Accelerating Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

2023 Strategic Partners


2023 Sponsors


Virtual Experience Agenda

Please note that all times listed are in EDT.

Untitled Document


Tuesday, June 27

8:00 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions

  • Erin Streeter, Executive Vice President, National Association of Manufacturers

8:15 a.m.  Opening Address

  • David R. Brousell, Founder, Vice President and Executive Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council

8:30 a.m.  Keynote: Building Your Enterprise into a Digital Transformation Champion

  • Peter Kraemer, Chief Supply Chain Officer, AB InBev, Winner of the 2022 ML Awards Large Manufacturer of the Year

How AB InBev, the largest brewer in the world, has been undergoing a Supply Chain transformation through its People, Processes, and Technology.

9:00 a.m.  Case Study: Bringing Digital Transformation to Life at a Medium Manufacturer

  • Larry Megan, Head of Digital, Baldwin Richardson Foods

Baldwin Richardson Foods is a food products manufacturer headquartered in Upstate New York. Key to the company’s business strategy is profitably maximizing operating capacity to meet growing demand, with digital transformation seen as critical to that success. This session will focus on BRF’s playbook for driving a digital transformation in combination with building a strong IT foundation, how to appropriately resource those initiatives both internally and with external partners, and plans for developing the broader workforce to support the mission. Additionally, the discussion will examine similarities and differences in digital transformation at smaller manufacturers vs. larger enterprises, as well as policy suggestions to accelerate the digital transformation for SME’s.

9:30 a.m.  Break in Virtual Content

10:10 a.m.  Case Study: Leveraging Company Culture to Build an Engaged Workforce

  • Hannah Kain, President and CEO, ALOM Technologies Corporation, and Member, NAM Board of Directors, 2022 ML Award Winner
  • Paul VagadoriHead of People, ALOM Technologies Corporation

Recruiting, retention, and engagement are top concerns for manufacturers. Using a proactive approach, ALOM addressed these challenges with innovative solutions, leveraging its DOING program to achieve record hiring and growth. DOING stands for Development, Opportunity, INclusion, and Growth. With a strategic commitment to being an employer of choice and with a purpose-driven vision, ALOM’s long-term culture became the foundation for a competitive differentiator to build a higher performing team across multiple locations.

10:40 a.m.  Fireside Chat: Manufacturing Transformation – Disrupt or Be Disrupted

  • Andy Zosel, Senior Vice President and General ManagerZebra Technologies
  • Sath Rao, Head, Global Manufacturing Strategy, Zebra Technologies

In conversation with: David R. Brousell, Founder, Vice President and Executive Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council

The workforce, supply chain and customer expectation challenges facing manufacturers today demand the embrace of new operating models – what got you here, won’t get you there. Connectivity, enhanced visibility and mobility are essential for rising to the challenge. Find out how Zebra is positioning Digital Factory, Digital Entropy and Decision Entrepreneurism to transform manufacturing.

11:10 a.m.  Break in Virtual Content

1:40 p.m.  Case Study: Albemarle Way of Digital Excellence

  • Patrick Thompson, Chief Information and Digital Transformation Officer, Albemarle Corporation

Albemarle’s comprehensive global digitization strategy was created through a powerful combination of IT and business transformation aligned with the company’s five Excellence Programs. Find out how this operating model delivered 400 percent growth and positioned Albemarle as the world’s leading energy storage and specialty chemical company.

2:15 p.m.  Break in Virtual Content

4:00 p.m.  Executive Interview: Creating Cross-functional Digital-Driven Manufacturing

  • Mike Lashbrook, Vice President Digital Solutions and Senior Vice President, M&A Connected Industry, JR Automation, a Hitachi Group Company

In conversation with: Jeff Puma, Senior Content Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council

When challenges were handled in analog with pen, paper, and perhaps a Kaizen, team leaders and operators were involved in the decision-making. As digitalization and data have risen to prominence, decisions have been taken out of the operators’ hands and centralized with data gatekeepers in some organizations. At risk is the firsthand knowledge that operators and frontline leaders brought into the equation. In this session, we’ll discuss how to create a culture and process that decentralizes data-driven decision-making and what benefits this can bring to an organization.

4:30 p.m.  Case Study: Data Strategy to Enhance Resiliency and Support Profitable Growth

  • Mark Danovsky, Vice President, Enterprise Supply Chain, Winnebago Industries

In 2016, Winnebago Industries found itself with low market share, low revenue, and just one brand in its product portfolio. As the company found itself needing to grow and diversify through acquisitions, this meant adding many new production facilities to the manufacturing footprint. This case study will examine how the company has integrated these new facilities in a way that creates “one source of truth” while allowing portfolio businesses to keep a level of autonomy and without needing an immediate conversion to a common ERP.

