2019 Manufacturing FirstŪ Expo & Conference Features Two Keynote Speakers: David Kohler & Mike Staver

Published Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The 9th annual Manufacturing First Expo and Conference will be held October 30 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. The event, created by First Business Bank, is designed for Wisconsin manufacturers to showcase industry advances, highlight successes, announce the latest developments, and provide premier networking opportunities.

“We are so excited to have Keynote Speakers David Kohler and Mike Staver at 2019 Manufacturing First sharing personal experiences and best practices Northeast manufacturers can use to grow their businesses,” said Rick Hearden, President of the Northeast Wisconsin Market for First Business Bank. “As we enter 2020 and manufacturers are preparing for the next decade, they’ll find valuable and vital ways to navigate the financial demands. In particular, my colleague Bill Elliott from First Business will discuss alternative financing for manufacturers.”

“Manufacturing is a big segment of our economy, with 1 in 5 jobs in the area tied to it,” said Ann Franz, executive director of the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. “Manufacturing plays such a vital role in our region’s economy and Manufacturing First provides an excellent opportunity for those working in the sector to come together and learn about the latest industry trends while also making personal connections with others in the industry.”

More than 1,500 people, including 500 high school students, are expected at the event. This year, Manufacturing First features two keynote presentations. David Kohler, CEO and president of the Kohler Co., will discuss his company’s 145 years of manufacturing and innovation while Mike Staver, author of “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards,” will share his thoughts on leadership.

In addition to the keynote addresses, Manufacturing First features special presentations, 12 breakout sessions, an expo hall with more than 200 exhibitors, and multiple networking opportunities for attendees. Three special presentations include:

  • Ruder Ware attorney Sara Ackermann talking about what not to do in the workplace
  • Bill Elliott of First Business Growth Funding on alternative financing options for manufacturers
  • Bryan Brandt of Oshkosh Corp. discussing how a company’s brand and culture need to work together to support business goals

The event’s 12 breakout sessions focus on a variety of topics from Industry 4.0 topics and dealing with the talent gap, to creating an intentional culture and disaster recovery. Visit the Manufacturing First website to see the full lineup and register for the event.

Manufacturing First is presented by First Business Bank in partnership with the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance.

About First Business
First Business Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: FBIZ) is a bank holding company and parent of First Business Bank, and is focused on the unique needs of businesses, business executives, and high net worth individuals. First Business offers business banking, specialty finance, and private wealth management solutions, and through its niche focus, is able to provide its clients with unmatched expertise, accessibility, and responsiveness.


Member FDIC, First Business’s corporate headquarters are at 401 Charmany Drive in Madison, WI. For additional information, visit www.firstbusiness.com or call 608-238-8008. The First Business logo is available at http://www.firstbusiness.com/logo/ .