Connections – Building a future

Posted on Oct 1, 2013 :: Connections
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Steve Meyer of Brillion High School offers a breakout presentation to Manufacturing First Expo & Conference attendees in 2012. Photo Margaret LeBrun

Once again, manufacturers from around Wisconsin will come together at the Manufacturing First Expo & Conference at the KI Convention Center on Oct. 31, giving them the opportunity to network and see what other companies are doing to boost business.

“Manufacturers learn directly from other manufacturers on how to be more successful in their business,” says Ann Franz, strategic partnerships manager at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and NEW Manufacturing Alliance coordinator. “Attendees will not leave the event without learning something of value that will directly impact their organization.”

The event, in its third year, brings in more than 600 manufacturers and service providers, making it the largest manufacturing networking event in northeast Wisconsin, Franz says.

The event is from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. and will feature speakers Craig Giffi, vice chairman of Deloitte, LLP and Mike Weller, president of Miller Electric Manufacturing Co.

Breakout sessions will take place at 11 a.m. and at 1:15 p.m.

The 11 a.m. sessions include Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and Scott Jansen, director of skills development for the Department of Workforce Development; Steve Stitch, chief risk officer of Oshkosh Corporation; Steve Van Remortel, chief strategist at SM Advisors and author of “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream;” and Kris Levanetz, human resources manager for Team Industries.

The 1:15 p.m. breakout speakers include: Dan Ariens, president & CEO of Ariens Co. and Mark Rhyan, vice president and chief operating officer at Sargento Foods; Chad Derenne, senior tax manager at Baker Tilly; Barb Fleisner-LaMue, regional account manager for WEDC; and Jeff Korhan, author of “Build-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business.”

The Manufacturing First Expo & Conference is presented by First Business in partnership with NEW Manufacturing Alliance and Insight Publications.

For more information, visit

Upcoming events


The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual dinner at the KI Convention Center. The event will begin with networking at 5 p.m.

Advance, the Chamber’s economic development branch, will present its Excellence in Business Award. Ken Schmidt, former director of communications for Harley Davidson Co., will deliver the keynote address “Make some noise: Open the throttle and dominate your marketplace.” The dinner costs $55 per person. For more information, visit


St. Norbert College will host futurist, economist and author Rebecca Ryan in the Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts’ Walter Theatre on the St. Norbert campus. Ryan will address how to enhance the community’s ability to recruit and retain the next generation of talent to the Greater Green Bay area. Registration and networking will begin at 7:30 a.m.; the program will run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $20, available at


The Chamber of Manitowoc County and the Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County are hosting a Business Summit at Fox Hills Resort in Mishicot. Register by Friday, Oct. 11. Call (920) 684-5575.

The St. Norbert CEO Breakfast & Strategy Series kicks off at 7:30 a.m. in De Pere with a talk on health insurance reform by Dan Schwartzer, deputy commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin. Cost: $60 or $450 for the entire season. Visit for details.


The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry will host The Event 2013, sponsored by Baker Tilly, at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center from 5 to 10 p.m. Business awards will be given in several categories. For more information, visit