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Manufacturing Matters! 2021 Speakers

February 25th, 2021 from 8 AM to 3:30 PM Central

Mike Evans – Award winning speaker & author

Mike has developed a unique perspective from 20+ years of working alongside a star studded list of worldrenowned thought leaders, including: John Kotter, Stephen Covey, Tom Peters, Jim Kouzes, Hyrum Smith, Steve
Farber and Chris McChesney. Mike served in executive leadership and consulting roles with Kotter International, FranklinCovey, and Tom Peters Company.
In addition to being a leading authority on Unleashing Personal and Organizational Accountability, clients rely upon Mike’s solutions to; Accelerate Change, Shape Their Optimal Culture, Flawlessly Execute Key Strategies, Ignite Leadership Capacity at all Levels, Amplify Employee Engagement, Thrive and Excel in the Age of Disruption, Embrace The Role of CEO of Your Life, Career and Destiny, and Cultivate Peak Performance.
31 of Fortune 50 are clients. Mike works with organizations around the globe and in virtually every arena, from the tech sector to financial services, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, entertainment, retail, and the US Government. Clients include: Intel, Capital One, Apple, Caterpillar, PNC Bank, Cargill, Pfizer, General Mills, H&R Block, The United States Navy, John Deere, Fidelity Investments, Monsanto, Google, US Steel, Rite Aid, Agilent Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Symantec, Cigna Corporation, ITPA, US Department of Commerce, BNY Mellon, Oracle, Astra Zeneca, Baxter International Inc., Shell Oil, UPMC, Citrus Valley Health, McAfee, American Airlines, Masonite, Novartis, Ernst & Young, ACE Hardware, DuPont USA, Quest Diagnostics, State Farm, BP Oil, Heinz USA, NAFCU, and NASA.
Mike consults with senior teams, facilitates custom workshops, delivers keynote speeches and provides coaching and consulting on all of these subject areas. He uses his unique insights, passion, experience, and humor to positively affect individuals, teams and organizations around the world. He is experienced with executive leadership teams and groups at all organizational levels. His style is engaging, upbeat, entertaining, thought provoking, compelling, and most importantly educational, relevant and impactful. Individuals, teams and organizations yield immediate results by applying what they learn.
His personal mission is to help individuals, teams and organizations accelerate their ability to achieve more than they ever believed possible. Clients describe him as inspiring, motivating and a ball of energy with an unequalled focus and passion for helping them achieve their desired results – both professional and personal.

Jim Davidson – A resilience expert, an expedition leader, and a New York Times best-selling author

Jim Davidson is a resilience expert, an expedition leader, and a New York Times best-selling author. From his 36 years of adventure and survival, Jim distills compelling stories and uplifting lessons about how to overcome change, challenge and uncertainty through resilience.
He shares motivating keynotes and workshops on personal resilience, resilient teamwork and resilient leadership. Jim has scaled high peaks from Argentina to Nepal, from Bolivia to Tibet. The US National Park Service has commended Jim twice for volunteering for successful high-altitude rescues in Colorado and Alaska.
While first attempting to ascend Mt. Everest in 2015, Jim and his partners survived massive earthquakes and avalanches. He shared his incredible experiences and insights with CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Smithsonian Channel, PBS and more. Jim told his story of surviving the earthquake in the National Geographic TV Show “Witness to Disaster”. In 2017, Jim returned to Mount Everest and summited successfully.
For 20 years. Jim worked as a hydrogeologist (B.S. & M.S. degrees) and ran his own environmental consulting firm. Earlier he worked as an industrial painter on high-voltage electrical towers carrying 230,000 volts.
Jim co-authored the New York Times best-selling survival memoir, “The Ledge: An Inspirational Story of Friendship and Survival”. The Ledge won the National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature, and was picked one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon. His epic survival story was featured in an international TV episode of “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” on the Discovery Channel.

Bill Byrkit – President, Byrkit Point, Supply Chain Advisors

Bill has more than 25 years of extensive experience in Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Management, with a strong track record of Supply Chain performance improvement in global businesses. He has worked internationally with global leaders in Consumer Packaging Goods, Off Road OEM, Tier 1 Auto and Building products, always focused on collaboratively developing and aligning Global Strategic Sourcing & Supply Chain effective teams and processes.

