2016 Presenters
Carl Palme,
Applications Product Manager,
Rethink Robotics

Carl is responsible for advanced application development on the Intera software platform and for developing manufacturing applications for the Baxter and Sawyer robots. He's also responsible for leading the collection, description, and analysis of requests for new product functionality from customers and prospects.

Prior to Rethink Robotics, Carl was the founder and General Manager of Palme Precision Machining, a high-precision machine shop that produces components for a variety of industries. Carl also spent several years as a Manufacturing Engineer setting up, moving, and supporting automated and semi-automated manufacturing lines for the Medical Device and Aerospace industries. Carl received his B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering, M.S. in Information Systems, and MBA from Boston University.

Lora Leigh Chrystal,
Director, Program for Women in Science and Engineering,
Iowa State University

Lora Leigh Chrystal has been committed to increasing the representation of women in the STEM workforce for the past sixteen years at Iowa State University. As Director of the Program for Women in Science and Engineering, Lora Leigh has oversight for all outreach, recruitment and retention programs serving over 10,000 students in the state of Iowa each year.  Prior to her role as director, Lora Leigh spent over 13 years building recruitment and retention programs for women in STEM fields. She is currently ABD in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program at Iowa State University with a specific research interest in the retention of STEM students.

Cody Warren,
Controls Engineer,
Tamaki Control Ltd.
Alicia Lomas,
Automation & Controls Manager,
Dr. Chetan Kapoor,
Senior Director of Technology Innovation,

Dr. Chetan Kapoor leads Yaskawa Innovation in developing easy to use automation products that dramatically improve the ROI provided by industrial automation. He is the architect of MLX, a state-of-the-art unified robot control architecture that seamlessly integrates robots in to your plant control architecture and IT systems.  Prior to Yaskawa Innovation, he was the founder and CEO of Agile Planet, which was acquired by Yaskawa America.  Before Agile Planet, Chetan was an award-winning scientist at the University of Texas at Austin where he was the associate director and chief scientist at the university’s Robotics Research Group.

Scott Mabie,
General Manager, Americas Region,
Universal Robots

Scott Mabie is the Danish robot manufacturers’ new General Manager of the Americas Region, overseeing the rapid market expansion of the company’s game changing, collaborative robots. He has a proven track record of more than 25 years in industrial automation; spearheading strategic leadership, building up businesses and expanding them internationally. Before joining Universal Robots, Mabie was the Business Unit Manager with Rofin-Sinar Inc., one of the leading global manufacturers of laser sources and laser-based solutions for industrial materials processing. Prior to this he was Director of Business Development with Danotek Motion Control.

Keith Dicharry,
Principle Expert, Process Control / Electrical Director,

Keith Dicharry is principle expert and process control, automation and electrical director in BASF’s North America Technical Expertise Organization. Dicharry has been employed by BASF since 1988, advancing from engineering to management through various roles in 
 maintenance, operations, and projects. In his current role he is responsible for improvements and standards for all automation and process control assets for BASF North America. BASF’s Technical Expertise Organization provides expertise in process control and automation to BASF’s 110+ sites in North America to support a variety of automation and control systems. Dicharry graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in electrical & computer engineering.

Stephanie Neil, Automation World Senior Editor,
Tim Morrison,
Global Business Process Manager, Production,
Dow Corning

Tim Morrison is the Global Business Process Manager for Production supporting Dow Corning manufacturing sites globally. He has more than 30 years of experience delivering manufacturing, business process, and information technology solutions that drive productivity and cost optimization. His career has spanned the automotive, transportation and chemical industries.

also featuring Mitsubishi Electric Automation,
Dean Bartles,
Executive Director,
Digital Manufacturing And Design Innovation Institute

Dr. Dean L. Bartles is the Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO) of UI LABS and the Executive Director of the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). DMDII addresses the life cycle of digital data interchanged among myriad design, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance systems, and flowing across a networked supply chain. In Dean’s role as CMO, he works to identify additional manufacturing related opportunities for UI LABS to convene local government-industry-academia consortiums to improve U.S. manufacturing. He was also recently installed as the 2016 President of SME, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Bartles has had a distinguished 35-year career in manufacturing, implementing multi-million dollar programs domestically and internationally with responsibilities in research and development, technology transfer, program management, and manufacturing operations. Prior to joining DMDII, he held several positions at General Dynamics and its predecessor companies, most recently serving as Vice President and General Manager of a key Strategic Business Unit in the Ordnance and Tactical Systems division within General Dynamics. In this role, Dean oversaw three manufacturing plants with over 700 employees, more than quadrupled the Strategic Business Unit’s sales over his 13 years of leadership, and led the acquisition of multiple companies.

