You are here


CEO DATELINE – NAM acquires Manufacturing Leadership Council

Sept. 7, 2018
By Walt Williams

Want more news?

Consider joining CEO Update. Membership gives full access to the latest intelligence on association management, career advancement, compensation trends and networking events, as well as hundreds of listings for senior-level association jobs.

Click here for membership details.

The National Association of Manufacturers has acquired a business network for manufacturing executives as part of a larger effort by the association to become a “one-stop shop” for the industry.

NAM purchased the Manufacturing Leadership Council as part of a deal announced Friday. MLC provides best practices, data and insights to its membership through programs and events such as plant tours, an annual summit, exclusive research, virtual events and an online networking platform. Terms of the deal were not released.

In an interview with CEO Update, NAM CEO Jay Timmons said the acquisition is a key component of a long-term strategic plan adopted by the association’s board of directors in 2014. NAM already has significant advocacy, legal and communications components, but MLC will allow it to expand its other offerings to manufacturers.

“So this really was the next logical step to start to focus on the operational side of manufacturing so we can be a one-stop shop for all our members,” Timmons said.

MLC was founded in 2008 and was acquired by the market research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan four years later. The eight members of the MLC team have joined NAM as part of the association’s acquisition. MLC membership will be separate from NAM membership, as the association said the leadership council’s offerings are not a fit for all. Instead, NAM members will be eligible for special pricing and/or access to MLC product offerings. The association plans to launch “new and improved” MLC products in coming months.

The acquisition will help NAM members navigate a “very exciting time in manufacturing,” said Protolabs CEO Vicki Holt, who is on the boards of both the association and MLC.

“Today we are going through was is often called the fourth industrial revolution, and that is Manufacturing 4.0,” Holt told CEO Update. “Manufacturers have opportunities to combine information technology software along with hardware … in a way that brings tremendous value to their businesses and customers.

“That’s a huge change the global manufacturing community is going through, and what the Manufacturing Leadership Council does is provide a venue in which manufacturers—from small entrepreneurs to large companies—can learn and share about how to win in this brand new ecosystem that we’re living in,” she said.

MLC’s website is