2023 Foundry Leadership Summit

The Omni Grove Park Inn
September 18 – 20, 2023


The Right Issues – Dive into leadership development, workforce solutions, reshoring, foundry modernization, vehicle electrification, supply-chain challenges, the upcoming elections, and more.

The Right People – Hear insights from thought- provoking speakers, plus enjoy the company of your peers — the leaders of the metalcasting industry and supply chain.

The Right Location – Enjoy southern hospitality amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Omni Grove Park Inn is an energetic setting for world-class speakers, discussion, and rich networking opportunities. Golf, tennis, swimming, and spa are available. Explore the profound changes sweeping the worlds of manufacturing, technology, economics, trade, and politics. You’ll emerge refreshed, renewed, and ready to embrace the future.

For information about sponsorship opportunities at the event, please contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org or click here.


Grove Park Inn
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn
  • Asheville, NC
  • September 18 – 20, 2023
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Hotel Information

Omni Grove Park Inn Image
  • The Omni Green Park Inn
  • Asheville, NC
  • $369 per night

Conference Agenda

Monday, September 18, 2023
12:30 p.m.
Optional Golf Outing
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
8:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Welcome/Opening Remarks

Angela Schmeisser
AFS First Vice President; President & CEO, St. Mary's Foundry

8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
Successful Succession Strategies for Manufacturers of Every Size

Meridith Elliott Powell
Business Growth Strategist and Author of "Who Comes Next: Leadership Succession Planning Made Easy"

9:45 - 10 a.m.
Networking Break
10 - 10:45 a.m.
The Promise of Industry 4.0 for North America's Foundries

David Blondheim
Director of Global Operations Excellence & Advanced Manufacturing for Mercury Marine

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Manufacturing (in) a New World

Peter Zeihan
Global Futurist and Author, "Disunited Nations"

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Networking Luncheon
12:45 - 2 p.m.
Executive Forum: Opportunities & Challenges for Metalcasters in 2024

Brad Muller
Vice President of Marketing for Charlotte Pipe & Foundry

Kiley Eck Hayon
President of Eck Industries

Matt Hladki
Chief Administrative Officer of Grede Foundry

Sachin Shivaram 
CEO at Wisconsin Aluminum

Nathan Heisler 
President, Bradken Specialty Products

2 - 3 p.m.
The Future of Motor Vehicles in an Era of Transition and the Implications for Metalcasters

David Gilson 
AFS Second Vice President, Sales & Marketing Director, SinterCast

Paul Eichenberg
Chief Strategist, Paul Eichenberg and Associates

Brian Leuenhagen
Product Interface Manager – Castings, General Motors

Bert Campu
Materials Engineering Manager, John Deere

Other panelists to be announced.

6 - 7 p.m.
Gala Reception
7 - 9:30 p.m.
Dinner Banquet

Master of Ceremonies:
Bradford Muller
AFS President
Vice President of Corporate Communications, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry

State of AFS Address:
Doug Kurkul
CEO, American Foundry Society

Award Presentations:
Patricio Gil
Board of Awards Chair


William J. Grede Award:

Keating Founders Freedom Award:


Wednesday, September 20, 2023
7:15 - 8 a.m.
8 - 9 a.m.
The Political and Economic Climate: A View from Washington

Stephen Moore
Distinguished Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, and Senior Economic Advisor to the 2016 Trump Campaign

9 - 9:40 a.m.
What Every Businessperson Should Know about Social Security, Medicare and the Sustainability of the Federal Budget

Charles Blahous, Ph.D.
Senior Research Strategist at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and former Deputy Director for President George W. Bush's National Economic Council

9:40 - 10 a.m.
Networking Break
10 - 10:50 a.m.
The Economic Outlook for Uncertain Times

Mark Vitner
Former Senior Economist, Wells Fargo

10:50 - 11:15 a.m.
Metalcasters' Agenda on Capitol Hill

Stephanie Salmon
AFS Washington Representative

11:15 - 11:30 a.m.
Concluding Remarks and Announcement/Video of 2024 Location

Angela Schmeisser
President and CEO, St. Marys Foundry, Inc.

Dave Gilson
Sales and Marketing Director, SinterCast


Registration Fees

Early registration

Non-Members: $2,100
AFS Members: $1,600
AFS Board Member: $800

Cancellations & Substitutions

AFS presents a variety of technical and management conferences (in both in-person and virtual formats). The refund policy for AFS conferences is as follows: 1) Substitutions are accepted at no charge at any time up until the start of the conference; 2) Full refunds are offered if AFS is notified in writing of cancellation at least 30 days in advance of the conference. No refunds or credits are available for less than 30 days written notice.