The adhesives and sealants industry will meet in New Orleans April 17-19 for the Adhesive and Sealant Council’s annual Conference and Expo. The three-day event will offer concurrent sessions covering topics that include regulatory issues, market segments, business development and market trends, and new and advanced technologies and applications in the adhesives and sealants sector. Attendees can look forward to hearing many engaging speakers during the event.


American sports executive Susan O’Malley will give the keynote address at the general session and breakfast. In her address, “Seven Leadership & Life Lessons,” O’Malley will outline the seven seminal rules for leadership and life. She will share her stories about entertainment, hockey, and basketball, drawing on her experiences from her family and the management lessons she learned from her extraordinary career.

As the first female president of a professional sports franchise, O’Malley is a pioneer in two fields: sports and business. Once an intern with the Washington Capitals and the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards), O’Malley joined Washington Sports and Entertainment in 1986. Since that time, her ground-breaking business ideas and proactive approach to customer service brought her – and WSE – to the top of the sports business world. After leaving Washington Sports and Entertainment, O’Malley earned her law degree from Georgetown University, where she also taught a sports business marketing class and was awarded the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award. She served as St. Joseph’s University’s first sports marketing professor and is currently a full-time faculty member at the University of South Carolina.  

At the Wednesday general session breakfast and keynote, attendees will hear from Michael Okoroafor, chief sustainability officer, McCormick & Co. His presentation, “Driving the ESG Agenda to Future-Proof your Business in a Changing World,” will offer insights in how to develop a strategy for transitioning to a more resilient and sustainable world. Okoroafor will discuss how to align with the UN’s Sustainable Development goals as a way to future-proof your business.


At McCormick & Co., Okoroafor is responsible for the development and execution of an enhanced sustainability strategy, working with commercial and communications teams, and building on the company’s foundation to ensure that its successes in this area continue to be recognized in the global market. His focus is working across the organization to develop and drive its strategy both internally and externally. Prior to his tenure at McCormick, he was vice president for Packaging and R&D at H.J. Heinz Co., where he was responsible for setting overall global strategy and direction for the packaging organization and leading external innovation across North America. Okoroafor holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Nigeria, a master’s degree in polymer chemistry from the University of Detroit, and a Ph.D. in organic polymer chemistry from Michigan State University; he is also a graduate of the Executive Development Program at Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University. Okoroafor is an inventor with over 40 patents. He serves on the board of directors for AMERIPEN (American Institute for Packaging and the Environment) and as treasurer on the board of directors for the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP).

 The keynote speaker for the Wednesday general session and lunch will be Dr. Malik Thompson, aerospace materials engineer, NASA Marshal Space Flight Center Adhesives & Seals Materials. Thompson’s address, “Pot Life to Extraterrestrial Life: Bonding Applications for ‘Deep Space,’” will discuss some of the adhesive and sealing applications used at NASA and give an overview of some of the technical needs of the agency as it moves forward with its mission.


After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2018, Thompson joined NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as an aerospace materials engineer. In the following years, he has spent most of his time immersed in the technical areas of thermal protection systems (TPS), adhesives and seals, and other polymeric material applications used in the manufacturing of launch vehicles and spacecraft alike. Thompson has functioned as the Commercial Crew Program’s Launch Vehicle Thermal Protection System Subsystem manager working with SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance to certify their launch vehicles for human spaceflight to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. He has also provided TPS insight and adhesive support for launch vehicle production in the Artemis Program. Thompson has also led the materials wing of an adhesive failure investigation in the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer program, earning him numerous commendations.

For additional information about the Adhesive and Sealant Council’s annual Conference and Expo and to register, visit