'Inside the TCMA' featured Article
Austin Beckons TCMA Back to the Capitol
   Clifford Smith  |  March 27, 2015

The 2015 Annual Meeting was held at the Omni Hotel on February 23rd and 24th. Although the weather in North Texas prevented full participation, the program proved to be highly successful. Our own Jim Keffer, State Representative District 60and President of EBAA Iron Sales, was the lead off speaker for the morning. Jim informed the members of key issues being debated in the legislature. One of the items on our radar screen was a bill for streamlining the permitting process. Senator Troy Fraser introduced the bill just a few days before our gathering. Jim stressed once again the need for each of us to remain active with our representatives, both state and national.

Curtis Miles of SAGE Environmental presented an “eye opening” list of issues and changes coming from the state and federal regulators. Curtis stated that we need to be aware of the new definitions of terms used in environmental regulation. Brian Christian of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality once again informed the members of pending issues within the TCEQ. Andy Gardner of the TCEQ also attended and fielded member questions. Peter Macler, Past Chairman of the TCMA and President of Peter Macler Associates, gave a very thorough and informative presentation on the global casting scene. Pete presented numerous comparisons of U.S. and other international casting leaders to show our strengths and weaknesses.

From left to right: Dan Smith, Curtis Miles, Tom McCormack,
Luke Bellsnyder (Policy Advisor to Governor Abbott), Stan Bass, Mark Shelton

The moning culminated with a luncheon and presentation by Bill Hammond, CEO of the Texas Association of Business. Bill told the group that Texas was the strongest economy in the United States and that in spite of sluggish oil prices, Texas was still in a good financial position. He also praised the legislature for its work on improving the permitting process.

After lunch, TCMA members visited the capitol on a cold misty afternoon. Equipped with the information from the morning presentations and metal casting statistics, the members visited their representatives to convey our message. With a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and many new faces in the legislature, the Capitol had a different air about it. It was positive! The afternoon was spent explaining our position on issues as well as talking about the metal casting industry

After a full day of programs, a very informative luncheon speaker, and an afternoon of legislative visits, the TCMA Board of Directors met to take care of their annual business agenda items. With all the business of the day completed, the members enjoyed a relaxing social time and meal at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.