As part of its Focus Forward theme, the 20th annual METALCON International is offering attendees and exhibitors an opportunity to focus on their future in an inspiring presentation by former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales delivers a moving message about reaching goals in his session, “The American Dream — Reach It, Build It, Share It.” His meaning is clear: The American Dream is exciting and available to anyone who wants to pursue it despite where they come from or their circumstances. He also believes those who reach their goal can help others by creating opportunities for jobs and better business conditions. Gonzales followed and achieved the American Dream, going from a humble home in Houston to college, law school and eventually the White House.
“We’re thrilled to have such a notable person talk about something all Americans have a chance to be part of. Most METALCON exhibitors and attendees have realized their dream or have been touched by someone else who has. It’s inspiring to have someone such as Mr. Gonzales, who achieved so much, yet is so humble and talks from the heart about how goals can be reached and shared,” says Claire Kilkoyne, METALCON show director.
Gonzales’ keynote address takes place at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 20, opening day of the 2010 METALCON International. This conference and exhibition runs through Friday, October 22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Exhibitor Brian Partyka, president of Drexel Metals LLC, Ivyland, PA, was instrumental in getting Gonzales to speak at METALCON. After hearing him speak to a large group of Texas contractors, Partyka was motivated to bring this message to METALCON and the metal industry.
“Listening to Al Gonzales speak, you realize what is meant about overcoming adversity and creating opportunity through hard work, passion and dedication. Al has never forgotten his roots, the importance of family and to enjoy the challenges, good or bad, that life throws your way that ultimately builds character,” says Partyka, a board member and chair of the Sustainability Council with the Metal Construction Association.
Gonzales’ message is based on his belief in America and is supported by his experiences. Growing up, his household personified the core American values of hard work, personal initiative, dedication to family and perseverance in the face of adversity. In February 2005, he became the 80th Attorney General of the United States and the first Hispanic to lead the nation’s largest law enforcement office. "We live in the greatest country in the world. Business owners and employees have big dreams and want what’s good for their families and communities, and the public and private sector need to support those efforts,” he says.
In 2005, Gonzales was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the top 25 most influential Hispanics in the country. He frequently speaks with business groups, inspiring them to: “Succeed in business as you do in life through hard work, with respect, courtesy and integrity. I saw what that meant growing up. My father was a contractor and every day he put it all on the line. He worked hard, had hope and was able to succeed. I want to encourage others to keep that in mind.” Gonzales also works closely with the United States Hispanic Contractors Association to promote workplace/jobsite safety, entrepreneurism and growth opportunities.
Gonzales currently is a visiting professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches Contemporary Issues of the Executive Branch in the political science department, and helps recruit first generation students, minorities and veterans. In this role he also talks with various groups to emphasize the importance of education.
METALCON International is the one annual conference and exhibition dedicated to metal construction products, technologies and solutions. The 2010 show is themed “Focus Forward” and marks 20 years of achievement in setting the pace for the future of building with metal. This unbeatable blend of new product exhibits, an education conference, and live-action demos of the latest techniques for roofing, wall, architectural and structural applications, offers market insight and ideas that inspire. Metal’s role in the green building movement is a key part of the show and is highlighted in the education programs, the product demos and in the exhibit area by Green Island and Solar Bay.
This annual event draws nearly 8,000 designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators, and suppliers from more than 50 countries. Experts from 300 companies exhibit the latest products and technology and share their knowledge with attendees. METALCON’s enormous industry support comes from its sponsor, The Metal Construction Association, and more than 100 related industry organizations and publications.
Show highlights include: more than 800 booths filled with the latest building products and services for those who design and build with metal; Green Island, an exhibit area featuring metal-related products that meet green building standards; Solar Bay, a special pavilion in the show featuring educational forums and full-scale mock-ups of a variety of solar technologies on metal roofs and walls; a comprehensive conference program that offers continuing education credits; New Product Harbor, a tabletop area featuring a selection of new product introductions; the latest applications and field techniques in daily live-action speed demonstrations; and a daily electronic news feed direct from METALCON.
METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources Inc., a widely recognized information resources for the A/E design industry. For information about exhibiting or attending visit www.metalcon.com, or call 800-537-7765 or 617-965-0055.