The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has announced the confirmation of the keynote speakers for its 2004 SME Annual Meeting, taking place at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, June 9-13. The Annual Meeting, entitled "Where Manufacturing Comes Together to Give You a Competitive Edge," will include new programming to help manufacturers improve their leadership skills and knowledge of how to compete in today's tough environment. Dr. Alan G. Robinson, faculty member of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, will give the Keynote Breakfast address on June 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Robinson, recognized as a leading authority on lean, will talk about his latest book, "Ideas are Free." Grant Aldonas, Undersecretary for International Trade with the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, will give the Keynote Luncheon Address on June 11 from noon to 1:15 p.m. Aldonas, responsible for advising the Secretary of Commerce on international trade issues, will discuss the Manufacturing Initiative, the role that small and medium-sized companies have played in helping to focus and shape that Initiative, and some of the Initiative's specific recommendations that will impact global competitiveness.

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