Annual Events Upcoming Events


CME is concerned about the health of its members and its staff. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak,  we have made the difficult decision of postponing this event until March 2021. Purchased tickets and table reservations will simply be converted to the upcoming event date, as we continue working full-steam ahead.

Dare to Compete Conference (Hero Picture 2020)


Supercharge your professional development and accelerate your learning in 2020 with Dare to Compete: the largest annual manufacturing conference on the prairies. With more than 300 delegates from 100 companies and with a targeted focus on operational leadership, the event is manufacturing’s can’t-miss professional development opportunity of the year!

The 2020 conference is back with a fresh focus and energized approach, packing CME’s extensive lineup of training programs for manufacturers, by manufacturers into one-day of action-packed, relevant and applied learning.

The conference lineup features:

  • Powerful keynotes: to inspire and challenge you to overcome your biggest barriers at work
  • Ask the expert luncheon: network with other delegates who share your challenges while you access CME’s extensive network of coaches, partners and manufacturing experts to identify insights, solutions and opportunities
  • Hands-on workshops: choose from eight in-depth sessions, filled with manufacturing-specific content, applicable lessons and tools to hit the ground running; all supported by real-life manufacturer success stories.

Attend for the morning or afternoon only, or spend a full day developing the practical skills you need to drive change and step improvements throughout your business.

Don’t miss out – register today!



We’ve been spoon-fed the notion that creativity is the province of genius – of those favored, brilliant few whose moments of insight that arrive in unpredictable flashes of divine inspiration. In this restrictive view, creativity is not something you can be intentional or methodical about. This talk will disprove this, explain how flashes of genius actually happen and provide ways any creator can increase their odds of having one. Participants will:

  • Understand the neurological and psychological mechanisms behind flashes of genius
  • Learn how to have more of these so-called aha moments through the mass consumption of content
  • See how famous creators engage in a strategy called “the 20 per cent principle” that is accessible for anyone
  • Understand how imitation provides you with the ability to create ideas that have the right mix of familiarity and novelty.

Author of The Creative Curve

Big data entrepreneur Allen Gannett was the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform whose clients included Microsoft, Marriott, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Depot, Aetna, Honda, and GE. He has been on the “30 Under 30” lists for both Inc. and Forbes and is a contributor for FastCompany. In his book The Creative Curve, Gannett overturns the mythology around creative genius and reveals the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field. The book has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, numerous top podcasts and has been picked up to be translated into seven other languages in 2019.



Organizations of all sizes depend on teams for productivity, growth, and innovation. Unfortunately, even with the most talented teams, dysfunction is the norm, not the exception. To make things worse, most teams are doing little to make it better, either because they aren’t aware of the problem or because they’re waiting for “someone else to fix it.”

The good news is that you don’t have to wait. You don’t need the jerk to get fired, your boss to move on, or a pricey consultant to turn your team around. In this keynote, you’ll learn how you can change your team from any seat at the table and take steps to help your team get along and get stuff done. Audiences will learn how to:

  • Proactively identify toxic behavior before it results in lost revenue or customers.
  • Discover how your attitudes, choices, and behaviors are affecting the dynamic of your team.
  • Learn the five things you can do immediately to help your team be happier, healthier, and more productive.



The Teamwork Doctor

Expert on Building Effective Teams, Improving Communication, and Increasing Leadership Effectiveness, Liane Davey is known as the “teamwork doctor” and knows how to create high performing teams. Having worked with organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, from across the globe helping teams from the frontlines to the boardroom, she has developed a unique perspective on the challenges that teams face — and how to solve them. Her mission is to transform the way people communicate, connect, and contribute, and, using her expertise in strategy and group dynamics, she delivers the perfect combination of education and entertainment that leaders and teams need to make an immediate impact on their organizations.



Coaching through a scientific approach offers a deliberate way to develop great coaching skills and improve the ability of in-house coaches. This session will help supervisors and leaders step-up their game and help people achieve outstanding results with a series of specially designed training exercises coaches can repeatedly practice in an offline environment, including helpful tips to enhance coaching. Participants will:

  • Develop increased situational coaching ability
  • Have an ability to use deepening questions beyond the five questions of the Coaching Kata
  • Practice a proven method for developing managers-as-coaches within your organization or team


Steve Derksen

Quality & Continuous Improvement Manager, Barkman Concrete Ltd.

With over twenty years of experience in agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, and concrete manufacturing, Steve has a proven history of questioning the status quo and pushing for process improvement with tangible results. More recently he’s been using tools from his Lean and 6 Sigma certifications to drive bottom-line results with the focus and passion to equip all levels of organizations to succeed. Steve is currently the Quality and Continuous Improvement Manager at Barkman Concrete in Steinbach, a manufacturer of precast concrete products.



