Don Kudlak, president, Aerosmith Fastening Systems, Indianapolis, IN, will be the featured Associate Speaker during the General Session for the 45th Annual Convention & Trade Show of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA), October 24-26, in Orlando, Fla.
The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) relocated its 2021 Annual Convention & Trade Show from Charlotte, NC, to Orlando, Fla. STAFDA's Orlando Convention & Trade Show will be held in the South Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). The Trade Show will be in South Hall SA2, the General Session in South Hall 54L, and STAFDA's educational workshops will take place on the South 200 and 300 Levels.
STAFDA's Opening Party will be a dynamite event on Sunday night, October 24: a joint venue affair at Mario Andretti's lndoor Karting & Games and Topcolf. Both facilities share a common parking lot and it's only a 7-1O minute walk from the OCCC. They are self-contained facilities with countless entertainment options along with varied food and beverage choices.
The three host hotels for STAFDA attendees will be the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Hilton Orlando, and Rosen Centre. Both the Hyatt and Hilton have raised walkways to the South Concourse and the Rosen Centre is directly across lnternational Drive from the South Concourse.
As the country continues to move forward from the COVID pandemic, Florida, Texas, and lndianapolis, lN, are all 'open'for business. Countless meetings that were scheduled in cities with tight restrictions - including Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Charlotte - are migrating to these destinations, particularly Orlando. Florida's Governor and Orlando's Mayor have developed effective and safe plans to reintroduce live meetings without compromising attendees' health.
Unfortunately, North Carolina's and the city of Charlotte's restrictions have made it impossible for STAFDA to plan or move forward with its meeting. Receptions are not allowed; the 40,000 sf ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center which can normally handle 4,000 people for STAFDA's General Session is only accepting up to 473 people.
The physical spacing limits for STAFDA's educational workshops weren't doable within the confines of meeting room dimensions. Thus, STAFDA would not be able to hold its General Session, Opening or Closing parties, or educational programs. ln addition, manufacturers and buying groups who entertain and hold meetings during the STAFDA Convention would be equally impacted.
STAFDA is working with the city of Charlotte to push out the 2021 meeting to the Association's next open year: 2027. More details on STAFDA's Orlando meeting will be forthcoming on the Association's website and in the monthly newsletter. The Orlando dates do not overlap other industry meetings typically held in the fall so there are no date conflicts.
The Associate State of the Industry Speaker: Don Kudlak
Aerosmith Fastening SystemsSpeaking on Monday, October 25, Kudlak is a fastening industry professional with more than 30 years of experience. He began his career in 1983 introducing builders, tradesmen, and industrial fabricators to the benefits of using pneumatic nailers, staplers, and finishing tools over traditional hammer and nail technology.
After building that business in Florida for 12 years, he was recruited by ITW (Illinois Tool Works) to head up a division of their construction products group working with national customers like WW Grainger, MSC Industrial, Fastenal, and others. As the division was restructured after five years, Kudlak was referred to one of ITW’s OEM accounts, Aerosmith Fastening Systems, to be their national sales manager. That was in 2005 and Kudlak is now the company’s President and minority owner.
Aerosmith is a specialty fastener company that has grown 500% since 2005 supplying commercial contractors and industrial fabricators unique fasteners to attach a variety of products to steel and concrete. They also supply the RV, Cargo, and Utility trailer manufacturers and have built professional alliances with contractor supply distributors that make up trade organizations such as STAFDA.
Kudlak has been awarded one patent and has one patent pending. As Director of Product Develop during his tenure at Aerosmith, he developed four industry-changing fasteners and built Aerosmith into a multi-dimensional supplier that has scaled to exporting. Aerosmith has distributors based in Australia, Germany, Canada, and the UK.
Aerosmith recently expanded into the mechanical and adhesive anchoring marketplace and in less than three years, one of which being 2020, has managed to produce annual revenue of over $2 million domestically.