STAFDA announces 2017 Convention speakers

John Ratzenberger of Cheers fame will keynote at 2017 STAFDA Convention and Trade Show; Joe Smith of Metabo will offer state of the industry presentation.


STAFDA’s Annual Convention & Trade Show is open to members only. You must be a member to attend. For more information, contact Catherine Usher, STAFDA Member Services Director, at 262/784-4774 or 800/352-2981,
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john ratzenberger
John Ratzenberg, AKA Cliff Clavin from the Cheers sit-com series, will be keynote speaker at the 2017 STAFDA Convention and Trade Show.
Joe Smith image
Joe Smith, president and CEO of Metabo, will offer the state of the industry presentation at the 2017 STAFDA Convention and Trade Show.

The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) strives to bring nationally recognized leaders or out-of-the-box speakers to keynote the General Session during its Annual Convention and this year’s Austin Convention and Trade Show, November 12-14, is no exception.

With more STAFDA members embracing the Made in America slogan – whether it’s a manufacturer using this tag line on their products to distributors’ customers asking for Made in the U.S.A tools – STAFDA’s November 13 keynoter will address the power of domestic manufacturing, profile innovative businesses, and introduce just enough humor to keep the program lively.

Multi-Emmy-nominated actor, accomplished screenwriter, director, producer and author, John Ratzenberger, may be best known for mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the long-running NBC sitcom Cheers, but his experience outside Cheers is equally noteworthy.

Prior to Cheers, he lived overseas for 10 years and worked as a carpenter, archery instructor and deck hand on a fishing boat. He produced and starred in the Travel Channel series Made in America, which highlighted U.S.-made goods and workers. He is passionate about how important it is for the country to recognize the need, and provide the training, to produce skilled laborers.

With Made in America, Ratzenberger established a television precedent which led the way for a series of new shows like Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch, and Ice Road Truckers to celebrate the work ethic that built America. He also co-authored A Common Man’s Salute to an Uncommon Country.

Ratzenberger is currently in pre-production for a new television series with the purpose to awaken Americans to the shortage of skilled workers that threatens the United States.

In addition to his passion for producing American-centric TV shows, he continues to work in Hollywood. From feature films, like studio blockbusters Superman and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, to independent films like The Woodcarver, animation has been a natural home to his versatile vocal talents. Ratzenberger is the only actor to participate in every Pixar film, voicing the iconic characters of Mack the Truck and Hamm the Piggy Bank. Due to his volume of film work, he is listed as the sixth most successful actor of all time in terms of box office receipts.

Following his keynote address, Ratzenberger will help open STAFDA’s Trade Show, then meet with attendees in STAFDA Central on the show floor.

Smith State-of-the-Industry speaker
STAFDA also has announced that Joe Smith, president and CEO of Metabo Power Tools, North America will present the Associate State-of-the-Industry address at STAFDA’s General Session, Monday, November 13.

Metabo has been manufacturing and distributing German-engineered and manufactured, premium-quality power tools and accessories for the worldwide industrial market since 1924. Key products include metalworking tools such as grinders, concrete drilling — dust collection and surface preparation tools — along with cordless tools and power tool accessories.

Smith’s 28 years of sales, marketing/product development and senior management experience also includes positions with Bosch and Milwaukee Electric Tool. He continues to be an active participant in the cordless tool revolution, which is ongoing, playing a leading role in the development of the first Li-ion battery platform for high-voltage applications. Smith will offer his perspectives on the future direction of the power tool industry and its impact on the industrial/construction channel.

STAFDA’s 41st Annual Convention & Trade Show in Austin is for members only! Registration materials will be mailed to all members the third week of June; online registration opens on Monday, June 26, at 8:00 a.m. (Central) from the members-only section of

For more information on the STAFDA Convention & Trade Show or membership, please contact Catherine Usher,, 262/784-4774 or 800/352-2981.