Gary Silberg

Partner, National Automotive Industry Leader, KPMG

Gary is the Firm’s National Automotive Industry Leader, as well as the Global Lead Partner for Delphi Corporation and Ford MotorCompany. Gary has 25+ years of business experience, including over 15 years in the automotive industry.

Professional and Industry Experience
• Gary has advised numerous domestic and multinational companies in areas of strategy, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and jointventures. His specific focus includes helping clients identify and evaluate new investment and growth strategies from technologystart-upcompanies to large scale multibillion dollar investments.
• For the past five years he has focused on the intersection of technology and the automotive industry with groundbreaking research on Self-Driving Cars, connectivity and mobility demand services.
• He has also worked on some of the most complex and strategic transactions in the industry. In particular, Gary has worked as an advisor toFord Motor Company on its three most recent divestitures: Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, and its Volvo divestiture. Mr.Silberg hasalso advised Chrysler Corporation as part of its transaction with Fiat. He also has extensive knowledge and experience working with tier 1automotive suppliers including their aftermarket businesses.
• He has assisted several start-up automotive companies in developing their long-term strategies and business plans.
• Gary is fluent in French and speaks basic level Chinese (Mandarin).

Thought leadership in the Automotive industry
• Gary is the chair of the annual Executive Automotive Share Forum Series, conducted in parallel with the North American International AutoShow in Detroit and Los Angeles.
• He has written extensively about the industry. A selection of Gary’s recent publications include:
• I see. I think. I drive. (I learn).
• The ClockspeedDilemma –what it means for automotive innovation
• Me, My Car, My Life … in the ultraconnectedage
• Self-Driving Cars: Are We Ready?
• Self Driving Cars: The Next Revolution
• Gary also often provides media commentary on global trends in the automotive industry, including many guest appearances on CNBCSquawk Box, Bloomberg TV –Other news media interviews include The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Reuters, Fortune, Forbes,Bloomberg, Wired, The Silicon Valley Business Journal, CNN Money, Industry Week, Outlook Business of India, China Auto and YomiuriShimbun of Japan.

Representative Clients:
BorgWarner, Fiat/Chrysler, Delphi, Denso, Emerson, Ford Motor Company, IAC, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Lear, Meritor, NVDIA, Motorola, ThyssenKrupp, Toyota, TRW, and Visteon.

Knudt Flor

President and CEO, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

Knudt Flor is President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing Co. He has 29 years’ experience
within the BMW Group Global Production Network.

Flor, 58, began his career with BMW in 1988 at the Engine Plant in Munich as an Engineer of Production. He then served in several roles in Quality Assurance and Quality Management at the Munich plant. From 1996-2000, he worked at the Spartanburg plant as Quality Assurance of Car Assembly and Purchased Parts. He has also been Vice President of Production at BMW Plant Munich, Director of BMW Plant Rosslyn in South Africa, and Senior Vice President of Manufacturing at BMW Brilliance Automotive Joint Venture in Shenyang, China. Most recently, Flor served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Quality for the BMW Group.

Bobby Hitt

South Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary

Robert “Bobby” M. Hitt III was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve as Secretary of Commerce in January 2011. Aiming to cultivate a team-first approach to economic development, Secretary Hitt mobilized the state’s many partners and allies, empowering them to assist in a variety of efforts, including building and site certification, infrastructure improvement, international trade growth, supplier development, workforce development and statewide brand establishment and promotion through the ‘Just right’ campaign. As a result, Team South Carolina has achieved unprecedented industry recruitment success.

Since 2011, S.C. Commerce has recruited approximately $30 billion in capital investment and more than 105,000 new jobs. Now a premier brand state, multiple world-class companies have made significant investments in South Carolina during Secretary Hitt’s tenure, including BMW, Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Michelin, Samsung, Toray, Volvo Cars and more. As one of the nation’s leaders in foreign direct investment, S.C. Commerce markets South Carolina’s positive business environment to the global economy.

Consequently, the Palmetto State has achieved an export sales record in each year of Secretary Hitt’s tenure, topping $31 billion in total export sales for the first time in 2016. Additionally, South Carolina has consistently ranked first in the nation in the export sales of both completed passenger motor vehicles and tires. To build on this success and to complement the efforts of each of the state’s four international offices, a new International Strategy and Trade division was established at S.C. Commerce in 2015.

