Registration Now Open for the AMBA Conference 2019!

May 8 – 10, 2019 | The Westin Chicago Northwest | Itasca, IL

The AMBA Conference 2019 is a no-nonsense, two-day exchange that provides profit-impacting information to senior executives and their teams in the mold building industry. Each year, the AMBA Conference provides insights on industry trends, operational improvements, leadership strategies and benchmarks that help attendees learn, improve and grow.


This year’s theme – Strategies.Executed. – is designed to inspire mold manufacturing professionals to work alongside their teams to learn and share industry knowledge and best practices, providing all attendees with new ways to improve profitability, connect with industry peers and become better at what they do.

Conference Photos: Creative Technology

Thank You to Our Sponsors









If you are an industry professional planning on exhibiting:

Exhibitor Registration

Registration pricing is tiered by number of attendees. With registration, attendees receive access to:

  • Emerging Leaders Network Pre-Con Session
  • Welcome Reception - Wednesday
  • Networking Lunch - Thursday
  • Awards Reception and Dinner - Thursday
  • Breakfast and All Breaks – Thursday and Friday
  • All programming
  • Access to the best networking opportunities in the mold building industry

Member tiered pricing

  Early Bird (ending March 29, 2019) After Early Bird
First registrant $795 $895
Second registrant $595 $695
Third+ registrant $495 $595
*guest  $279 $299
Register Now

Non-member tiered pricing

  Early Bird After Early Bird
First registrant $995 $1095
Second registrant $795 $895
Third+ registrant $695 $795
Register Now

Lunch and Learn - $40
Optional Event (Top Golf) - $90
*Please note: Guest registration includes receptions and the banquet only – does not include programming, breakfasts or lunch.



9am-12pm Emerging Leaders Network Pre-Con Session (open to members and partners)
1-4pm Top Golf Networking Event (Optional)
5pm Supplier Meeting
6pm  Welcome Reception and Supplier Trade Fair
7:30pm Day One Adjourned


7am Breakfast
8am Kick Off
Troy Nix, AMBA Executive Director
8:30am 4 Disciplines of Execution
Chris McChesney, Franklin Covey
9:45am Networking Break
10:15 Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions
11:30am Achieving Success in an Uncertain Market
Laurie Harbour, Harbour Results
12:20pm Networking Lunch
Lunch and Learn with Chris McChesney (Optional)
1:30pm AC LAB Track One
2:30pm Networking Break
3:00pm The Healthcare System is Broken - Time to Take Control
3:30pm AMBA Annual Meeting
3:45pm Why Culture Building Beats Team Building
Kirk Weisler, Team Dynamics
6:30 Awards Reception and Dinner
9:30pm Day Two Adjourned


7:00am Breakfast
8:00am AC LAB Track Two
9:15am Global Trends in Technology Track
10:30am Networking Break
10:50am Transformational Leadership
General (ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal
11:40am What’s Next?
Troy Nix, AMBA Executive Director
11:50am Conference Adjourned


New to this year's conference are several opportunities for attendees to connect and learn, including:

  • The launch of the Emerging Leaders Network, the AMBA young professionals group for members and partners (learn more here)
  • AC Labs, which will include topic-specific presentations from AMBA members
  • A technical track, focusing on new global trends in technology presented by best-in-class mold builders and industry professionals
For details on keynote and breakout sessions, as well as optional events, see below.

Connecting from Within to Inspire and Motivate
Troy Nix, AMBA Executive Director

There is a powerful fuel inside each one of us; a fuel that provides us with energy; a fuel that provides us the internal fortitude to do what we do each and every day despite the challenges and obstacles we all encounter. Some are better than others at tapping this energy source for inspiration, but everyone has the ability to become more in tune with their inner self. During his opening address, Troy Nix will share an inspiring story about how he reconnected with his own personal journey one Friday night that helped him better understand the power of “why”.

4 Disciplines of Execution
Chris McChesney, Franklin Covey

Do you remember the last major initiative you watched die in your organization? Did it go down with a loud crash? Or was it slowly and quietly suffocated by other competing priorities? By the time it finally disappeared, it’s likely no one even noticed.

