“There are plenty of practical ways for a company of any size to do what’s right for the environment while also saving money and building a better culture,” Keith told attendees. “The key is to develop a roadmap, establish goals that can be measured, tackle projects and celebrate your success. Trust me—if we can do it, anyone can.”

The industry’s innovation is in full force. Fort Lauderdale was the place to be for composites professionals needing to discover important products, trends and technologies in the industry. A total of 221 exhibitors displayed and explained the industry’s complete range of products and services, including many that were on featured on the show floor’s Main Stage and in live demonstrations.

Innovation was also part of futurist Daniel Burrus’s General Session presentation on how technological, social and business trends are converging—and what that means to composites industry firms. In addition, the Owens Corning Composites App Challenge also showcased the industry’s quest for constant improvement.

The Awards Luncheon at COMPOSITES 2011 featured ACE and Pinnacle award winners, among other awards, that celebrated the industry’s innovation.

Regulatory issues remain critical. COMPOSITES 2011 included a variety of education on styrene and other regulatory issues. One well-attended session, “Styrene Cancer Assessment: Science, Policy, Communications and Management,” provided updates on new science regarding the carcinogenic potential of styrene and on the status of the ongoing regulatory reviews and industry efforts to encourage use of good science and sound policy. Participants learned how to use ACMA’s styrene communications products to effectively communicate to employees and community members on sensitive topics such as styrene concerns and how to reduce the likelihood of tort or insurance problems that may result from an inaccurate cancer listing (turn to page xx for more information.)

Leadership and change go hand in hand. Keynote speaker Stanley McChrystal, the retired Four-Star Army General and former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, shared three main points about leaders and leadership. As leaders, he said, we must actually solve problems. We must change, because talking about change is easy, but implementing it is not. And we must be able to build relationships with those we lead—we must not forget that there is a very real human factor when it comes to leading people in war, in the factory or anywhere in between.