Having graduated from Shepherd College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bartles also holds a master’s degree in International Business from Tampa College, an MBA from Shippensburg University, an MIB from Tampa College, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Byron K. Wallace
Dr. Byron K. Wallace,
Cybersecurity Process Control Network Vulnerability Assessor,

Dr. Byron K. Wallace is a Cybersecurity Process Control Network (PCN) Vulnerability Assessor for Chevron, based in Houston, Texas. He is responsible for the delivery of programs that Chevron’s internal business organizations use to perform vulnerability assessments to ensure the company’s existing safeguards work, identify gaps, and provide recommendations on mitigations. Wallace has worked at Chevron for more than 25 years in oil & gas operations, process control automation, PCN cybersecurity, and IT networking. He holds a BS in Electronic Engineering Technology, and MS in Information System Management and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Information System Technology. Wallace also teaches at Indiana Wesleyan University, Everest College and ITT-Technical Institute.

Manufacturing/Packaging Track Presenters
Mark Hanley,
Senior Asset Reliability Manager,
Land O'Lakes

Throughout his career, Mark Hanley has demonstrated a passion to improve current state in everything from the performance of an asset to the effectiveness of a corporation. His current position, as the Senior Asset Reliability Manager for Land O’Lakes, has allowed him to influence the effectiveness in plants ranging from dairy to feed, seed, and crop control. His leadership is evident in the improvement of maintenance processes, line efficiencies, and true asset reliability across the company.  Building a base by developing well-trained personnel, solid processes, and metrics to track improvements and provide course corrections, has enabled this improvement.

Mark developed his talents through positions over the last 35 years in Kraft Foods as a Global Program Manager, Eagle Ottawa Leather as the Senior Manufacturing Process Engineer, Rapistan Demag as the Sr. Maintenance Manager, and Sun Chemical Pigments & Inks as the Project & Plant Engineer at their HVFP.

Matt Reynolds,
Editorial Director,
Packaging + Processing OEM
Pat Reynolds,
Packaging World
Steve Schlegel,
Managing Director,
OpX Leadership Network


Steve serves as Managing Director for the OpX Leadership Network (formerly known as the Alliance for Innovation & Operational Excellence). The OpX Leadership Network is a dynamic community of manufacturing, engineering and operations professionals dedicated to operational excellence and leveraging the strength of PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Through open dialogue between CPG manufacturers and OEMs, OpX Leadership Network provides a forum where the best minds come together to identify and solve common operational challenges, and apply best practices and innovative solutions to the real-world context of manufacturing.

Previously Steve was CEO of the Food Processing Suppliers Association where he delivered exponential growth and brand distinction through product innovation, strategic vision, and commitment to customer value. He created a high-performance culture, instilled business metrics, and developed the people and processes to deliver sustainable results. Steve also served as Chairman of the Board of the trade association that was the precursor to FPSA, the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers.

Prior to his association experiences, Steve led the corporate development efforts of Hixson Architects & Engineers.  He was the driving force behind distinctive branded service offerings that elevated the firm from a regional to a national player with an exceptional reputation for innovation and customer value.

Processing Track Presenters
Hugh Roddy,
Head of Global Engineering,

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Hugh Roddy joined Chobani in November 2011. He has overseen the strategic growth of the controls/automation & engineering functions for all facilities at the company, including two new industrial complexes, which were opened last year. He has been instrumental in the upgrading of Chobani’s New York facility by introducing extensive automation to allow for a more efficient and lean facility, increasing its output significantly and reducing costs. All of his work included procurement and customization of production equipment, production line layouts and facilities design, networking and HMI platform design and support of all engineering functions. Prior to Chobani, Hugh worked for 7 years as the general manager with FCX Process Solutions. He also spent 5 years with APV (an Invensys Company) and developed and designed control systems around the world in many industries including dairy, food & beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical. He started his career in Ireland at GEA Processing Solutions. He holds a BSEE in Engineering from Trinity College Dublin along with multiple diplomas from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Workshop Presenter
OMAC Workshop ,
Presenter TBA
Bruce Main,
Design Safety Engineering, Inc.

