Breakout Sessions With Industry Experts


3:00 p.m. Sessions

Mighty Midsized Companies: Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers

How to Take Advantage of California Competes Tax Credits

B Corp Certification 101

Engaging the Next Generation

Food Plant Automation: A Case Study With Ramar Foods

Product Recalls

4:00 p.m. Sessions

Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace®

Sourcing: Making the Right Supply Chain Decisions

Building BRAVE Cultures

Creating an Apprenticeship in 3 Easy Steps

Real-World Cybersecurity Breaches in Manufacturing

Creative Ways to Protect Your Innovation

Mighty Midsized Companies:
How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers

For an executive team, the excitement of leading a steadily or rapidly growing midsized firm can be exhilarating – that is, until growth grinds down to a halt. Illustrating the seven silent growth killers through real examples, Robert explains how CEOs and other leaders can protect their companies from them or avoid them altogether. Attendees will learn:

  •         Why the seven silent growth killers are much bigger risks for midsized companies
  •         How to identify the growth killers early
  •         Ways to survive them with tried-and-true methods
  •         How to steer clear of the killers altogether

Presented by Robert Sher, Principal of CEO to CEO

Robert Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He was chief executive of Bentley Publishing Group from 1984 to 2006 and steered the firm to become a leading player in its industry (decorative art publishing). Robert speaks frequently, and has published extensively on the successful leadership traits and skills of CEOs of midsized companies. He is a regular columnist on, has numerous posts on Harvard Business Review online, and  He authored two books and also publishes his own newsletter, The CEO Insomnia Factor

How to Take Advantage of California Competes Tax Credits

The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to locate or stay and grow in California. A total of $236,808,527 in California Competes Tax Credit is available for allocation in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.  Learn how to submit a successful application through the competitive application process. John Barrett, former Chief Operating Officer CFO for Wiley X, Inc. will co-present. Wiley X, Inc., a world leader in the research, development, and marketing of protective eyewear and gloves, benefited from the tax credit program in 2018.

Presented by Scott Dosick, Assistant Deputy Director for the California Competes Tax Credit for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
and John Barrett, Former Chief Operating Officer CFO for Wiley X, Inc.

Scott Dosick is the Assistant Deputy Director for the California Competes Tax Credit program within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). He previously served as Deputy Chief of Recycling for Governor Davis, worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ran a business consulting firm. In 2014, he joined the GO-Biz team to help launch the new California Competes Tax Credit program.

John Barrett served Chief Operating Officer and Acting CFO for WileyX, Inc. in Livermore. He received his degree in Business Finance from San Jose State University. Prior to his 13 years at WileyX, Inc. he was the Owner of Barrett Consulting, President of Vintage Business Solutions and CFO of Edge Information Services.

B Corp Certification 101

Find out how your manufacturing company can use business as a force for good and not just be the best in the world, but be the best for the world. In this session, learn what a Certified B Corporation is and how your firm can attain this robust certification. Hear about the benefits of becoming a triple bottom line organization such as retaining talent, cultivating an inclusive culture, and revenue growth. We will discuss the common challenges in the certification assessment, how to work through them, and gain the points you need. Attendees will walk away with step-by-step clarity on the full certification process.

Presented by Jennifer Cantero, Director of Marketing & Sustainability at Sensiba San Filippo LLP
Pierre Martichoux, President and Co-Founder of Chameleon Like, Inc.

Jennifer Cantero brings more than 20 years of business and marketing experience to her role as Director of Marketing and Sustainability at Sensiba San Filippo. She is SSF’s B Corp champion, who led the firm’s B Corporation certification process, resulting in SSF becoming the first California accounting firm certified as a B Corporation. Today, Jennifer leads SSF’s B Corp Practice assisting clients with their B Corp certification journeys and sustainability stories. 

A serial leader and dreamer, Pierre Martichoux made an early shift in life from politics to building businesses, with an emphasis on USA Made products and an inspired team. Born in Paris, Pierre found early opportunities as a leader in politics and military service – his studies at Sciences Po, The Paris Institute of Political Sciences, lead to the key position as Student President overseeing and rallying student leaders throughout Paris. Early successes in motivating large groups were the bedrock of his evolution into an entrepreneur. With success in motivating teams and creating sales, Pierre founded Chameleon Books and Journals in 1998.  The inspiration then, as it is now, was to harness U.S. manufacturing to create thoughtful, curated, eco-friendly and on-trend products in the journal space.

AMBayArea Ambassador Program:
Engaging the Next Generation

Learn how your company can get involved with and benefit from the AMBayArea Ambassador Program. The manufacturing ambassadors are young, well-spoken employees who play a front-facing role to the community. They bring a message of inspiration, passion, and drive to students who may not be aware of manufacturing and who someday may consider a career in the industry. George Russo, Learning Leader for Corteva’s Pittsburg Operations will join AMBayArea Ambassador Coordinator Joanna Mei to share Corteva’s experience working with AMBayArea’s Ambassador Program to promote the industry to the next generation of workers.

