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South Carolina Manufacturing Conference set for this week what’s new

Jason Thomas //November 6, 2023//

South Carolina Manufacturing Conference set for this week what’s new

Jason Thomas //November 6, 2023//

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The 26th edition of the South Carolina Manufacturing Conference and Expo will take place this week at the Greenville Convention Center.

The two-day event, on Thursday and Friday, brings together over 200 exhibitors and 2,000 attendees as the premier manufacturing networking event in South Carolina.

Click here to register for the 2023 South Carolina Manufacturing Conference and Expo.

New this year is the inaugural Manufacturing Mavens awards event, which recognizes 10 women making an impact on South Carolina’s manufacturing industry. The recognition event will be preceded by an all-female panel discussion covering a wide range of topics.

Panelists include:

  • Mary Ellen Grom, executive director, customer experience solutions, AFL;
  • Nicki Creech, leadership and transformation specialist, BMW Group;
  • Elba Lizardi, Site director, BASF’s Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions;
  • Leslie Farmer, program integrator, Lockheed Martin; and
  • Annekathrin Mueller, vice president, commercial plant manager, Charleston, Bosch in North America.

Another highlight this year is a keynote address from Rodger Fuller, chief operating officer of Harsville-based Sonoco Products Co., the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in South Carolina. Fuller will deliver his address during the annual Salute to Manufacturing awards luncheon, which will include remarks from Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette.

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This year’s conference will include the usual lineup of informative content sessions.

A Thursday morning panel discussion will tackle closing the skills gap and offer insights on how manufacturers can upskill their workforce and how to hire new team members to match the demand for skilled positions.

Panelists include:

  • David Clayton, executive director, Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research;
  • Brad Neese, vice president for economic development, SC Technical College System;
  • Mark Cecchini, associate dean of executive education, University of South Carolina; and
  • Rebecca Battle-Bryant, president, Battle Plan Consulting LLC.

A Thursday afternoon session will discuss innovation and how lean manufacturing and industry 4.0 have increased efficiencies while fostering a new era of sustainability.

Panelists include:

  • Don Bent, Chief Operating Officer, Oshkosh Defense;
  • Noel Deferm, Co-founder and General Manager, Hammer-IMS;
  • Jon Baggett, Deputy Director of Global Business, South Carolina Department of Commerce; and
  • Suzanne Dickerson, Director, SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance, South Carolina Council on Competitiveness.

A Friday morning panel discussion will offer solutions for manufacturers seeking to innovate through digital transformation and include real-world insight on how to evolve in the ever-changing technology landscape gripping the manufacturing industry.

Panelists include:

  • Andy Bonnett, manufacturing engineering manager, Sargent Metal
  • Ramy Harik, professor of mechanical engineering, University of South Carolina;
  • Grant Phillips, president, REI Automation; and
  • Toby Stansell, CEO, Cargo.