Henry McMaster

South Carolina Governor

Henry Dargan McMaster of Columbia became the 117th Governor of South Carolina on January 24, 2017. McMaster previously served two years as lieutenant governor, eight years as attorney general and four years as United States attorney.  McMaster was the first U.S. attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
McMaster has served on the South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Palmetto Health Foundation Board and the South Carolina Policy Council (as chairman).  He is admitted to practice in all courts, state and federal, in South Carolina, as well as the U.S. Court of Claims (1974), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1975) and the Supreme Court of the United States (1978).
The governor will give a keynote speech on Tuesday, Sept. 11th. There will be no charge.

Megan Pollock

Vice President of Strategic Communications, Samsung Electronics America

Megan Pollock is responsible for creating the message, identifying the key audiences and securing the means by which to educate policymakers and the policy-making community about Samsung’s employees, innovation, investment, and philanthropy in the U.S.
Prior to joining Samsung in 2014, Pollock was vice president for DKC Public Relations, Marketing and Government Affairs. In this role, she oversaw DKC’s expansion into Washington, D.C. and managed media relations campaigns around legislative and regulatory issues and branding initiatives.  She served a diverse array of clients with national public policy requirements, ranging from Yahoo to the Children’s Health Fund.
Pollock’s keynote speech will open the conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11th. To hear the keynote, attendees must purchase a ticket to the Workforce Development Breakfast. 

Thomas Makosch

Director, IoT for the Americas, Bosch Group

Thomas Makosch acts as director for digital business, for the Bosch Group. Currently, he is leading two teams focused on strategizing and implementing digital social business and building the Bosch IoT Ecosystem throughout the Americas region.
The Bosch IoT Ecosystem is a cornerstone of Bosch’s digital strategy, with its Bosch IoT Marketplace, Bosch Developer Portal and ThingBook as core components. The ecosystem is designed as open community extending to work with start-ups, partners, end users, public bodies – all parties involved in IoT innovation and development. Further, due to his extensive history with Bosch, he has experience with IoT applications in the different Bosch domains, namely Connected Mobility, Industry 4.0, Smart Home and Energy. His expertise lies in building a successful ecosystem and driving a company’s cultural change towards digital innovation. He has held several managerial positions in Europe and North America and has a deep understanding of business development, data security and of the automotive and insurance industry.
Makosch is the keynote speaker for the Salute to Manufacturing Awards Luncheon, Sept. 12th.

Suzanne Dickerson

Director, Logistics Industry Initiatives, SC Council on Competitiveness

Suzanne Dickerson joined the Council after serving for 8 years as the Director for International Business Development at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Suzanne’s experience includes 20 years in the automotive industry: 12 years within BMW working in the fields of corporate sustainability, innovation management and long-term strategic and structural planning.She began her career with BMW in Munich Germany at corporate headquarters upon completion of the Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program. Suzanne speaks fluent German and is also a Fellow of the BMW Foundation Young Leaders Forum. Suzanne serves as Vice President of the multi-state Southern Automotive Women’s Forum and is a Board Member of the South Carolina Automotive Council.
Dickerson will moderate the event, Exceptional Executives: Women Who are Leading the Way, Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 9 a.m.

Pamela Evette

Owner & CEO, Quality Business Solutions

Pamela Evette brings more than twenty years of financial management, compliance and controller experience and an entrepreneurial spirit to her role as president/CEO of Quality Business Solutions. A trained accountant and former CFO, Evette’s primary expertise is in building Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), firms that provide a service under which an employer can outsource employee management tasks, such as payroll, employee benefits and workers’ compensation, recruiting, risk/safety management, and training and development. Over her many years of serving in a financial capacity at a wide range of organizations, including software training companies, PEOs and consulting firms, Evette has demonstrated a keen focus on driving customer growth through superior service and a deep understanding of the challenges facing small and medium sized businesses. Evette founded Quality Business Solutions in 2000 to meet growing industry demand for flexible, turnkey and cost-effective outsourced solutions for non-core business functions that address critical workforce administration issues while ensuring compliance and mitigating risk.
Evette will be a panelist at the event, Exceptional Executives: Women Who are Leading the Way, Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 9 a.m.