5:00 p.m.  Capstone Keynote: Maximizing Impact by Integrating People, Products and Processes

  • Craig Melrose, Executive Vice President, Digital Transformation, PTC

In conversation with: Penelope Brown, Senior Content Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council

People, products, and processes have continually improved since the dawn of the industrial age. But each has progressed at different rates and in different ways. Digital is an equalizer that promises to level up all three to similar levels and integrate them like never before while adding the benefit of more real time information, in context, with newer and deeper insights focused ONLY on what matters most while generating business impact.

5:30 p.m.  Content for Tuesday Concludes


Wednesday, June 28

8:10 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions

8:20 a.m.  Fireside Chat: Is ChatGPT a Cause for Optimism or Concern?

  • Dr. Julie Shah, Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, MIT
  • Jai Sundararaman, Chief Transformation Officer, Intertape Polymer Group, and Member, MLC Board of Governors

In conversation with: David R. Brousell, Founder, Vice President and Executive Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council

The emergence of generative AI tools such as Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bart have spurred predictions that they could improve product ideation and design, material science, project management, customer service, and marketing in companies. They have also been controversial. The famed linguistics thinker Dr. Noam Chomsky has written, for example, that machine learning technologies such as ChatGPT “will degrade our science and debase our ethics by incorporating into our technology a fundamentally flawed conception of language and knowledge.” This session will explore the pros and cons of generative AI tools and what their implications may be for manufacturing.

8:50 a.m.  Case Study: Sustainability in the Manufacturing 4.0 Era

  • Billy Bardin, Global Climate Transition Director, Dow Inc.

9:20 a.m.  Panel Discussion: Meet the Next-Generation Leaders

Moderator: Penelope Brown, Senior Content Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council


  • Amanda Ahrens, ESG Architect, Dow, Inc.
  • Emily Ambrose, Regional EHS Manager, Saint-Gobain Life Sciences
  • Shane Whitaker, Senior Application Engineer, Manufacturing Technology, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

What’s on the minds of the next generation as they develop into the leaders of tomorrow? This panel discussion will examine the hopes, aspirations, and visions for the future from some of this year’s top finalists for the Next-Generation Leadership award.

9:50 a.m.  Break in Virtual Content

10:30 a.m.  Case Study: From Kotex to Kleenex – How Kimberly-Clark is Leveraging Digital Manufacturing

  • Jay Agarwal, Senior Director, Digital Strategy and Manufacturing 4.0, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Kimberly-Clark products are sold in 175 countries and used by one in every four people, globally. This scale is enabled by a comprehensive manufacturing network that provides high quality, fast throughput and reliable delivery using digital tools. Learn how Kimberly-Clark’s digital transformation achieved impact at scale, and how the resulting digital foundation enabled the deployment of advanced controls and machine learning.

11:00 a.m.  Executive Interview: Connecting Manufacturing to the Customer Experience

  • Mike Adams, Chief Information Officer, Brunswick
  • Prasoon Saxena, President, Manufacturing, NTT DATA

In conversation with: David R. Brousell, Founder, Vice President and Executive Director, Manufacturing Leadership Council

Personalization is prevalent in consumer’s lives. Streaming services know what specific viewers like to watch. Car seats automatically adjust to a driver’s ideal position. Social media channels curate content based on a user’s interest. With such widespread experience personalization, end consumers increasingly expect equally robust experiences from manufacturers. Connecting customer experience expectations with core manufacturing is becoming critical in delivering market expectations. This session discusses Brunswick’s digital transformation focus from the CIO perspective including specific steps the organization is taking to strengthen customer ties and drive better customer experiences. A focus will also be put on the pattern of customer experience driving manufacturing needs across the board.

11:30 a.m.  Break in Virtual Content

2:45 p.m.  Lightning Round: Meet the Manufacturing Leadership Award Finalists

Get a deeper look at some of this year’s top projects from the Manufacturing Leadership Awards. Featuring presentations from:

  • Celanese – A Connected Digital Twin of the Future
  • DSM-Firmenich – Bio-Vitamin A: New Technology Deployment that Dramatically Improves Sustainability
  • Flex – Joint Risk Management: Shifting Supply Chain Risks from Unknown to Known
  • Starkey – A Fully Connected and Predictive Equipment Management System (EMS)

3:45 p.m.  Content for Rethink 2023 Concludes



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