The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. announces the appointment of W.T. Bigbee as president of the association for a one-year term that commenced on January 1, 2019. Bigbee will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors and as the 66th president of the 89-year-old association, which is headquartered in Madison, Connecticut, USA.
A 31-year veteran in the wire industry, Bigbee joined the Wire Association International in 2011. In addition to his role as WAI president, and his forthcoming second term on the association’s Board of Directors, Bigbee will serve on its Conference Programming Committee, Exhibition Planning Committee, and Oversight Committee.
Commenting on this new appointment, WAI Executive Director Steven Fetteroll said, “The Association is fortunate to have the leadership of W.T. Bigbee and the support of an amazing company, Encore Wire, during this is exciting period for the wire and cable manufacturing sector. Bigbee understands the confluence of Industry 4.0, lean manufacturing, and employment markets and, as a result, he can ensure the Association is positioned to support the needs of the industry. This vision led to the ‘Next Generation’ theme for the Interwire 2019 Conference and it was the impetus behind the creation of a plant manager’s forum.”
Bigbee is vice president of operations at Encore Wire Corporation. His current role includes the oversight of technical and production operations and the development of new products and services. During his 21-year tenure at Encore, he has served as director of technical operations and product engineering, plant manager and quality control, and process engineering manager. Before joining Encore in 1997, Bigbee worked at Capital Wire/General Cable for 10 years, where he started his career in the industry and worked his way into a process engineering position. He currently holds memberships and serves in key positions within the Aluminum Association, the Canadian Standards Association, the Copper Development Association, the National Armored Cable Manufacturers Association, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the NEMA-UL Technical Forum.
WAI is governed by a network of volunteers from around the world. Joining Bigbee for the 2019 term will be members of the association’s 2019 executive committee: First Vice President, Jan Sørige, Enkotec Co. Inc.; Second Vice President, Tom Heberling, Southwire Co. LLC; Executive Committee Members, Daniel Blais, Prysmian, and James R. York, Insteel Industries; and Immediate Past President, Richard T. Wagner, Insteel Wire Products.
WAI, founded in 1930, is a not-for-profit association with more than 2,000 individual members in 54 countries around the globe. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exhibition and the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International, Wire Journal International Reference Guide, and WIRE BULLETIN through subsidiary operations.
The Wire Association International will stage its first-ever standalone regional edition of its long-running and content-refined Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing course on October 10, 2018, at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel in McKinney, Texas, USA.
This concentrated introductory workshop provides a solid grounding in the essentials of wire and cable manufacturing presented by experts in the field. It is WAI’s most successful training program and refresher course for new hires, sales teams and operations personnel. The curriculum includes: mechanics of wiredrawing, drawing dies, wiredrawing lubricants, wire breaks & surface damage, stranding cable, cleaning & coating of rod & wire, extrusion, basics of electrical testing, ferrous heat treatment, used machinery, manufacturing problem solving, testing & properties and ferrous metallurgy.
“The program has become so popular in recent years that we wanted to expand it by offering it regionally too, outside of the confines of WAI’s annual show and conference,” said WAI Director of Education Marc Murray. “We know there’s a strong demand for this type of instruction, not just for new employees but for veterans brushing up on their knowledge who want to learn something new. We want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get this kind of education. Moving it physically closer to the audience is an effective way to do that.”
This one-day program provides extensive instruction by 10 industry professionals and networking opportunities pertinent to the ever-evolving wire industry.
The registration fee is $195 for WAI members and $295 for nonmembers. Registration includes classroom materials and lunch. On October 11, 2018, WAI offers participants a choice of one or both plant tours to Encore Wire and Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp. at $25 each.