Tuesday, May 17

All times Eastern

8:00 - 9:00 am

Networking Breakfast

9:00 - 9:05 am


Marshall Cooper, CEO, Chief Executive Group
Wayne Cooper, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Group

9:05 – 9:45 am

Live Case Study: Ford’s Fight For The Future  

Debbie Manzano, Director of Manufacturing, Current Model Electric Vehicle (EV), Ford Motor Company

As America’s most iconic industrial company undergoes its most dramatic reinvention since its inception, you’ll meet with Debbie Manzano, Director of Manufacturing, to understand how a transformational wave of electric vehicles, automation, new labor deals, design, engineering and software could come together to change nearly everything about manufacturing in the years to come. The future starts now—with boundless opportunities for those who are able to take advantage. We’ll help you get ready in this exclusive Chief Executive live case study. 

9:45 – 10:25 am

Live Case Study: Winning at Automation ASAP 

Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO, Automation Alley

Rapid technology changes and soaring labor costs are driving manufacturers to challenge the way products are made. But digital transformation mistakes are costly and scaling is filled with pitfalls and potential disasters, which can be especially painful—or even catastrophic—for mid-sized firms. Automation Alley, one of the most experienced automation advisory organizations in the world, will share the hard-won lessons gleaned from helping dozens of small and mid-sized firms add technology to their operations, giving you a chance to learn from the mistakes of others—and lap rivals in the years to come. 

10:25 – 10:45 am

Networking Break

10:45 – 11:25 am

Live Case Study: How Webasto is Winning the Talent War Now

Corey Stowell, Vice President, Human Resources, Webasto Americas

When it comes to building a cohesive and engaged team, this is the most difficult, complex time in a generation. The CHRO at Webasto Americas, one of the most forward-thinking mid-market manufacturing outfits in the country, will detail how his team successfully transformed their culture and people strategy—just in time to see it challenged by the Great Resignation. He’ll share how they’re retooling their people-first model to build resilience—and growth—in the face of enormous headwinds, with pragmatic to-dos and takeaways for everyone.

11:25 – 11:35 am

Attendees move to workshops/roundtables. See back of your name badge for your session assignment and room location.

11:35 am – 12:25 pm

Concurrent Workshops and Roundtables

Attendees will have the opportunity to break into smaller peer-to-peer discussions with subject matter experts

Adam Echter, Partner, Simon-Kucher & Partners

Inflation has arrived and it’s time to act.  For some, this will mean taking their first corrective pricing action. For others, the time is right for accelerating legacy processes.  For the smart manufacturers this is the time to leverage modern commercial models to get ahead.  This workshop will focus on how manufacturers have new weapons for combating inflation such as recurring revenue models, dynamic pricing, and other monetization strategies developed in the past 40yrs.  Whether your pricing goals are to simply act, or act differently, this is a workshop you’ll want to participate in.

Quentin Messer, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Mid-market manufacturers often run headlong into talent recruitment challenges, cultural barriers to retain essential talent, and upskilling existing talent to adopt new technologies. How can you implement talent recruitment, development and retention programs that address today’s labor market challenges? How can you reskill workers more efficiently, improve collaboration among your employees, and onboard new employees much faster and more effectively? In this roundtable, we’ll explore how manufacturing companies are responding to workforce scarcity, reacting to upward wage pressures and competition for labor, and providing equal access to job opportunities to prepare workers for the ongoing evolution to Industry 4.0.

12:25 – 12:40 pm

Attendees will grab lunch and take it to your next workshop/roundtable. See back of your name badge for your session assignment and room location.

12:40 – 1:30 pm

Concurrent Workshops and Roundtables

Attendees will have the opportunity to break into smaller peer-to-peer discussions with subject matter experts

Bart Kelly, Partner, Performance Improvement, Crowe LLP
Wil Knibloe, Founder and Principal Executive of Crowe’s Strategic Sourcing, Crowe

What are pragmatic supply chain management strategies you can drive to improve operating performance and margin? Join this interactive workshop to glean helpful insights and tips for strategic sourcing, supplier management/development, and building supply base resiliency. Additionally, participants will discuss related operational levers, including materials planning/management, procurement team performance management and outbound logistics optimization through recent case studies demonstrating achievable results.

Rob Follows, Founder and Chairman
Andy Harris, Managing Director, STS Capital

If you’re a business owner looking to exit, selling to a strategic buyer may be the optimal way to achieve maximum value for your company. This engaging roundtable discussion will help you navigate the differences between strategic buyers and financial buyers, and how to leverage selling strategically. Learn how you can achieve your optimal transaction potential–maximum valuation and other required outcomes–with the key process, values and principles to make your Extraordinary Exit possible.

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Attendees gather for bus ride to off-site tour. Buses depart hotel at 2:00 pm sharp.