Seeking continued growth of South Carolina’s target industry clusters, S.C. Commerce established partnerships with several organizations under Secretary Hitt’s leadership. The agency now collaborates with the S.C. Council on Competitiveness to advance the state’s aerospace and logistics industries, as well as the S.C. Automotive Council and the S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization to advance the automotive and life science industries, respectively.

S.C. Commerce also prioritizes efforts to support the state’s small and existing companies. Understanding the importance of bringing business to business, the agency has spearheaded the coordination of many B2B events, including subcontractor outreach sessions for major construction projects and supplier matchmaker sessions for some of the state’s biggest industries. S.C. Commerce also operates a product and service locator database known as SourceSC, allowing South Carolina companies to connect with in-state suppliers and vendors.

As Team South Carolina seeks to build on momentum generated since 2011, continued collaboration remains a critical piece of Secretary Hitt’s strategy. The recent creation of a Council for Innovation Initiatives and a Coordinating Council for Workforce Development will help advance efforts in both areas, while eliciting the expertise of leaders from a variety of public and private organizations.

Before his time as Secretary of Commerce, Hitt served as manager of Corporate Affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg County after 17 years as managing editor of The State and Columbia Record newspapers.

Katarina Fjording

VP, Purchasing & Manufacturing, Americas, Volvo Car US Operations

Katarina Fjording is a senior Volvo Car executive and an automotive veteran with more than 28 years of global industrial operations experience from Europe, Asia and America. Katarina’s international experience spans product and tooling development, purchasing and manufacturing as well as being an automotive supplier to European premium brands.
A mechanical engineer, she began her career in Volvo as a design engineer on the Volvo 850 model. She has held several senior positions within Volvo Car including Director New Model Programs, Executive Director Manufacturing Engineering Asia and most recently Vice President Manufacturing Asia, overseeing the build-up of the manufacturing operations in China.
Katarina’s current assignment entails establishing an industrial footprint in the Americas and the build-up of Volvo Car’s first US production facility.
Katarina has previously lived six years in the US while working for Ford Motor Company in Detroit and Chicago. A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, currently residing in Charleston, South Carolina, Katarina enjoys the outdoors, including sail racing and hunting.
Katarina is a board member of Sunfleet Car sharing since 2011. She also serves as an executive board member of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the boards of the American Red Cross and Cradle to Career.

Tom Mayor

Principal, Industrial Manufacturing, Strategy Practice Leader, KPMG

Tom Mayor leads KPMG’s Industrial Markets Strategy Practice. Tom has over 25 years of Strategy consulting experience including extensive work with leading automotive and commercial aerospace OEMs, their tier 1 suppliers and their transportation and logistics industry customers. Tom and his team work with KPMG clients across a range of transformational strategy topics including corporate portfolio re-assessment, innovation and new product/program strategies, and major cost transformations. In addition to his Strategy practice leadership role Tom is currently leading KPMG’s Internet-of-Things and Autonomy related innovation and growth efforts across Automotive, Aerospace and Transportation. Externally Tom serves as the Chairman of the Corporate Advisory Council for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Supply Chain Management Program. Tom holds a BS in Engineering and a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from Amos Tuck School, Dartmouth College.

Franz Bellenhaus

Section Manager Value Stream Management, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