Presented by Joanna Mei, AMBayArea Ambassador Coordinator 

Joanna Mei is the Ambassador Program Coordinator for AMBayArea linking students and teachers with early-career manufacturing ambassadors. A Bay Area native, she taught math for two years before working with community organizations, including the East Bay Health Workforce Partnership, to develop partnerships between employers and educators, and improve early career pathways. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in American Studies and Molecular and Cell Biology.

George Russo is the Learning Leader for Corteva Agriscience’s Pittsburg operations. He has been with Corteva (formerly Dow Chemical) for 38 years. In this role, George champions the ongoing development and leveraged delivery of a functional/business learning strategy for the organization. He ensures alignment with the corporate and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) learning strategy to support a highly reliable and sustainable workforce. 

Food Plant Automation: A Case Study With Ramar Foods

Learn how Ramar Foods, a specialty food manufacturer based in Pittsburg, utilized digital transformation and automation to address the challenges of increasing labor costs, a retiring workforce, company culture and regulations. Hear how Manex helped management determine where and how to automate utilizing technology including, but not limited to robotics, IoT, vision assist, cloud computing and cybersecurity.

Presented by PJ Quesada, Vice President of Ramar Foods and Gene Russell, President & CEO of Manex

PJ Quesada is Vice President of Ramar Foods, a 3rd generation family-owned and operated specialty food manufacturing company headquartered in Pittsburg. He is currently overseeing all operations including manufacturing, logistics, compliance, IT and integration as the company transitions its legacy manufacturing prowess into the 21st century. Ramar operates three manufacturing facilities and employs over 250 people full time.

Gene Russell is President and CEO of Manex and has over 25 years of senior executive strategic planning, operational management, and consulting experience in the manufacturing and technology sector. With his extensive knowledge of manufacturing operations, he has developed and implemented key strategic initiatives for companies, allowing them to improve performance and achieve profitable growth. He has a strong background in sales and business development and a keen understanding of manufacturing strategies in the global environment.

Product Recalls: Handling a Crisis

All manufacturers should prepare for a product recall and have a prudent plan in place. This session will be led by experts with first-hand knowledge of product recalls. Manufacturers will learn how to identify, manage and mitigate risk to their brands.

Presented by Amy Norris of Clif Bar & Company and Pete Picetti of Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Amy Norris is Executive Counsel and Senior Vice President, Legal for Clif Bar & Company, the leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks. Amy oversees operations of the legal department and is actively engaged in risk management and regulatory compliance. In addition, Amy advises the company on various matters, including food safety, food labeling, advertising, litigation, regulatory compliance, and domestic and international business issues.

Pete Picetti is the Food Niche Practice Leader for Heffernan Insurance Brokers and specializes in manufacturing, product recall, refuse, recycling and supply chain management. During his career, which has spanned more than 30 years, he has worked with various companies during product recalls. Pete is hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) certified.

Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace®: 

Launching the Entrepreneurial Leadership Revolution

In today’s fast paced environment, how do we create positive powerful change throughout our organization to help us be and remain industry leaders?  How do we get past the resistance many people in our organization may have to change? How do we develop and train our Leaders to thrive in today’s business environment? The “Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace®” philosophy and process will help manufacturing executives create ownership, empowerment and entrepreneurship throughout their company to lead and drive that change.  From department directors to shop floor managers, he will show you how to get your entire team involved in leading and implementing critical initiatives. Michael will provide key tools manufacturers can use that you can take back and immediately use to help create and enhance your own entrepreneurial workplace.

Presented by Michael Levin, Author & Leadership Speaker

International keynote Speaker Michael Levin has shared his signature leadership talk: “Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace®” to numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Pepsi Cola, Oracle, and DuPont. A proponent of the bottom-up leadership revolution, he shifts big business to a startup mindset in one hour. His many satisfied clients report receiving lasting meaningful change, including enhanced communication, corporate culture, processes, retention, and of course, bottom line profits. Michael’s best-selling book, The Road to Success, cowritten with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) led to being named 2016 Celebrity Press Author of the Year.

Sourcing Components Overseas:
Making the Right Supply Chain Decisions

We need components and – no matter how diligently we try to source locally – many come from overseas. This session provides the latest information on how to navigate tariffs, freight, new regulations, constraints, supplier management, and the possible impact on your brand.

Presented by Hannah Kain, President & CEO of ALOM

Hannah Kain is President and CEO of ALOM, a global supply chain company she founded in 1997 headquartered in Fremont. ALOM implements quality and technology-driven global supply chain management programs for many of the world’s leading brands. She was born in Denmark, taught at Copenhagen Business School, and holds three university degrees. She is a Board member of WBENC and the National Association of Manufacturers and serves on the Advisory Council of The Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. In 2012 she was inducted into the Silicon Valley Capitol Club wall of fame.

