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2022 SPESA Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference

Detroit | September 13, 2022

Welcome to Detroit! 

Here you'll find everything you need for the 2022 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference.

Click here to see the full agenda and panel line-up for the 2022 Advancements Conference. 

Thank you to all of our sponsors! Click here to learn more about each of the sponsor companies. 

Meet the speakers. Click here to see the complete line-up of 2022 Advancements Conference speakers. 

Look who's in Detroit! Here is where you'll find a list of all conference attendees & companies. 

Advancements Agenda

Advancements Conference Agenda

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!


Advancements Conference Speakers

The 2022 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference speakers, listed in alphabetical order. 

Yoram Burg

Chief Commercial Officer | SEDDI

With over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience that spanned across Asia, Middle East and North America, Yoram Burg brings with him experience in multiple aspects of managing the various functions at multimillion-dollar organizations. Applying experiences gained in Information Technology, Purchasing, Business Planning, Project and Change Management to leading international teams in hi-level strategic sales, marketing, implementations and support, while holding various senior positions in technology and non-technology businesses. For 17 years Yoram served as the President of US & Canada under Optitex and EFI, since 2019 Yoram serves as global VP of Sales for Embodee Corp, and in 2022 Yoram joined SEDDI as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Burg is a graduate of the MEI program from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

Drew Coleman

Senior Director | MICHauto

Drew Coleman leads a team focused on positioning Michigan as a long-term, strategic-growth location for global firms. The US & FDI strategy he developed, in collaboration with his team, focuses on targeting historically rich markets as well as new and emerging markets in alignment with the broader MEDC Strategic Plan. Mr. Coleman has personally facilitated over $1.5 billion in direct investment into Michigan, and his team's combined efforts have generated over $11.8 billion in foreign direct investment since 2016.

Drew has been with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for nearly 10 years. 

Jill Coleman

Vice President, Business Development | Alvanon, Inc.

Jill Coleman currently holds dual roles vice president for global sales and business development for apparel knowledge hub, where she is championing the sales strategy and business development for MOTIF’s newly launched education
initiative until end of December 2022. As well as VP Business Development for Alvanon, Inc. 
With over 20 years of proven industry experience in supply chain and integration, Jill Coleman has an outstanding record in helping clients across the apparel value chain, from retail, manufacturer to suppliers. 

Deb Ferraro

Vice President, Global Product Development & Technical Design | Carhartt

Deb Ferraro currently serves as Vice President of Global Product Development and Technical Design at Carhartt. She has been with the leading global workwear brand for nearly 30 years and has been instrumental in bringing several of the iconic, key styles into the line. With expertise in product creation and commercialization, she understands the importance of building quality products that fit the consumers’ needs and meet brand expectations.

Garrett Gerson

Founder & CEO | Variant 3D

Garrett is the founder and CEO of Variant 3D, the premier provider of Additively Manufactured Textiles (AMT) systems and Co-CEO of Calamigos Ranch, an award-winning event center, resort and filming location in Malibu, California. Garrett developed his passion for textile innovation when he started working at age 20 in the Los Angeles apparel manufacturing industry. In the mid-2000s, he founded the women’s sportswear line Sjobeck Malibu, which was sold in over 200 high-end boutiques worldwide. His second apparel venture was YSTR, which he later evolved into Variant Malibu, a patent-approved technology platform that creates customized knitwear. Garrett also sits on the board of the nonprofit XPrize Foundation, where he's committed to nurturing businesses to create industry-changing technology that brings us closer to a better, safer and more sustainable world.

Jen Guarino

President & CEO | ISAIC

As an accomplished executive and leading advocate for quality domestic manufacturing, Jen Guarino founded the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC) in 2020. A proponent of industry change and innovation, Guarino is a sought-after thought leader and was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2016 as one of Michigan’s 100 Most Influential Women. She has more than 32 years of manufacturing and fashion industry experience, including management positions with Shinola, JW Hulme and The Sak. She chairs The Makers Coalition and the Fashion Accessory Design Advisory Board for the College of Creative Studies. Guarino earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma. 