Personal Data: Franz Bellenhaus
Place and date of birth: Munich, Jan. 4th, 1969
Marital status: married, 2 children
Schools and Academics:
09/79 – 07/88 Max-Planck-Gymnasium Munich, Bavarian Abitur
09/88 – 05/91 Chamber of Commerce Munich, Handelsfachwirt and TtT
05/91 – 08/91 Internship BMW AG Munich and Landshut
10/91 – 01/97 Technical University Munich; Mechanical Engineering, Production Technologies; Diplom-Ingenieur Univ.
Employment History:
05/96 – 09/96 Renault SA, Paris, Diploma-Thesis (Valuestream-Simulation Paintshop Plant Flins)
12/96 – 06/01 BMW AG Plant Dingolfing, Process Planner Assembly TD-44x / 42x
 Equipment- and maintenance planning pre-assemblies and end-of-line-sections
 Project management structural projects, e.g. wheel-shop, axle-alignment,…
07/01 – 08/03 BMW AG Headquaters, Analyst Production-Strategies TI-10
 Deriving inputs for BMW’s production-strategy from own and competitors‘ plants, systems, processes; e.g. visits to BMW MC and to Nissan and Toyota in Japan
 Annual strategic determination of T-Division’s position towards other OEMs
09/03 – 06/06 BMW Brilliance Dadong, Deptartment Manager Assembly Planning BBM-44
 Constitution and management of the department, full responsibility for staff & results
 Recruiting and leading 5 junior managers, 1 team leader and numerous industrial engineers, troubleshooters, trainers and interpreters (m/f), totally 77 associates
 Responsibility for budget, project investment and vehicle launches E46, E60, E90
07/06 – 03/10 BMW AG Plant Munich, VPS Program Integrator Assembly TM-4
 Implementation of activities in change management, process modifications and training with strong focus on people’s strengthes, quality and lean-methods
 Reporting directly to TM-4 (M. Erlacher, J. Ginglseder), VPS-target-steering
04/10 – 03/14 BMW AG Headquaters, Senior Consultant Valuestream Management MZ-42
 Securing BMW’s interests within the supplier-network, e.g. supply, cost, investment through stabilization and increase of quality and efficiency
 Quick, effective and sustainable solutions and improvements in cooperation with the suppliers’ management-teams and BMW departments as needed
 Leading project teams with members from BMW and the suppliers
04/14 – 01/16
BMW AG Logistics Planning, Section Manager Valuestream Design TV-270
 Responsibility for 16 associates with origins from Germany, Russia, Iran, USA & ZA
 Responsibility for correct evaluations and briefings in gAMS and supplier selection since 02/16 BMW Manufacturing LLC Spartanburg, Section Manager Tool- and Valuestream- Management MZ-4-US / MN-14 (contract until 12/2018)
 Responsible for Supply Chain Consulting in exceptional cases in NAFTA suppliers network (Quality, supply, industrialization risks, investment verifications, tool-tracking)
 Built up and led the new VSM function (“MZ-4-MX”) in San Luis Potosi in 2016 & 2017
 Responsible for 8 associates and cost center budget
Languages, Experience & Strengths:
 Fluent in English and French; basic knowledge in Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Russian
 Experienced in interaction with English, French, Americans, Italians, Chinese, Indians, Austrians, South Africans, Japanese, Mexicans
 Strengths: perception of individuals, strategy, curiosity, analytics, maximization
Hobbies: Travelling, family, biking, BBQ, home improvement, comedy

Birgit Matthiesen

Director, North American Automotive, Arent Fox, LLP

Birgit has a strong and unique perspective of the issues facing Canadian and American cross-border supply chains. She began her career as a Canadian Customs and later as an immigration regional manager along the Quebec/Vermont border, followed by 25 years at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Prior to joining Arent Fox, she served as the eyes and ears for Canada's largest business association. In short, Birgit knows the border and beyond.

At Arent Fox, Birgit works with a team of lawyers to assist companies and business groups with cross-border business interests, ranging from import risk assessment to broader trade competitive objectives. This unique team builds upon specialty practices already offered by Arent Fox and adds a distinct perspective on the challenges and opportunities for Canadian business interests in the US marketplace. Birgit is also a critical member of a service team at Arent Fox that focuses on the NAFTA automotive rules.

Birgit's specialties reflect a career building a network of cross-border interests. She has worked within the Canadian Government, has represented Canadian business interests to American officials and members of Congress, and has built a solid record of advocacy in the United States for Canadian companies and their American business partners. Her distinguished professional portfolio offers Arent Fox clients a vantage point unmatched in North America.

Tom Lehner

Vice President, Public Policy, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

Tom Lehner is a government and industry affairs executive with a record of leadership working with elected officials, companies, and trade associations in addressing challenging and complex issues.
Tom is Vice President of Public Policy for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). MEMA represents motor vehicle suppliers who provide over 871,000 direct jobs, the largest manufacturing sector in the United States. Suppliers play a leading role in developing advanced vehicle technologies, transforming the automotive industry as it transitions to connected and semi-autonomous vehicles.
Previously Tom was Vice President for Toyota, where he led the Washington, D.C. office; Tom was Toyota’s lead advocate with White House officials, members of congress, and regulators. His leadership was invaluable as Toyota faced the global recession, recall crisis, and recovery to one of the world’s leading brands.
Tom was also a Director at the Business Roundtable, working with CEO’s of the nation’s largest corporations. He led the Roundtable’s efforts on Corporate Governance, Legal Reform, and the Partnership for Disaster Response.
Tom began his government service at the local and state levels. In Washington, D.C., his experience includes working for six U.S. Senators, including Chief of Staff to Senator Charles S. Robb of Virginia.
Tom has testified before Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), appeared on numerous industry panels, and has been quoted in leading publications. Tom is also a licensed pilot and enjoys golf and skiing; he and his wife Kathy have three children.

