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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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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


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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
Graham Sullivan, CEO, SEDDI
Mariano Amezcua, DAP America, Inc.

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 Extention, N.C. State
Dan Radomski, 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, Founder, Detroit Denim
Colleen Hau, Vice President of Product and Programs, Newlab
Glenn Stevens, Executive Director, MICHauto and Vice President, Automotive & Mobility Initiatives​​


Advancements Conference Registration

SPESA has arranged a hotel block at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. You can book your room here through Saturday, August 27, 2022. Register for the event below.