Colleen Hau

Vice President, Product & Programs | Newlab

Colleen Hau is the Vice President of Product and Programs at Newlab, a multi-disciplinary center that applies transformative technology to things that matter. Prior to Newlab, Colleen spent 7 years at Carhartt where she served as Director of Global Product Innovation, leveraging consumer insights, co-creation & design thinking to drive consumer knowledge & innovation. Colleen is a Master's graduate of Wayne State University, and completed graduate level courses in survey methodology at University of Michigan. 

Frank Henderson

President & Owner | Henderson Sewing Machine Company

Frank Henderson is President of Henderson Sewing Machine Co., Inc., one of the largest distributors of industrial sewing machines, sewing machine parts, and associated products in the world. Frank has more than four decades of experience in the textile and sewn products industries. He has held a wide variety of industry, community, and national positions including Chairman of SPESA, President of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Foundation, Covington County Economic Development Commission Board, President of Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, and has been named to Who’s Who in U.S. Executives. He received a degree from Auburn University’s Department of Textile Engineering.

Justin Hershoran

Director of Real-Time Analytics | Exenta from Aptean

Justin brings over 23 years of industry experience, and was part of the original team who developed the Shopfloor concept and software. He has had a creative outlook on the software from day one, with a focus on efficiency and saving as many seconds as possible in the daily life of an operator. Today, he is focused on the continued growth of the shopfloor platform including the addition of functionality to further help manufacturers become more efficient.

Cynthia Hutchison

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

Automation Alley

Cynthia Hutchison is Automation Alley's vice president overseeing sales, marketing and operations. Through her years at Automation Alley, Hutchison has played a significant role in the company’s journey to becoming a globally renowned technology and networking industry 4.0 knowledge center. Her work in creating a global outreach program, Band of Angels, and development of international relations with people of all statuses and occupations have allowed her to be given other awards and honors, most recently notable, her award in Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in STEM in 2018.

Kevin Johnson

President & CEO Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Kevin D. Johnson is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the city’s leading inclusive economic development driver. He has served as president and CEO since June 2018. Under Johnson’s leadership, the organization focuses on job creation, capital investment and small business growth for the City of Detroit. Access, inclusion and financial growth for all Detroiters form the foundation of all DEGC work.

As president and CEO, Johnson spearheads DEGC’s economic development initiatives, including business attraction and retention, neighborhood small-business growth and international investment. In this role, Johnson builds upon 40-plus years of positive impact the DEGC has had on Detroit. Most recently, Johnson was integral in bringing Fiat Chrysler’s $4.5 billion investment to Detroit, and with it thousands of FCA and supplier jobs.

Brenna Lane

CEO Detroit Denim

Brenna Lane, CEO,  became a partner in Detroit Denim in 2012. Born in Detroit, Lane has been designing and fabricating clothing since learning to sew from her grandmother as a child. Growing up in a family of engineers in the auto industry, Lane’s deep connection to innovation has shaped Detroit Denim to be a leader in sustainable apparel manufacturing. Committed to marrying traditional craft techniques with cutting edge technology, her leadership positions Detroit Denim to rebuild the United States apparel industry for the future.

Lane is a founding board member of the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, a Detroit nonprofit that advocates for a sustainable apparel industry by building solidarity and community with like-minded individuals and organizations. Beyond apparel, Lane has long been interested in creating alternative models for production and consumption, and earned an M.A. in Economic Anthropology from Wayne State University where her research focused on equitable food systems. Additionally, she has studied apparel production and engineering with old-guard designers in Albuquerque, NM and completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses course in 2018.

Allen Largin

Creative & Innovation Director Rock Ventures

Allen Largin is the Creative & Innovation Director at Rock Ventures, which is a team of passionate and diverse individuals who work to invest capital, deploy resources and leverage relationships so that the Gilbert family can maximize the positive impact it has on businesses and people within the communities it serves for generations to come. In this role he works creatively across the 100 plus companies & initiatives in the Rock Family of Companies like Bedrock, Rocket Companies, StockX, Detroit Venture Partners, Shinola and the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Allen’s career started early when he won Nike’s nationwide footwear design competition Future Sole at the age of 15. This early exposure led Allen to the College for Creative Studies where he majored in Product Design and internships at Nike, Under Adidas, and Under Armour before graduating.

Leonard Marano

President, Americas Lectra

Lenny is President of the Americas at Lectra, joining the company through the acquisition of Gerber Technology in June 2021 and being named a member of the Executive Committee the following July. He is responsible for all go-to-market activity, service support, marketing, and financial operations in the region. Prior to joining Lectra, Lenny spent 7 years in advancing positions at Gerber Technology with his most recent being Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to Gerber, Lenny spent 10 years in senior product management and marketing roles for high technology organizations.