Warren Peters

Lean Facilitator, CME

Over the course of a 20-year career in the manufacturing sector, Warren Peters has steadily assumed more senior roles, including operational responsibility for multiple plants across Canada. His experience from the shop floor to the boardroom provide him with a valuable perspective from which to provide guidance, coaching, facilitation and training services. Warren is LEAN Blackbelt Certified and Kata trained through the University of Michigan. Along with a degree from the University of Manitoba, he maintains a number of other certifications, including 4 Disciplines of Execution (Franklin Covey), Safety Management, Leadership for Excellence, Safety Auditor Training and WHIMS (COR).


Give two employees the same task and chances are they’ll each perform it slightly differently. For companies who focus on consistency in process, these differences can be costly. This need to standardize work in the most efficient way is the motivation behind ‘job instruction’, which leverages the role of individuals in the organization who direct or influence work to increase productivity, reduce quality errors, reduce training time, improve morale and sustain standard work. After attending, participants will:

  • Understand how variation is introduced at the basic training level and how Job Instruction mitigates this
  • Understand how the “human element” impacts compliance to process
  • Understand the tools behind standard work


Susan Sullivan

Human Resource Manager, Conviron

A Chartered Human Resource Professional with 20+ years in the field, Susan Sullivan is the Human Resource Manager at Controlled Environments Limited (Conviron) serving 300 employees in 4 countries.



Brett Hiscock

Lean Facilitator & Certified TWI Instructor, CME

Brett is a Certified Training Within (TWI) instructor and LEAN Facilitator for CME. For more than two decades, he has worked extensively in manufacturing operations management



Continuous improvement is all about engaging people and Lean for Service provides a hands-on introduction to Lean with an emphasis on service environments. Sales, service, finance, and more – any department can drive results. Participants complete group simulations and apply the tools they learn to improve organization processes. Participants will:

  • See how Lean tools can be used effectively in any industry, even when you’re not producing a physical product
  • Develop the skills and confidence to apply basic Lean tools to a service environment
  • Be able to participate meaningfully in Lean and continuous improvement efforts



President and CEO, ImagineAbility Inc.

Audra Penner is President & CEO of ImagineAbility Inc. (formerly Versatech Industries), a non-profit day service organization that provides employment and recreational activities for persons labelled with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the Winnipeg Area.  Prior to joining ImagineAbility in May 2012, Audra worked for 16 years as a senior executive in the manufacturing sector helping to refocus, redirect and rebuild companies through clear and strategic thinking and a consensus building management style.  She enjoys bringing ‘fresh eyes’ to organizational and business challenges and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to successfully lead companies towards a better future.   Her background also includes teaching university, fundraising for the Dalai Lama and environmental policy analysis.



VP of Technology & Lean Champion, Red River Mutual

Carla currently works for Red River Mutual Insurance (RRM) as their VP Technology & Lean Champion.  In her technology role Carla leads a high performing team of technical staff currently working on the final pieces of a multi million-dollar Guidewire Insurance Suite implementation.  The RRM technical team works closely with strategic partners in planning and advancing their digit journey and is leveraging “Lean Thinking” to address process improvements that drive efficiency to support automation.   As the RRM Lean Champion, Carla has introduced Lean to the organization and works along side the VP Strategy to co-chair the Lean Steering Committee aimed at building and supporting a roadmap that underpins the corporate journey of learning, doing and reflecting through kaizen events and a corporate bright ideas initiative.


Lean Facilitator, CME

Stephanie Roehr is a Lean Facilitator at Canadian Manufacturer and Exporters (CME) a non-profit organization that supports growth in manufacturing in Manitoba.

With 15+ years of experience leading operations departments, Stephanie understands the challenges of developing efficient sustainable processes.  In her role as Facilitator she supports two consortiums of manufacturing companies in Manitoba who have the mission to become world class.

Stephanie is Blackbelt Certified in LEAN Manufacturing and is passionate about continuous improvement.



Despite the media hype, most individuals at the actual implementation and working levels in manufacturing aren’t sure what smart manufacturing means, what it’s all about or how to incorporate it into their business. Attendees at this session will

  • Analyze the three most important questions about smart manufacturing to understand at the operational level that it holds key to your company’s future
  • Apply key smart manufacturing concepts to pressing issues in your business today
  • Develop a practical technology adoption roadmap for your company


Darryl PerryDARYL PERRY,
Managing Partner, Dimatec

Dr. