An agenda packed with transportation and logistics expertise is planned for executives attending the American Home Furnishings Alliance Logistics Conference June 12-14 at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, S.C.
From maximizing technology to marshalling the resources needed to overcome unexpected obstacles, the agenda is designed to help attendees “Turn the Tide” in 2023.
Four-time U.S. Olympian luger Ruben Gonzalez is the opening keynote presenter. A self-described “ordinary guy,” Gonzalez was not athletic growing up and recalls being the last kid picked for teams in physical education classes. He’ll share how his life changed when he took up the sport of luge. His message will inspire attendees to think bigger, aim higher and take bolder action. Gonzalez is now training in Park City, Utah, for his fifth Winter Olympics in 2026.
Peter Schneider, president of T.G.S. Logistics and T.G.S. Transportation, headquartered in Fresno, Calif., will tackle the first of several industry issues on the June agenda that have bottom line implications for home furnishings companies. T.G.S. is a California and Nevada drayage company serving the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland. Schneider will explain California’s 2019 “gig worker bill,” which required companes that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees. His presentation also will highlight how the legal and political twists and turns of this legislation eventually could impact trucking nationwide.
John Hyatt, an international business development expert, will present “The Value and Challenges of Nearshoring.” Hyatt has spent the last 14 years in Mexico City assisting firms with sourcing and market development projects in the United States, Latin America and the Caribean. He is the co-author of “Mexican Business Culture: Essays on Tradition, Ethics, Entrepreneurship and Commerce.”
Byron Miller is chief commercial officer for South Carolina Ports, which is the 2023 Logistics Conference Platinum Sponsor. In addition to hosting a bus tour of the Charleston Port, Miller will provide a business update from SC Ports, including an overview of its newly enhanced intermodal capabilities thanks to a site in North Charleston that is being transfored into a modern, rail-served cargo yard, made possible by $400 million in state funding.
Additional program highlights include an update on ocean freight from Eric Johnson, senior editor at the Journal of Commerce where he leads coverage and analysis of technology’s impact on global logistics and trade. He is followed by Spencer Tenney, president and CEO of the Tenney Group in Franklin, Tenn. His review of the trucking industry will focus on the impact of mergers and acquisitions.
Covering a new topic for the Logistics Conference audience will be Peter Grieshop of SPARQ360, a global consulting and technology company with offices in Charlotte, N.C. SPARQ360 assists its supply chain clients with effective sustainability solutions. Grieshop will help attendees anticipate and prepare for the environmental, social and governance challenges ahead.
Two panel discussions will bring important logistics topics to the fore, including “Furniture Distribution Automation” moderated by Christian Dow, executive vice president at the Charlotte, N.C.-based Material Handling Institute. This panel will help companies imagine future innovations and develop a framework for evaluating costs and ROI.
Finally, Tiffany Bowman, president and CEO of Bluewater Logistics Group in Lenoir, N.C., will moderate a panel of transportation/logistics executives, including Brad Russell of Bassett Mirror, Robert Buford of Uttermost, and Barry Bailey of Fairfield Chair.
Rounding out the agenda is Norwalk President Caroline Hipple, who will provide the manufacturer keynote on June 14, and Jerry Epperson of Mann, Armistead and Epperson, who will address the state of the industry.
The conference program also includes several social events, among them a private reception at the South Carolina Aquarium in historic downtown Charleston, where attendees will enjoy sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor from the open-air decks. A tour of Charleston Port, the deepest harbor on the East Coast, and a pre-conference golf outing at Westcott Plantation also are planned.
To maximize attendees’ conference experience, AHFA has arranged a discounted room rate of $209 per night for four days prior to and four days after the conference. This offer applies only as long as rooms are available, so attendees planning an extended stay are urged to make their reservations early. Accommodations can be made by calling 877-756-2121 and requesting the AHFA Logistics Conference rate. The deadline for reservations at the discounted rate is May 19.
The Logistics Conference is presented by AHFA’s Specialized Furniture Carriers division and is open to all transportation and logistics executives in the home furnishings industry.
Both AHFA members and non-members may register at HERE. Conference registration is $199 for AHFA members and $499 for non-members. Sponsor information is available from Mike Padjen at firstname.lastname@example.org.