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Leaders Gather Here

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GAM President and CEO Lloyd Avram explains the necessity of community in our industry.

Leaders Gather Here.

In two months, I’ll mark my second year as President and CEO of GAM. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of the job, but highest among them is speaking directly with Georgia manufacturers and touring their facilities.  

I’ve worked for manufacturing companies throughout my career, but I still can’t help being impressed with how manufacturers do what they do. Our members make remarkable things – from tufted carpet and truck tires to synthetic fabrics, ice makers, deep-cycle batteries and pellets from recovered ocean plastics. Without a doubt, they’re highly adept at managing what goes on “behind the doors” of their world-class facilities. 

But of late, I’ve had several conversations with manufacturing executives taking a broader view. They’re thinking more about what’s going on beyond the doors of their factories – the external environment, the outside world, where they have much less control.   

One is a founder in Ball Ground. He wants to leave his 40-year-old business to his children. He says he has trouble retiring because he keeps thinking up new ways to grow, which has led to the near completion of a major expansion that will transform his company. In the process, he is also challenging his thinking. He sees more change coming, and despite decades in manufacturing, he doesn’t believe he knows enough to keep pace and move ahead. He wants to meet more manufacturers, share best practices, get engaged and keep learning. And he wants to do this through GAM.  

Another is a second-generation manufacturer in Lithonia. His father started the business 50 years ago with a lot of skill and a little money. Today, the son is opening an impressive new facility that will double the company’s capacity. He told me, “I’m tired of chasing the market. I want to lead. That means I’ve got to get more connected.” He joined GAM to get access to critical business support resources and build a network of peers to help put his company ahead. 


“I’m tired of chasing the market. I want to lead. 

That means I’ve got to get more connected.” 


A Rome-based executive shared his concerns about “what’s going on out there.” About the potential for growing political, legislative, and regulatory risk in Georgia. His company manufactures in multiple states where operating environments have become tougher. He’s tired of sitting on the sidelines and now wants to be on the field, engaging with elected officials and other stakeholders to talk about the value of manufacturing and protect the long-term interests of his business and industry.  By joining GAM, he wants to be a player in the Association’s advocacy. 

I’m inspired when I meet manufacturers who see internal and external dimensions to their operations. They understand that in today’s dynamic, connected world, manufacturing also requires strategic engagement with elected officials, community leaders, the education sector, heads of authorities and others who can impact operations for better – or worse. They understand that being passive won’t work – being proactive is the answer. They also understand they can’t “go it alone” -- no one company has all the resources necessary to create positive influence on the external environment. Connecting with industry peers and working together through their dedicated trade Association is the way forward.  

In a nutshell, strategic external engagement has become a core function for modern manufacturing leaders. It can also be considered a critical aspect of risk management and essential to progressive business strategy. Put another way, the intentional investment of time, talent and treasure to better manage the environment beyond the factory door is just smart business.  

With all bias acknowledged, I’m thrilled when manufacturers see GAM as a vital partner in external engagement. As the only Association in Georgia founded by manufacturers for manufacturers, we have the mandate, expertise, tools and relationships necessary to enable externally engaged leadership for manufacturers. From our advocacy work with elected officials, to GAM’s political action committee, member-led policy councils, workforce development initiatives, Board of Directors, committees and numerous events, there are multiple opportunities to get involved and lead.  

Engaged members are GAM’s rocket fuel. Your commitment to continuous participation enables the Association to fully represent your company and our industry. It is also the most powerful way to optimize your relationship with GAM and get maximum value from your dues.  

I am proud to lead the Association that brings together the community of manufacturers. We are truly the place where leaders gather. 


GAM is the place where leaders gather. 


LAvram Email Signature Image

GAM is excited to host the Spring Meeting, April 16-19, in Point Clear, Alabama. And registration has just opened for our annual Workforce Seminar, held June 13-16, in Hilton Head, SC. GAM signature events are just one of the ways our members connect with other industry leaders. Thank you to all our members who join us.  

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