Montana State University

October manufacturing conference in Missoula to offer local, national perspectives

September 27, 2012 -- MSU News Service

Mike Reilly will give the keynote address at this fall's "Compete Smart" Manufacturing Conference to be held Oct. 11 and 12 in Missoula.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Retired Montana State University Professor Mike Reilly will head the lineup of speakers at this fall's "Compete Smart" Manufacturing Conference to be held Oct. 11 and 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula.

Hosted by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center and Northwestern Energy, the event will also feature several speakers giving national manufacturing perspective and insights from a variety of innovative Montana company leaders.

Reilly will give the keynote address at noon Thursday, Oct. 11. His talk, an entertaining presentation titled "Advances in Payload Delivery Technology: the Cruise Missile Outperforms Saturation Marketing," will explain how to combine enduring principles of marketing with targeted information age tools to reach "Homo Digitus" -- the Digital Man.

Reilly, who has been with the MSU College of Business since 1984, has spent more than 30 years as a professor and consultant to small- and medium-sized businesses and government agencies, specializing in business-to-business marketing analysis and planning, strategic marketing, and market analysis for new technology and products. He has received many awards for both his teaching and research. Colleagues describe him as "a rare academic who is more firmly grounded in the real business world than many practicing business people."

Jay Timmons, who took the helm at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) last year, will give welcome remarks at the luncheon, through a special arrangement with the conference sponsor, the Montana Chamber of Commerce. Timmons promotes a broad-based "Manufacturing Means Jobs!" agenda for maintaining U.S. competitiveness by lifting unnecessary burdens on manufacturing, NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the United States representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector.

An evening event will feature Clara Asmail, Senior Technical Advisor with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. She will share key strategic imperatives identified for the U.S. to respond to the challenges of globalization, the growing importance of innovation (in products, processes, services, and business organization), and sustainability. Her remarks will be followed by a quintessential story on those imperatives by James Stephens, president and chief scientist of Blue Marble Biomaterials in Missoula, the first zero-waste chemical biorefinery in the United States.

Friday morning, Oct. 12, kicks off with "Succeeding through innovation from right here in Montana" with Britt Fred, Northwest Factory Finishes; Linda Miller of Paradise Dental Technologies, and Ken Johnson of CM Manufacturing. The closing luncheon, featuring a unique menu of Montana fare, will include the trend-setting story of building a home entirely of parts made in the United States with Anders and Jake Lewendal of Lewendal Construction.

The conference also includes manufacturing plant tours, 26 breakout sessions, exhibitors, and a 100-foot wall of products manufactured in Montana. Sponsors include the Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Department of Commerce, the Made In Montana program, Innovate Montana, S&K Electronics, First Interstate Bank, UPS and other organizations.

For a complete schedule and information about cost, visit

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or