Convention Speakers 2018-03-26T02:32:44+00:00

Convention Speakers



Howard Putnam’s ultimate objective is “bottom line improvement.” He believes that cultures that place “people” as their #1 priority have the greatest long-term impact and success.

He is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines whose foundation and culture placed people first. Later, when recruited to be the CEO of failing Braniff International, Howard Putnam was the 1st CEO to successfully restructure a major airline into through, and out of Chapter 11. Earlier he spent over twenty years with United Airlines, his final position being Group VP of Marketing.

He has been an entrepreneur and has served as a director of several startup technology companies. He is an author, speaker and advisor on business issues, change, leadership and ethics. HarperCollins published his first book, “The Winds of Turbulence.” Harvard University wrote a case study on his Braniff experiences, “The Ethics of Bankruptcy.” Howard Putnam has an MBA in Marketing from the Univ. of Chicago and attended Harvard’s Advanced Management Program.

Howard Putnam grew up on an Iowa farm and learned to fly out of a pasture. His wife Krista is a native of Ohio and a former flight attendant. Their son Mike is an airline Captain based in Charlotte, and daughter Sue is in public relations and advertising in Reno. Howard and Krista live in the mountains near Reno and Lake Tahoe.




President, Americas-Operations Group, TOTO USA


Bill is President of Operations and e-commerce; he has responsibility for all operations, including technical support, logistics, environmental sustainability and management of the four TOTO USA plants:  Morrow, GA; Lakewood, GA; Fairburn, GA; and Ontario, CA, with 1.3 million Sq ft under roof. 

Under Bill’s leadership, TOTO has received awards for 5S Lean Manufacturing implementation, US EPA Water Efficiency Leadership Award, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s Water Conservation Leadership Award, the Argon Award, the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Sustainability Award.   TOTO is the largest percentage user (at 100%) of Simple Solar, Green Energy from Georgia Power.  

TOTO USA has also developed secondary uses for recycling channels for the waste streams from the manufacturing process, upcycling them from our waste stream to raw material feed stocks for other manufacturers.    All of these endeavors, from Cradle to End of Life Recycling are tracked using Life Cycle Assessment methodologies to measure and reduce the impacts that our products have on the environment.  Health materials assessments for the Living Building Challenge are also conducted on products to reduce the impacts on human health and the environment.  

Argon Award for leadership in sustainability, previous winners of this award have been Ted Turner – Chairman of the Turner Foundation, Arthur Blank – co founder of Home Depot, Jim Jacoby – Founder and CEO of Jacoby Development and Ray Anderson – Chairman of Interface Company.