�We can�t imagine a more fitting way to mark ATExpo�s 25th year of industry leadership than a tribute to the greatness and inventive spirit of American manufacturers," stated Kelvin Marsden-Kish, Vice President of the Assembly family of events, produced by Reed Exhibitions. �Mr. Ratzenberger is clearly passionate about great American products, and respects the skill and dedication of the men and women who create them. He has become a highly effective advocate of American ingenuity at work, and of manufacturers who invest in the effort to maintain a competitive edge here in the United States.�
For Ratzenberger, manufacturing is much more than an abstract concept. It�s a way of life, and a source of pride that ties communities and generations together. The son of blue collar working parents in one of the northeast�s leading industrial cities, Ratzenberger grew up with the idea that Americans were hardworking inventors and problem solvers. Before turning to an acting career, he worked as a carpenter, and takes pride in pointing out the houses that he helped build to his children. Despite his celebrity status, Ratzenberger still regards himself as a �garage tinkerer.� He holds five patents for a packaging process that he invented.
�I've always had a high regard for people who put their hands to something useful,� Ratzenberger said. �A tool and die maker is an artist on par with those who display their works in expensive art galleries. A painter can always paint over a mistake. But when you work with tolerances of 1/1000th of an inch on a spinning lathe, you can't afford to be careless. At the end of the day when workers exit a factory, there should be an audience waiting to give them applause and tell them �job well done.��
�When we were doing our show on John Deere,� Ratzenberger continued, �a fellow on the assembly line told me that anytime he and his family pass a John Deere harvester -- and he knows his kids are getting sick of it -- he stops and points and says, �Your dad helped build that.� The kids get the message: Dad helps feed the world. �
American-born actor John Ratzenberger is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the know-it-all, nebbishy mailman "Clifford C. 'Cliff' Clavin, Jr." in the 1980�s sitcom Cheers. His movie acting credits include roles in Superman and Superman II; Star Wars V-The Empire Strikes Back; Ghandi; and all five of Pixar�s animated feature films, providing the voices for �Hamm� in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, PT Flea in A Bug�s Life, the Abominable Snowman in Monsters, Inc., and a school of moonfish in Finding Nemo.
About Assembly Technology Expo
Assembly Technology Expo, the leading source for the latest products and technologies for the entire assembly process, will take place September 28-30, 2004 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, just outside of Chicago. From the most advanced robotic systems to simple hand tools, fasteners and adhesives, nearly 600 leading suppliers will showcase solutions for reducing costs, assembling new products, reducing cycle time, and increasing capacity. A comprehensive four-day conference program, September 27 -30, will be presented by some of the industry�s leading associations including, the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the Robotics Industry Association (RIA), the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), the Educational Society for Resource Management (APICS), the Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC), the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA), and the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA). Now in its 25th successful year, ATExpo is sponsored by ASSEMBLY magazine. For more information about Assembly Technology Expo 2004 visit http://www.atexpo.com.
About John Ratzenberger�s Made in America
John Ratzenberger�s Made in America serves up snapshots of the people and places that are the backbone of the American economy. Visiting factories
across the nation, John spotlights the companies and people who invent and build the best products in the U.S. from Harley Davidson, Craftsman Tools and John Deere farm equipment to Campbell�s, Gatorade and Monopoly. John Ratzenberger�s Made in America is produced for the Travel Channel by Termite Art. Erik Nelson is executive producer for Termite Art. Kathleen Cromley is executive producer for Travel Channel. This program is produced in cooperation with the Reader�s Digest Association.
Travel Channel is the only television network devoted exclusively to travel entertainment. Capturing the fascination, freedom and fun of travel, Travel Channel delivers insightful stories from the world�s most popular destinations and inspiring diversions. It is available in more than 75 million homes and is a service of Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc. Visit Travel Channel on the web at http://www.travel.discovery.com.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world�s largest organizer of business-to-business events. Each year Reed plans and executes approximately 50 events in the U.S. and Canada, serving 25 different industries and over a half million
professionals. Reed shows are often the leading event in their industry, and
Reed has the highest number of top 200 shows ranked by Trade Show Week
magazine. A member of the Reed Elsevier plc group, a world-leading business and information provider, Reed offers integrated market access
programs covering exhibitions, trade publications, direct marketing and the Internet over a database of 3.5 million in North America. Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, Reed also has offices in Newton, MA, Palm Beach, FL, Las Vegas, NV and Toronto, ONT (Canada). (NYSE:RUK/ENL)
Peter DiLeo, Marketing Director
Editorial Note: Ratzenberger/MIA photography available upon request.