Wednesday | October 4 | 8 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Goodwill Opportunity Campus

In an effort to further emphasize the importance of the manufacturing industry, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed Oct. 1 – 7 as ‘North Carolina Manufacturing Week.’ To celebrate the week, the Charlotte Chamber’s SouthWest Chapter held a Manufacturing Symposium Oct. 4 – a half-day event exploring manufacturing trends within the region.

Sara Casey of Economic Leadership kicked-off the day by highlighting and presenting an overview of the economic landscape while focusing on manufacturing as an economic driver. David Linford, GOM Americas Inc., provided an update on why he chose Charlotte to relocate his business. Giving closing remarks for the kick-off session, Travis Hogue of Myers & Chapman presented a layout of what it takes to be successful in the Charlotte market.

Throughout the day, the chamber held breakout sessions for both large and small companies which underscored the importance of a skilled workforce, how manufacturers can continue to successfully grow the talent needed and the movement to robotics, and how those skills will require continued evolvement.

Wrapping up the day with an inside look from the FBI on cybersecurity, attendees learned how to protect themselves from ransomware attacks, internal threats and social engineering with practical takeaways from attorney Eric Illman of Bradley.

See photos from the 2017 Manufacturers Symposium


8 – 8:30 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.
Manufacturing as an Economic Driver
Sara Casey, Lead Analyst, Economic Leadership LLC
David Linford, Vice President & General Manager at GOM Americas Inc.
Travis Hogue, Vice President, Industrial/Manufacturing, Myers & Chapman

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Break / Vendor Experience

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.
Breakout 1 - Workforce Development

Large Corporation Breakout Session:
Richard Zollinger, PhD., Vice President for Learning & Workforce Development CPCC
Valerie P. Truesdale, PhD., Chief Officer, Technology, Personalized Learning, Engagement – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. STEMersion Organizer
Anna London, Director of Career and Talent Development, Charlotte Works

Small Corporation Breakout Session:
Dana McDonald, Ph.D., Director of Goodwill University
Michael Grunwald, Operation Manager, Groninger

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Breakout 2 - Robotics and Automation

Large Corporation Breakout Session:
Elton Jones, AVP/Director/General Manager, TJ Maxx Distribution Center
Denton Hatton, Director of Manufacturing, Snyder’s-Lance
Matt Rivenbark, Executive Sales Manager, SSI Schaefer

Small Corporation Breakout Session:
Clifton Vann IV, CEO Hyde Park Partners
Matthew Roux, Sr. Applications Engineer, Okuma

11:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Break / Vendor Experience

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Responding to the Cybercrime Threat: Manufacturing
Ben Wheeless, Computer Scientist, FBI Charlotte
Erin Illman, CIPP/US Attorney, Bradley


For sponsorship opportunities, contact Cherise Walker at or 704.378.4106.