Bruce Main is the Convener of ISO TC199 (safety and machinery) and Working Group 5 for risk assessment. He is the president of Design Safety Engineering, Inc. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Design Safety Engineering (DSE) is a consultancy group that specializes in the risk assessment process and improving safety through design. Through software, training, and consulting, DSE helps companies identify hazards and reduce risks to an acceptable level and assists companies in learning the basics through how to implement and deploy the process into the company. DSE works with companies in a wide variety of industries and applications including industrial machinery, consumer products, manufacturing plants and facilities, component suppliers, and many others.


Kevin Owens,
Johnson & Bell, Ltd.

Kevin G. Owens is a shareholder and co-chair of Johnson & Bell’s Product Liability practice group. His civil litigation practice includes the defense and trial of catastrophic injury, consumer and other product liability actions, construction and general negligence actions, and the litigation of commercial disputes in state and federal courts. His experience includes successful defenses of numerous manufacturers of all manner of heavy industrial machinery and equipment. He is a frequent lecturer and panelist for continuing legal education programs, addressing issues covering all areas of product liability law; evidence and trial strategy; and medical-device litigation.

additional registration required,
Chris Lake, RedViking Engineering
Chris Lake,
Vice President of Engineering,
RedViking Engineering

As VP Engineering, Chris Lake manages the engineering staff and oversees the complete design and build of all RedViking mechanical systems projects. Lake graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.


Technology Workshop Presenters
Gimmi Filice,
Manager, HMI/SCADA Software,
GE Intelligent Platforms

With 25 years of automation software experience, Gimmi Filice is a well-known expert in HMI/SCADA. He has developed and managed software that is the foundation for plant automation at thousands of sites – ranging from water/wastewater, power, automotive, stadiums, airports, and many more -  including GE’s own factories. Gimmi knows the answer to most any HMI/SCADA question, and he is dedicated to his customers’ long-term success.

Mike Werning,
Field Application Engineer, CCNA,
Moxa, Inc.

Mike is an accomplished Field Applications Engineer at Moxa Americas Inc with over 20 years of experience in the design-in of industrial networking infrastructure, embedded computer hardware, software and systems. He provides consultation for customers designing automation and M2M applications and delivers training for industry professionals.  He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is Cisco Certified.

Matt Newton,
Director of Technical Marketing,
Opto 22

Matt Newton is Director of Technical Marketing for Opto 22.  With over 15 years experience in the technology sector as an applications and systems engineer, Matt has extensive experience in supporting embedded platforms, automation systems, wired and wireless networking, network security technologies, and the Internet of Things.

Armin Pühringer,
Business Development Manager,
Hilscher North America, Inc.

Armin Pühringer is the Business Development Manager at Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH in Hattersheim (near Frankfort), Germany. Mr. Pühringer joined Hilscher in 2010 and is currently responsible for managing Hilscher’s development strategy for the Industrial Internet and Industry 4.0. With more than 25 years of experience in industrial automation, Mr. Pühringer has held leadership roles in engineering and development with multi-national companies such as ABB Automation and Fanuc Robotics. He has worked extensively with automotive and process industry applications and has specialized knowledge in Industrial Communications, Industrial IoT/Industry 4.0 and Robotics. 

Aron Semle,
Product Manager for KEPServerEX ,
Kepware Technologies

Aron Semle is a Product Manager for KEPServerEX at Kepware Technologies. He’s passionate about using new technology to solve modern day problems in data collection, and about growing a world-class software company in Portland, Maine.

Aron serves on the OPC Foundation’s Board of Technical Advisors and is active in the ongoing development of OPC standards. By participating in technical events that focus on subjects like automated drilling and cyber security, Aron champions OPC technology and helps others understand its capabilities, possibilities, and limitations. He is currently exploring ways that Kepware can help the industry scale Industrial IoT solutions while also providing a standard way to connect, aggregate, and deliver industrial data to IoT platforms from any source.

Aron has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine, Orono.

Sari Germanos,
Technology Marketing Manager,
Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG)

Sari is the Technology Marketing Manager for the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group. His expertise lies in developing complex distributed real-time mechatronic applications.  He also has significant experience in applying simulation technologies to improve the efficiency of developing large-scale distributed systems.

Jeremy King,
IntelliSense® Product Marketing Manager,
Bimba Manufacturing Company

An experienced product manager working with industrial sensors, Jeremy King also spent 11 years as a mechanical design engineer in the automotive industry.

Sari Germanos
Sari Germanos,
Technology Marketing Manager,
Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG)