MFG Operations Conference 2022

The sold-out 2022 MFG Operations Conference provided actionable solutions to operational challenges for Michigan manufacturers in April. This powerful event offered proven strategies, tools and best practices in the areas of talent recruitment, employee retention and engagement, leadership, technology developments and human resources.

Program Lineup

The 2022 MFG Operations Conference featured two keynote presentations and 12 breakout sessions on talent, IT, finance and more.

Strategic Planning — Drive Growth and Capture Opportunities

Daniel BruceDaniel Bruce • UHY Consulting

How can manufacturing leaders pivot from constantly reacting to being purposefully proactive? Leadership teams that embrace strategic, intentional planning seize growth opportunities, react quicker to disruptive trends and create competitive advantages. This presentation demonstrates the value of strategic planning, providing manufacturing leaders with a process framework and outlining key activities for success.

Employee Engagement and the Great Resignation

Mike DergisMike Dergis • Sigred Solutions

Position your company for the Great Resignation. Sigred Solutions offers insights into the minds of today's workforce. In this session, Mike Dergis reveals key findings and uncovers what motivates today's post-pandemic employees. Employers will get a clearer understanding of what matters to their workforce and insightful tips for retaining talent.

Nicole Smith and Mark FreedmanNo Profit Left Behind: Free Up Cash Flow and Improve Your Bottom Line

Nicole Smith & Mark Freedman • Nicole J. Smith Consulting

Want to save money, grow profits and reveal hidden cash flow? Most companies have up to 40% in unrealized savings available to them as well as hidden costs and cash flow drains. Find out where substantial sums can be found and prepare to be amazed by identifying missed opportunities and new efficiencies.

Tiny HR Team? Increase Your Impact by Thinking Differently.

Marcy Brajkovic • Chatfield Global LLC

Marcy BrajkovicMany organizations run a lean HR department or have a leader who manages HR along with other functions, making it challenging to get the day-to-day HR activities completed let alone any strategic HR and talent planning. Learn strategies to address everything from attracting and retaining talent, establishing a training and development plan to growing your existing team, or setting a compensation structure or succession plan.

How to Build a Strong Employer Brand to Attract and Retain Employees

Jason PiaseckiJason Piasecki • Revel

Competition for qualified employees is fiercer than ever. HR departments are overwhelmed and business leaders are frustrated they can’t find enough workers to get orders out the door. Companies need creativity and flexibility to attract the right type of employees. Learn the secrets manufacturers are using to strengthen their brand to compete for talent and win in today’s ultra-competitive job market.

Manufacturing is Not Off Limits to Hackers!

Chad PaalmanChad Paalman • NuWave Technology Partners

Participate in a discussion with a panel of professionals with expertise in cybersecurity, cyber law, cyber liability insurance and crisis communications. It is critically important to prepare prior to a data breach to safeguard your business. The manufacturing industry has already been targeted by cybersecurity attacks — get actionable tips to protect you, your employees and your company.

The Unsung Heroes - Grow Great Managers and Elevate Their Impact

Amy ForehandAmy Forehand • The Forehand Company

The pandemic has stressed organizations with operational challenges and talent shortages and managers play a critical role in successfully navigating today’s environment. Learn how great managers lead differently to achieve next level performance as Amy Forehand of The Forehand Company builds a plan to grow managers into great managers in this workshop-based session.

Common HR Issues to Be Aware of While Combating the Great Resignation

DeAndré HarrisDeAndré Harris • Warner Norcross + Judd

To combat the labor shortage of the Great Resignation, employers have had to get creative to find and keep employees. However, there may be legal minefields to avoid as it relates to solutions such as incentives, flexible work and external contractors. This session will provide employers with up-to-date guidance on the federal government’s renewed focus on wage-and-hour issues surrounding misclassified employees, remote work arrangements and no-poaching agreements.

Building a Culture by Design

Kevin PinnerKevin Pinner • DISHER

Want to build a culture of excellence? Don’t miss this engaging session by DISHER as they share their experiences on a high-performing culture with customers and community. Participants will learn key principles on how to enable their leaders and team members to improve individually and collectively through training, personal responsibility and continuous feedback.

Top Manufacturing IT Initiatives for 2022

Gary LutzGary Lutz • IT Resource

There is no limit to the number of threats and risks facing today's manufacturers. But with limited available resources and tight IT budgets, what should your priorities and must-haves be for 2022? Join this discussion of the top initiatives for manufacturers and how to prioritize and get full support from your leadership and board.

The Operational Task of Becoming an Employer of Choice

John KeuningJohn Keuning • Express Employment Professionals

Once the landscape and scope of the worker drought is understood, the discussion turns to attracting and then keeping good workers. The solution involves short-term and long-term solutions that any manufacturer can use to become an employer of choice. This conversation will connect the “what’s going on?” to the “what can we do?” from an operations/HR/leadership collaboration point of view.

Solving the People Crisis: Strategies to Recruit and Retain Talent

Jay JohnsonJay Johnson • Coeus Creative Group

How to attract, retain and engage workers are questions on every company's radar in this world of burnout, mid-career crisis and the Great Resignation. Join Jay Johnson and explore some of the immediately usable strategies and tactics that he has successfully helped companies implement to reduce turnover, recruit talent and empower their workforce.

Three Proven Solutions to the Manufacturing Staffing Shortage

Mike Schipper and Dave PoggiMike Schipper and Dave Poggi • InsITe

Hiring skilled workers was a challenge long before the pandemic hit. Now, manufacturers find themselves at the mercy of two major issues: the demand for a hybrid work model and a nationwide talent shortage. With fewer skilled workers available and significant competition to recruit them, discover three proven solutions to the manufacturing staffing shortage that will help you build a more connected and efficient workforce.

How — and Why — Manufacturers Are Embracing Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a crucial, transformational element in the workplace as well as within our society.  To attract, engage and retain a strong workforce, Michigan manufacturers of all sizes are actively engaging and working with intention to create inclusive workplaces.  In this session, hear from Michigan manufacturers in a lively discussion about how — and why — they’re using data-driven insights and a human-centered approach to create avenues of success for people of all diversity dimensions and meet their business goals.

    Confirmed panelists include:
  • Laurie Bylsma • Yanfeng International
  • Jennifer Gudgel • BorgWarner
  • Kym K. Reeves • Nexteer Automotive
  • Jennifer A. Wyatt • CEO Action for Racial Equity
  • Dave Worthams • MMA (Moderator)

2022 Sponsors

2022 Event Sponsors

InsITeBrown and BrownExpress Employment Professionals ASK, a Convergence Network CompanySandalwood Engineering & Ergonomics Rehmann Homethrive Blue Cross Blue Shield MetLife Maner Costerisan Gibson Insurance Gallagher FCCI Insurance Group ASE Great Lakes. Michigan Jobs. Prometis MTMIC Miller Industries DST Advisory Group
Sponsorship Opportunities

Opportunities are available throughout the year to get your company brand in front of manufacturing’s leaders. Contact MMA’s Ashley Wakefield, at 517-487-8523 or, or see the Three Ways to Expand Your Brand with MMA to build a strategy that works for you.

Contact Ashley Wakefield for Sponsorship

Ashley WakefieldDirector of Development and Strategic Partnerships
Call 517-487-8523

Contact Elizabeth Maciejewski for Registration

Elizabeth MaciejewskiMembership Specialist
Call 517-487-8542