Jody Gallagher


Jody Gallagher is president and chief executive officer and has served in this role since 2005. In addition, he serves on the AFL board of directors, and is an executive officer of Fujikura, AFL’s parent company, where he represents AFL on Fujikura’s Executive Council.
Since assuming the role of president and chief executive officer, Jody has navigated AFL through a challenging global economy while posting strong operational and financial results. He has been a steadfast advocate for growing the company both organically and via the following key acquisitions: ALTA Group, Tier2, Verrillon, Dossert, Northstar, Noyes Fiber Systems and The Light Brigade in North America.; TCC, Optronics and Draka’s OPGW business in Europe; and Optimal Cable Systems and AFC in Australia and New Zealand. Further, Jody has successfully cultivated the business relationship between AFL and its parent company Fujikura, leveraging the strengths and assets of each to improve the business.
Gallagher will be a panelist at the event, Workforce Development Breakfast: Meeting the Needs of the Manufacturing Community. This event will kick off the conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11th.


Denise Thigpen

Owner & Founder, Wholesale Boutique

Denise Thigpen is the founder of Wholesale Boutique, the distributor of the brand Viv&Lou, specializing in trendy and affordable bags and accessories.  Thigpen, a mother and registered nurse, searched for an additional way to support her family and with a $5,000 investment, she began what is now a multi-million-dollar enterprise that has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. In 2016, Thigpen received the honor of being named the South Carolina Female Business Person of the Year awarded by the South Carolina Small Business Association.
Thigpen will be a panelist at the event, Exceptional Executives: Women Who are Leading the Way, Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 9 a.m.

Sherry McCraw

Vice President, Assembly, BMW Manufacturing

Sherry McCraw has 25 years of leadership experience in engineering, planning and manufacturing at BMW. McCraw began her career with the company in 1993 with responsibilities for the facility’s import car processing operation. Over the next eight years, McCraw played a key role in various aspects of assembly production, planning, engineering and technology steering. In 2001, McCraw was selected for an international assignment in Munich to supervise start-up planning for the second generation BMW X5.
In 2004, she returned to Spartanburg as the Planning Manager of Assembly and Technology Steering. In 2007, McCraw managed the plant’s 1.2 million square foot assembly expansion in preparation to produce the X3 and, in 2011, was selected to lead the company’s largest single investment of $900 Million to expand the plant for the fifth time in the company’s history. In 2013, McCraw was named Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance. She was most recently appointed to Vice President of Assembly in 2017.
McCraw will be a panelist at the event, Exceptional Executives: Women Who are Leading the Way, Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 9 a.m.

Paige Simpson

Purchasing Manager, Itron

Paige Simpson has been a member of the Itron team for more than 25 years in various positions from production floor and sales analyst to procurement and logistics. Simpson currently manages a team of 37 employees that are responsible for the production scheduling of all electricity and gas production lines at the Oconoee plant. Simpson is also responsible for the receiving, warehousing and shipping of all product.
Itron offers products and services on energy and water resource management. Its products and services include technology solutions related to smart grid, smart gas and smart water that measure and analyze electricity, gas and water consumption.
McCraw will be a panelist at the event, Exceptional Executives: Women Who are Leading the Way, Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 9 a.m.

Cheryl Stanton

Executive Director, SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce (DEW)

Cheryl Stanton was appointed executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) by Gov. Nikki R. Haley in 2013. She is responsible for the direction and management of the state’s employment agency, which is focused on providing quality, customer-driven workforce services that promote financial stability and economic growth to individuals, businesses and communities.
Under Stanton’s leadership, the agency has flourished by expanding the effectiveness of its workforce department and transforming its unemployment insurance (UI) division. The number of people working has increased by 10 percent to an all-time high of more than 2.2 million people. One of Stanton’s most significant partnerships organized by DEW, S.C. Department of Commerce, S.C. Technical College System and the S.C. Department of Education is the S.C. Talent Pipeline project. This long-term talent development system is built on studying data and defining needs at a regional level and then implementing system change, processes and best practices that will create a pipeline of skilled labor for South Carolina businesses
Stanton will be the moderator at the event, Workforce Development Breakfast: Meeting the Needs of the Manufacturing Community. This event will kick off the conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

