Todd Beauchamp | TMA
By Fran Eaton for the Technology & Manufacturing Association of Illinois News Bulletin – reprinted with permission
The 2018 Chairman of the Technology & Manufacturing Association’s Board of Directors will be the Association’s Ambassador of Good Will with a focus on building the TMA community for the next year. That’s because Todd Beauchamp, the Director of Sales and Marketing at ASK Products/Sicame Corporation, sees this region’s manufacturing world as a place that should know all about what TMA has to offer. “What does TMA try to help people do?” Chairman Beauchamp said during a recent interview with the News Bulletin. “We want to help you with your business. We want to help our members work ON their business as opposed to just working IN their business. And we have great operational people to make that happen.”
Beauchamp’s eyes light up when he talks about TMA. “TMA can provide help with issues businesses face every day – such as human resource advice, access to a top-notch 401k program, health care and business insurance – just to name a few,” Beauchamp said. “TMA has always been a center for information and business support, and we have a plethora of services available to our members to take advantage of.”
The new TMA Board chairman views the world through the eyes of a marketer. Beauchamp was born in Evanston, Illinois and raised in nearby Riverwoods. He studied Marketing and Finance at Bethel University graduating Magna Cum Laude in 3-1/2 years. Upon graduation, he worked for five years for a distributor of outdoor sports equipment before concurrently attending night school at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management from which he obtained an MBA in international business, marketing, and strategy & management in 1998. During this time, Beauchamp learned the basics of sales and business management. “It was tough, but I learned a lot. I started by picking orders in the warehouse and eventually worked my way up to National Account Executive while working on my MBA.” After graduating from Kellogg, he spent time in some technology based startup businesses and consulting, eventually finding his way into manufacturing. “Through a mutual friend at church, I met a guy who owned a manufacturing company. We met and hit it off. He introduced me to the world of manufacturing, and I was taken by it right from the start.” While working for that manufacturer, Beauchamp became chairman of TMA’s Marketing Committee in 2004. During one of the committee’s meetings, he met Steve Kase, the Managing Director of ASK Power in Aurora, IL, a city about one hour West of Chicago. “We hit if off right away and became good friends, quick” Beauchamp said. “We understood each other because most members at TMA are making products for others. We were making our own products and understood the need for marketing those products to secure our businesses.” Along the way, he learned about product quality and management, and became more and more acquainted with industrial product sales. “I became very familiar with processes like screw machining, punch pressing, machine center operation, robots, CNC machining, and stamping,” he said.
Beauchamp has been working with Steve Kase since 2009 – and knows well the challenges Illinois manufacturers face while working to get their names and what they have to offer into crucial manufacturing circles. “My job is to increase the number of ASK Power’s clients,” on one hand, Beauchamp says, while at the same time training sales and marketing team members to get better at what they do. He sees his volunteer work ahead with the TMA Board to be similar. “At the core of TMA is the concept of community, especially how TMA provides services for the manufacturing community,” he said. “We need to grow the number of TMA members and reach out to serve the manufacturing community as it evolves.”
“TMA has changed over the years from ballroom dances to localized events to offering different types of connections through technology,” Beauchamp said. “We need to keep up with the changes and adapt for the future.”The future could include factories being run through cell phone apps as “smart factories,” Beauchamp said, or even something more futuristic as holographic images connecting to machines to run them remotely. “Or perhaps, we’ll be operating robots from chips that are implanted in our heads,” he said, “Who knows what the next ten years will bring?” All those things are difficult to imagine, but could easily be what TMA members manufacture in the days ahead.
During his inauguration speech at TMA’s 92nd Annual Dinner, he spoke of his wife Heather and how, through interactions with their 12 year old son Thatcher and 13 year old daughter Brookelyn, they become aware of the breath-taking speed with which technology is advancing. “Both of my kids have smart phones, but who calls them? Only their mom and I!,” he said. “Everything else is Instagram, Snap Chat, maybe text. To them apps like Facebook are for old people.” And that’s exactly the point, he said. What will tomorrow’s community look like? “As a connected community that works together, we will know, and we will be there for those future needs just like we are for today’s,” he said. With that level of confidence and optimism at the Board’s helm, along with President Steve Rauschenberger, TMA is sure to have yet another year of successful renovation and growth as it nears closer to its one century mark.