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Karen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur's Playbook, I'm Karen Love and I'm the host and co-founder. Today, I'm here with Jeff Applegate, the president of Blackwell Plastics. He's also the chairman of the Greater Houston Manufacturing Association and we'd like to welcome him back to the playbook.

Jeff:  Well thank you Karen, it's good to be here. 

Karen: Thank you. Last time we talked about the GHMA and if you can get that acronym out there, that it's a little under two years old, or young, if you will. Can you tell me about the kind of companies that really comprise the manufacturing association? 

Jeff: Sure. We're really a broad organization to cover a lot of manufacturing or all of the manufacturing, so it could be sheet metal, PC board, plastics, packaging, anything that would go into the value stream of manufacturing. It may include engineering as well. Our organization is supported by service companies, so it could be accounting firms or law firms, we all - all the manufacturers need those, but the organization is really geared towards supporting and networking of the manufacturing companies themselves. 

Karen:  Now, that really helps me to understand it better, and what I would think is there are different sizes of manufacturing companies. So what does the GHMA serve, what size company do they serve the best? 

Jeff: When we looked out at the marketplace, we found that there's a lot of big manufacturing companies and they don't need a manufacturing association, and so the smaller, the tier one, tier two suppliers to the big manufacturing companies, those are the ones that don't have all the resources. They don't have an advocate or a voice to the city or the state. They don't have resources to go find other suppliers, and so a lot of times, they struggle. And so I like to say the time to make a friend is before you need him. So we create these networking events to bring the manufacturing executives together so they can meet other people and figure out how to get things done. 

Karen: Fantastic, and so people could go online to find out about when these events are, I understand. 

Jeff: That's right. We have a calendar. It's on Houston-MFG.com.

Karen: Fantastic, well thanks for sharing that, and I'm going to ask you to come back because there's more to ask you about the GHMA. 

Jeff: OK, thank you, Karen.

Karen: Thank you. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur's Playbook, so tune in next week for another chapter.