Manufacturer & Business Association to Host 117th Annual Event on October 12
ERIE – The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) will hold its 117th Annual Event featuring keynote speaker George Blankenship, a former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc., starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier. All media are invited to attend.
“Mr. Blankenship is one of the most innovative business leaders today,” stated MBA President and Chief Executive Officer John Krahe. “Having worked directly with some of the greatest business visionaries of all time, including Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, he will deliver a powerful and entertaining message on what it means to cultivate a culture of forward-thinking innovation and transformation – and his lessons can be applied to any of our member organizations regardless of the industries they serve.”
Over his 30-year career, Blankenship has worked with manufacturers across different industries. His experience has given him a unique perspective on how organizations can become industry or market leaders by focusing more on what can be possible vs. what needs to be done.
In his executive capacities at Tesla Motors, Blankenship successively served as vice president of design and store development, vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, and vice president of worldwide retail. In these roles, he redefined the car-buying experience, and in turn revolutionized the auto industry. Tesla’s Model S was named the Motor Trend “Car of the Year” in 2013, only a year after its introduction. It was the first electric car to ever receive this recognition.
Prior to his achievements at Tesla, Blankenship served as the senior executive of real estate at Apple. Recognized as the architect of Apple’s brand-building retail methodology, he formulated and executed one of the most successful retail growth strategies in history. His international “Smart Growth Hit List” encompassed major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. Apple also saw a material, sustained increase in sales, profit and consumer loyalty following Blankenship’s focus on reformulation of the consumer experience, the building of brand awareness, and ongoing accessibility to customers.
According to his official biography, Blankenship served as a senior executive for real estate strategy at GAP Inc. At GAP, Blankenship managed the growth of over 250 stores per year while establishing an energy-efficient, environmentally forward-thinking retail growth practice. His uniquely innovative processes have transformed secure, status quo organizations into forward-thinking and dynamic players of the future.
Blankenship also has meaningfully redefined the purpose and importance of a superior customer experience in contemporary markets, honed and refined corporate values, and deeply strengthened customer loyalty.
“Mr. Blankenship has an unparalleled insight on leadership, innovation and vision – and tapping into an organization’s full potential,” said Krahe. “These are very important topics for our member companies, which are always looking for new and innovative ways to achieve business success as they lead their organizations forward.”
A sellout each year, the MBA’s Annual Event is the tri-state region’s premier business networking event, featuring the nation’s most prominent figures in business, politics and journalism. Among the most recent speakers are Ret. Navy Admiral William McRaven (2021), American businesswoman Kat Cole (2019), “Shark Tank” stars Damon John (2018) and Robert Herjavec (2016), and legendary coach Lou Holtz (2017). The event was not held in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.
Annual Event sponsors include Ridg-U-Rak, UPMC Health Plan, Logistics Plus, PNC, Howard Industries, MacDonald Illig, Greenleaf Corporation, Parker LORD Corporation, McInnes Rolled Rings, Insurance Management Company and Widget Financial.
For more information, visit www.mbausa.org.