Michael Rabin

Sales Director of the Americas Morgan Tecnica

Michael Rabin is President of Morgan Tecnica America Inc. He is responsible for North and South American sales and business development for Morgan Tecnica, a technology/product solution company for fashion and manufacturing companies worldwide, featuring the most innovative tools for 3D, CAD, PLM/PDM, Cut Order Planning software, and integrated machinery for all areas of material handling, spreading, and cutting. With more than 30 years in the fashion industry, Michael’s experience covers all facets of product development and production. Using design, merchandising, production, and management best practices, Michael has in depth knowledge of all phases from initial concept to sourcing production through a global sourcing networks using a variety of software tools and applications to deliver to retailers and wholesalers worldwide.

Dan Radomski

Executive Director Centrepolis Accelerator, Lawrence Technological University

Dan is currently the Executive Director of the Lawrence Technological University Centrepolis Accelerator, a program that helps accelerate and scale small manufacturers and innovators of new “hardware” products.  

Dan was formerly the Chief Strategy / Operating Officer for the Optimal Group, small businesses and start-ups focused on product development, competitive business strategy, product benchmarking, product development and engineering.  While at Optimal Dan was responsible for diversifying the company’s business model to evolve into full vehicle development with specialization in electric vehicle development, growing the revenue by $20 million annually, and scaling the business globally to over 350 employees.

Ram Sareen

CEO Tukatech, Inc.

For half a century, Ram Sareen has served the garment industry with an extensive history characterized by one word: disruptive. This philosophy is ingrained in Tukatech, the fashion technology solutions company Sareen founded in 1995. Ram is one of these individuals who is innovatively molding the next generation of pattern making for the next generation of fashion designers. 

Glenn Stevens

Executive Director, MICHauto and Vice President, Automotive & Mobility Initiatives​​ 

Glenn Stevens Jr. is the executive director of MICHauto and serves as the Detroit Regional Chamber’s vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives. In his role, Stevens provides strategic direction and leadership to MICHauto in its role as the statewide industry association to promote, grow, and retain Michigan’s automotive and next-generation mobility industries.

Stevens has more than 30 years of management, strategy, and operations experience across the automotive, steel, specialty chemicals, and capital equipment industries. For the past 14 years his career has been focused on serving membership-based organizations, communities, and economic development across Michigan.

Matthew Wallace

CEO | DXM, Inc.

Matthew Wallace is the CEO and co-founder of DXM Inc. DXM is a Technology Driven, Sustainable, On Demand, Manufacturing platform. Matthew Matthew brings 30+ years of years agile and principled leadership with a track record of building trust and cohesive relationships offering comprehensive expertise in digital innovation, strategy development, implementation and execution in the apparel and footwear industry having worked for PVH corp, Walmart, and Cerberus Capital.

Andre West

Director, Zeis Textiles Extension | N.C. State Wilson College of Textiles

Dr. Andre West is the Director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Textile Apparel Technology and Management at the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University. His role as the Director of ZTE is to keep sustainable textiles at the forefront of future textiles, cultivating a more responsible ecosystem for the fashion industry. This is achieved by educating and mobilizing students, industry, and consumers to be positive advocates while leveraging industry-related partnerships. He is involved in sustainable manufacturing techniques with Wholegarment knitting for zero waste. He has made numerous national and international presentations on how textile production should achieve a total circular economy.


Advancements Conference Attendees

The 2022 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference attendees, listed in alphabetical order. 

Doug Allen | Senior Engineer-Upholstery | MillerKnoll

Dan Berzack | President | Sewn Products Equipment Company

Rich Bowman | Sales Representative | Schmidt Bowman

Per Bringle | Senior Manager, Professional Services | Exenta from Aptean

*Yoram Burg | Chief Commercial Officer | Seddi

Kirsten Carlson | Patagonia Account Manager | Peckham, Inc.

Terra Carter | Chief Operating Officer | Complete Image Manufacturing

Matt Chung | Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships and Programs | College for Creative Studies

*Jill Coleman | Director, Business Development | Alvanon, Inc.