2:30 – 5:30 pm

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Opens 2022  

Attendees will be among the first non-Ford outsiders to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look inside one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities on earth, the brand-new home for production of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck. You’ll see firsthand the stunning, cutting-edge orchestration of equipment, robotics, logistics and skilled workers that are coming together to build more than 150,000 of the breakthrough vehicles a year.

Plus! As part of the tour, attendees will visit the Henry Ford Visitor Center and Dearborn Truck Center—where you’ll get to go behind the doors to see the “crown jewels” of the facility closed to the general public.

5:30 – 6:00 pm

Transportation back to Westin Cadillac

6:00 – 7:30 pm


Conclude the day with some festive networking with fellow attendees!

Wednesday, May 18

All times Eastern

8:00 - 9:00 am

Networking Breakfast

Peer Roundtable Opportunity (space is limited)

Kathee Kelly, Learning and Development Officer, Jim Rohn Proces

The last 24 months have imposed numerous shifts in industrial manufacturing, including challenges to sales. Join your peers to learn how other manufacturers are re-evaluating growth goals and exploring alternative sectors to recover. Glean data collected from small-cap manufacturers on emerging trends for sales engagement and development strategies. You’ll learn best practices and proven techniques for generating more robust sales in the current shaky environment, including: 

  • Unique execution strategies for tactical sales hunting approaches
  • How to cultivate business from scratch to obtain RFQs and increase revenue
  • Methods to create meaningful relationships within virtual selling platforms
  • The importance of continually developing and nurturing new accounts to strengthen positioning

9:00 - 9:10 am

Day 2 Welcome

9:10 – 10:20 am

Lean Truth: Just-in-Time to Tackle Today’s Supply Chain Crisis  

Jeff Liker, Bestselling Author of The Toyota Way; renowned global expert on Lean Manufacturing and Just-In-Time

The Covid pandemic, unending production glitches, global political unrest and a world of logistics bottlenecks seemed to write the obituary for the age of just-in-time. But one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject argues that following the mainstream media’s ill-formed narratives—and advice—could create an even bigger disaster. In this brand-new presentation created exclusively for the Smart Manufacturing Summit, Liker will dig into his decades of experience, research and industry connections to showcase how the smartest manufacturing veterans are fusing lean principles with resiliency goals and adapting their business models to respond to today’s supply chain pressures and win in the years ahead—and how you can too.

10:20 – 10:50 am

Networking Break

10:50 – 11:30 am

Live Case Study: Smarter Design, Smarter Marketing

Shannon Washburn, Chief Executive Officer, Shinola

Whether you’re selling B2C or B2B, in the age of Amazon your customers now demand a whole new kind of frictionless buying experience, one requiring unprecedented, continuous engagement between design, sales, supply chain, marketing, manufacturing and distribution. How do you make it all work? And how do you keep the customer at the center of it all? We’ll discuss the challenges and help you find the opportunities with the folks at Shinola, a master at crafting great, U.S.-made products—and brands—and even greater customer experiences.

11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Live Case Study: How Carhartt is Surviving the Great Supply Chain-Inflation Tsunami

Danilo Amoretty, Senior Vice President of Global Product Supply and Operations, Carhartt

Michigan’s Carhartt is one of the world’s most well-established brands, synonymous with hard work and reliability. But making sure that working men and women have the clothes they need in the midst of non-stop supply chain snarls, soaring inflation and labor shortages has been a challenge like no other. The seasoned senior executive responsible for keeping all this running—so the company can keep growing globally—will share details of how he and his team are rebuilding their systems and processes to decrease volatility, insure supply and buttress resiliency, all amid incredible, once-in-a-generation changes in customer behavior and expectation, with pragmatic lessons for everyone trying to improve their operations.

12:15 - 12:30 pm

Networking Break

12:30 - 3:00 pm

OPTIONAL TOUR: LIFT - Where Manufacturing Technology and Talent Matter

LIFT, established in Detroit in 2014, is a Department of Defense-supported, nonprofit national manufacturing innovation institute whose mission is to Drive American Manufacturing into the Future Through Technology and Talent Development in support of our national economy and national security.

As a public-private partnership, LIFT’s Detroit headquarters facility operates as both a showcase, showing the “art of the possible” and the future of manufacturing, and a sandbox, in which the institute’s national ecosystem can come to design, test and prototype new materials, processes and systems.

Join us for a behind-the-scenes visit to see how LIFT is leading innovations for tomorrow with new manufacturing processes and new manufacturing systems, including new and innovative processes like wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), cold-spray and incremental sheet forming (ISF). See first-hand how manufacturers are working at LIFT to carry their concepts from design, through optimization, to commercialization with both smarter technology and smarter talent development.


Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.