Manufacturing summit to promote innovation

Phil Castle
Phil Castle

Phil Castle, The Business Times

An upcoming manufacturing summit in Western Colorado will promote innovation not only in various manufacturing processes, but also work force development and business strategies.

The event also will explore the benefits of collaboration and promote networking. A trade show will feature manufacturers as well as suppliers and vendors.

“The content there is just going to be awesome,” said Daron Linton, events and program manager for the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance.

CAMA, a trade association for the manufacturing sector, has scheduled the summit for April 28 at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

The summit will include a keynote address, panel discussion and breakout sessions addressing different topics. The event will conclude with what’s dubbed a B2B Lounge offering participants food, beverages and networking.

Justin Hemmer, chairman of the CAMA West Chapter,  said the summit, now in its third year, offers information applicable to all different types of manufacturing as well as opportunities for participants to market their companies and network.

Hemmer owns Hammerhead Painting Services in Grand Junction and said his company has always increased sales as a result of participating in the summit and trade show. Other companies will, too, he said. “They’re going to meet new people.”

Linton said she expects a total of more than 150 representatives from manufacturers across Colorado to attend. A total of 30 manufacturers, suppliers and vendors likely will participate in the trade show, she said.

Along with a keynote presentation on creating a culture of innovation, Linton said breakout sessions will feature speakers sharing their expertise on promoting innovations in manufacturing, work force development and business strategies.

Hemmer said the summit will offer information not only for participants involved in manufacturing, but also human resource management and business operations. “That’s definitely our goal.”

Linton agreed. “There’s really something for everyone at this summit.”

A panel discussion will explore how collaboration and business partnerships have resulted in innovation in new processes and products.

Networking and promoting connections remains an important component of the summit, Linton said. “We want to get people out of their offices and meeting other manufacturers.”

Tim Heaton, president of CAMA, said the summit offers a way for the association to fulfill its mission of advancing the manufacturing sector. “That embodies what we’re all about.”

The 2016 Western Colorado Manufacturing Summit is scheduled for April 28 at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Admission is $75 for members of the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, $100 for others. Exhibit tables at the trade show sell for $400 for CAMA members, $500 for others. To register for or obtain more information about the summit, visit