NINE impactful breakout sessions are designed to inspire answers for participants. Case studies with workplace-ready solutions, panel discussions with practical takeaways and presentations on engaging and informative topics; structured in a way to offer participants maximum flexibility. 



Scan the current environmental and sustainability issues and costs facing your company and your sector.  Understand how to minimize the negative and maximize the positive and learn more about resources and supports to help you on your green journey.

Tanis Ostermann, Owner & Principal, CanSustain

Tanis Ostermann is Owner & Principal at CanSustain, specializing in environmental and sustainability management issues and solutions. She has twenty years of experience in the fields of environmental and sustainability management system development and improvement having led the development of corporate management systems and associated improvement initiatives. She has management, operational and consultative experience in utility, aerospace, clean‐tech, water management, academic, agri‐food, telecommunications and municipal sectors. She is an Environmental Professional, certified through the Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board and is a trained EMS Lead Auditor. Ms. Ostermann has a Bachelor of Science in environmental toxicology and a Master of Environment focusing on the use of existing, well-functioning management systems to enhance corporate sustainability performance.

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Learn more about theory behind factory of the future and more importantly what it means to you. See how your manufacturing business fits into Manitoba’s status as a world-class advanced manufacturing region. Understand the next steps to tap into more advanced technology and get in the game today.

Martin Petrak, CEO, Precision ADM Inc.

Martin Petrak is a Canadian Professional Engineer with a Masters degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba and is the CEO of Precision ADM Inc., an Engineering Additive Manufacturing (AM) services company that services the medical, aerospace and industrial sectors. Martin has focused over 7 years on AM research and development, company start-ups and commercialization in this field. Martin is also the President and of Orthopaedic Innovation Centre (OIC) and has over 14 years of experience in medical device research, testing, and design with several patents and publications including 3D printable drug eluting materials. Martin continues to lead his teams at Precision ADM and OIC towards accelerating the adoption of Advanced Digital ManufacturingTM through both academic governmental and industrial partnerships to create new AM applications and technological advancements.


A connected manufacturing environment has allowed manufacturing operations to grow by leaps and bounds – but not without risk. From cyber terrorism to fraud and everything in between, understanding your exposure and managing your risks are critical to any 21st century manufacturer. Join us for practical guidance you can use in your operations today. 

Thomas McIlwham, President, Brootsoft Inc.

Thomas McIlwham has been an Information Technology specialist since 1973 and has hands-on experience in the effective use and management of information technology. He has applied his IT management, merger and acquisition, and computer operations expertise to the implementation of practical information technology solutions in large-scale multi-national environments as well as small businesses. Internationally, Thomas has demonstrated a value added application of sound information technology expertise coupled with sound business sense.  Most recently Thomas has applied his governance and risk skills to the increasingly intrusive Cyber Threats that are dominating the industry and working with experienced colleagues to reduce business risk and protect their data assets.

Doug Tait, Partner, TDS Law

Doug Tait is an experienced business lawyer focusing on corporate and commercial matters with an emphasis on information security (including cybersecurity and data protection), commercial transactions, business sales and acquisitions, real estate conveyancing, leasing and development.

Doug advises a wide range of clients in a wide range of industries including developers, landlords and those in the energy sector.

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Every week 500,000 Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. Learn more about and understand the human and financial costs of mental health in the workplace. Pick up strategies and practical tools including the guidelines outlined in the CSA Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace to help address issues, respond to workplace mental health emergency and support a return to work where there is a mental health disability.

Sue Roth, Safety Culture Specialist, SAFE Work Manitoba

Sue Roth is the Safety Culture Specialist at SAFE Work Manitoba. Sue's background is founded in social work, mental health and disability management. Her passion for safety and health came after working for several years with seriously injured workers and their families. In recent years, her work has focused on developing an evaluation framework for safety culture in Manitoba and championing the standard for psychologically healthy and safe workplaces.

Josh KlassenFirefighter, Technical Rescue Program, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service EMS

Josh Klassen has been a firefighter for the city of Winnipeg for 14 years and has worked in many areas of the city and has responded to a wide range of emergencies ranging from the traditional cat in a tree, to extremely stressful and traumatic situations. Josh loves his career and currently specializes in the technical rescue program and is also the head of the Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support team for the Fire Department. Josh has recognized, through both private and professional life experiences, the need for mental health education in the workplace. He hopes to equip people with the knowledge and skills needed to develop mental health resiliency as well as the confidence to navigate mental health situations among colleagues in the workplace.

Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program, Workers Compensation Board (WCB)

Chris Poot leads a team of Return to Work Consultants at WCB in teaching Manitoba Employers how to run efficient, fair and effective Return to Work (RTW) programs. It's their goal to reduce the numbers of days lost to workplace accidents by teaching Manitoba Employers in formal classroom settings, on-site industry specific training and applied consulting services. Prior to his current role, he has been involved with RTW programs and helping injured workers return to work in all industries and in all areas of the province including the north while a Manager in the Compensation department.

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Touching every element of your safety program – from process and procedures to training and employee engagement - safety culture can be the key to success. SAFE Work Certified by Made Safe path to certification can help you talk the talk and walk the walk. Learn more about the benefits, what’s driving manufacturers just like you to become certified and how to overcome roadblocks and setbacks along the way.

Jennifer Young-Wood, HR Manager, Buhler Farm King

Farm King is a leader in building top quality farm implements for many agricultural applications that are manufactured in Morden MB, Fargo ND and Willmar MN. Farm King has numerous warehouses across the United States and Canada for product setup and parts and a dealer network of over 1,200 North American locations provides first class service and professional expertise to farmers and customers.

Wayne Brylikowski, Safety Officer, Monarch Industries

Founded in 1935, Monarch Industries is a privately owned, vertically integrated manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders and custom iron castings. These products are marketed globally to the mobile, ag, and industrial markets. Employing over 500 people, Monarch’s corporate office is located in Winnipeg with a foundry in Winkler and a distribution center in Kansas City, MO.

Tara Zukewich, Program and Standards Specialist, SAFE Work Manitoba

SAFE Work Manitoba is the public agency dedicated to the prevention of workplace injury and illness. Working with partners in the safety community, they provide prevention education, safety programming, consulting and strategic direction to create a genuine culture of safety for all Manitobans.

MODERATOR: Dani Desautels, Made Safe Auditor, Made Safe

A CME Manitoba initiative, Made Safe provides health and safety services designed specifically for the needs of the manufacturing work environment. In partnership with SAFE Work Manitoba, Made Safe makes it easier for employers and workers to ensure workplaces are safe and productive. Guided by an industry-led safety council, the association offers training, access to events and resources, consulting and certification by manufacturers, for manufacturers.



Larger OEM supplier relationships tend to go on for a long time. When a larger OEM chooses a supplier, they are probably making a three- to five-year decision. So, how does that large OEM choose the right outsourcing supplier among those smaller manufacturer/suppliers vying for the job?  What criteria do OEMS use to make procurement decisions? Join us as we share a few practical insights on what larger OEMs tend to look for and consider when building a relationship with smaller manufacturers and suppliers. Learn what you need to know to get or keep the contract and avoid common pitfalls.

Rod Neustaedter, Vice President, Supply Management, New Flyer Industries

Rod Neustaedter is VP of Supply Management at New Flyer Industries and is responsible for the Procurement and Sourcing teams that select, evaluate and negotiate with suppliers in the transit bus business.  Rod is also responsible for the purchasing and materials teams that purchase parts and deliver them to the work cells in all New Flyer manufacturing locations. Prior to joining New Flyer, Rod held senior management positions in supply management in several other prominent manufacturing firms in and around Winnipeg. Rod is a graduate from the University of Manitoba where he obtained a degree in Economics and has achieved an MBA from Athabasca University.

Chad Brick, President, Eastside Group of Companies

Chad Brick, CA, is the President of Eastside Group of Companies, a proud CME Member. The Eastside Group, a 38 year old family owned business now in its second generation, started with roots in the autobody industry. Eastside has expanded its capabilities in recent years to increase its role in the composite manufacturing industry to complement its liquid industrial coatings division. As a proud supplier to a number of local and international OEM’s both with fiberglass components and solutions as well as finish industrial coatings, Eastside remains committed to its people, its focus on quality and innovation.


How can our colleges and universities address manufacturing skills gaps and the changing needs of modern manufacturers? From research to students, how can manufacturers take advantage of academic expertise? Post secondaries can up your profit, but better integration is needed. Join us for a panel presentation to learn more and find out why it’s good business to connect with academia.

Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College

Paul Vogt joined Red River College as its fifth President and CEO in 2015. Paul holds a B.A. (Honours) in Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, where he earned a Rhodes Scholarship and pursued graduate studies at Oxford University (where he earned an MPhil Politics degree) and at Princeton University. Over the past 25 years, Paul taught at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Canadian Mennonite University. He has lectured on a wide range of subjects, including public administration and governance, Canadian politics, political theory, feminist theory and economics.