Steve Townes

CEO, Ranger Aerospace

Steve Townes, a well-known entrepreneur in the aerospace services arena, is president, CEO and director of Ranger Aerospace (and its affiliates), the company he founded in 1997. He has held several successive CEO positions in Ranger’s ventures, notably of Keystone Helicopter, ASIG, Ranger International Services Group, and most currently Ranger AeroSystems LLC and Ranger Airshop Holdings, Inc. Ranger’s current holdings are strong continuations of the holding company’s repetitive pattern of historical success, following positive transformational leadership techniques for accelerated growth and critical mass.
Townes is an engineering graduate of West Point. Steve earned the coveted Eisenhower Award upon graduation there. He also holds an MBA from Long Island University and completed the PMD program at Harvard Business School. He is a featured speaker at aerospace conventions and symposia and has testified on aviation matters before the U.S. House of Representatives, FAA, and NTSB.
Townes will be a panelist at the event, Workforce Development Breakfast: Meeting the Needs of the Manufacturing Community. This event will kick off the conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

Rick Eitel

CEO/President, Duer/Carolina Coil

Rick Eitel has been at Duer/Carolina Coil for 18 years, working primarily in manufacturing, process improvement and quality. Duer/Carolina Coil has been in existence for more than 120 years. They produce engineers springs and those products are used throughout the world in a variety of demanding applications, including military/heavy-duty truck suspensions, mining/construction and agricultural applications.
Eitel will be a panelist at the event, Workforce Development Breakfast: Meeting the Needs of the Manufacturing Community. This event will kick off the conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

Joerg Klisch

Director of Operations, MTU America, Inc.

In his role as director of operations at MTU America Inc., Joerg Klisch oversees management and production activities at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Graniteville, South Carolina. Throughout his tenure at MTU, Klisch has led many projects that have been significant milestones for the company, including the relocation of MTU America’s manufacturing operations from Detroit to Graniteville in 2010, the implementation of LEAN Manufacturing processes in Graniteville and Mankato, and the creation of a new apprenticeship program in Graniteville that has gained national attention.
Klisch’s background consists of exceptional intercultural work experience in Germany and the United States. Previous employers include the German Navy, Daimler and MTU Friedrichshafen, where he held positions in product assembly, purchasing, logistics, quality and manufacturing engineering. He is an expert in manufacturing efficiency and critical chain project management.
Klisch will be a panelist at the event, Workforce Development Breakfast: Meeting the Needs of the Manufacturing Community. This event will kick off the conference on Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

Brandon Brown

Owner and Master Kata Coach, Continuous Coaching Commitment
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Toyota Kata Practitioner Day

Brandon Brown will be the instructor for the South Carolina Kata Practioner Day. Brown is owner and Master Kata coach at Continuous Coaching Commitment, LLC. He’s also an associate for the W3 Group, delivering tangible and sustainable continuous improvement results as a Toyota Kata Master Coach and Lean Instructor/Facilitator. Most recently, in November 2017, he was the keynote speaker at the first TWI-Kata Summit in Prague, CZ and Zilina, SK, in Central Europe to celebrate the newest release of the 19th language of the Toyota Kata book. Brandon has 25 years of continuous improvement experience in various leadership roles for Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, Central States Manufacturing, Waterloo Industries, and Lincoln Automotive.

Susan Whitehead

Technical Specialist, SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Training Within Industry (TWI)

Susan Whitehead will instruct two courses: Training Within Industry (TWI): Overview of Job Relations, Job Instruction and Job Methods and Lean for Human Resources: A Fundamental Change in Approach. Over the past 20+ years as a quality engineer, Whitehead has worked for companies such as Bose Corporation, Bosch Braking Systems, and Honeywell Aerospace (formally AlliedSignal Engines). While at Bose, she was a key member of a cross-functional team achieving quality, cost and delivery goals. In turn, she reduced PPM by 65%, increased yields 19%, and increased production rates 37% within eight months. Now a Technical Specialist at the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP), Whitehead is a TWI Certified Instructor and has trained more than 1,000 employees.

