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NIA's 61st Annual Convention and WIACO

April 20–23, 2016

Boca Raton Resort and Club

Boca Raton, Florida

Keynote and Educational Sessions

Manufacturers VIP Panels
The Mechanical Insulation Industry—A Global Perspective

During NIA's 61st Annual Convention and WIACO, CEOs and executives from global manufacturing companies will discuss the opportunities and challenges within the industry. Panel discussions will take place on Thursday, April 21, and Friday, April 22. Each panelist will have a brief opening statement followed by questions from the moderator and the audience. Topics will include:

  • Projected industry growth over the next 5 years;
  • Supply versus demand;
  • Globalization of the industry;
  • Industry consolidation within various industry segments;
  • Value of continued and increased focus on energy conservation and the environment;
  • Life-cycle analysis;
  • Prescriptive versus holistic code development (sustainable design); and
  • Strategic initiatives that industry participants should be focused upon in the ever-changing mechanical insulation industry.

Panel participants will include:

Ted Berglund—President and CEO, Dyplast Products, LLC
Jens Birgersson—President and CEO, ROCKWOOL Group
Marta Brozzi—President and CEO, DUNA-Group
Thies Knauf—Group CEO, Knauf Insulation, Inc.
Patrick Mathieu—President and CEO, Armacell

Fred Stephan—Senior Vice President and General Manager of Insulation Systems, Johns Manville
Mike Thaman—Chairman of the Board and CEO, Owens Corning
Dr. Pawat Vitoorapakorn—CEO and Vice Chairman, Eastern Polymer Group, Aeroflex USA, Inc. (subsidiary of Eastern Polymer Group)
Donald (Don) Young—President and CEO, Aspen Aerogels, Inc.

The Levity Effect: Why It Pays to Lighten Up
Keynote Speaker: Scott Christopher, Author, Actor, Humorist, and Host

Based on his book The Levity Effect, Scott Christopher uses extensive research to reveal the remarkable power of humor and fun in business: that entertaining workplaces have more loyal employees and customers; that leaders who are lighthearted earn more on average than their peers; and that employees who are considered humorous are vastly more likely to get promoted—especially to senior-level jobs. The Levity Effect was co-authored with Adrian Gostick and is based on research by the Great Place to Work Institute as well as case studies from some of the world's most successful organizations, including Boeing, Nike, and Southwest Airlines. Mr. Christopher's humor will keep you laughing and entertained as he demonstrates how to kick-start levity in your own workplace, and shows you how lightening up can create larger profits for your business. Check out the exclusive video at

2016 U.S. Election Preview and Its Effects on the Global Economy
Speaker: Matt Keelen, Founder and President, The Keelen Group

NIA's legislative champion, Matt Keelen, Founder and President of The Keelen Group, will provide a clear and concise update on the 2016 national political election cycle. Mr. Keelen will highlight statewide races to watch that could have national implications, including how candidates differ on their approaches to the economy and foreign relations. Since 2011, Mr. Keelen and his team have assisted NIA in navigating the complexities of Capitol Hill and helped us strengthen our legislative presence. With 20 years of experience, Mr. Keelen also serves as a special political correspondent to Fox News, and his commentary has been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

2015 Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Award

Join us as we congratulate the 2015 winners of the Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Award! This award is NIA's highest safety honor, and recognizes top companies that have established structured safety programs to ensure the well-being of their employees and create safe working environments. The program honors 4 levels of excellence: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, for Associates (Manufacturers), Contractors, Distributor/Fabricators, and proposed for 2015: Metal Building Laminators. As part of the program, all applicants receive a tailored Safety Training Analysis Results (STAR) Report, which contains valuable feedback to improve the applicant's safety program and culture. The application process will begin in November 2015, and will close in January 2016. All NIA members in good standing are encouraged to apply.

Update on the National Commercial & Industrial Insulation Standards (MICA Manual), 8th Edition
Speaker: Pete Gauchel, President/CEO, L&C Insulation

First published in 1979 by the Midwest Insulation Contractors Association (MICA), the National Commercial & Industrial Insulation Standards, also known as the MICA Manual, has received wide acceptance throughout the United States and other countries. It has established standardized guides for methods of designing, specifying, and installing thermal insulation products. The new edition of this guide continues to be the national source of technical information for the design, specification, and installation of commercial and industrial insulation. This edition includes a new section on cryogenic applications, among other updates.

Peter Gauchel

NIA's Business Session

NIA's active members (contractors, distributors, fabricators, and laminators) are invited to attend NIA's Business Session, where they will vote on the budget and the new members of the Board of Directors.

Technical Presentations

Understanding ASTM Test Methods Evaluating Corrosion
Speaker: Jack Bittner, Senior Product Manager, Johns Manville Industrial Insulation Group

Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is one of the most significant issues facing industrial facility owners, engineers, and maintenance personnel. Mechanical insulation manufacturers, distributors, and contractors, must understand and be able to logically explain the role insulation plays in the CUI issue. Johns Manville Industrial Insulation Group Senior Product Manager Jack Bittner will review the science behind corrosion, the conditions that lead to CUI, and the latest ASTM standards and test methods to help battle CUI and ensure insulation products meet performance and material standards.

Jack Bittner

TIPCHECK: A Program to Increase Energy Efficiency and Grow Your Business
Speakers: Andreas Guertler, EiiF Foundation Director and FESI Secretary General
Michele Mannucci, EiiF and FESI Vice President and Certified Senior TIPCHECK Engineer

The European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF) will discuss the great success of its Technical Insulation Performance Check (TIPCHECK) program in Europe and beyond during this presentation, which includes a Q & A session. EiiF Foundation Director and FESI Secretary General Andreas Guertler will show how the TIPCHECK program effectively supports business development and increases energy efficiency in industry. Certified Senior TIPCHECK Engineer and EiiF and FESI Vice President Michele Mannucci will highlight several best cases to demonstrate how TIPCHECK delivers insulation business to his company.

Andreas Guertler and Michele Mannucci

Europe’s Holistic Approach to Combat CUI
Speaker: Gabriel Boncalo, Secretary of the FESI Thermal Technical Commission

Every year billions of dollars are spent to prevent and deal with issues caused by corrosion under insulation (CUI). Our European partners from FESI started an initiative at the end of 2015 to minimize the threat of CUI by combining the efforts of all parties involved in insulation projects, including asset owners;engineers; and coating and insulation experts. Gabriel Boncalo, Secretary of the FESI Thermal Technical Commission, will present the first results of the European initiative, showing that the state-of-the-art literature and guidelines tend to mainly focus on single items only (e.g., coatings, inspection methods, choice of insulation system, etc.), rather than compiling all the available information in a complete document. Take part in this session and be among the first to learn how this holistic approach addresses one of the most important topics for insulation users.

Below Ambient and Cryogenic Thermal Testing
Speaker: James Fesmire, Head Research Engineer, NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Cryogenics Test Laboratory

Thermal insulation systems operating in below-ambient temperature conditions are inherently susceptible to moisture intrusion and vapor drive toward the cold side. The subsequent effects may include condensation, icing, cracking, corrosion, and other problems. Methods and apparatus for real-world thermal performance testing of below-ambient systems have been developed based on cryogenic boil-off calorimetry. Head Research Engineer James Fesmire of the NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Cryogenics Test Laboratory will review new ASTM International standards on cryogenic testing and their extension to future standards for below-ambient testing of pipe insulation.

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