New Digital Newsletter
Welcome to our new digital newsletter where we will provide you with information about our association, its members, issues and concerns, and items of interest that you can use to help you and your businesses. For 105 Years, SAMA has been the voice and advocate for manufacturers. Do know, a lot has happened during those years and we are still here, continuing to be the best that we can for our industry and members.
2019 was a good year for the association. We had plenty of events and seminars, resulting in great B2B opportunities, educational forums, sharing of best practices, and in-depth reviews of our manufacturing industry. Our Trade Show and Conference was a resounding success. We also had very successful plant tours with mixers, a bus tour and a nationally recognized MfgDay. Additionally, we brought on new staff – Rosie Ortiz, Event Planner, Michelle Moriarty, Executive Administrative Specialist and Dee Dee Feeney, Trade Show & Administrative Assistant. We also invested in technology to enable us to work more economically and efficiently. Our conferencing, telephonic, and virtual, capabilities have been significantly upgraded. Our Board of Directors was expanded with the addition of Maria Garcia, CPS Energy; Maya Royberg, Precision Group; Katherine Sanchez-Rocha, Alamo Academies; and Cimber Mabe, HEB. A past Chair, Bill Cox, Cox Manufacturing Company, rejoined as a new officer on our Executive Committee as Vice-Chair of Programs. So much happened in 2019 and we can say, it was a very successful year – one of SAMA’s best!
The start of 2020 was bold and ambitious! With our new staff and technology, SAMA events and seminars were planned to bring maximum benefit to our members. A new newsletter was in the works as was our website. The trade show and conference set goals to bring 200 exhibitors and 2,000 attendees in celebration of our 20th iteration of this highly successful event. Our 104th Annual Gala was a great success and we introduced our new format, recognizing Manufacturers of the Year in three categories (Small – Franks Manufacturing; Medium – Cox Manufacturing; & Large – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas) and an Associate of the Year – the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, or as we know them, TMAC. The next successful event was our annual Employment Law Seminar where discussions focused on employment law issues to include paid sick leave initiatives, FMLA, recruitment, and retention of employees, and the health and safety of them with in-depth discussions on the start of a new coronavirus disease. Soon, announcements were made, the COVID-19 coronavirus was headed our way and it was very different from the normal seasonal influenza – more potent and deadlier. State and local executive orders were issued to “Shelter in Place.”
SAMA Leads During COVID-19 Pandemic
During the start of the coronavirus outbreak, our regional communities and manufacturers braced themselves for the imminent pandemic. Seizing the opportunity to help our members, SAMA joined forces with chambers, sister trade associations, national and state organizations, and local governments in the region to batten down business hatches to stem the impact of the pandemic.
SAMA’s #1 priority during this ordeal was, and still in effect today, to ensure the safety and health of our members, their families, and our regional communities where we work and live. Most of our manufacturers were deemed essential to the national and state infrastructure and continued their operations during “shelter in place” orders. Associate members shut down or scaled back their businesses. Working from home was the new norm with children since schools closed as well. Everyone was hungry for news, asking what are we going to do and how do I keep my business going? Our local and medical communities took precautions and inventories of much needed medical supplies. They provided guidance on how best to combat the virus and worked with local governments to establish mitigation plans.
Since the start of the pandemic, SAMA kept the home fires burning, working from the office and home to continue day-to-day operations, and updating members on the latest news.
During March SAMA started leading efforts to help our manufacturing, medical, and local communities to start making personal protection equipment (PPE). Many manufacturing members stepped up to help our communities. Dixie Flag & Banner Co.; Helmy & Associates & Co.; San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind and Division Laundry met with SAMA to devise plans to make thousands of cloth face masks and plastic shields for our community. We also partnered with Bexar County, TMAC, Southwest Research Institute, and Fusion Success Group to create the Medical Manufacturing Alliance of South-Central Texas. Its goal is to help align healthcare facilities’ needs with locally manufactured medical supplies required to respond more effectively in the pandemic. The success of this effort allowed our medical and regional communities to be better prepared to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the safety and health of our medical first responders. Since then, many SAMA manufacturing members stepped up to start to make plex-glass barriers such as Franks’ Manufacturing. Additionally, our own Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas made over 17,000 face shields. Lastly, many manufacturing members aided other manufacturers with the sharing of supplies and assessing processes to help increase their production. A classic example of a team effort by all!
SAMA Operations During Time of Turmoil
SAMA continued to operate from both home and office to ensure the day-to-day operations never skipped a beat. Work continued to have a committee and board meetings, planning of events, and financial stewardship. A huge undertaking by the staff to coordinate and plan it all resulted in minimum cancellations of meetings and maximum information flow on issues and concerns affecting our members. We also took care of invoices, receivables, and suspended membership dues payment to help members having financial difficulties until the end of June. We will start collecting dues on July 1st. Membership Committee and SAMA staff made countless calls to members to check on their wellbeing and to ask if there is anything SAMA can do to assist. Proud to say we were able to help members find supplies and products to include PPE, hand, and industrial sanitizers for employees and workplaces. Many kudos to Acme Soap for stepping up in producing mass quantities of all kinds of sanitizers.
During this time, we accepted new members and talked to them about the benefits of being in SAMA. Great to finally give a shout out to our new members who joined in March through May and they are:
- Schlemmer USA, AIT Services, Inc.
- Chromalloy Component Services, Inc.
- Orange County Thermal Industries, Inc.
- Sc2 Supply chain Services & Solutions
- Mary Lou Rodriguez Services
- L. Dewitt McCarter, Inc., Cordova Group
- Dear Systems
- Catamount Constructors, Inc.
- Cisco-Eagle, Inc.
SAMA events and programs for the end of March through May were unfortunately cancelled or postponed due to safety and health concerns to include our annual flagship event, the SAMA Trade Show and Conference. It is rescheduled for September 30th at Expo Hall B, Joe Freeman Coliseum. The Spring Fling Golf Tournament was canceled and will return in spring 2021 and the annual Fall Golf Tournament is tentatively set for September 21st. The rest of our 2020 seminars will revert to webinars and will start with our Safety program on July 23rd. Our premier Achieving Excellence in Leadership and Environmental Seminars will be webinars too and will be on September 24th and October 7th and 8th, respectively. Manufacturing Day and annual bus tours are being reviewed at this time. The TMAC Lean Manufacturing Certification Program will start on September 28th and many thanks to TMAC for providing it. Luncheons are in flux and we are working with the San Antonio Country Club and Presenter COVID-19 protocols to ensure safe and healthy luncheons. We hope to start in September.
Overall, SAMA has been working hard to help our members and industry. Additionally, our medical and regional communities. The involvement in all that we do in being the voice and advocate for our industry shows commitment to our members. Knowing what we do should be all the reasons why to stay, or join if you are not a member, with SAMA. Please enjoy this new electronic newsletter and know better times will soon be here. Keep the faith, be safe and healthy.
President/CEO | SAMA