2021 Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference Agenda

Tuesday, August 24 | Raleigh Convention Center

8:30 a.m. | Registration Opens

9:00 a.m. | Welcome & Introduction

9:15 a.m. | Panel 1: The Shifting Supply Chain

This panel will focus on the struggles faced by the industry and its supply chain over the past two years. It will examine where the supply chain is now and predictions on how it will change in a post-Covid world. This dynamic topic impacts everyone in the sewn products industry and serves as an overarching theme for the conference.


  • Paul Magel, President, Business Applications and Technology Outsourcing Division, Computer Generated Solutions (CGS)
  • Mariano Amezcua, President, DAP America, Inc.
  • Leonard Marano, President, Americas, Lectra

10:30 a.m. | Morning Break

10:45 a.m. | Panel 2: The Flexible Factory Floor

The era of one-size-fits-all manufacturing is long gone. Whether your focus is mass production in Asia or On-Demand in Dearborn, Michigan, flexibility in manufacturing is now mandatory. This panel will discuss new innovations in customization and flexible manufacturing and how these factors are changing the production landscape.


  • Michael Rabin, President, Morgan Tecnica America Inc.
  • Frank Henderson, CEO, Henderson Sewing Machine Company
  • Will Duncan, Executive Director, SEAMS

12:00 p.m. | Lunch

1:00 p.m. | Panel 3: Beyond the Stitch

The landscape of sewn products today is much different than it was 5-10 years ago. This panel will dive into some of the new trends and technologies beyond sewing — from bonding technologies to full garment knitting — and share perspectives on what the industry will look like in the next 5-10 years.


  • Rick Frye, Director of Engineering/Sales IPD, Brother International Corp.
  • Hayato Nishi, Public Relations Manager, Shima Seiki USA, Inc.
  • Dr. Andre West, Director, Zeis Textiles Extension at North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles

2:15 p.m. | Afternoon Break

2:30 p.m. | Panel 4: Workforce Development

For the culmination, we will discuss how the trends covered during the day all tie back to the importance of workforce development. This panel will cover the current landscape, challenges, and innovations in workforce development in the sewn products industry and the opportunities through which we, as an industry, have to grow in the coming years.


  • Sarah Krasley, CEO, Shimmy Technologies
  • Jill Coleman, Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development, MOTIF
  • Melissa Sharp, Associate Director, Zeis Textiles Extension at North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles

3:45 p.m. | Wrap-up & Closing Remarks

4:00 p.m. | Close, Floor Time, & Reception

Attendees are encouraged to visit the Techtextil Show Floor (open until 5:00 p.m.). Techtextil North America assembles all vertical aspects of the technical textile industry: from research and development, through raw materials and production processes and finally ending in conversion, further treatment, and recycling. The 2021 show will also include a Texprocess Americas Pavilion featuring manufacturers and distributors of machinery, equipment, parts, supplies, systems, technology, supply chain solutions, and other products and services used for the development of sewn products.

SPESA attendees are invited to a SPESA-sponsored NCSU Wilson College of Textiles reception on Tuesday immediately following the Advancements Conference. The reception will be held in the Techtextil North America exhibit hall at the NCSU Wilson College of Textiles booth (#1601).

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