Known for his high-energy, engaging message, Chris McChesney will guide attendees on how to implement the 4 Disciplines of Execution to power major initiatives so that they thrive rather than fail. Using his vast experience gained by working alongside major corporations such as Marriott International, Kroger, Coca Cola, Comcast, Lockheed Martin and others, McChesney will demonstrate how the 4 disciplines can be used to manage the “whirlwind” of urgent, day-to-day activities without devouring the time needed today to successfully execute tomorrow’s major initiatives.

Peer-to-Peer Exchanges

This session is back by popular demand! Growing peer-to-peer networks is a primary component of the AMBA Conference. Attendees will have the chance to interact with peer groups during this session on topics that are unique to their job functions in their specific groups. Driven by past attendee feedback, these focused sessions are a perfect way for professionals to find new ideas, expand their professional networks and explore new methods of improvement. Functional areas include:

  • Leaders and Top Management
  • Operations and Processing
  • Human Resources
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Finance, ERP, IT

Achieving Success in an Uncertain Market
Laurie Harbour, Harbour Results

In 2019, there are a number of industry, economic and trade issues that will have an impact on mold builders. In this session, attendees will take a close look at those factors creating uncertainty in the marketplace, including an update on tariffs and trade agreements, and discuss what shops need to do to be successful. Participants will walk away with actionable tools and techniques that will result in improved efficiency, reduced costs and increased profitability.

AC LAB Track One

The AC LABS are comprised of a number of topics, designed to equip attendees with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve the mission-critical priorities of today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. Since the theory is different than practical implementation, the AC LABS will be presented by mold builders, thereby allowing attendees to learn from their peers. (Sessions TBA)

The Healthcare System is Broken – Time to Take Control
Dr. Brian Klepper, Worksite Health Advisors

Whether you’re a regular consumer of healthcare, responsible for managing health plans for your company or purchasing annual healthcare benefits for your employees, this session will provide you with insight as to where the U.S. healthcare system is headed and what you can actually to do make things better. During this general session, Dr. Brian Klepper will focus on the mechanisms that underlie America’s healthcare cost crisis and how institutionalized clinical and business practices have distorted care and cost patterns, driving unnecessary cost. While outlining these insufficiencies, Dr. Klepper will provide a unique perspective and identify alternatives that significantly favor patients, whose medical care often exposes them to needless physical risk, and purchasers, whose healthcare costs are double those in other developed nations.

Culture Building vs. Team Building
Kirk Weisler, Team Dynamics

Culture building beats team building every time. Team building is going to the gym once a year. Culture building is going to the gym every day for a 5 – 10 minute intense workout that focuses on building relationships, trust, clarity of vision and purpose. Through personal life stories and years of experience with executive coaching the best and brightest teams from around the world, Kirk Weisler leads his audience on a journey of building a more engaged and positive culture. 

AC LAB Track Two

The AC LABS are comprised of a number of topics, designed to equip attendees with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve the mission-critical priorities of today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. Since the theory is different than practical implementation, the AC LABS will be presented by mold builders, thereby allowing attendees to learn from their peers. (Sessions TBA)

Global Trends in Technology Track

A technical track, focusing on new global trends in technology presented by best-in-class mold builders and industry professionals.

Transformational Leadership
General (ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal

General Stan McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. He also is known for developing and implementing the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and for creating a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the way military agencies interact and operate. In this session, he will emphasize field-tested leadership lessons, stressing a uniquely inclusive model that focuses on building teams capable of relentlessly pursuing results. Citing stories from his career, McChrystal will reveal a four-star management strategy, concentrating on openness, teamwork and forward thinking.

Optional Events

TopGolf Networking Event
Cost: $90/person

This year, the AMBA will host a pre-conference networking event at Topgolf on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Topgolf offers a golfing venue that blends technology and entertainment and encourages golfers and non-golfers alike to enjoy friendly competition from the comfort of high-tech, climate-controlled hitting bays. Additional amenities will be offered during the event, including ping pong, corn hole, a sampling of hors d'oeuvres and beer and wine. 