Building BRAVE Cultures

BRAVE Cultures™ are the wave of the future. They are found in Conscious Companies, but not all Conscious Companies have BRAVE Cultures™. For leaders of companies who want to be thriving in the next ten years and beyond, they can not be complacent with business as usual. They must be purpose-driven, wildly innovative, and radically inclusive. The first step to building a culture like this is to master conscious communication, the container that either holds a culture together or breaks it apart. In this highly interactive presentation, participants will:

  • Understand the business case for having a purpose driven, wildly innovative, and radically inclusive company.
  • Walk away with the roadmap for identifying the purpose of your organization.
  • Finally crack the code on how to encourage innovation.
  • Learn about the neuroscience that both encourages and inhibits our ability to be inclusive.

Presented by Johanna Lyman, Founder and CEO of NextGen Orgs

Johanna Lyman helps companies get to their next level of success by building BRAVE Cultures™: purpose-driven, wildly innovative, and radically inclusive cultures that support sustainable profitability. She is an innovation expert, able to unleash the creativity of individuals and teams for more, better, and faster innovation. She also teaches leaders and their teams how to navigate brave conversations in challenging times. She is a certified coach and business development expert with more than fifteen years of experience helping thousands of executives, consultants, and business owners build and develop successful, purpose-driven businesses. Johanna is the Board President for the Bay Area Chapter of Conscious Capitalism and is deeply versed in both the theories and practical applications for building and managing a thriving conscious business.

Creating an Apprenticeship in 3 Easy Steps

Apprenticeship in California is growing in importance as companies look for additional ways to build a high-quality, skilled trades workforce. With the State of CA and the community colleges putting more money and effort into apprenticeships, now is the time for manufacturers to learn more about the topic and find out how it can benefit them. In this seminar we will answer your questions and cover the basics to show you how you can begin incorporating apprentices into your workforce plan in 3 EASY STEPS!

Presented by Mark Martin, Ph.D.,  Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development – Bay Area

Mark Martin, Ph.D., is the Bay Area Regional Director for Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development for the California Community Colleges. Dr. Martin has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing and engineering, including product development, manufacturing and design research, teaching and workforce development. 

Real-World Cyber Security Breaches in Manufacturing

Manufacturing organizations have been compromised by real-world cybersecurity breaches, and even the best IT equipment and staff did not protect them. Cybersecurity resiliency is built with best practice policies, much more than expensive hardware or software. In this session, attendees will learn how demanding organizations with mission-critical operations implement common-sense security policies that are frequently overlooked for convenience. We will discuss the common challenges in changing the cybersecurity culture in a complex organization with multiple stakeholders, how to work through them, and enable success. Attendees will walk away with step-by-step clarity on how to harden their security without necessarily having to make additional IT purchases.

Presented by Greg Gatzke, CEO of ZAG Technical Services, Inc.

After designing and deploying networks across the U.S., Europe and Asia as a global IT consultant, Greg Gatzke co-founded Zag Technical Services more than 20 years ago. He works every day with the entire team to lead the company’s mission to enable clients to succeed, by building a future where technology is a competitive advantage. Serving as a trusted advisor to clients on a daily basis, Greg has built ZAG into one of the most experienced and recognized IT consulting service providers in the world. His experience working in the manufacturing industry spans across multiple categories such as agriculture, electronics, military/defense, food and beverage, machinery, pharmaceutical and medical.

Creative Ways to Protect Your Innovation

Learn creative ways to protect your innovation when working with international manufacturing facilities and distribution networks. In this informative session, intellectual property experts will provide you with actionable advice you can leverage to protect your innovation and when it must be shared with international partners.  We will also discuss action that may be taken to stem the tide of counterfeit products sold through online retailers.

Presented by Amy J. Embert and Darlene D. Chiang, Attorneys with Hoge Fenton

Amy J. Embert is an experienced patent attorney focused on helping clients maximize and protect their company’s intellectual property. With over 15 years of patent prosecution experience, she counsels clients on the development, prosecution, and management of their domestic and international patent portfolios for companies at all stages of growth in multiple industries including IT, software, consumer electronics, optics, apparel, fashion, and sporting goods. 

Darlene D. Chiang is a corporate attorney with experience in start-up environments and multinational corporations who provides her clients with practical legal solutions to resolve issues as they progress through their critical lifecycle milestones from formation, subsequent financing, entering strategic technology transfer and commercial transactions with their key business partners, to successful exit.

More Speakers To Be Announced

Sign up for AMBayArea News to receive Summit 2020 updates.

Attend two breakout sessions and choose from more than 12 speakers and topics. Bring your team to take advantage of all of the industry experts sharing knowledge and resources.