Joe Langley

Associate Director, North America Forecasting, IHS

Joe Langley serves as Associate Director, North American Forecasting and Industry Analysis for IHS Markit. He has over 20 years of automotive experience relating to forecasting, competitive intelligence, leasing and residual valuation and industry analysis. Mr. Langley has a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Hofstra University.

David Clayton

Executive Director, Center for Manufacturing Innovation

In 2015, David Clayton began work as the director of the Center for Manufacturing Innovation. The former research director of the South Carolina Department of Commerce is experienced in economic and workforce development and brings leadership and manufacturing experience in the U.S. and Europe with companies including Westinghouse Electric, General Electric, and PTV Loxane. Clayton earned a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in mechanical engineering and an International MBA from the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business. In addition, he completed MBA coursework at the European School of Management in Paris and coursework at the Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany.

Margaret Dunford

Director of Design, Sage Automotive Interiors

Margaret Dunford currently heads up a team of designers at Sage Automotive Interiors that develops fabrics for the automotive interiors of the future. She leads the process of determining future trends for the automotive market which is integral to the designs that Sage develops. Margaret has held various positions in textile design and marketing for both the automotive and contract furniture markets for the past thirty-plus years.
Graduating with a BFA in Textile Design from Syracuse University, she also received a graduate diploma in Executive Business Management from University of North Carolina, and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Sustainability from Furman University. Currently she holds the position of chairman of the board of the non-profit TreesGreenville.

Kevin Perry

Director of Professional Development, SAE International

Kevin Perry is the Director of SAE International’s Professional Development division, a position he has held since 2001. In this capacity, he leads a staff that plans and delivers public training courses, in-company training, and a variety of multimedia/distance learning products for engineers who serve the automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle industries. In 2014, Dr. Perry assumed management of Effective Training, Inc., a firm that SAE acquired, which focuses on geometric dimensioning and tolerancing training products. Also in 2014, he established Probitas Authentication, a new SAE business that certifies aerospace auditors and training providers. In 2015, he led an effort to acquire the aerospace auditor and training provider business from the principal competitor to Probitas.

Prior to his role as Director, he worked as a Program Developer where he developed SAE’s Engineering Academy format, which earned the Award of Excellence from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Before joining SAE, Dr. Perry worked in the continuing higher education field for nearly 12 years at both Penn State University and Duquesne University where he held positions as program developer, administrator, and marketing director. His educational credentials include a B.S. in Education and M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Penn State University, and Ed.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies from University of Pittsburgh. He also earned an MBA Essentials Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business.

His service work has included Board of Regents member for Baker College’s Graduate School and Online College, Governing Board Vice-Chair of the Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement (MAGMA), and Education and Training Track Committee member for the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE). In 2014, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and also chairs their Digital Badging Committee.

Carla Whitlock

Senior Apprenticeship Consultant, Apprenticeship Carolina

Carla Whitlock currently serves as Senior Apprenticeship Consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina and is responsible for the operations of the program as well as its four grant opportunities. Her professional background has included public accounting with one of the nation’s largest regional accounting firms, tax credits and economic development consulting, government relations, marketing and business development. Prior to joining Apprenticeship Carolina, Carla was a Project Coordinator with Pickens County, South Carolina, where she worked with agencies in the areas of economic development, tourism, transportation, and emergency management. Throughout her career, she has worked with a number of industries including manufacturing, financial services, energy, information technology and health care. Carla’s expertise has been featured during conferences and events sponsored by the Urban Institute, Appalachian Regional Council, Department of Labor, NAACP, economic development organizations and individual trade associations.

A graduate of Southern Wesleyan University with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration, she is a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer and a graduate of the SC Technical College System Leadership Academy. She has also completed the National Basic Economic Development Course through the University of North Carolina. Carla is a former Board Member for Junior Achievement of the Upstate and is active member of the South Carolina Economic Developers Association.

Cathy Fisher

President, Quistem

Cathy Fisher is founder and President of Quistem, LLC. With over 30 years of respected expertise in the automotive industry, Cathy helps manufacturers throughout the automotive supply chain “find hidden money” in their operations, eliminate customer complaints permanently and develop a proactive quality culture to achieve rapid business growth.

She started her automotive career with General Motors in the 1980’s, working for the AC Spark Plug division in Flint, Michigan where she led product development efforts to support GM-sponsored NASCAR teams. In 1990, Cathy joined ITT-Teves to help with their launch of anti-lock brake technology in the US automotive market including assisting with 2 plant start-ups. In 1993, Cathy became a member of BMW’s plant start-up team in Greer, SC where she led the establishment of BMW’s North American supply-base in support of the 318, 325 and Z-3 Roadster vehicle launches.

Cathy has worked with over 80 of the top 100 global OEM suppliers as well as throughout the automotive supply chain, helping these organizations turn their management systems into “money-making machines” while providing best-in-class quality and continuously enhancing customer satisfaction.

Today, Cathy shares her automotive and plant start-up expertise with organizations who are expanding their business into the automotive sector, to become premier suppliers to the industry. Her proven approach to developing a proactive quality culture has been described by her automotive clients as “a license to print money” in their design and manufacturing operations.

Cathy also leads the Future of Automotive Core Tools initiative, responsible for updating vehicle design and manufacturing quality standards in support of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.

Terry Onica

Automotive Director, QAD

Current Responsibilities
As Director of Automotive at QAD, Terry is responsible global marketing activities which includes strategy and positioning, product and offering, people and knowledge, and field and sales marketing support for the automotive vertical. Terry works in close concert with customers to drive best practices and earn preferred supplier status. She also is an industry leader in the development and global adoption of supply chain industry standards and best practices.

Prior to joining QAD, Terry worked at GM, Ford, and Johnson Controls. She has been immersed in the automotive supply chain and technology space throughout her 25 year career. Currently, Terry is an active member of the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) Supply Chain Steering Committee. Terry is one of the authors of the Global Materials Management Operations Guideline/Logistics Evalution (MMOG/LE) which is used by thousands of automotive suppliers globally. She has been awarded several times by AIAG and Odette for driving the development of global supply chain standards in the areas of assessments, key performance indicators, supplier agreements, and EDI. Additionally, she was a past recipient of Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine’s ``Practitioner Pro to Know,” given to the manufacturing industry's leading innovators who are working to advance supply chain performance and related technology.

Onica has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Lawrence Technological University.


Paul Lewis

VP of Policy, Eno Center for Transportation

Paul Lewis is Vice President of Policy and Finance at the Eno Center for Transportation. In that capacity, he directs Eno’s policy research programs, including paper development and event organization. Lewis has led policy projects related to federal policy, transportation planning, and transportation governance, including Eno’s Transportation Finance, Freight, and Aviation Working Groups. Lewis has also led research on emerging mobility and automated vehicles. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Ohio Northern University and his M.S. Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ward Vleegen

Business Group Leader, AGORIA

Agoria means progress through technology. We pave the path for all technologically-inspired companies in Belgium that strive for progress in the world through the development or application of innovations. We are proud that more than 1,800 member companies, who together represent around 300,000 employees, put their trust in the three pillars of our services: consultancy, business development and the creation of an optimal business climate.

Dirk Torfs


Flanders Make is the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry in Flanders - Belgium. Operating from our sites in Lommel or Leuven, and from 10 research facilities at the Flemish universities, we stimulate open innovation through excellent research.
Our purpose: realizing a top-level research network in Flanders that delivers full support to the innovation projects of manufacturing companies. This way, we want to contribute to new products and processes that help to realize the vehicles, machines and factories of the future.

Peter Verstraeten


Proceedix enables operational excellence through empowered & connected people, executing work instructions and inspections with mobile and wearable technology.
Founded in 2014, with headquarters in Ghent, sales offices in San Francisco, and a strategic implementation partner located in Greenville, South Carolina.

Patrick De Jaeger

International Business Development Manager, ProSuite

ProSuite develops and markets paperless manufacturing software solutions. Their software controls the full assembly process, based on a predefined workflow, it registers all the assembly steps that are applied on the product and generates a complete birth certificate.

Pieter Houben

VP Marketing, FACIL

Facil is one of the first companies to realize a Full-Service Concept for fastening technologies.
Our Full Service Provider (FSP) concept embraces all aspects of fastening in the industries that we serve. OEM customers use our services from the early concept and design phase throughout the product’s entire lifecycle. With this concept, Facil provides complete fastening technology for millions of products every year − minimizing complexity and costs across the entire fastener and C-parts value chain.
With our global headquarters in Genk, Belgium (Europe), Facil employs a dedicated team of 400 Fasteneers, working in 17 sites all over the world. Facil’s turnover in 2015 was close to €400 million.