Lunch and Learn with Chris McChesney
Cost: $40/person

Join Keynote Chris McChesney for a lunchtime deep dive on the 4 Disciplines of Execution, engaging participants in discussions surrounding their own challenges and ideas to drive successful outcomes. This session is "Strategies.Executed." at its best! This is a ticket-only event.

Emerging Leaders Network Pre-Con Event
Cost: Free (available to under-40 conference attendees)

AMBA's Emerging LEaders will meet for the first time at a pre-conference event, where participants will have the opportunity to engage on leadership and career topics with a panel of senior industry leaders, followed by a peer-to-peer roundtable networking session to discuss like challenges in fuctional areas. 

To get details on this upcoming event, register today for the Emerging Leaders Network here.


Troy Nix, American Mold Builders Association
Troy Nix is the executive director of the AMBA and serves as the Master of Ceremonies for the AMBA Conference 2019. Known for his spirit, enthusiasm and belief in American manufacturing, Nix will deliver an opening address that will focus on lessons in leadership and the importance of becoming more in tune with one’s inner self. Professionals over the last decade who have heard Nix deliver his opening address know that the first 30 minutes of the conference will spark emotion in each attendee’s inner core. This year’s message will focus on the tapping into that internal fuel source to inspire, motivate and overcome obstacles encountered every day. Nix’s tag line “America Is What America Makes” is an essential ideal that motivates those attending the conference to strive for excellence.

Chris McChesney, Franklin Covey
Chris McChesney is the co-author of the best-selling book in the world on strategy execution titled, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution.” McChesney has presented on some of the biggest stages in the world, including at the Global Leadership Summit, the World Business Forum at the Lincoln Center in New York City and in Sydney, Milan, Mexico City and Madrid. He has personally led many of the most noted implementations of the 4 Disciplines, including the State of Georgia, Marriott International, Kroger, Coca Cola, Comcast, FritoLay, Lockheed and more. Known for his high-energy and engaging message, McChesney has become one of the most requested speakers within the Franklin Covey Organization, helping leaders to focus and leverage organizational behavior to accomplish their wildly important goals despite a whirlwind of competing priorities.

Laurie Harbour, Harbour Results Inc.
As President and CEO of Harbour Results Inc., Laurie Harbour leads a team of analysts and manufacturing consultants to help small- to medium- sized manufacturers develop short- and long-term strategies, improve their operations, reduce risks and optimize business. Spending most of her life around the manufacturing industry, she utilized her experience and knowledge to found HRI in 2005. Since that time, Laurie has been responsible for developing both the consulting services and targeted tools to profitably grow the organization into a leading manufacturing consulting firm.

Kirk Weisler, Team Dynamics
Kirk Weisler, president of Team Dynamics, has over 18 years of experience with executive coaching, speaking and research in building strong workplace cultures. His perspective is simple and unpretentious and his suggestions are applicable and undiluted. Referred to as the “People Whisperer” for his exceptional way of connecting with people, Weisler is known for his ability to share personal life stories, converse with his audience and offer coaching that builds trust and inspires action. His book “The Dog Poop Initiative” has sold over 80,000 copies and is used extensively by Boeing Aircraft in its Six Sigma Lean program and by managers in morning huddles or weekly kick-off meetings.

General (ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal, McChrystal Group
A transformational leader with a remarkable record of achievement, General Stanley A. McChrystal was called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. A retired four-star general, he is the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for developing and implementing the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and for creating a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture. Today, the McChrystal Group’s mission is to deliver innovative leadership solutions to businesses to help them transform and succeed in challenging and dynamic environments.


