Conference Schedule


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Sunday, October 22, 2017

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Conference Registration Opens
Avedon Ballroom Hallway

Opening Reception - Cassatt Ballroom
Sponsored by Carlton-Bates Company and Molex

Monday, October 23, 2017

7:00 a.m.

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Conference Registration Opens
Avedon Ballroom Hallway

Sponsored by Penton Design and Manufacturing 

8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

8:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Opening Remarks

U.S. Economic Forecast

Doti PR Photo

Dr. James Doti, President Emeritus, Chapman University - Bio

Dr. Doti founded the Chapman University Economic Forecast Conferences, the longest running economic forecast in the nation. Business and civic leaders rely on these forecasts in making their planning and investment decisions. Dr. Doti returns to the Executive Conference  explore the impact of fiscal and monetary policies on real GDP, interest rates, employment and housing prices in 2018. Particular attention will be given to how Trumpenomics is affecting the overall economy.  Learn how U.S. economic trends impact manufacturing and gain critical insight for 2018 strategic planning.

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Industry Economic Overview


Nick Hawtrey, Chief Financial Officer, Allied Electronics - Bio

Once again, Dr. Doti’s U.S. economic forecast is complemented by Nick Hawtrey’s take on the impact of these trends on the global components industry. As chief financial officer for Allied Electronics, Nick is responsible for all the financial elements of the company and brings a uniquely qualified perspective on both the current year and the outlook going forward.

 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Digital Transformation: Beyond eCommerce


Dave Youngblood, Vice President Demand Creation IT, Texas Instruments - Bio

Engineers working online aren’t a new phenomenon. The digital transition has been happening for years, but what has truly accelerated our digital transformation is customers’ need for online experiences in their lives at work that match their lives at home. They want personalized experiences that serve up content that’s relevant to their projects, saves them time, and makes their lives easier. The days of databooks, donuts, and Powerpoint have long passed us by, and today we must provide a website that provides full support through every phase of the design cycle, organized in a systematic way that mirrors the way engineers approach their projects. Learn more about how engineers’ research, buy, and support behaviors are changing and how the industry is responding.

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Networking Break
Sponsored by TDK & TDK Lambda

10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Demand Creation and Design Support from a Customer’s Perspective

photo-rich-catizoneRich Catizone, Chief Technical Officer, Morey Corporation - Bio

Rich kicks off the second-half of the morning with a frank and focused debate on this important topic, including a discussion of direct factory support vs. manufacturers’ rep orgs, vs. distribution and what other channels/support vehicles exist for design engineers today. With 20 years of product and business development experience, Rich will speak from his experiences on all sides of this table.

 11:15 a.m. to Noon

Mind of the Engineer Panel: A Day in the Life...

Panel Members:  Rich Catizone, Morey Corporation; Jon Halverson, Shure Incorporated; Manas Mehandru, mHUB; and Steve Miller, Navistar Corporation.

photocholassurfModerated by:  Steve Cholas, AspenCore

This customer panel will share the shift in how they work and best practices for optimal engagement. Learn their thoughts on face to face meetings, web search requirements, how they conduct research and ultimately make their buying decisions.  Steve Cholas, moderator, will provide recent research on customer buying habits and moderate this lively discussion on the Mind of the Engineer.


Steve Cholas is the Global Director, Strategic Alliances & Business Development for AspenCore. Steve has a long history of involvement in our industry and is an outspoken advocate and researcher of the channel. He has served for many years on the conference planning committee.

Jon Halverson is a product development engineer and nineteen year veteran Shure Incorporated.  His focus has been on analog and digital audio, power management, and user interface circuitry in professional wireless microphone systems.  More recently he has taken on more technical leadership and management roles but continues to develop circuitry on new products.

Manas Mehandru is the Director of Operations at mHUB, an innovation center focused on physical product innovation and commercialization. As a World Business Chicago fellow, he played a critical role in defining the strategy and business plan en route to developing what is now mHUB. Manas spent more than a decade with UL (formerly Underwriter’s Laboratories), helping manufacturers improve the safety, quality and performance of their products. He forged solutions to meet the needs and challenges of physical product manufacturers across a wide range of industry sectors. He also mentored and managed cross-functional teams.

Steve Miller, Navistar Corporation,  leads the development of In-Cab wiring and Component integration across Heavy, Severe Service and Medium Duty Truck platforms. With 23 years of Manufacturing, Purchasing and Product Development, Steve has a depth of experience.  In a previous role, Steve developed various sourcing strategies affecting component and wiring sub-system supply chain footprints for Navistar. Most recently, as a Senior Technical Specialist, his responsibilities included leading multiple wiring design teams, driving best practices and reviewing integration systems for Power and Signal Distribution. Specializing in data bus technology of J1939, 1708/1587  gateway integration, power & fuse block modules, HMI integration from clusters to radios along with multiple software packages.

Noon to  12:10 p.m.

12:10 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Morning wrap up

Sponsored by Cornell Dubilier & IEEE GlobalSpec

1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The Science of Humor in B2B

photo-begehrJudy Begehr, Senior Vice President, Account Planning, gyro - Bio

As B2B customer expectations have become indistinguishable from those in the B2C space, breaking through the noise using traditional messaging is less and less effective. Judy brings the latest research about the power of humor in B2B marketing: gyro, in partnership with Research Now, has published the first research study on the use of humor in B2B advertising. Surveying more than 400 professionals across a variety of industries, they sought to answer the important question of whether humor in B2B advertising is effective. Her lively presentation will shed light on how to raise brand awareness and communicate your company’s value in new and enjoyable ways.  

