Thursday, November 9

South Carolina Manufacturing Expo
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)
Manufacturing Expo

Visit the Manufacturing Expo to have access to our Exhibitors. The Expo Floor spans approximately three football fields in size and attendees are encouraged to explore the entire space.

8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (EST)
CLOSING THE SKILLS GAP: Preparing South Carolina’s future manufacturing workforce

This panel discussion will address what South Carolina is doing to prepare for the influx of advanced manufacturing jobs coming to the state and the resources available to companies looking to fill those positions or upskill its workforce, offering solutions for manufacturing industry stakeholders and examining opportunities to help executives and stakeholders grow their businesses or organizations.


  • 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

  • Rebecca Battle-Bryant, president, Battle Plan Consulting LLC

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (EST)

This event will feature a panel discussion followed by an awards recognition in which we honor 10 women making an impact on South Carolina’s manufacturing industry. The all-female panel discussion, hosted by Catherine Hayes of the South Carolina Research Authority, will offer a diversity of thought on manufacturing industry-related issues through a woman’s lens: overcoming challenges, career advancement, mentorship, digital transition, technology, upskilling and more..


  • 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
  • Annekathrin Muller, vice president, commercial plant manager, Charleston, Bosch in North America
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (EST)
EV SPOTLIGHT: INNOVATING THINKING: How lean production and Industry 4.0 has fueled a new era of efficiency & sustainability

Learn from leaders in South Carolina’s manufacturing industry who have evolved to embrace technology as the impetus for innovation and new solutions. Discover how advancements in the workplace have ushered in a new era of sustainability and environmental stewardship as digital advancements inform best practices in energy conservation and workforce efficiency.


  • 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
  • Suzanne Dickerson, director, SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance, South Carolina Council on Competitiveness