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Conference Home

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Exhibitor Time

Visit Exhibitor Virtual Booths/Network with Attendees

8:00 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.
Morning Keynote

Speakers: Tim Wiora – CEO, WMEP Manufacturing Solutions
Governor Tony Evers
Mike Evans, Keynote speaker

9:20 a.m.  – 9:40 a.m.
Executive Briefing
Exhibitor Time

Advancing Wisconsin Manufacturing through Collaboration

Adapt & Advance: Current M&A  Dynamics

How Covid-19 Has Changed the Sales and Recruitment Landscape

9:40 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 
Breakout Sessions

Wisconsin’s Economy

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  • Speaker: John Koskinen, Chief Economist, Wisconsin Department of Commerce; Peter Barca, Secretary, WI Department of Revenue
  • Description: Wisconsin ranks among the most livable states in the country. A strong work culture makes Wisconsin a highly competitive. This presentation will assess Wisconsin’s economic performance on a series of economic benchmarks. For the year ahead, the economic outlook for the U.S. as a whole and for the State of Wisconsin will also be presented. This outlook review will include a manufacturing outlook and an assessment of trade prospects. The discussion will also provide guidance on how to understand forthcoming economic indicators as the year unfolds.

Return, Recover and
Rebuild: Managing Risk
and Resiliency in your
Supply Chain

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  • Speaker(s): Bill Byrkit, President, Byrkit Point, Supply Chain Advisors
  • Description: The ability to manage supply chain uncertainty and risk is more critical than ever. New realities call for increased supplier transparency, greater collaboration and an ability to pivot, while continuously improving skills and processes in procurement and supply chain. 93% of the global supply chain leaders are planning to increase their resilience in the next 12 months.

Business Performance:
Transformational Productivity
(TPI) Journey Success Stories

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  • Speaker(s): Torben Christensen, Wisconsin Products; Donny Lavrenz, The Industrial Controls Co.; Steve Banovich, Marsh Electronics
  • Description: The Transformational Productivity Initiative (TPI) model leverages an organizational assessment to create a targeted implementation plan to help organizations identify, prioritize and resource critical actions across management best practices, process improvements and digital technologies to improve productivity. TPI is designed to help manufacturers systematically address lagging productivity, a declining workforce, adoption of automation, and digital technology.


10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Exhibitor Time – Sponsor Videos


Visit the MM! Exhibitor Hall, Review Exclusive Content, Visit Live Booths to Enter Raffle


HUSCO – 5 Minute Interview on Advanced Manufacturing


Manufacturing Beat with Arthur Thomas & Brandon Anderegg from Biztimes – 5 Minute Interview

10:45 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Leading in a VUCA World

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  • Speaker(s): Christine McMahon, Principal, McMahon and Associates
  • Description: VUCA is a military term that means: Volatility. Uncertainty. Complexity. Ambiguity.
    Although counter-intuitive, a turbulent world is the perfect opportunity to increase market share, develop leaders and generate profit.
    In this session, you will learn strategies to:
    – Drive a wedge between your company and the competition.
    – Develop talent on a limited budget.
    – Empower people to become problem solvers, not problem reporters.

Winning the War for Talent

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  • Speaker(s): Chris Czarnik, Career ReSearch
  • Description: The upcoming talent shortage is a mathematical certainty. This session will focus on the current and growing talent shortage and how your organization can win. We will discuss proactive recruiting approaches based on building models of ideal candidates and creating promotions that sell your opportunity. By attending, you will learn how to create messaging that speaks to your target candidate, where they are, and when they need it.  You will also  learn how to use distinct messaging for the four generations currently in the workforce.

Business Performance:
Marketing Matters:
Minimize Risk to Maximize

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  • Speaker(s): Patrick Strother, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer, Strother Communications Group
  • Description: This session will introduce a practical methodology to prioritize your 2021 marketing activities to achieve the greatest return on your investment during this uncertain time. The presentation will initially evaluate how to approach marketing from a risk mitigation perspective then move into specific, proven lead generating and brand building activities based on whether you need to improve your gross margin, accelerate topline sales growth, or both.
    Relevant examples will be used to make the session easier to grasp and accessible for manufacturing companies with tight budgetary constraints or uncertain opportunities in current market segments. Effective marketing now will provide you with a significant competitive advantage and set you up for outsized returns as the economy improves during the remainder of 2021.


11:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
Lunch Presentation, Exhibitor Time


Fifth Manufacturer Pulse Survey Findings – George Bureau, WMEP


Visit the MM! Exhibitor Hall

12:05 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

The Future of Manufacturing
Workforce – What’s the New Next?

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  • Speaker(s): George Kelly, Senior Regional Vice President, Manpower Group
  • Description: As it relates to recruiting and the workforce, how do we adapt and prepare today to advance and grow our business when the market heats up?  In this session, George Kelly from Manpower Group will address the key considerations and skillsets your organization should be focused on in order to stay competitive future proof your manufacturing workforce. George will share an overview of current workforce trends and data and talk about how the future of the manufacturing workforce is being shaped – now.

Business Management
Systems Spotlight
(Aerospace and

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  • Speaker(s): Andrew Porter, Senior Consultant, WMEP Manufacturing Solutions; Barry Messer, Consultant, WMEP Manufacturing Solutions; Richard Bachman, Quality Director, Wiscon Products.
  • Description: Have you considering expanding into the Aerospace or Automotive markets? Your current ISO 9001 quality management system is an important first step.  Becoming certified with either the Automotive IATF 16949 standard or the Aerospace AS9100 management system may be easier than you think. This session will discuss some of the key requirements of each. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session from experts who have implemented these standards as well as performed essential audits.

Business Performance:
2021 Buyer and Seller
Dynamics: How COVID has
reformed the M&A market

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    • Speaker(s): Ann Hanna, Managing Director and Founder, Taureau Group; Corey Vanderpoel, Managing Director, Taureau Group.
    • Description: The economic and societal effect of the pandemic will be a factor in the 2021 M&A market and beyond.
      Those that recognize and adapt to “the new normal” will be the most likely to excel in strategy, growth, and profitability.
    • For buyers in the market, the shifts in consumer decisions and business practices will affect the types, sizes and strategy of acquisitions in the future.
    • For sellers in the market, this is a new world with new processes in place. Understanding buyers’ motivation will guide you to maximizing value and terms in a sale.


12:55 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.
Exhibitor Time – Sponsor Videos


Visit the MM! Exhibitor Hall!


Consolidated Construction – 5 Minute Interview on Building in the Current Environment


Insight Publications Focus on Manufacturing 5 Minute Interview

1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

How US Military has
Adapted to New Forms of

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    • Speaker(s): Miller, Adam M – LTC, US Army War College
    • Description: “If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.”  – GEN(Ret) Eric Shinseki.  This is true for the military and is also true for manufacturers.  Being resilient and being adaptive are critical to overall preparedness for the threats we face today.  In this session you will learn how innovations to doctrine and the defense systems, and adaptations in the fields of supply chain, software development and others are helping the military meet these every evolving threats.

Mapping the
Administrative Value

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      • Speaker(s): Michael Esser Jr – CFO at Dielectric Manufacturing; Steve Kempowski, Executive Vice President, Wisconsin Oven Corporation; Dave York – Account Manager, WMEP; Stephen Smiley Sr. – Consultant, WMEP; Beth Aldana – Consultant, WMEP.
      • Description: Administrative value stream mapping can lead to significant improvements in lead time and improved efficiencies. Typical administrative process are order entry, quoting, scheduling, design engineering, purchasing and accounting — can take up 70% to 95% of the total time it takes to manufacture a product. In today’s marketplace, you can’t afford this kind of waste and delay! Administrative Value Stream will make you as efficient and responsive in your office as you are on your factory floor, help you cut lead times, increase customer responsiveness, improve on-time delivery and get more done!

Business Performance:
Market Drivers Behind

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  • Speaker(s): Alec Bartolai, Sargento; AJ Gordon, Gordon Aluminum; Scott Louks, Mercury Marine
  • Description: Sustainability drivers differ based on organization size, industry sector, customers, markets, and whether you are publicly traded or private. This session will provide attendees an overview of the market drivers behind sustainability from a spectrum of industry size, organization structure and industry groups. Hear from a large publicly traded, a medium sized privately held and small manufacturing entity on how they came to sustainability and how it has impacted their business. Presenter will guide the audience through the following questions:
    • What and when was their sustainability trigger event?
    • What was their response?
    • What have they learned?
    • Has their response changed, matured, or grown based on what they have learned?
    • Based on what they know today, what does the future hold?


2:00 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote


Jim Davidson, Keynote speaker

3:05 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Raffle drawing
Closing remarks


Tim Wiora

Networking Lounge


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