Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

AUDIO – The Spiral

February 25, 2009

This has not been a cheerless week — after all, Chicago is a pretty fun place to be.

In reviewing many of the stories, though, from this week’s Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit, one gets the idea that all was gloom in the Windy City.

So, while there have been many discussions this week about opportunities for growth and hopes of better things to come, the situation at many of the nation’s largest manufacturing companies remains pretty serious.

Such was the case presented by Brad Bell, chief financial officer for Nalco Co, a global provider of water treatment services, chemicals and equipment programs for industries.

The company’s products and services are used ito prevent corrosion, contamination and the build up of deposits in production. Essentially, there’s not a single sector of the manufacturing world that doesn’t have something water-related that is, or could be, made by Nalco.

So that’s a pretty good space to be in … when times are good. It creates some unique challenges (a popular word this week) during tough times.

While Bell sees some positives, he also thinks that this is not the end of the crisis and more tough days are ahead.

Bell was one of the featured speakers on Wednesday at the annual Manufacturing and Transportation Summit, which continues through Thursday in our Chicago offices. The Summit program is in its fifth year, and in 2009 will include top-level executives from  industries and sectors including everything from Infrastructure; to Mining; to Investing in India, China, Japan and Russia; to Food and Beverages.

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