  • 3D Systems/Cimatron: Cimatron software from 3D Systems is CAD/CAM for tooling with unrivaled productivity. Cimatron delivers major advantages for mold, die and manufacturing shops - keeping you more competitive across your entire range of operations.  
  • BICO Steel
  • CGS North America: CGS North America. sells and supports CAM-TOOL and CG CAMTOOL for SolidWorks in North America. Designed for the mold and die industry, the company's surface-based CAM calculation engine produces significantly more accurate NC data than triangulation mesh competitors, giving CAM-TOOL an edge over its competition in high-accuracy 3D machining.
  • Creative Technology Corp.
  • Crystallume: Founded in 1984, Crystallume pioneered the development and application of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamond technology. Since then, Crystallume's coating experts have become specialists at solving customer problems with diamond technology. CVD diamond has all the extreme chemical and physical properties of natural diamond and high-pressure, high temperature (HPHT) synthetic diamond.
  • Ellwood Specialty Steel Co.: Ellwood Specialty Steel Co. ( in New Castle, PA, is a vertically integrated U.S. producer of quality tool, mold and die steels and aluminum mold products. P20, P20 LQ, H13, Stainless Steels and Aluminum Alloys are stocked in a wide range of sizes for quick delivery to mold and die shops. 
  • Erowa Technology, Inc.: EROWA Technology is a full-service supplier of palletization and automation systems for North American manufacturers. EROWA provides complete turnkey solutions for precision parts handling through most manufacturing processes, capable of providing a simple manual palletization system or a fully integrated, custom-designed workholding and automation system.
  • FCS North America: FCS North America supports the technological evolution through innovative systems for clamping and production process optimization, introducing the Industry 4.0 principles with these product lines: engineering, clamping, motion and control. The clamping system provides a flexible, repeatable and precise setup for unrestricted access to five surfaces and quick mounting. 
  • Federated Insurance: Federated Insurance, Owatonna, MN, is proud to serve as AMBA's exclusive endorsed insurance provider. Since 1904, the company has protected businesses through insurance and risk management services. Policyholders have access to these services, which include resources forucsed on employee training, estate planning, business continuation, workplace safety, human resources and many other loss prevention topics. 
  • Grainger
  • Harbour Results Inc.: Harbour Results, Inc., a leading business and operational consulting firm for the manufacturing industry, offers operational and strategic advisory expertise and proprietary assessment programs to help optimize a business' performance. Harbour Results' expertise enables manufacturers to grow, execute change and resolve issues affecting short-term sustainability, near-term viability and long-term success. 
  • HEIDENHAIN Corporation: HEIDENHAIN develops and manufactures linear and angle encoders, rotary encoders, digital readouts and numerical controls for demanding positioning tasks. HEIDENHAIN products are used primarily in high-precision machine tools as well as in plants for the production and processing of electronic components.
  • HRSFlow: HRSflow manufacturers hot runner systems for the injection molding industry used in the automotive, appliance, houseware, logistics and environmental segments. The company operates on a global structure with three manufacturing centers: Italy, China and the U.S. It provides global support through more than 50 service centers with 24/7 technical services. 
  • INCOE Corporation: INCOE Hot Runner Systems manage and control Melt Logistics® inside the mold. For over 60 years, plastic injection mold builders have relied on the technology, engineering, service, filling simulation and on-site Technical Support INCOE offers. INCOE commits to being a partner that produces value in your process and delivers satisfaction.
  • MoldMaking Technology: Since its launch in 1998, Moldmaking Technology (MMT) has been addressing the complete lifecycle of a mold, from design to first shot. Today, MMT continues to bring its audience what's new and what works in mold manufacturing, covering topics that range from successful business practices to manufacturing strategies.
  • Mueller Prost
  • PUNCH INDUSTRY USA Inc.: PUNCH iNDUSTRY USA Inc., Itasca, Illinois, supplies high-quality standard and custom mold and die components to our customers in North America. A subsidiary of global manufacturer PUNCH INDUSTRY CO. LTD. in Tokyo, Japan, we have the capability and capacity to make special-shaped, round and precision parts according to your print.
  • R.E.R. Software, Inc.: R.E.R. Software, Inc. is a Michigan-based company dedicated to supplying the tooling industry with state-of-the-art technology to help increase efficiency and provide oversight on operations. The flagship product, InFocus Machining, is a complete job tracking and machine monitoring system specifically designed for the tool machining process. 
  • SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH USA Inc.: With over 160 years of steel production experience, SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH is a pioneer and a market leader in specialty steels. Their comprehensive range of mold quality grades allows customers to choose the ideally-suited mold material for any application. In addition, an extensive range of value-added services provides more alternatives from one source. 
  • Seco Tools: Seco Tools is a leading global provider of metal cutting solutions for milling, stationary tools, holemaking and tooling systems. For more than 80 years, the company has provided the technologies, processes and support that manufacturers depend on for maximum productivity and profitability. 
  • SelfLube: SelfLube is an American manufacturer of mold and die components. Save money on standards and specials! Buy American! ISO 9001:2015 certified.  
  • Slide Products, Inc.: Slide Products is the leading supplier of processing aids for mold builders, offering mold cleaners, rust preventatives, ejector pin greases, mold releases and purging compounds, as well as access to a network of local stocking distributors who are industry experts. Free samples of Slide's formulations are available at or show booth.
  • Synventive Molding Solutions
  • Tebis America: Tebis America is a leading software company that develops CAD/CAM systems for tool, die and mold manufacturing, primarily for the automotive and aircraft/aerospace industries. Tebis supplies turnkey installations, provides a full suite of 40+ software modules and helps implement new technology, training and support, allowing customers to reach higher profits. 
  • The American Mold BuilderThe American Mold Builder is one of the industry's leading sources for U.S. mold manufacturing news. Introducing a fresh approach to reporting on the latest market trends, technologies, products/services and AMBA news, the digital and print versions are packed with information on technology advances, operational challenges, industry benchmarks, management topics and production efficiencies. 
  • TST Tooling Software: TST Tooling Software Technology is known for its innovative, cutting-edge CAD/CAM/CAE software, support services and Tool Shop Tracking software for the tooling and production industries. TST is the North American master distributor for VISI and PEPS and also sells and supports Factory Wiz DNC and TST's custom applications.
  • Ultra Polishing: Get to market faster with Ultra Polishing's skilled craftsmen, who are the best mold and machined-parts polishers in the industry. We provide all SPI Standard surface finishes up to optical-quality A1 diamond. With 50+ employees working 24/7, 40-ton capacity and daily trucking, there is no deadline or finish too demanding.
  • Vincent Tool: Vincent Tool, Chippewa Falls, WI, is a custom injection mold base manufacturer. Vincent Tool sets itself apart by quickly reeacting to design changes during a mold build. Known for quality, competitive prices and on-time delivery, the company also offers custom machining, surface grinidng, end-of-arm tooling and roughing of inserts.
  • Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence | WORKNC: WORKNC CAM software is the premier automatic CNC software for surface or solid models in mold, die and tooling businesses for 2 to 5-axis CNC programming. WORKNC enhances all design and manufacturing systems by providing the most reliable, efficient, easy-to-program cutter paths, resulting in unmatched productivity and safety.

Interested in exhibiting? Register here.


This year, the AMBA Conference 2019 will be held at The Westin Chicago Northwest. Beautifully situated on the grounds of Hamilton Lakes in Itasca, Illinois, this inviting hotel provides the perfect blend of services and location. In close proximity to O’Hare Airport, The Westin provides access to area attractions just outside of Schaumburg, Rosemont and downtown Chicago – only 30 minutes away.

A special group rate of $169/night single/double is currently being offered to conference attendees and includes complimentary high-speed WiFi in guest rooms, self-parking and workout studio access.

Room block expires Friday, April 16, 2019.

For reservations, call 888.627.8510 or 630.773.4000 (local) and reference the AMBA. To make reservations online, visit here.

Cancellation Policy: Any reservation cancelled within 48 hours of the arrival date may be charged for one night’s room plus applicable taxes.


Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with each other through the AMBA Conference 2019 Mobile App. Attendees can connect with fellow attendees before, during and after the conference, check the agenda, learn more about the speakers, programming and exhibitors and so much more. Information about how to download the conference mobile app will be available closer to the conference date.

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