OCTOBER 5-7, 2016 | BILOXI, MS

Agenda At‐a‐Glance

The agenda will be updated as topics and speakers are confirmed.

Wednesday, October 5

Pre‐event activities in Biloxi
8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Pre-conference Fishing Trip (must be at dock by 8 a.m.)
Silver Dollar III (located behind the Golden Nugget)

1 – 5 p.m.: Exhibitor Set-Up – Magnolia Ballroom

5 – 7 p.m.: Exhibitor Reception (exhibitors-only)

5 – 6:30 p.m.: Joint Board Meeting – Biloxi Visitors Center (closed meeting)

6 – 10 p.m.: Joint Board Reception – Biloxi Visitors Center (invitation only)

Thursday, October 6

7 a.m.: Exhibit Hall Open (foyer); Registration Open (foyer); Breakfast (theatre)

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Exhibit Hall Open to Cruisin’ the Coast attendees

8:15 – 8:30 a.m.: Welcome to the SAC (theatre)
Donald Stoegbauer, Executive Director, MAMA

8:30 – 9:35 a.m.: Engaging the Next Generation of Carmakers (theatre)
Learn how to communicate effectively with young members of the workforce
Jeffrey Webster, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Nissan North America
Ryan Miller, Programs Manager & Assistant Director, Center For Manufacturing Excellence, University of Mississippi

9:40 – 9:55 a.m.: Gov. Phil Bryant presentation (theatre)
Gov. Phil Bryant, State of Mississippi

9:55 – 10:15 a.m.: Stars of Southern Manufacturing Award presentations
Gov. Phil Bryant, State of Mississippi

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.: Exhibit Hall Break (Magnolia ballroom)

10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.: MORNING WORKSHOPS

Workshop #1: Modern Manufacturing: Advanced Robotics on the Factory Floor (theatre)
An interactive session and demonstration that will explore ways to create a roadmap for implementing new technology.
Patrick Witt, Robotics Technical Coordinator/Trainer, Alabama Robotics Technology Park
Rick Maroney, Project Manager, Alabama Robotics Technology Park

Workshop #2: How to Talk to Millennials: Breaking down Cultural and Communication Barriers (Azalea A/B)
Following a brief introduction, this workshop will drill down on skills discussed during the morning main-stage session.
Ryan Miller, Programs Manager & Assistant Director, Center For Manufacturing Excellence, University of Mississippi

Workshop #3: Safeguard your Supply Chain using Big Data (Azalea C)
Workshop coordinators give a hands-on presentation to attendees interested in finding patterns in massive data sets to improve security and operations.
William Wappler, President & CEO, Surgere
Kal Gyimesi, Automotive Marketing Leader, IBM

12 – 12:45 p.m.: Luncheon (Camellia ballroom)

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.: Engineering the Future of Manufacturing (theatre)
Carmaker and automotive supplier representatives discuss how new technologies impact operations on the factory floor.  
Mike Oatridge, Vice President of Manufacturing, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
Erik Fields, Director of Process Engineering, Nissan North America
Hisham Zein, Engineering Manager, EFi Automotive
Aaron Foster, General Manager, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc.
Klaus Eichhorn, Vice President Quality, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.: Exhibit Hall Break

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.: AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

Workshop #1: Connecting Carmakers to the Classroom (theatre)
STEM Premier co-Founder Don Tylinski teaches an interactive course that will equip attendees with the tools to start productive conversations with top STEM educators.
Shea Tighe, National Director of Engagement, STEM Premier

Workshop #2: Recruiting Top Talent in the Rural Southeast (Azalea A/B)
Learn how to identify, recruit and retain the best employees outside urban centers.
Donny Jones, COO, West Alabama Chamber
James Williams, Executive Director, Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board

3:30 – 5 p.m.: Exhibit Hall Break (Magnolia ballroom)

6 – 8 p.m.: Opening Night Reception, presented by Nissan (Exhibit Hall – Magnolia ballroom)
Steve Marsh, Vice President of Manufacturing, Nissan North America

8 p.m. – 12 a.m.: After Party, presented by AIDT (Bacchus in Biloxi)

Friday, October 7

7 a.m.: Exhibit Hall Open; Registration Open; Breakfast

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Exhibit Hall Open to Cruisin’ the Coast attendees

7:30 – 8:15 a.m.:
Coffee with the OEMs (foyer)
Erik Fields, Director of Process Engineering, Nissan North America
Don Stoegbauer, Executive Director, MAMA
Rick Youngblood, Plant Manager, Nissan North America – Decherd (TN)
Stuart Countess, Chief Administrative Officer, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

8:15 – 8:45 a.m.: Welcome to Day Two (Camellia ballroom)
Donald Stoegbauer, Executive Director, MAMA
Ashley Frye, Executive Director, TAMA
Greg Harris, AAMA Board of Directors
Rick Walker, President, GAMA
Catherine Hayes, President, SCAC

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.: Changing the Image of the Automotive Executive (Camellia ballroom)
Panelists will discuss the cultural and financial benefits of diversifying the C-Suite at top automotive companies.
Cheryl Thompson, Global Powertrain Prototype Manager, Ford
Kim Williams, Regional Director of Operations, Tenneco Automotive
Andre Gist, CEO, Manufacturers Industrial Group

Moderator: Sean Suggs, Vice President of Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.: Keynote: Market Signals: What the Financial Markets Are Telling Us Now (Camellia ballroom)
Peter Ricchiuti, Professor, Tulane University

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.: Mid-Day Update (Camellia ballroom)
Donald Stoegbauer, Executive Director, MAMA

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Exhibit Hall Break (Magnolia ballroom); Cruisin’ the Coast VA Event (MGM Park)

1 p.m.: Conference adjourns

Follow the SAC


The Southern Automotive Conference is presented jointly each year by the automotive manufacturing associations of Alabama (AAMA), Mississippi (MAMA) and Tennessee (TAMA). The automotive manufacturing association of Georgia (GAMA) is an affiliate member of SAC.