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2020-2021 MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

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Mark Raimy is chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association Board of Governors and president and chief executive officer of Welders Supply Company – Raimy Corporation in Erie, the region’s largest supplier of industrial gas, medical gas and hard goods to the manufacturing, health care, laboratory and restaurant industries. Raimy also serves as chair of the UPMC Hamot Board of Directors, a member of the UPMC Board and is chairman of the UPMC Investment Committee. He served for nine years as vice president of institutional equity trading for Prudential Equity Group in New York City. He also spent six years as regional vice president at MFS Investment Management in Boston. Raimy earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Denison University in Ohio.

Dear Members:


It is hard to remember the worries of yesterday given what we’ve experienced over the past few months. Even now, it seems unthinkable that my message to you would be during one of the worst health crises in modern history. But here we are, in 2020, in the midst of a world that has changed dramatically for all of us. COVID-19 has tested the limits of our businesses, our families, and our front-line workers, and it continues to impact everything we do — from the way we conduct business and travel, to how we train our employees and teach our children. This new “normal” is anything but business as usual, yet it has revealed the true test of our resilience when times get tough.

At the MBA, the pandemic has only reinforced our mission — to help employers succeed. For 115 years, the MBA has provided the programs, services and expertise that have enabled us to support our members through the ups and downs of the business cycle, and today this is no different. We are proud to have an experienced team of professionals and all the necessary measures in place to keep our organization running without interruption, while still protecting the health and safety of our employees and members. From the start of the shutdown in early spring to the ongoing reopening and recovery, we have responded to your needs and continue to be here to answer your HR and legal questions as new mandates and guidelines are introduced. We have a Government Affairs team that is keeping you engaged and informed on new legislation and recommendations that could impact your organizations, and continues to provide you with a unified voice at the local, state and federal levels. We also have expanded our virtual training offerings and online platforms to get the information and training you need — and we will continue to do so long after the pandemic is over.

Despite the challenges that this crisis has created for our community, our country and our world, it has brought us together in ways I could have never imagined. Many of our manufacturing members have changed over
their production lines to produce much needed personal protective equipment to keep us safe, while many others have worked tirelessly to produce essential parts and products to support the global supply chain.
For others, this has highlighted the hard work and determination of their teams, especially the numerous hospital staff, first responders, grocery store clerks and delivery people, who are on the front line every day. We would not be able to care for our most vulnerable or feed our families without the work that they do.

Many of these companies and individuals have taken up the call to lead at a time when we need everyone to help. And it is one of the many reasons that I am so looking forward to hearing from our 115th Annual Event keynote speaker, Retired Navy Four-Star Admiral William McRaven. Admiral McRaven is one of the most decorated commanders in the United States, and his approach and insights on leadership are worth noting as we navigate the days ahead.

I’m also very pleased that the MBA has adapted and is able to host our annual MFGDay celebration for thousands of students in our region in a new, virtual format this year. The hourlong program will be chock-full of great information, along with a special message from NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, and all the exciting opportunities that are possible with manufacturing careers.

Please know that while we’ve modified our plans due to the pandemic, they will still be the unparalleled programs and services that you’ve come to expect. The virus hasn’t changed who we are, but it has made us become more versatile and more focused than ever on finding ways to better serve you as your MBA. We are always here for you!

Sincerely,

Mark Raimy,
Chairman of the MBA
Board of Governors