Johan Potargent

CEO, AMS Belgium

AMS Belgium is a young, international and dynamic full service supplier in automation projects with several divisions worldwide. Being specialized in ROBOTICS, PLC and OFFLINE programming AMS is you partner in automation projects and turnkey solutions. Your key to support you into your IND.4.0 projects. The company is revolutionizing rotational molding of hollow plastic parts via its proprietary “Robomould” production process.

Gert Peetersem

Managing Director, LASE group

Since 2001, LASE develops turnkey automation projects for OEMs as well as Tier I and II suppliers worldwide. LASE can provide you complete manufacturing solutions for the production of interior systems, exterior plastics, fuel systems and drivetrains and axles. Based on years of experience, LASE will offer you the most cost-effective solution. As turnkey integrator, we have all divisions in house, from design to manufacturing up to installation & training in your facility.

Jos van Bree

Executive Chairman, CONTEYOR

conTeyor is a leader in the innovative niche market of B2B re-usable packaging solutions.
Plastic bags, cardboard, bubble foil? Time to get rid of these. conTeyor solutions eliminate the need for expendable, single-use packaging materials by tailored designed solutions.
conTeyor equals green,lean, cost-efficient,ergonomical and highly protective packaging adding value to your total supply chain processes.

Stef Thulie


RapidFit is a daughter company of Materialise (worldwide leading company in 3DP, noted on Nasdaq), and focusses on tooling applications where 3DP can make a disruptive improvement.
RapidFit is fully dedicated to tooling, whereas Materialise focusses on 3DPrint . RapidFit has a specialized team of tooling engineers , and a top-notch production facility. Being part of the Materialise Group enables RapidFit to have the best possible access to all 3DP skills, including software developments for design and production automation.

Ward Van de Walle

VP New Business Development & CTO, Burke Porter Group

The Burke Porter Group is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and supply of advanced technological testing and assembly solutions. Our family encompasses 31 locations across 4 continents, with manufacturing and support capabilities across the globe. Leading experts for over 60 years, we’re passionate about delivering the best products and the greatest customer experiences.

Doug Young

Vice President, Corporate Sector Purchasing and Logistics, Robert Bosch LLC

Doug Young is the Vice President, Corporate Sector Purchasing & Logistics for Robert Bosch LLC’s North America Technical Service Center, as of July 2011. In this position, he is responsible for leading Bosch’s NA supplier quality organization with offices in Mexico and US. He is based in Anderson, South Carolina.
Since joining Bosch in September 1989, Young has held numerous positions with increasing responsibility in development engineering, production testing, manufacturing, and supplier quality at Bosch. His broad background includes over 28 years in automotive manufacturing and extensive international experience with Germany and Mexico.
Since mid 2010, Young has worked extensively on an international leadership team to establish Bosch’s global supplier quality organization. During this time, he worked closely with leaders in each world region to set policy and procedures, define mission and objectives, manage organizational change, etc. He continues to work in this capacity to further establish the supplier quality organization for the NA region. Young earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University with minors in Computer Science and Business Administration.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,500 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2017). According to
preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 78 billion euros in 2017. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” Having established a regional presence in 1906 in North America, the Bosch Group employs nearly 32,800 associates in more than 100 locations, as of December 31, 2016. In 2016 Bosch generated consolidated sales of $13.7 billion in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Christopher Ludwig

Head of Purchasing, ZF Transmissions Gray Court LLC

Christopher (Chris) Ludwig is the Head of Purchasing of ZF Transmissions Gray Court LLC and Global Head of Program Purchasing 9HP Product Line
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lander University. He also received a Masters of International Business from the University of Applied Sciences Mainz, Germany and a Masters of Business Administration from Clemson University.
Chris grew-up and lived in Germany before moving to South Carolina to pursue his US degrees and professional career in 2002. He is married with three children and became a US citizen in 2012.
In August 2014, Chris joined ZF Transmissions to head the Purchasing department responsible for all of ZF’s direct material procurement with an annual Purchasing Volume of close to 1 billion USD. Since 2017 he is also Global Head of Program Purchasing for ZF’s 9HP transmission product line with production sites in Gray Court, SC, USA and future production site in Eger, Hungary. Before joining ZF Transmissions Gray Court LLC, he held various Purchasing positions with Robert Bosch NA in Anderson SC.