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One of the major manufacturing challenges facing our nation is a tech transfer literacy gap facing individuals from traditionally under-represented low wealth communities and white communities. To close this gap, the Manufacturing Diversity Institute has developed an Innovation Café collaborative "strategic action" format that utilizes outside expertise in partnership with regional talent, knowledge, and know-how to establish underserved communities as hotbeds of innovation, talent, and manufacturing entrepreneurship.
The Innovation Café is an annual "strategic action" planning gathering for community residents to interact and chat with national thought leaders and experts around varied innovation issues important in the new innovation economy, especially manufacturing diversity. As designed, the Innovation Café is an on-ramp platform for diverse manufacturing entrepreneurial grassroots efforts to access innovative and creative ideas, insights, and policy perspectives that are important to creating jobs, wealth, and shared prosperity in the manufacturing industry. Innovation Café attendees engage in a strategic process that will lead to problem solving manufacturing diversity issues through a planning cycle that will be catalytic to economic change in the community.
Participants will hear presentations from some of the nation’s most thought-provoking Innovation experts whose insights will position leaders at the grassroots levels to think and act more creatively and innovatively. Information shared by Innovation Café’s experts help attendees brainstorm ways to build sustainable and cost effective approaches to solving manufacturing diversity issues. Most importantly, attendees learn about cutting edge innovation initiatives that have benefitted cities and regions that are recognized benchmarks of gravitational pull of talent, investments, and global economic attention.
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William Martin

Strategic Workforce Initiatives Director, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
William Martin works under the direction of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen as the Strategic Workforce Initiatives Director, and acts as a liaison between the Department, the state's employers initiating major expansions, and local partners. In this role, William also is a member of a cross-agency team responsible for coordinating Wisconn Valley-related economic development.

Prior to joining DWD, William led a statewide team for the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA); founded a human services and workforce development consulting firm that assisted over 100 national and local governmental bodies and private-sector clients in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States; and succeeded in gaining over $600 million in funding for worthy initiatives. He served on the Executive Staff of Governor Tommy G. Thompson after beginning his public service career in municipal government with the City of Beloit.
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Kamela Goodwyn

Associate Dean, Technology and Applied Sciences, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Dr. Kamela J. Goodwyn is an Associate Dean at Milwaukee Area Technical College in the department of Technology and Applied Sciences, where she manages nine technology-related programs. Kamela also has over 10 years of professional experience educating the minority community of the importance in entrepreneurship education and business development assistance. As a result, she has assisted over 100 minority start-up businesses at various levels of business development to include, writing business plans, creating financial projections, and increasing awareness in the value of marketing and management in small business.

Kamela’s doctoral research “Minority persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) undergraduate studies and STEM entrepreneurship,” awarded her the experience of learning more about the impact of learning environments on the success of diverse populations, and the role of higher education on preparing minorities for STEM fields. Kamela holds a Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education, and a Masters degree in Business Administration.
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Matt Kirchner

President, LAB Midwest
Matt Kirchner serves as President of world-class curriculum, eLearning and training equipment distributor LAB Midwest, a company that he acquired in 2015. LAB Midwest is headquartered in Mequon, Wisconsin and maintains offices across its seven state territory.

In addition to his role with LAB Midwest, Kirchner is President of Profit360, LLC, a provider of management advisory services founded in 2007. He speaks frequently on topics of interest to American manufacturers and those who serve them and he authors the monthly leadership columns appearing in Products Finishing and Production Machining magazines.

From 2008 to 2015 Kirchner served as the Chief Executive of American Finishing Resources, LLC (AFR), the largest provider of Industrial Coatings Removal and Paint Fixture and Hanger Design and Fabrication in the U.S. In 2014, he spearheaded his ownership group’s sale of AFR to DuBois Chemicals.

Kirchner’s resume also includes 10 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of ABQC Corporation, a 250,000 square foot custom coating operation located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in the mid-1990’s he completed the turnaround of Innovative Control Systems, Inc. a Wisconsin corporation that develops and manufactures high-tech RFID security and asset protection systems for healthcare facilities.

Beginning his professional career in public accounting, Kirchner is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, and serves on the boards of several Midwest companies. He is a graduate of the Marquette University School of Business.

