VAGTC sponsors Auto Suppliers Symposium

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The 16th West Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium will be hosted by the Van Andel Global Trade Center with the theme, “North American Manufacturing Fueling Growth.”

The event will be held March 5, from 8 a.m.-noon, in Loosemore Auditorium on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

North America is home to many of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, with 63 of the top 100 located in Michigan. The event will highlight how North America is fueling the automotive industry’s growth in an era of new design and technology.

The yearly event brings together business owners, senior management and decision makers from all tiers of the industry, providing the most up-to-date automotive forecasts, trends and opportunities to network and learn from others.

Keynote speakers include:
• Roberto Soto Montes, director of Powertrain Purchasing for Renault-Nissan of North America
Soto Montes has more than 15 years of international background in manufacturing, project management and purchasing by serving Renault-Nissan in four different countries. He focuses on business development, negotiation and Powertrain technologies.

• Ed Wulbrecht, vice president of Quality Control for Subaru of Indiana Automotive
Wulbrecht has 25 years of automotive assembly experience, most of it in manufacturing and quality management. He started his career at Ford Motor Company as a paint automation engineer, eventually moving into manufacturing management. He then moved to Subaru, serving as senior manager of Manufacturing before becoming vice president of Quality Control.

• Mike Wall, director of Automotive Analysis for IHS Automotive
Wall has more than 18 years of financial analysis, forecasting, consulting and manufacturing experience with IHS Automotive. He assists financial firms and suppliers in their evaluation and understanding of the auto industry, and offers in-depth analysis of vehicle markets and trends.  

• Michael Dorney, director of Global Business Development for Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
Dorney is responsible for the development of new business contracts and customer relationships for automotive market customers headquartered outside of the U.S. Dorney established the company’s Lacks Japan G.K. unit, expanded Lacks Europe and manages the Lacks Los Angeles office.

To register or for more information, visit or call (616) 331-6811.