Christine McMahon – Principal, McMahon and Associates

With a proven track record of building top producing teams with Procter & Gamble, Slim-Fast Foods, and Nabisco, Christine knows the essential ingredients for delivering impressive bottom line results. She works with Fortune 50 companies as well as mid-tier manufacturing, IT, construction and insurance companies, providing corporate and sales strategies, processes, as well as talent development insights that eliminates productivity leakage and turns mediocre performing companies into industry leaders.

George Kelly – Senior Regional Vice President, Experis

George is the Senior Regional Vice President for Experis Finance for North America. He has held multiple roles since joining ManpowerGroup in 1999 including Regional Managing Director – Finance, Director Strategic Accounts, North America, Global Account Director – EAME, and National Account Director – Finance.
He is an experienced leader of high-performance organizations with proven experience in growing successful businesses, executing turnarounds, managing P&L’s, strategy, operations, and business development. He has worked in multiple organizations, beginning his career with Arthur Anderson in public accounting and business consulting. His experience includes audits, M & A due diligence and tax compliance. He has supported clients in the financial services, life sciences, publishing, media, oil & gas and energy sectors.
George is passionate about innovative thinking, pragmatic execution, motivational leadership, financial expertise, and organizational transformation. Additional areas of interest include assisting our clients in the following areas:
change management, process improvement, business re-engineering, corporate restructuring, business modeling, organizational re-design, benchmarking, and cost savings.
He holds a Masters in Accounting (MAcc) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Miller, Adam M – LTC, US Army War College

Lieutenant Colonel Adam Miller is assigned to the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA.
He received his commission as an Air Defense Artillery officer from Ohio University ROTC in 2001. He is a graduate of the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course, Short Range Air Defense Officer Course, Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School, Command and General Staff College, and multiple Army and Joint Acquisition courses.
Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he was assigned to Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles and Space as the Program Manager for the Army’s Integrated Fires Mission Command Software suite. Previous acquisition assignments include Program Integrator for Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Paladin Integrated Management System, Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) BAE Systems, York, PA; Program Manager at United States Forces Command-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), DCMA-Afghanistan; Chief of Programs, DCMA New Cumberland, New Cumberland Army Depot, PA; Assistant Product Manager for the PATRIOT Advanced Capability Three (PAC-3) Missile, Huntsville, AL; Assistant Product Manager for Integrated Air & Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) Modernization, Huntsville, AL; and Department of the Army System Coordinator for Counter-Rocket, Artillery, & Mortar (C-RAM) Systems, Pentagon. He also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Army Staff, Executive Communication and Control, Office of the Army Chief of Staff, Pentagon.
He served 24 months as Commander, F Company, 3d Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, SC. Prior company-grade assignments include Platoon Leader for 3rd Battalion, 62d Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, NY where he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served as Assistant Operations Officer and Battalion Logistics Officer for 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, Republic of South Korea.
Lieutenant Colonel Miller holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Clemson University. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal. He wears the Army Parachutist Badge and Army Staff Identification Badge.

Corey Vanderpoel, MBA – Managing Director, Taureau Group

Corey has nearly 20 years of experience building growth and value through mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations and company sales. His extensive experience includes preparing companies for sale and creating value prior to a sale, developing sell-side and buy-side strategies and marketing processes, contacting potential targets, executing auction processes, and negotiating transaction terms.
Corey diligently works with his clients to understand their specific objectives. He then develops and executes M&A strategies to best accomplish these objectives while protecting the interests and confidentiality of the respective companies. Corey recognizes that each client and project is unique and devotes the appropriate time to discuss options along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
During his career, Corey has also completed hundreds of projects relating to calculations of value. Representing clients in a variety of industries including manufacturing, service and distribution industries, he has significant knowledge of the key business value drivers as well as estimating value based on numerous factors.
Corey has led projects across many countries including the United States, Canada, China, India, United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.
As managing director and owner of Taureau Group, Corey was instrumental in leading the firm’s evolution from its roots as an M&A practice within a regional CPA firm to a fully independent investment banking firm.

