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2022 SPESA Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference

Detroit | September 13, 2022

The Motor City: Where Industry & 
Innovation Collide

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What to Know Before You Go (Event Information for Attendees & Speakers)

In 2017, Forbes named Detroit "the Comeback City". With a rich history in automotives, and an infrastructure designed to support growing manufacturing industries, we can understand why the city is experiencing a rebirth. Beyond that, the last five years have seen an influx of fashion emerging in the Motor City. Designers, like Tracy Reese, are bringing garment manufacturing back to Detroit, supporting more Made in America initiatives, and bringing competition to other major markets like New York City and Los Angeles. 

Most excitingly, the industries that are emerging (and reemerging) in Detroit have identified ways to work together and drive innovation and change for the city. 

This year's Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference will present an exciting opportunity to dive into some of the changes taking shape in Detroit, while also hearing from our members on new ideas, solutions, and technology available for the sewn products industry. 

The 2022 Advancements Conference will be held in conjunction with the Detroit Auto Show. As an added bonus for this year's event, Advancements Conference attendees and speakers will receive a floor pass to the Auto Show. 

Advancements Conference Agenda

Advancements Agenda

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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Detroit Regional Chamber)

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Carhartt Flagship/ISAIC - Industrial Sewing & Innovation Center)

Floor access to North American International Auto Show starting Wednesday, September 14, 2022

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. | Event introduction​

Michael McDonald, President, SPESA
Ed Gribbin, Chairman, SPESA

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Welcome to Detroit

Kevin Johnson, CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)


​9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Panel 1: Hot Topics Fireside Chat - Shifting Supply Chain

Where we’re going and Detroit’s role in reshoring, nearshoring, and improving both domestic and global supply chains

Matthew Wallace, CEO, DXM Inc. 
Deb Ferraro, Vice President, Global Product Development & Technical Design, Carhartt
Drew Coleman, Senior Director, MICHauto

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Networking break

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Panel 2: Industry Automation and Manufacturing

Examining the role of automation across multiple industries including apparel and automotive​

Leonard Marano, President, Americas, Lectra
Frank Henderson, President & Owner, Henderson Sewing Machine Company

Cynthia Hutchison, Head of US Centre for Advanced Manufacturing in collaboration with the World Economic Forum

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Lunch break

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Panel 3: Industry Digitalization

Implementing digitalization across industries, from automotives to apparel​

Jill Coleman, Vice President, Global Business, Alvanon
Michael Rabin, Sales Director of the Americas, Morgan Tecnica
Justin Hershoran, Director of Real-Time Analytics, Exenta by Aptean

Yoram Burg, Chief Commercial Officer, SEDDI

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Afternoon break

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Panel 4: SKU of One - The Drive for Sustainability

This panel will focus on efforts to leverage on-demand manufacturing to drive the industry towards a sustainable future​

Ram Sareen, CEO, Tukatech
Garrett Gerson, Founder & CEO, Variant 3D
Andre West, Director, Zeis Textiles Extension, N.C. State
Dan Radomski, Executive Director, Centrepolis Accelerator, Lawrence Technological University 

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Transportation to Carhartt/ISAIC

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Tour of ISAIC 

In addition to a tour of ISAIC, event attendees will have an opportunity during this time to network and enjoy drinks/snacks prior to the final panel starting. 

5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Final Panel Reception: Detroit Crossroads - Where Industries and Innovation Collide

This panel will serve as the culmination of the Advancements Conference and an opportunity to hear from major stakeholders responsible for Detroit’s continued growth across fashion, automotive, and innovation

Jen Guarino, CEO, ISAIC
Brenna Lane, CEO, Detroit Denim

Colleen Hau, Vice President of Product and Programs, Newlab
Allen Largin, Creative & Innovation Director, Rock Ventures
Glenn Stevens, Executive Director, MICHauto and Vice President, Automotive & Mobility Initiatives​​

Thank You Sponsors!

Advancemnsts Registration

Advancements Conference Information

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Detroit next Tuesday, September 13! Detailed below is some important information about the event. Should you have any questions, we invite you to reach out directly to Maggie McDonald ( or +1-919-880-7023) or Marie D'Avignon ( or +1-903-571-7363). 


Event Start & Location | The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13 at The Beacon (1 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226, second floor). There will be someone onsite who can direct you where you’ll need to go. We invite you to arrive a few minutes early for a light breakfast, coffee, and networking.

Parking at 1 Woodward Avenue | The recommended parking deck for 1 Woodward Avenue is located at 296 Larned St., Detroit MI 48226. This is approximately two blocks from the event venue.

Closing Reception | The event will culminate with a trip to the Carhartt flagship and ISAIC headquarters (5800 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48202). Guests will be invited to take a quick tour of ISAIC, grab a light snack and drink, and settle in for a final panel in the Carhartt Workshop (second floor). Guests will be transported via shuttle bus from The Beacon to Carhartt. After the event, the shuttle will transport guests back to the 1 Woodward Avenue building where the event started, or the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (where most guests are residing).

Parking at Carhartt/ISAIC | All parking is paid street parking. There are a few dozen spaces along Cass Avenue that are within a very short walking distance of Carhartt Workshop. We recommend using the ParkDetroit smartphone app as the best way to stay on top of your parking meter (rates are $1.00/hr. and the parking zone is 206). We do ask event attendees to not park at 5800 Cass Avenue as this is reserved for patrons of the retail store only. Please refer to the parking map attached for more information. 

Event Materials | Event materials at this year’s conference will be digital. Event attendees will be able to access materials via QR code at the event. Wi-Fi and password will also be provided onsite.

Detroit Marriott Guests | For those staying at the Detroit Marriott under the SPESA room block, we strongly advise you to download the Marriott Bonvoy app and check-in via your mobile device. We have been informed that check-in lines could be long in anticipation of large crowds arriving to Detroit for the Auto Show. If you need help with this, I’d be happy to assist.  

For Those Who Requested Floor Passes to the North American International Auto Show | The Auto Show will open on Wednesday, September 14 at 1:00 p.m. at Huntington Place (1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226). Credentials can be picked up any time on Wednesday at the credential’s office which is located on the concourse level (level 2) just outside of the entrance to Hall C on the right-hand side. A map is attached for reference. Please be advised that you will need to present your ID to pick up your passes.

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