Kirchner is past President of the Milwaukee Branch of the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society, served as the Co-Chair of the Management Committee of the National Association for Surface Finishing and was named the CCAI Wisconsin Chapter’s Supplier of the Year in 2014.
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David A. Dull

President/CEO, Allis Roller, LLC
Dave Dull has served as President/CEO of Allis Roller, LLC, a contract machining and fabrication company in Franklin, WI since 2009. Allis Roller provides precision machined and welded parts to numerous agricultural, construction and industrial OEM’s such as Case New Holland, John Deere, Emerson, and Putzmeister. Dave’s experience includes over 25 years of experience managing 4 manufacturing companies specializing in complex machining, welding and fabrication. His expertise is making it easy and enjoyable for a customer or potential customer to explain their product needs, and then quickly responding with ideas on how Allis Roller can help.

With a technical background (B.S. Agricultural Engineering, Purdue University) and experience in every aspect of a manufacturing company, Dave has first-hand knowledge of the necessary balance of marketing, engineering, production, quality, and finance that propels a company to long-term successful growth.

In June 2016, Dave became President of the Franklin Business Park Consortium, a group of 12 companies representing nearly 2000 employees. Major initiatives include workforce development and training, employee hiring and retention, and healthcare collaboration. For example, Allis Roller provides a classroom for 24 junior and senior high school students from local high schools via GPS Education Partners- these students complete their final 2 years of high school by attending class 2 hours per day at Allis Roller and then working at Consortium and other nearby companies to learn a skilled trade.

And Dave is very involved with community and family activities. Networking via groups such as MMAC (Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce) and ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers), allows him to stay in touch with current and new business associates in the manufacturing environment. Serving as Chair of the MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College) Board of Trustees (Board member since 2012) and as Chair of the Board of the Milwaukee Regional Innovation Center (involves management of a 50-company incubator for start-ups) creates a fulfilling role in the local community.

Spending quality time with his wife, Lu Ann, and their 6 adult children and their families is another important priority of his life.

Tom Schulz

Vice President-Head of Production, Krones, Inc.
Tom Schulz has over 30 years of manufacturing experience and is currently the Vice President- Head of Production for Krones, Inc., a manufacturer headquartered in Germany with operations in Franklin WI. The Krones Group plans, develops and manufactures machines and complete lines for the fields of process, filling and packaging technology. Prior to being named to his current position, Schulz was Operations Manager for Assembly, Fabrication and Logistics. Schulz also served as a Plan Commissioner for the City of South Milwaukee and is on the board of directors of the Franklin Business Park Consortium.

Tom has always been focused on promoting disruptive innovation strategies in Manufacturing. These strategies are applied not only to manufacturing process but also to foster growth in industry and education partnerships. A founding partner in the “Heavy Metal” tour that connects K12 with manufacturers is just one of many ways Tom promotes career-based learning experiences.

In workforce development you reap what you sow. While the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second-best time is today.
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Ray Allen

Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Ray Allen, former secretary of the state Department of Financial Institutions, was named secretary of the Department of Workforce Development on January 21, 2016 by Gov. Scott Walker. Secretary Allen has extensive experience in state government, also serving as an appointee in the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Employment Relations, Director of the State Office of Employee Development and Training, and as Executive Director of the Technology for Education Achievement Board. Allen has been active in the Madison area community, serving on many community boards and commissions, and was elected to three terms on the Madison School Board. The Milwaukee native received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Master of Science degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch University.
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Stacy Waltz

Director, Global Talent Effectiveness, Rockwell Automation
Stacy Waltz has over 12 years’ experience within Human Resources holding multiple position including; Executive Recruiter, Training & Development, HR Program Management, HR Business Partner and Talent Management. Stacy is the Global Talent Effectiveness Director at Rockwell Automation focusing on talent management strategies for Leadership Succession, Employee Experience, Training & Development, Technical Talent and Organizational Development.
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Sadique Isahaku, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Dr. Isahaku received his early education in Ghana and Nigeria. He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Economics. After the mandatory National Service, he worked in the Oil Industry as a Financial Accountant for two years. He was granted a scholarship to continue his education in Norway where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Masters of Philosophy in Economic Planning and Community Development at the University of Tromsø and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pedagogy and Education Policy at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

On graduation, he taught at both universities for a total of eight years. In 1998 he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Education at Beloit College, Wisconsin where he taught for another eight years. He then moved to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections as Coordinator of Education programs, overseeing Career and Technical Education programs in all the Division of Adult Institution facilities across the state. At the Department of Corrections, he pioneered several education development initiatives. Dr. Isahaku also worked as a consultant on educational development in various capacities for several years with United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He is currently Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Dr. Isahaku is widely traveled.
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Bob Sietz

Debuty Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
As deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Bob Seitz is the chief operating officer for a state agency with 3,500 employees, dozens of field offices and an annual budget of more than $3 billion.