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Big Data and Marketing Analytics: Transforming Marketing and Pricing


Jean-Pierre Dubé, University of Chicago Booth School of Business - Bio

Marketing is the new finance. Just like finance in the early 1970s, marketing is experiencing a deluge of data and analytic methods. As these data and analytics find their way into the CMO's toolkit, the practice of marketing should become more accountable.  Learn how the quantitative marketing revolution aims to introduce marketing analytics into the decision-making process.

2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

ECIA Update and Association Awards Presentation

John Denslinger

John Denslinger, President and Chief Executive Officer, ECIA - Bio

ECIA is the only member-driven association in the electronic components arena that delivers solutions to a wide range of business and supply chain complexities. ECIA provides resources and opportunities for members to improve their business performance while enhancing the industry’s overall capacity for growth and profitability. From driving critical conversations and process optimization to product authentication and industry advocacy, ECIA is a trusted source for support, insight and action. John Denslinger will report on association initiatives and new deliverables that maximize the value and ROI of membership.  The association also takes this time to celebrate those members that have made a significant impact to the industry through their involvement in ECIA activities.  Join us in congratulating the honorees for Distinguished Service and the ECIA North Star award.

3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Networking Break
Sponsored by Allied Electronics

3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Transformation in the Automotive Electronics Industry


Dr. Richard Dixon, Principal Analyst, MEMS & Sensors, IHS Markit - Bio

The automotive industry is in an unprecedented state of flux and Dr. Dixon will review the changes in electronics architectures needed to support autonomous and connected cars with higher amounts of electrification than today, including the subsequent implications for ECU market and component semiconductor markets and supply chain.  The presentation will also focus on new sensing opportunities throughout the vehicle,  including scanning LIDAR techniques, sensors for precision navigation in automated driving, or redundancy in tire monitoring or vehicle dynamics systems.  Meanwhile the cockpit will become increasingly intelligent with seat sensors that monitor motion and vital signs or high-quality audio experiences using MEMS microphones. Learn more about the ramifications of electrification and automation for existing sensing applications, some of which will disappear.

4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Public/Private Partnerships, Driving Innovation with 1871 Technology Incubator and mHUB

photo-tom-alexander-1871Tom Alexander, Chief Operating Officer, 1871 Technology Incubator - Bio

The story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 isn’t really about the fire. It’s about what happened next: A remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers, architects and inventors came together to build a new city. Their innovations – born of passion and practical ingenuity – shaped not just Chicago, but the modern world. What started 140 years ago continues to this day. Founded in 2012, 1871 was created to support Chicago’s digital startup community. Since that time, it has become the hub for the city’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. mHUB exists to ensure that Chicago and our Heartland’s manufacturing industry continues to accelerate, grow and thrive. It is Chicago’s first innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing. Tom will share stories about these two organizations designed to support manufacturing in the Midwest.

5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks & Announcements

Reception - Cassatt Ballroom
Sponsored by Avnet

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Sponsored by Catalyst Sales & WPG Americas, Inc.
Opening Remarks

Best Practices in Customer Experience Engineering


Dr. Lynn Phillips, Managing Director, Reinventures - Bio

Dr. Phillips is known for his work in helping business teams across the globe choose a winning customer value proposition (CVP), and then architect and systematically execute a designed value delivery system (VDS) to deliver that CVP profitably. The methodologies and protocols developed by Dr. Phillips help business teams to “become” their targeted customer community by “spending a day in their life,” thereby gaining an imaginative understanding of their unmet needs, transcending what the customers themselves could imagine on their own. Learn more about how this breakthrough approach, termed Day-In-The-Life-Of-Customers or ‘DITLOC’ methodology, pioneered by Dr. Phillips and his coauthors and colleagues, is now the de facto standard deployed by countless leading-edge companies and practitioners pursuing global new business-expansion and keep-sold opportunities.

9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Veteran Hiring Strategies

photo-eric-eversoleEric Eversole, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; President, Hiring Our Heroes - Bio

Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, their goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. Early on, HoH adopted two strategies: (1) grassroots engagement and (2) public-private partnerships.  Learn more about this important initiative where through engagement of the business community, more than 1,025 job fairs are held across the country and on military installations overseas, and a suite of free online career tools, hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses have been able to find jobs.

9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

 Networking Break
Sponsored by Newark element14

10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The Strategy of Diversity: Creating a Competitive Advantage by Leveraging Differences

photo-james_bird_guess-cropJames Bird Guess, CEO and President, International Success Academy - Bio

It’s not the same old shift, so responding to change requires the right people, reflecting the global, diverse and multi-generational market for electronics. Doing the same thing with the same group of managers, well, you know the definition of insanity. Leadership blindspots in succession planning, problem solving and decision making can result in missed business opportunities, poor morale, brand/image damage, and lack of innovation because you have the wrong people in the wrong positions. Learn how to attract, recruit and retain a dynamic and powerful workforce that reflects the customer of the future.

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Blink and They’re Gone! — Why Today’s Customers are Leaving You For Competitors and How to Win Them Back


David Avrin, Visibility International - Bio

David shines a light on a challenging new dynamic in business - vast customer options and an increasingly impatient and demanding population. Outdated notions of loyalty and service are ignoring the profound market shift that is driving too many customers to your competitors. So, how do you win their business when patience is short and alternatives are only a short drive or a click away? This popular speaker returns to close out this year’s Executive Conference with a don’t-miss send-off.

 11:45 a.m. to Noon

Closing Remarks and Announcements