Forge Fair 2023

May 23–25, 2023 | Huntington Convention Center

Keynote Speakers

May 24, 2023

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Chris Kuehl

Dr. Christopher (Chris) Kuehl is the author of Quick Read Economic Update and a frequent speaker at industry events.  Chris is the managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence and one of the co-founders of the company. He has been Armada's economic analyst and has worked with a wide variety of private clients and professional associations in the last 18 years. He is the chief economist for the National Association for Credit Management (NACM). He prepares NACM's monthly Credit Managers Index.

Chris makes approximately 100 presentations each year to business and industry associations in the U.S. and overseas, and is available to speak at FIA member company events for a reduced rate.  He has a doctorate in Political Economics, advanced degrees in Soviet Studies and Asian Studies and was a professor of international economics and finance for over 15 years prior to starting Armada.

May 25, 2023

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Ben Abbott

Ben Abbott is a nine-time Forged in Fire champion who began making blades after seeing arms and armour in museums and castles around England when he was 13. Not being able to buy blades at the time, he decided to make them for himself, and has been working on his understanding of their nuances ever since. He spent many years making knives, tools, ornamental ironwork, jewelry, furniture, and anything else that needed making, but still never made himself a sword. The first sword that Ben finally made was the winning khanda sword for Forged in Fire in 2015. Ben has firsthand experience with the pressure and challenges Forged in Fire contestants face and knows the dedication it takes to walk away a champion.  From 2000 to 2018, Ben was an electronics engineer at Caltech, working on the LIGO project which was seeking to directly detect gravitational wave radiation from massive collisions in space.  The project won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2015 after detecting gravitational waves from two in-spiraling black holes.   Ben left that project in 2018 to become a full-time bladesmith and Forged in Fire judge.

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