Paul was head of the public service in Manitoba for eight years and was Executive in Residence at the University of Manitoba and advised on the development of a multi-year post-secondary education strategy for Manitoba. He also helped to establish the province’s new Advisory Committee on Advanced Education.

Rob Penner, Associate Vice-President, University College of the North

Rob is the Associate Vice-President of the College of Trades and Technology as well as the Executive Director of the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy within UCN. Prior to this, Rob was Chair of Sciences within the Faculty of Arts and Science at UCN and also served UCN as the Dean of Health and Applied Science, Head of the Department of Renewable Resources, and Ecotourism Project Manager within the Northern Forest Diversification Centre. His academic training and experiences are within the areas of biology, ecology, and natural resources management.

In addition to his career in education, administration, and research, Rob has a diversity of experiences spanning from his start as a motorcycle mechanic to computer software technician, farmer, canoe guide, biologist, and instructor, among others jobs. This multiplicity of experiences have convinced him of the power of ‘cross-pollination’ in working with diverse groups and people. 

Carolyn Geddert, P.Eng., Co-operative Education and Industrial Internship Program Director, Engineer in Residence, Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba

Carolyn Geddert is the Director of the Faculty of Engineering Cooperative education and Industrial Internship Program (Co-op/IIP) at the University of Manitoba. Carolyn began her work at the University as an Engineer in Residence in 2004 and has directed the Co-op/IIP since 2011. Prior to joining the University Carolyn worked in the manufacturing industry for Phillips and Temro Industries and Price Industries in Winnipeg.

Ray Karasevich, President and CEO, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

Ray Karasevich is President and CEO of the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology and is responsible for leading MITT towards its overarching objective to be “Industry Driven. Student Focused.” Previously, as Vice-President, Academic, Ray led MITT’s focused efforts to develop post-secondary and high school programs that provide students direct points of entry into career-related employment.  Ray’s career prior to joining MITT includes diverse leadership opportunities and—equally important—a demonstrated effectiveness at building strategic relationships within government, industry, and post-secondary education communities.

In addition to his professional experience, Ray is currently completing a doctorate in higher education leadership at Western University.

As MITT continues to expand its offering of industry driven, student focused training opportunities for secondary, post-secondary, adult and international learners, Ray’s leadership will be one of the engine’s helping propel it forward as an institution of choice in Manitoba.


At the frontline of your organization, leadership is critical to achieving business goals and profitability. But how to ensure your leaders have the tools they need to succeed? Hear how companies are developing their leaders by using a mentored approach with proven successes. Hear best practices and lessons learned along the way.

Ed Martin, Vice President of Operations, Custom Castings Ltd

Ed Martin is the Vice President of Operations for Custom Castings Ltd where he is responsible for the manufacturing, facility maintenance, tool & die and EH&S teams.  Prior to joining Custom Castings, Ed worked at StandardAero for 18 years.  During his time at StandardAero, Ed led and supported several business unit LEAN transformations.  Ed holds bachelors and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Manitoba.

Darek Mikita, Lean Champion and Director of Manufacturing, Carte International

Darek Mikita is currently LEAN Champion and Director of Manufacturing for Carte International and has extensive LEAN experience and is Master Black Belt certified. Darek serves on a variety of LEAN committees is chairman of the 5S SIG in MLPI Consortium.  Darek has also held management positions with Boeing Canada Technology and Kraus Group.

Neemee Batstone, Continuous Improvement Manager, Price Industries Ltd.

Neemee Batstone, P.Eng, is an industrial/manufacturing engineer with over 20 years experience in LEAN tools and techniques.  As Continuous Improvement Manager at Price Ind. Ltd., her role is to improve manufacturing processes, advance the professional development of her team and other leaders, while creating a problem solving culture.  Her role has a strong focus on effecting change by focusing on such matters as organization effectiveness, daily improvement and development. 


Learn how the mindset of seeing opportunities everywhere and being able to capitalize on technology and resources are a powerful combination. See firsthand how a smart manufacturer and technology firm is tooling-up to acquire the product, the processes and the people skills to bring the most value to their customers and leapfrog the competition. Understand how seizing opportunity and turning possibilities into profit is within your reach.

John Anderson, President, JCA Electronics

John Anderson is President and Founder of JCA Electronics. He started the company out of his parent’s garage in 2002 and it has grown to a manufacturing and engineering company with employment nearing 100.  John has a passion for his growing business and its purpose but has an even bigger interest in his son and his community.  He is a professional engineer and member of APEGM, holds an MBA from the U of M and is active in his church. John is driven to establish something that will last and make a meaningful difference in the world.

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* CME Manitoba reserves the right to substitute speakers and topics