PTMIM II Recap: Warm Fuzzies and Commendations


Another successful Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Conference is behind us and we’re already anticipating the next time we can get together and celebrate manufacturing. Before we get too caught up in future events, we wanted to take a moment to thank this year’s wonderful sponsors. We appreciate their partnership and in honor of our great lakes, we’d like to recognize this year’s conference sponsors:

Lake Huron sponsor: The Right Place and MMTC-West Michigan Manufacturers Council (WMMC). The Manufacturers Council is a volunteer collaborative of West Michigan manufacturing owners and top executives representing a diverse assortment of local industries.

Lake Michigan sponsors: Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA), Manufacturing Focused. Member Driven, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Making the future. Together. and PNC Bank, Advantage for Manufacturers.

Lake Erie sponsors: SAMSA, Flagstar Bank, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter, PC, Yeo & Yeo, Jackson Area Manufacturers Association (JAMA), Ferris State University (FSU), and the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).

Lake Ontario sponsor: Huntington Bank

We would also like to extend a special thank you to our student sponsors —Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), and the Manufacturing Technology Academy (MTA), part of the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District Career Tech Center — who made it possible for over 40 students from local area high schools, colleges, and tech centers, to attend the conference and participate in networking and breakout sessions, and get excited about careers in manufacturing.
We also had some great Michigan companies sharing their successes. Covering the broad brush strokes of Innovation, Exporting, Leadership, Supply Chain Management, Family Business, Succession Planning and Employee Development, conference attendees, sponsors and students were delighted with our keynotes and breakouts, stating that they were both informative and relevant for the industry.
We were honored to kick off our speaking with Sara Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of inventor Thomas Edison. Ms. Caldicott shared the five steps to ‘Innovate like Edison’. Proud to Manufacture in Michigan program attendees received copies of her book, Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success.

Some of our other main session speakers included James Foley Director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University, Mike Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Manufacturing, and WMMC’s Workforce Development Champion, Jay Dunwell, from Wolverine Coil Spring Co., provided our final keynote highlighting the Discover Manufacturing Today videos and winners. These 3 minute videos were created and produced by west Michigan students asked to demonstrate why “Manufacturing is Cool.” 

Our Speed Networking sessions continue to be well received. As one attendee put it, “Speed networking is great for those of us that are not natural networkers.”  Other ‘quotables’ included:
“Excellent Conference! The facilities, food, location and content made it very well worth the time & expense.” Thomas Armstong, VP of Sales, Superior Fabrication [and we agreed – so a shout out to the Hagerty Center, a great facility and wonderful location for any conference or meeting.]
“This conference really showed me how management thinks which was insightful and was a wonderful experience.” Logan Furhman, student
“I found it interesting, the word ‘engagement’ was used throughout the conference & workshops, excellent!” Rich Meachum, VP Sales & Engineering, RLM Industries
Another highlight for us, new Proud to Manufacture in Michigan member companies and friends of manufacturing joined our PTMIM program. New members and friends include: Protomatic Inc., American Label & Tag Inc., Vintech Industries Inc., Superior Fabrication, Quality Tool & Stamping Inc., TentCraft, Lunar Industries Inc., HTE Inc., Antrim Machine Products Inc., Royal Engineering Inc., Tellurex, D.A.W. Consulting Solutions, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter, PC, and 3TG Consulting.

From the first musical notes, (special shout out to Marie Laird, our exceptional national anthem singer and 2013 Mel Larimer Memorial scholarship award winner) to the final strains [Kudos to our three plant tour hosts, Skilled Manufacturing Inc., (SMI), Electro-Optics Technology, Inc. (EOT), and Hayes Manufacturing], PTMIM II was a success.

As guest John E. Hill, President and CEO from Midwest Mold said, “Great Conference . . . . Again. Look forward to next year.”
Thanks, John. We couldn’t agree more.
Look for information on next year’s conference, held in conjunction with SME’s The Big M Manufacturing Convergence at Detroit’s newly remodeled Cobo Center, June 9-12, 2014. To add your name to the email updates, join the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan (PTMIM) Program.
Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

Categories: The Center