Michael Esser Jr. – Vice President of Finance and Accounting, Dielectric Manufacturing

Michael Esser Jr. joined Dielectric Manufacturing on a full-time basis in 2011. He currently is vice president for finance and accounting, and operations manager of the company’s Iowa manufacturing plant. Michael is responsible in managing and operating many different departments including accounting, cost estimating and IT. His work ensures the Iowa facility has the means to meet customer expectations, and entails ongoing communications with customers on the status of production schedules. Michael holds bachelor of science degrees in economics, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in finance from DeVry University. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his kids (2 and 8 months), golfing, boating, exercising and cooking.

John Koskinen –  Chief Economist, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

John has testified on the Wisconsin economy before multiple standing committees of the state legislature. He has presented on Wisconsin’s economic outlook to various groups including state and regional economic development associations, colleges and universities, financial institutions and trade associations. He is a frequent commentator on the Wisconsin economy for a variety of media outlets throughout the state and the country.
Prior to joining the Department of Revenue in 2007, John served as the Staff Economist for the Governor’s Budget Office, Wisconsin Department of Administration from 1979 to 2007. He has also served in the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
John has his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Marquette University. He has done additional graduate studies in Economics at Northwestern University and computer science at the University of Wisconsin.

Chris Czarnik – Career RESearch Group, CEO

Chris Czarnik is a national career search and talent acquisition expert with 15 years of HR, training and motivational speaking experience. He created and refined the innovative approach to job search, known as “The Human Search Engine®” by working with thousands of job-seekers.
Chris is a leading adjunct career search instructor for the 5th largest research university in the nation, as well as many colleges and universities across the country. Chris’ process was introduced to the 113th Congress as a national job search model. In Sept of 2016 the US Congress adopted this process as their outplacement tool for outgoing members and their staff. Also in 2016 Chris was named a Subject Matter Expert on career related topics for Pearson Publishing, the largest publisher in the country.
Chris delivers dynamic presentations about career search, talent development and leadership training to thousands of people every year. His third book, “Winning the War for Talent: How to Recruit, Retain and Develop Great Employees” was released in July of 2018 and serves as a model to more than 2,500 organizations across the country.

Barry Messer – WMEP, WMEP Consultant

Barry has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing and consulting driving continual improvement and implementing management systems. Barry’s manufacturing experience includes machining, foundry, assembly, and process industries. Barry leads manufacturers with cross-functional initiatives related to customer, quality, regulatory, and continual improvement. He is a lead auditor for the Quality, Aerospace, and Automotive standards, and has assisted numerous clients with successful implementations.

Andrew Porter – WMEP, WMEP Senior Consultant

Andrew has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing engineering and consulting for the electronics, aerospace, metal foundry, assembly, printing and process industries. Andrew helps manufacturers adopt performance-driven strategies to improve quality and operational excellence. He is a lead auditor for Quality, Aerospace, and Medical device standards, and has assisted numerous manufacturers to achieve successful certifications.

A. J. Gordon – Gordon Aluminum Industries, President & CEO

A. J. Gordon is President & CEO of Gordon Aluminum Industries, Inc., a third-generation producer of extruded and fabricated aluminum components with about 175 employees located in Schofield, Wisconsin. A graduate of St. Olaf College (Economics, 1996) and University of Minnesota Law School (1998), AJ took over as president of the company in 2004 and led Gordon Aluminum through a number of large strategic changes in the company’s business. He has steered the company successfully through a series of challenges including a major fire in 2008, the “Great Recession”, the death of A. J.’s father in 2011 (when A. J. assumed the role of CEO), and the largest capital project in the company’s history in 2014/2015. He offers a unique perspective on the obstacles that small to medium sized businesses face, and the resources available to overcome them.

Patrick Strother – Strother Communications Group, Founder and CEO

Patrick founded Strother Communications Group (SCG) in 1992 based on the belief that marketing communications tactics are more strategically and cost-effectively delivered when integrated around a common, research-based communication platform and differentiated positioning. Getting the right message to the right audience at the right time remains the guiding principle of SCG’s integrated B2B marketing approach.
Patrick graduated with Distinction from the University of Minnesota and received an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in marketing management and entrepreneurship. Prior to 2014, Patrick taught 50 courses in strategic communications as a visiting associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism. Since then he has switched his spare time focus to pursuing his lifelong interest in guitar playing and competing in masters swimming.

