‘Igniting’ is the theme of this fourth annual event

TRAVERSE CITY — Even the most established of businesses could use an extra spark.

“Igniting” the local manufacturing base is the theme for the fourth annual Northern Michigan Manufacturing Summit on Tuesday, March 6 from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at The Hagerty Center. The event is hosted by the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council.

The 2018 Summit begins with a breakfast and networking session.

Keynote speakers for the event are John, Mark and David Vantongeren of Ferris Coffee and Nut. A family-owned business that dates back to 1924, the business now has two locations, a retail store and a mobile truck in Grand Rapids.

Following the keynote address are three breakout sessions focusing on digital movement, continuous improvement and talent development:

— Dennis Arouca, board member of the Grand Traverse Economic Development Corporation, will discuss what is needed to stay competitive in the advanced manufacturing world.

— Matt Bullouch of TentCraft, Penny Challender of Hayes Manufacturing, Blair Nelson of Lexamar and Roni Hazelton of Cherry Republic will talk about “fostering a culture of continuous improvement” and developing employee problem-solving capabilities.

— GTAMC executive chairman Jon Dreher and Rob Hanel of TentCraft will discuss starting an internship program and the benefits of it.

A brief discussion on regional collaboration will precede closing remarks for the summit.

Founded in 2012, the GTAMC is a volunteer-led organization with more than 40 member companies in the area manufacturing industry.

To register for the summit or for more information, contact Matt Schwarze at mschwarze@nmc.edu. Schwarze is the business development assistant at Northwestern Michigan College and events coordinator for the GTAMC.