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AHFA 2013 Manufacturing Summit set for March 27 in Mississippi

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Key issues impacting the manufacture of home furnishings in the United States and around the globe are on the agenda for the first of two 2013 Manufacturing Summits sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA).

The March 27 Summit will be held at the Franklin Furniture Institute on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has been invited to open the summit with a brief overview of the state of manufacturing in Mississippi.

Registration for the 8:50 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summit is $99 for AHFA members and $139 for non-members. It includes a light breakfast, as well as lunch.

Offering an important update on key regulatory issues will be AHFA's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Bill Perdue. Details of the revised California flammability standard, TB 117, are on Perdue's agenda, as well as an update on how the industry is responding to the recent spate of California Proposition 65 notices targeting upholstery products that allegedly contain the flame retardant TDCPP.

"Obamacare: Implementation and Concerns" is the topic of a panel discussion that will be moderated by Jay Moon, president of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. Panelists include Mike Chaney, commissioner of insurance for the State of Mississippi; Rusty Berryhill, president of Kevin Charles Furniture; Jim Taylor, corporate vice president of benefits and compensation for Huntington Ingalls Inds.; and Pepper Crutcher, a partner in Balch & Bingham, LLP.

Additional presenters include Nicole Ponder, professor of marketing in the MSU College of Business, who will present results of a consumer buying attitudes and behavior study; Jack McDougle, senior vice president of the Mississippi Council on Competitiveness, who will present, "Lessons Learned in the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index;" and Bill Renick, workforce investment area director for Three Rivers Planning and Development District, who will address "Solutions for Surviving the Skilled Labor Shortage."

Summit sponsor CertiPUR-US is also on the agenda to provide a brief overview of the certified foam program.

Attendees requiring overnight accommodations should contact the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville at 662-615-9664. A group rate of $111 is available through March 12.

AHFA's second Manufacturing Summit is slated for Aug. 22 at the Greensboro, N.C., Airport Embassy Suites. Program details will be announced at a later date.

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