Steven Kempowski – Wisconsin Oven Corporation, Executive Vice President, President Lindberg/MPH

Mr. Kempowski has 35 years of experience in the heat processing industry, between Wisconsin Oven and Lindberg/MPH. Mr. Kempowski holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He has held numerous positions within both of these companies. As president of Lindberg/MPH he has driven year-over-year business growth while leading operations, strategic vision, and long-range planning with full responsibility for bottom-line factors. He has Reestablished a failing brand back in the market place. Took an average management team and has developed them into managers with a passion and drive to move the brand forward. Established many new procedures throughout the company to bring efficiency to all phases of production. As Executive Vice President of Wisconsin Oven he has helped to lead WOC to be the industry leader in heat processing ovens.

Beth Aldana – WMEP, WMEP Consultant

Elizabeth brings over 14 years of experience in manufacturing, including Engineering and Operations leadership, complex Project Management, New Product Development and Lean Six Sigma Operations. Elizabeth has worked for several small/mid-size manufacturers, including MRPC and Vesta, most recently she served as a Manufacturing Engineering Manager at Techniplas.

David York, WMEP, WMEP Senior Account Executive, Business Advisor

David worked for Delco Electronics for 28 years, where he acquired a broad knowledge of Lean manufacturing, organizational development and human resource development. He served in the local UAW union as Recording Secretary, Vice President and most recently as President. David is an expert in organizational development and labor-management relations.

Scott Louks – Mercury Marine, Sustainability Manager

Scott Louks has over 20 years’ operational experience in project management, manufacturing, engineering, quality and continuous improvement at Mercury Marine. Mercury Marine, as part of the Brunswick Corporation, is the world’s leading manufacturer of marine propulsion systems.

Scott plays an important role with leading Mercury’s global sustainability efforts revolving around for key pillars: responsible consumption of energy, caring for the environment, product stewardship and quality of life.

Prior to joining Brunswick, Scott worked outside the marine industry in the automotive and heavy-duty diesel engine industry. Scott earned a BS Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University.

Stephen Smiley – WMEP, WMEP Senior Consultant

Stephen has 25 years of experience in business, operations and engineering. He has developed acumen to direct teams to operational and organizational excellence. His background is in high-volume, low-volume and custom manufacturing in assembly, metal stamping, sheet metal fabrication, casting, CNC machining/turning, Swiss turning, waterjet, blow mold and injection plastics.

Torben Christensen – Wiscon Products Inc., President/CEO

Torben was born and raised in in a screw machine shop, and over the last 20 years he has transformed Wiscon products from a small screw machine shop to a state-of-the-art precision machine shop. With a focus on automation and unmanned production, WISOCN specializing in complex engineered components in high volumes supplied worldwide.

Steve Banovich – Marsh Electronics, COO

He has been with Marsh for over 20 years and has also served as the manager of Marvac Assemblies, the value-add division of Marsh that produces cable assemblies, wiring harnesses, and mechanical sub assembly.

Richard Bachman – Quality Manager

Richard brings a unique background with nearly 40 years of manufacturing experience working with NC Machine Tools, Robotics, Medical Imaging, Electro/Electro-Mechanical Controls and Switches, Injection Molding and Precision Engineered CNC Machined Components.
Richard has served in rolls from Technician, Process Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Engineer, Quality Manager to North America Regional Quality Manager overseeing the Quality Operations in the United States, Mexico and China. This diverse background affords the experience to work with and build teams and systems at any level.

Quality Systems experience includes current standards ISO9001, AS9100 and IATF 16949 as well as past standards such as QS9000, VDE….

Ann Hanna – MBA, CPA

Ann has a proven track record leading successful merger and acquisition projects for middle-market companies. Her distinctive background includes more than 20 years of C-level management experience, including involvement in multiple corporate start-ups.
As managing director and owner of Taureau Group, Ann was instrumental in guiding the firm’s intentional evolution. From its roots within a regional CPA firm, she reinvented the M&A practice to create a true boutique investment banking practice. Today, the firm is a fully independent investment banking firm that upholds a relentless drive to realize the best outcomes for clients.
Ann is a licensed investment banker and real estate broker with extensive operational experience as owner of several successful businesses. Her background also includes corporate work for General Motors and Shell Oil.
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