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Conference Agenda



Getting Ready for AI

Day 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 20th

Session Track Sponsor

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Getting Ready for AI – Is Your House in Order?

AI brings incredible capabilities to industry, but there are significant security risks. Ensuring data governance is the first step to being prepared for AI. Chance Weaver from New Charter Technologies will walk you through scenarios that you may not have thought of on your digital transformation and AI enablement journey. This session will give you actionable tasks that you can do today to make sure your organization is successful and SECURE as AI reshapes our world.

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Chance Weaver, Senior VP - Global Microsoft Practice | New Charter Technologies

   Chance has over two decades of experience in technology solutions and business development and currently serves Senior Vice President, Global Microsoft Practice for New Charter Technologies. Chance previously served as the President of I.T. Responsive, LLC, a New Charter Technologies Company. 

   Chance has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology from The University of Maryland Global Campus. He served in the United States Navy from 1991 to 1996 during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield as an Electronic Warfare Technician. Chance led I.T Responsive to unprecedented growth since the conversion to a technology solutions provider in 2012 to joining New Charter Technologies in 2021. Chance currently serves as a cloud growth strategist and SVP, Global Microsoft Practice for New Charter Technologies, providing resources and developing the strategic initiatives for digital transformation for all New Charter customers and partners.

   New Charter Technologies is committed to building a caliber of business that the industry hasn’t yet seen. Through innovation, collaboration, and strategic execution, we deliver best-in-class solutions to propel our clients into the digital world.


Jason Rincker, Chief Revenue Officer | Stronghold Data

   Jason Rincker is the Chief Revenue Officer of Stronghold Data. With over 29 years of professional development experience, Jason excels at building successful business relationships. Jason has helped Stronghold Data become a ChannelFutures MSP 501 company including winning MSP of the Year in 2023 and 2021. He has worked closely with the Missouri Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, University of Missouri, FBI and others. He has spoken to numerous Missouri government, financial, and manufacturing associations. From county governments to organizational executives and leaders, Jason provides trainings and presentations on the importance of data security and digital transformation.

Energy Efficient Solutions Panel

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

PANEL: Energy Efficient Solutions

Join us for a discussion about energy efficient solutions available to Midwest manufacturers that can provide a pathway to decarbonization. Hear from industry experts about technologies that can help you to decarbonize your heating and cooling needs, generating renewable energy through the use of solar PV, the future of heat pumps in manufacturing and ways to offset up-front costs of these technologies using federal, state and local funds. The panel will be available afterwards to answer more specific questions you may have about how to deploy these solutions into your facilities.



Randy Niederer, Energy Ambassador | Cambridge Air Solutions

   Randy is the Energy Ambassador for Cambridge Air Solutions and has spent the past 17 years in the HVAC industry holding leadership roles for both residential and commercial HVAC manufacturers. As the Energy Ambassador he travels North America working with both electric and natural gas utilities on next generation HVAC technologies for the warehouse and manufacturing sector. Randy is currently a board member for Energy Solutions Center, St. Louis Building Exchange and chairs the Public Affairs committee at the Air-conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute.


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Glyn Strong, Co-Founder & Vice President | Green CHP

   Glyn Strong is a 25+ year business veteran in commercial and industrial solar solutions, renewable energy, construction, and real estate. His enthusiasm for solar energy developed early in his career while helping real estate clients renovate their properties to improve cost-effective energy performance. Since then, Glyn has helped build and scale several energy and solar startups with an emphasis on business development and sales.

   Today, Glyn is a PVT evangelist, helping businesses unlock previously unattainable cost savings and energy efficiency levels. Glyn has never met a stranger. He travels the US promoting the cost-saving and energy-efficiency benefits of renewable solutions, developing strong relationships with municipalities, designers, architects, GCs, MEPs, businesses, school districts, and many others along the way.

   When Glyn is not helping clients reduce their total energy spend, you can find him enjoying time with his family and cheering on a St. Louis Cardinals or Kansas City Chiefs game.

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Doug Kolker, Partner | Wipfli

   Doug Kolker is a partner in Wipfli’s manufacturing, retail and distribution practice. He has 18 years of experience working in the specialty tax credits area, focused on research and development and green energy tax credits. He assists companies nationwide by helping them successfully reduce their tax liabilities through these specialty tax credits. Doug also serves as the market leader for Wipfli’s Missouri manufacturing practice. He has a broad background in tax planning, working with closely held businesses, corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies.


Marsha McClanahan, Director of Energy Services & Renewables | City Utilities

   Marsha McClanahan is the Director of Energy Services & Renewables at City Utilities and has spent the last 18 years in energy conservation at the utility. During her years of service, she has assisted both residential and commercial customers understand their usage, recommend cost-effective energy and water saving improvements, answer questions about our net metering process and explore new technologies in the energy space.

   Marsha is a native of Southwest Missouri and spends most weekends with her family and friends cheering on the Mizzou Tigers, Kansas City Chiefs or St. Louis Cardinals. If she is not watching a game, you can usually catch her enjoying the sunshine trying out a new walking trail or eating at a new establishment. 

The Fake Labor Shortage

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

The Fake Labor Shortage: How to Adapt and Achieve Operational Excellence

Scalable Capacity for Your Manufacturing Operation

Many manufacturers struggle with perfectly matching their operational and labor capacity to daily demands. These challenges have only become more difficult given the current uncertainty in the economy and the still-prevalent issues with labor availability. This session is for the CEO focused on growth, the VP of Ops responsible for productivity and margin improvement, and for the Ops Manager who needs better tools to win each day.


This session will showcase the Veryable manufacturing ecosystem and how our business partners have used it to improve service, reduce lead time, and improve their cost structure to become more competitive in their markets. We will highlight use cases and case studies so that you walk away with a path forward to differentiate your business.


Jared Wehde, VP of Operations - MO, IL, IN, KY | Veryable

   Jared has 16 years of team leadership, strategic planning/execution, investment analysis and business development experience.  At Veryable, he has coached dozens of businesses to improve their operations and workforce planning strategies. Prior to Veryable, Jared was first an engineer before spending most of his career as a marketing and business development manager in the oil & gas industry for a larger midstream logistics company.  Jared holds a bachelors and masters degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MBA from Oklahoma State University - Spears School of Business.  

Generative AI Workshop

Day 2 - Wednesday, Feb. 21st

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM  (This session starts 30 minutes earlier than other track sessions)

Workshop: Practical AI Solutions for Business Success

Integrating artificial intelligence into your business may be the most important action you will take in 2024. This session reveals practical applications of existing AI tools, like ChatGPT that will increase your team's efficiency and quality, along with forward-looking opportunities to leverage AI in innovative ways.

How attendees should prepare:

  • Set up a ChatGPT account at

  • Bring a laptop or tablet that ChatGPT has been used on before

(Note: Although it is not necessary, it is recommended to sign up for the pro plan of ChatGPT ($20/mo) in order to have access to GPT-4 and other features that will be used in this workshop. Standard plan users may lose access during the workshop if demand happens to be high during this time.)


Jarad Johnson, Founder/CEO | Mostly Serious, Co-Founder | Habitat Communication & Culture

​   Jarad is the founder and CEO of Mostly Serious, a Springfield-based branding and marketing agency that collaborates with leading regional organizations such as CoxHealth, Paul Mueller, and The Community Foundation of the Ozarks. In 2020, he co-founded Habitat Communication & Culture, a consultancy that assists clients in needs assessment, strategic planning, leadership & management training, and custom research initiatives.

   As a dedicated community member, Jarad was the founding board president of Springfield Creatives, a professional organization supporting local creatives. He has also contributed to the Springfield Community Gardens advisory board and served on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Springfield Association and the Galloway Community Improvement District.


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

NIST 800-171 & CMMC – 2024 Updates, Planning & Cybersecurity Risks for Manufacturers

Have an Expert check Your Cybersecurity Posture & Compliance Status

Join MAM Partner and DoD Contractor SSE for an informative discussion that will help manufacturers better understand current and evolving contractual cybersecurity requirements, recently announced updates from the US Department of Defense (DoD) and what ALL organizations should do in preparation for 2024 and beyond.


This session will cover:

  • Why manufacturers are a prime target for cyber attacks

  • The latest CMMC updates and timeline

  • What Missouri manufacturers need to know about current contractual requirements and the potential risks

  • The importance of documentation; policy, SSP and POAMS

  • How manufacturers can become compliant, including a manufacturer case study


Don’t miss this opportunity to get up-to-speed on your cybersecurity and compliance planning for 2024!


Elizabeth Niedringhaus, President & CEO | SSE, Inc.

   Elizabeth Niedringhaus is the President and CEO of Systems Service Enterprises, Inc. (SSE), a WOSB that was founded by her mother, Susan S. Elliott in 1966.

   Since the advent of the PC in 1983, SSE has been recognized as a leader in IT and Training solutions; most recently in the top 100 of all IT managed service providers worldwide by MSPMentor. Serving the defense industrial base and financial services sector since 2009, SSE has a robust network and cybersecurity services practice that is focused on compliance.  

   As an ISO 9001:2015 certified organization, SSE has not only the technical expertise, but the disciplined processes and business maturity to deliver world-class solutions.  With 300 employees, SSE is headquartered in St. Louis with a sister office in Jacksonville, FL and is able to serve clients throughout all 50 states.

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Robert Duffy, Vice President of Network & Security Services | SSE, Inc.

   Robert Duffy is the Vice President of Network and Cybersecurity Services and joined SSE as Vice President of Sales and Marketing in July 2020.  In addition to leading Business Development efforts for the company, he now oversees SSE’s Service Delivery and Client Engagement teams. This group of dedicated professionals provide support, technology expertise and strategic/compliance planning for more than 30 clients across multiple industries.

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