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ABMA Emerging Leaders: First Happy Hour

The ABMA Emerging Leaders group hosted its inaugural happy hour on June 15, 2021. The group had a vibrant event punctuated by an entertaining storytime kickoff that eventually transitioned to a discussion on workplace demographics and other future educational topics for the group.

ABMA Emerging Leaders President Kevin White says, “The hour went by so fast and it was really awesome to see everyone jump right in and have a deep and serious discussion about workplace demographics. It was apparent that everyone in the group is committed to their organizations and the overall health of the industry, so to approach the issue from the ‘How Can We Help’ side of the equation was so refreshing.”

The discussion offered up a new directive suggesting the ABMA Emerging Leaders Board should work within the ABMA structure to allow all of the ABMA members to have a conduit for better information and training about the issues of workplace demographics in order to make brush industry jobs more attractive from a talent recruitment standpoint. This is especially important in the current environment wherein the industry is on the upswing and finding, recruiting and retaining talent is especially critical.

One question posed from the discussion was how the group could expand the September “back to school” education event to embrace a larger conversation on the labor force, leadership and how to properly integrate into the rapidly developing manufacturing world. A seminar on automation was proposed, which if approved, would revolve around how to properly use automation as a long-term resource as opposed to a short-term solution.

The hope is that this educational seminar paired with a discussion on employee cultures and mindsets will lead to a larger conversation between current leadership within the ABMA and Emerging Leaders members.

The ABMA Emerging Leaders group meets virtually on a quarterly basis and has is planning for its first in-person event to be a part of the 2022 ABMA Annual Convention.  A brief survey is available to assist with planning future happy hours to enable additional participation. This survey is available at:

For information about being a part of ABMA Emerging Leaders please visit:

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