*Drew Coleman | Senior Director | MICHauto

Ashley Connelly | Expert-in-Residence | Centrepolis Accelerator, Lawrence Technological University

Nitasha Deogun | Business Owner | Dress Cycle

Pam Drew | Senior Quality Manager | Peckham, Inc.

Gary Feltham | Regional Sales Manager, Americas | Twine Solutions

*Deb Ferraro | Vice President, Global Product Development & Technical Design | Carhartt

Rick Frye | Director of Sales/Eng. IPD/ISM | Brother International Corp.

Brad Garmon | Director | Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

*Garrett Gerson | Founder & CEO | Variant 3D

Ed Gribbin | Chief Executive Officer | Gribbin Strategic

*Jen Guarino | President & CEO | ISAIC

Shannon Harris | Director, Global Automotive & Hygiene | American & Efird

Mark Hatton | Managing Director, Threads America | American & Efird

*Colleen Hau | Vice President, Product & Programs | Newlab

*Frank Henderson | President & Owner | Henderson Sewing Machine Company

Xochil Herrera Scheer | Owner & Pattern Maker / Adjunct Instructor, Fashion Studies | The Chicago Pattern Maker, Columbia College Chicago

*Justin Hershoran | Director of Real-Time Analytics | Exenta from Aptean

Jessica Horgan | Technical Design Coordinator | Peckham, Inc.

*Cynthia Hutchison | Head of US Centre for Advanced Manufacturing in collaboration with the World Economic Forum   | Automation Alley

*Kevin Johnson | Chief Executive Officer | Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Erik Johnston | Warehouse Manager | Peckham, Inc.

Isaac Kupferstein | President | Ideal Knitwear Inc.

*Brenna Lane | Founder | Detroit Denim

*Allen Largin | Creative & Innovation Director | Rock Ventures

Kathy MacDonald | Sales Representative & VP Admin. | Schmidt Bowman

Kirsten MacNeill | Principal Technical Engineer | Target

*Leonard Marano | President, Americas | Lectra

Tanya Markos-Vanno | Development & Operations Manager | Michigan Economic Development Corporation / PMBC

Mariko Martin | Clothing Designer | U.S. Army DEVCOM Soldier Center

Shannon McPartlon | Executive Director, Office of Partnerships | College for Creative Studies

Anthony Mele | Vice President of Sales | Exenta from Aptean

Abigail Miramontes | Sewing Production Coordinator | Zamnan International

Robin Mitschke | ERP Manager | Peckham, Inc.

Tom Munns | Director, Field Technology Services | YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.

Allison Parker | Purchasing Manager | Peckham, Inc.

Kevin Parker | Director, Global Manufacturing Capability | Herman Miller

Milton Putnam | Chief Executive Officer | Complete Image Manufacturing

*Michael Rabin | Sales Director of the Americas | Morgan Tecnica

*Dan Radomski | Executive Director | Centrepolis Accelerator, Lawrence Technological University

*Ram Sareen | Chief Executive Officer | Tukatech, Inc.

Erica Schumacker | CMF Design & Materials Science | College for Creative Studies / Lear

Melissa Sharp | Associate Director | N.C. State Wilson College of Textiles

Christine Shepard | Technical Design Manager | Peckham, Inc.

Jenna  Sierzenga | CMF Designer  | College for Creative Studies

Tony Soeka  | Senior Project Manager | SourceAmerica

Alex Stchekine | Technical Facilities Manager | ISAIC

*Glenn Stevens | Executive Director, MICHauto and Vice President, Automotive & Mobility Initiatives | MICHauto

Nick Streit | ERP Specialist | Peckham, Inc.

Geoff Taylor | President | Tukatech, Inc. | TUKAweb

Kevin Taylor | Manufacturing Technologies Professional | IEEE

Pinar van der Vegt | Senior Show Manager | Messe Frankfurt

Chris Walia | Chief Operating Officer | Tukatech, Inc.

*Matthew Wallace | Chief Executive Officer | DXM Inc.

Shelly Watts | Chief Executive Officer | Muirneen Equestrian

*Andre West | Director, Zeis Textiles Extension | N.C. State Wilson College of Textiles

Greg Wilkerson | President & CEO | Fiber Bond & Blocksom

Kate Young | Textile Technologist | U.S. Army DEVCOM Soldier Center

*Conference speakers 

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