Spencer Cobb

Director of Strategic Sales, Cytellix
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Cyber Security in Manufacturing

Spencer Cobb will instruct a course called: Cyber Security in Manufacturing: Preparing for the Robot Zombie Hack Megeddon. For the last 20 years, Cobb has been helping some of the biggest companies in the world protect themselves from emerging cyber threats originating from nation states, hacktivists, and organized crime syndicates. A veteran of multiple successful cyber security startups, Cobb now leads strategy and business development with Cytellix, the cyber security division of IMRI. The company secures over 7M devices with customers such as the U.S. Army, Missile Command, DISA and DHS.

Nancy Eichstadt

Managing Partner, Leadership Management International
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: How Do I Get People To Do What I Want?

Nancy Eichstadt will instruct a course called: How Do I Get People To Do What I Want? Creating a High-Performance Workforce. Eichstadt is a managing partner with Leadership Management International, Inc. (LMI) based out of the Upstate of South Carolina. Nancy’s professional background spans more than 25 years working in corporate america for Fortune 500 companies such as Dow Chemical, Georgia Pacific, and Sealed Air Corporation. She has held a variety of senior management positions from sales and marketing to global business development to business unit management.

Chris Wayne

Vice President of Growth Services, SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Effective Marketing for Manufacturers: A Pathway to Success

Chris Wayne will instruct a course on effective marketing implementation. For more than 25 years as a mechanical engineer and designer, Wayne has developed an extensive knowledge of a multitude of industries and has worked for a wide range of companies, from small start-ups to Fortune 500 organizations. Recognized for analyzing, valuing and managing business development opportunities, he is a highly successful innovation leader with a proven track record of transforming ideas into revenue streams. Building motivated teams in highly competitive and fast-paced industries is something Wayne prides himself on and is at ease with building strategic relationships at the corporate and university levels.

Mark Jolley

Director of Manufacturing Services, Marshall Institute
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: The Diary of a Reliability Consultant

Mark Jolley will co-instruct a course called: The Diary of a Reliability Consultant: Real-World Lessons to Achieve World-Class Manufacturing.  Jolly is the director of manufacturing services at the Marshall Institute. He is an experienced maintenance and manufacturing professional with more than ten years of experience leading continuous improvement in the manufacturing environment. Jolley has worked as a LEAN Leader, directing complex projects from concept to fully-operational status. His background in TPM, 5S, Six Sigma and Quality Assurance has helped make him a strong team leader, detail-directed problem solver and a goal-oriented manager. In his position, Jolley is dedicated to assisting his clients achieve their uptime, reliability and cost goals while developing a sustainable structure for long-term, high performance.

Steve Gowan

Manager of Marketing Services, Marshall Institute
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: The Diary of a Reliability Consultant

Steve Gowan will co-instruct a course called: The Diary of a Reliability Consultant: Real-World Lessons to Achieve World-Class Manufacturing. Manager of manufacturing services at the Marshall Institute, Gowan is a proven Continuous Improvement Leader with 16 years of manufacturing leadership experience. He loves to drive process improvement and has a solid history of cost reduction, production yield improvements and quality improvement through TPM and LEAN Manufacturing. In various career positions from crew chief in the United States Air Force to process engineer for an aerospace company, Gowan was involved a in TPM, 5S, Spare Parts/Storeroom Management, Employee Development, Root Cause Analysis, Predictive/Preventive Maintenance, Equipment Improvement, and LEAN Manufacturing. Gowan leads organizations to optimize reliability contribution to their organization’s performance.

