With almost 1,400 German businesses operating in the Midwest, the region represents an attractive business location, particular for transatlantic trade.
For small and mid-sized enterprises there are several challenges that need to be navigated. Our conference will cover the following topics:
- Manufacturing in the Midwest
- Successful Marketing/Branding Strategies
- Working in a Multicultural Environment/HQ-Subsidiary Relationships
- Corporate Governance/Compliance
- Skilled Workforce
Want to learn more?
These topics and more will be covered at our content driven Midwest SME Forum on March 16 from 7:30AM - approx. 3:30PM.
The day will be filled with keynotes, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and plentiful networking opportunities.
We encourage you to participate – attend, speak, sponsor! Block your calendar to participate in this special event.
Not a member yet? We have a special opportunity for you – join us as a new member prior to March 16, and we will waive the event registration fee.
Our Midwest SME Forum aims to provide a platform that connects business partners, provides insights on economic as well as industry trends, and enables further exchange of ideas and opinions between peers.
William A. Strauss, CBE Senior Economist and Economic Advisor
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
7:30am – 8:30am: Registration & Networking Breakfast
8:30am – 9:30am: Opening & Welcome
- Keynote - William A. Strauss, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
9:30am – 10:45am: Panel: Manufacturing in the Midwest
- Gregory Baise - President & CEO | Illinois Manufacturing Association
- Geoffrey Somary - President & CEO | Ipsen, Inc.
- Peter Riehle - President & CEO | WITTENSTEIN, Inc.
- Moderator: W. David Braun - Partner | Quarles & Brady LLP
10:45am – 11:15am: Networking Coffee Break
11:15am – 12:30pm: Breakout Session (choose 1 of 2)
1. Successful Marketing | Branding Strategies
- Christina Chatfield - Marketing Communications Director | HARTING
- Dr. Michael Luz - President & CEO | Viessmann Manufacturing US
- Rick LaBerge - COO | HARIBO
2. Corporate Governance | Compliance
- Matthias Amberg - Partner | Rödl & Partner
- Alexandra Lopez-Casero - Partner | Nixon Peabody, LLP
- Tom Sprowl - Director of Custom Brokerage | Kuehne & Nagel
12:30pm – 1:45pm: Luncheon
1:45pm – 3pm: Breakout Session (choose 1 of 2)
1. Working in a Multicultural Environment | HQ - Subsidiary Relationships
- Jan Pflugfelder - President & CEO | KOMET of America Holding
- Andy Stecher - President & CEO | Plasmatreat USA
- Heiko Fischer - President & CEO | Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
- Brian Jaskolski - Vice President | Weil Engineering North America
- Moderator: Virginia Rounds - Director, Consulting Services | GACC Midwest
2. Skilled Workforce
- Jim Nelson - Vice President of External Affairs | Illinois Manufacturers' Association
- Richard Gilchrist - Chairman | Felsomat
- Mario Kratsch - Director, Skills Initiative | GACC Midwest
- Moderator: Mark Tomkins - President & CEO | GACC Midwest
3pm – 3:30pm: Wrap up & Networking
| More speakers to be announced soon |
This year's Midwest SME Forum will be held at:
Wojcik Conference Center
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL 60067
Please use the Roselle road entrance and park in lot 14.
If Lot 14 is full, there is additional parking in Lot 10, 11, and 12.
Free parking is available