Insight on Business

August 2015

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20 | I NSIGH T • A u g u s t 2 0 15 w w w . i n s i g h t o n b u s i n e s s . c o m U P F R O N T CONNECTIONS B Y N I K K I K A L L I O M anufacturing leaders planning the fih annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference are doubly excited this year — particularly because it's now a two-day event. Presented by First Business Bank in partnership with the NEW Manufacturing Alliance and Insight Publications, the event is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 21 and ursday, Oct. 22 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. "e event has just grown and grown," says Ann Franz, director of the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. "We were hearing from attendees that there's so much great content that there's just not enough time to do everything." To address that concern, the event's planning committee determined that expanding to two days would give exhibitors more opportunities to connect with attendees while still giving people the chance to hear conference speakers. "We're partnering with different organizations to bring in manufacturing leaders from throughout the state, so this year there's going to be even more of a statewide presence," Franz says. e expanded event offers more opportunities to dive a bit deeper into best practices and industry information, with the aim to draw more attendees from a broader base of industries, says Mickey Noone, president of First Business Bank–Northeast. "We're trying to incorporate more of what people want to see and hear relative to the manufacturing industry and then create better opportunities for some of that idea exchange," Noone says. One of those organizations is the nonprofit Women in Manufacturing, a national organization with a large Wisconsin presence, which will participate in a program on women in manufacturing fields. "It's a really hot topic as manufacturers are looking for a broader, more diverse workforce," Noone says. "ere are more women in manufacturing now than ever and we have some really good presenters." e session features several top female executives in the New North, including Jan Allman, president, CEO and general manager of Marinette Marine; Rita Cox, president and CEO of Coating Excellence International; and Kim Bassett, president and CEO of Bassett Mechanical. Also on the first day, the event will offer breakout sessions on exporting, high-level lean training and the food and beverage industry. School administrators will be invited to a session to discuss how manufacturers and educators can better collaborate, followed by a cocktail reception and the Excellence in Manufacturing/K12 Partnerships Awards, sponsored by the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. Franz says the alliance received a record number of nominations, from 47 last year to 79 this year. "It's a good blend of training and content one day, followed by networking and best practices on Day 2," Noone says. "Sandwiched in between there is the NEWMA partnership awards dinner, which is a great bridge between the events between the days. I think what you'll see is a lot of energy over the two-day period." On Oct. 22, the main conference event will kick off with more than 150 exhibitors and keynote speaker Ryan Industry showcase Organizers gear up for expanded Manufacturing First Expo & Conference Oct. 21-22 Ryan Estis "The event has just grown and grown. We were hearing from attendees that there's so much great content that there's just not enough time to do everything." – A n n F r a n z , d i r e c t o r o f t h e N E W M a n u f a c t u r i n g A l l i a n c e

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