Jim Woody

Technical Specialist, SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Intro to Kanban: Basic Concepts and Pitfalls

Jim Woody will instruction a course called: Intro to Kanban, Basic Concepts and Pitfalls. Working with a Fortune 500 company in the mid-80s, Woody began his transition from the then-traditional manufacturing environment to the revolutionary Lean environment. The new culture and methodology became ingrained in his thinking and managing process. His industry experience spans 27 years in high-volume manufacturing, including operations management with P&L responsibilities. Over the past 15 years, he has worked domestically and internationally with over 400 companies in everything from healthcare and telecommunications, to all types of manufacturing environments. Woody is able to transition his knowledge in a way that companies feel equipped with the necessary tools for long-term survival.

Edward Barnes

Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain Management, The Citadel
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Lean Logistics: Reducing the Fat

Ed Barnes will instruct a course called: Lean Logistics: Reducing the Fat.  Barnes has 34 years of experience in the supply chain field. He received a bachelor of science from Charleston Southern University in 1984 and an MBA from The Citadel in 1990. Barnes served in the U.S. Navy as a senior enlisted electronics technician and supply corps officer, retiring as a lieutenant commander in 2001. He is certified in Production and Inventory Control (CPIM) and is a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and a certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB). Barnes teaches undergraduate supply chain classes at The Citadel. In addition, he teaches Operations, Production Control, Six Sigma, and Lean Supply Chain courses for APICS and industrial organizations.

Greg Folts

President, Marshall Institute
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Developing a Skilled Workforce: Delivering World-Class Reliability

Greg Folts will instruct a course on workforce development.  The president of Marshall Institute, Folts is an experienced TPM and maintenance consultant. His experience with maintenance strategy, LEAN principles, Six Sigma and shop floor technical background give him the ability to work with all management levels within an organization. Folts has assisted clients in developing TPM and maintenance strategies — saving millions of dollars — for companies including Boeing, Harley Davidson, BMW, Mercury Marine, Monsanto, Leggett & Platt, Appleton Papers and Federal Mogul. He has driven multi-plant, corporate projects as well as adapted improvement techniques for smaller facilities.


Tom Furnival

Director of Training Services, Marshall Institute
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Developing a Skilled Workforce: Delivering World-Class Reliability

Tom Furnival will instruct a course on workforce development. Furnival has been with Marshall Institute for 10 years. As the director of training services, he is responsible for supporting clients to enhance performance, including knowledge and competency, contribute to their bottom line and grow in their careers through role-based and topic-based instructor-led public seminars, live webinars and custom on-site training. With a background in business management and strategic marketing, Furnival brings a strategic company perspective to developing and supporting maintenance and reliability teams. He has helped clients in industries including manufacturing, mining, pharmaceutical, facilities, energy and numerous others with custom-designed training to achieve corporate goals.

Joe Razum

Value Engineer, 3D Systems
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: 3D Printing for Lean, IoT Wearables and Hackathons

Joe Razum will instruct a course on 3D printing and the Internet of Things. Razum has presented additive manufacturing at numerous national conferences including: SME Rapid, SAE World Congress, SAE AeroTech and regionally to various professional groups such as AMS. He has a 2017 certificate from MIT in Internet of Things, certification in additive from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and five years of experience in additive.

Rebecca Hartley, Ph.D.

Director, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, Clemson University
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Advancing Robotics Technology in Manufacturing

Rebecca Hartley, Ph.D. is Director of Operations for Clemson University Center for Workforce Development (CUCWD) and the NSF ATE Center for Aviation and Automotive Technological Education using Virtual E-Schools (CA²VES). She has spent the past 17 years working in higher education administration in the areas of undergraduate admissions, graduate admissions, academic records, and student affairs. Rebecca also serves as the Chief Workforce Development Officer with the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute.

Ken Grider

Managing Director, Raymond James Investment Banking
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Investment Banking 101: An Update on the Manufacturing Industry

Ken Grider is currently serving as head of the business development group of Raymond James’ Professional Partners Program. He manages the investment bank’s relationships with legal and accounting firms, venture, mezzanine, and lower market private equity funds as well as Raymond James’ 7500+ financial advisors. Prior to joining Raymond James, Grider was a partner with Equitable Capital Management. He spent 13 years working with Tunstall Consulting, a boutique corporate finance consulting firm, ultimately serving as the firm’s senior managing director.