Bob comes to the department from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission where he served as executive assistant to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission chair and as chief operating officer of the Commission and advisor to the chair.

After earning degrees in Human Resource Management and Political Science from University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, Bob served a variety of roles in Wisconsin government including policy advisor to Governor Tommy Thompson, chief of staff in the Senate and senior advisor to the Senate majority. In 2004, he founded Arrowhead Strategies, LLC, providing lobbying, grassroots and crisis management services to state and national clients.
Bob lives in Blanchardville on a small farm with his wife, Toni, and four children. He served 15 years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT-FR.

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President and Founder, Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeast Wisconsin
Nelson Soler is an innovative entrepreneur who has founded two for-profit and three non-profit organizations. Soler has utilized his educational and advocacy capacities to facilitate the formation of more than a thousand enterprises in the greater Milwaukee area. Over a thousand individuals have benefited from Soler’s expertise in: entrepreneurship, accounting, nonprofit management and marketing. Soler’s accomplishments received recognition by the national and local media. As a result of that recognition, Soler received the United States Small Business Administration Award from the State of Wisconsin in 2007. In 2009, Nelson Soler was named the Chamber Executive of the Year for Region 4(IA, IN, IL, KY, OH, MN, MI and WI) by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Soler was also named the 2011 UMOS Hispanic Man of the Year for his contributions to the advancement of the Latino and received an Individual Inner City Award by the Greater Milwaukee Committee. community. In 2012, the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee named Soler the Entrepreneur of the Year.
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Nelson Soler

President and Founder, Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeast Wisconsin
Nelson Soler is an innovative entrepreneur who has founded two for-profit and three non-profit organizations. Soler has utilized his educational and advocacy capacities to facilitate the formation of more than a thousand enterprises in the greater Milwaukee area. Over a thousand individuals have benefited from Soler’s expertise in: entrepreneurship, accounting, nonprofit management and marketing. Soler’s accomplishments received recognition by the national and local media. As a result of that recognition, Soler received the United States Small Business Administration Award from the State of Wisconsin in 2007. In 2009, Nelson Soler was named the Chamber Executive of the Year for Region 4(IA, IN, IL, KY, OH, MN, MI and WI) by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Soler was also named the 2011 UMOS Hispanic Man of the Year for his contributions to the advancement of the Latino and received an Individual Inner City Award by the Greater Milwaukee Committee. community. In 2012, the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee named Soler the Entrepreneur of the Year.

Soler has a very diverse experience in banking, international business, mining equipment manufacturing, academia, real estate and the electric utility industry. He has lead teams in business development, international sales and documentation, ERP systems upgrade, corporate communications and training.

Soler’s community involvements include: Commissioner in the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, Executive Founding Director of the Latino Entrepreneurial Network of South Eastern Wisconsin; Founder of the LEN LULAC Chapter; and Advisory Council Member for Wisconsin Bank and Trust; Member; Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce; Member, African American Chamber; and Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
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Fred Royal

Educator, Milwaukee Center for Self Sufficiency
Milwaukee native, Royal went to Auer Avenue School, then to Garden Homes Elementary and in high school, attended Rufus King Class of 1975. In that same year Fred completed the GED requirements and joined the United States Air Force. In 1990, he received his Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies from Milwaukee Area Technical College, and then continued at Cardinal Stritch University graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.

Royal started out his career in Oak Creek, WI at Delphi Electronics & Safety, assembling electric automotive parts. During his 26 years of service at the General Motors subsidiary, Royal was the Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) Local 438 which got him started in a career path towards public service, community activism and politics.

Royal has served on a range of civic boards from Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Area Technical College to the Social Development Commission, American Civil Liberties Union, MATC Foundation Board of Directors and, the Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of Milwaukee as well as the President of the NAACP Milwaukee Branch.

Moderator

Dorothy Walker

Interim Dean, School of Technology and Applied Sciences, Milwaukee Area Technical College
© 2018 Manufacturing Diversity Institute