'Inside the TCMA' featured Article
Chairman's Comments
TCMA  |  March 2023
In this month’s newsletter I would like to reflect on our Annual TCMA Meeting in Austin this past February 27th and 28th at the DoubleTree Suites - Downtown Austin, TX. It was great to be back in Austin post Covid. The Texas Legislature 2023 marks the 88th meeting of the regular session beginning January 10th and running through May 29th.

Monday evening at 6 PM, at our traditional Meet & Greet Reception, we were grateful to be addressed by Brian Christian with Brian Christian Consulting who is continuing his legacy as a dependable confidant to the businesses, organizations, and regulators of Texas. Mr. Christian gave us a picture of the current governmental forces acting on EPA and TCEQ. Warning us that a review of PM 2.5 standard is underway this year and will impact us by year end. He explained how Environmental Justice is impacting governmental spending, driving dollars to underserved communities.

Tuesday Morning, we gathered for an overview of the day’s events and a review of current issues to discuss with our representatives and then headed over to the Capital. As you may recall, we last met in Austin in April of 2019 and we had incorporated a new format developed with our friend and past Chairman, State Representative from District 106, Jared Patterson of Rapid Power Management. Our objective was to mirror the success of that plan again this year.

Our first speaker, Kaitlin Hammons, Vice-President of Consumer Energy Alliance provided us with a Global and American perspective on Energy. Formed in 2006, CEA is the only established national pro-energy consumer advocate in the U.S. Hammons commented on power usage globally, primary energy demand increased by 5.8% in 2021, exceeding 2019 levels by 1.3%. Renewable energy increased while the consumption of fossil fuels was broadly unchanged. Oil rebounded as global energy consumption grew by 5.8 percent. As we look to future concerns; what will be the role of Fossil Energy in a “Net Zero” Future, how do we handle Carbon Capture, Mitigation and Pipelines, what can be done to improve energy Transmission for renewables, and availability of Mining/Critical Minerals for batteries.

Our second speaker, William Rafferty, Regional Director of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center. TMAC is focused on accelerating profitable growth and competitiveness of Texas manufacturers. By serving customer since 1995, they have worked with more than 3,600 manufacturers statewide, generated new or retained sales of $3.29 billion, facilitated cost savings and cost avoidance of $1.25 billion, and created or retained 29,900 jobs. The risks of cyber security breaches are in the news every day, and Mr. Rafferty gave us insight in understanding cybersecurity compliance requirements as set forth by the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST).

After our presenters, several state representatives stopped in to enjoy a fajita lunch from Chuy’s Café and speak to our members. This provided our TCMA members with an excellent opportunity to engage with our state representatives and ask questions concerning foundry issues. As before, this venue provided us access to many, close to two dozen, representatives who came to share a meal and hear the concerns and needs of foundries in Texas. Remember to stay in contact with our state legislative leaders. Keeping them informed and updated regarding our industry concerns is key to our legislative success moving forward.

The Conference adjourned after lunch, and many of us took the opportunity to visit some of our Elected Officials at the State Capitol, a beautiful living museum. I personally had a chance to ‘air my views’ with my representatives for both where I live and work.
Late in the afternoon, Your Chairman called the Board meeting to order. I will point out that our investment Portfolio is looking very good thanks to Johnny Hill and Clifford Smith. Unfortunately, our membership and receipts are down, and it is up to all of us to right that issue.

Later that evening we were treated to a dinner gathering at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. We all recognize the value and importance of gathering together to share a meal and appreciate the camaraderie amongst TCMA members and spouses – a special time to share and enjoy. This Austin meeting was a very productive and enjoyable event. I want to extend a Special Thank You to Jared Patterson and those who took time out from their busy schedules to attend and participate at this TCMA Annual Meeting in Austin, and especially to Dr. and Mrs. Clifford Smith for another superb meeting. Very well done!

Respectfully Yours,
Brett Morehead