagel, Pagel, Davis & Hill

As SBCA legal counsel, Kent has been helping CMs manage design responsibility risks and liabilities since 1994. As president of the Houston, Texas law firm of Pagel, Davis & Hill, Kent advises local, regional and national companies involved in residential, commercial and industrial construction, providing counsel on matters of litigation and arbitration, insurance, liability, contracts, and operations.

Didn’t You See the Email?

Thursday, October 26 • 10:30-11:30a

It’s inevitable – whatever the communication process at your company, some information is bound to go missing. A strong partnership between designers and IT support is the basis of a good communication system, where the right tools are available to the right people at the right time. This panel brings together design management and IT perspectives to talk through the tricky issues all CMs face: How do designers and production staff keep in touch? What about when sales staff and customers jump into the communication process? What tools do you use to keep employees both informed and on track, build a sense of community among a diverse staff, and engage remote employees? Come with questions and join the conversation about what tools and techniques you can implement to improve communication throughout your operation.

Take the conversation further: SBCA’s IT Committee will gather for an informative lunch-and-learn roundtable on Wednesday at 12p. Use this time to grab a bite to eat and confer with your peers on specific tools, technical questions and technology trends. Also, be sure to check out the Data & Devices Learning Lab on the show floor on Wednesday at 1p.

Panelists:

Mike Kozlowski, Apex Technology

Kelly LaBlance, Builders FirstSource

Kelly has been in component design for 14 years. In her current role as technical manager for Builders FirstSource in Florida, Kelly leads a statewide design team and pursues a daily quest to fix and prevent errors that find their way into the field.

Travis McOsker, Hart Components

Moderator:

John Holland, Clearspan Components

John has been in the truss industry full time for three years and is currently head of Software Engineering for Clearspan Components in Meridian, Mississippi. He spends most of his time studying new software development techniques and technologies, looking for how they might be practically applied in the prefabricated component industry.

Don’t Watch Dominoes Fall: Implementing Behavior-Based Safety Practices

Thursday, October 26 • 10:30-11:30a

Get inspired to redouble your safety efforts. Brad Gardner shares his personal experience of how small mistakes and unsafe work habits can have big consequences. This presentation will make your rethink the risks you take every day, and the role that everyone can play in workplace safety.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Staying Safe at 4p, and on Thursday check out Career Costs at 3p.

Speaker:

Brad Gardner, Helping Hand Presentations

In 2003, Brad Gardner lost part of his right arm in an industrial accident, despite years of safety experience. Having learned that accidents don’t just happen to others, Brad now shares his story to remind audiences that accidents are preventable and safety is everyone's responsibility.

The Brainery: Drawing Millennials to Insurance

Thursday, October 26 • 10:30-11:30a

The Holmes Murphy insurance company faced a challenge: young people know little about the commercial insurance industry, and what they do know they often don’t like. So how can a business in need of employees promote the industry, recruit young people, and develop a company culture that can retain talent and protect the company’s investment in training? Den Bishop found a unique solution to his workforce woes: a training course that shows off the dynamic career paths at Holmes Murphy. Find out what Den learned by reimagining his staffing needs from the millennial perspective, and bring your questions about how to highlight component manufacturing in a competitive labor market.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Estimating Edge at 2:30p, and on Thursday check out Designer Diaspora at 1:30p.

Speaker:

Den Bishop, Holmes Murphy

Den Bishop is president of Holmes Murphy, a commercial insurance company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. He is the primary visionary behind the Brainery, Holmes Murphy’s response to the insurance industry’s aging workforce and struggles to retain new talent. Den pushed his company to reverse the trends affecting other companies in the industry to help Holmes Murphy remain competitive and independent.

Simplifying the Building Code: Issues & Answers for CMs

Thursday, October 26 • 10:30-11:30a

This is your chance to find some clarity on many of the building code provisions that raise questions about the manufacture, installation and repair of metal plate connected wood trusses. Hear about the role of building officials and learn more about uniformity in the application of code provisions. Get expert insight into strategies for dealing with state and local code differences, energy code requirements, fire retardant-treated lumber in Type III construction, and truss repairs. Head home with a better understanding of the intent of the building code and where to find answers the next time you have questions.

Take the conversation further in this year’s Learning Labs on the show floor! On Wednesday, enjoy Data & Devices at 1p and Estimating Edge at 2:30p, and on Thursday check out Codes & Creativity at 12p and Designer Diaspora at 1:30p.

Speaker:

Roger Axel, Certified Building Official, City of New Hope, MN

Minnesota Certified Building Official Roger Axel holds multiple certifications from the International Code Council. Currently a building official for the city of New Hope, Roger has over 35 years of construction and inspection experience (including assessment of mercantile occupancies at the Mall of America). Roger travels the country presenting on behalf of ICC, UW-Madison College of Engineering, and Minnesota licensed residential contractors. He is past chairman and current executive officer of the Association of Minnesota Building Officials.

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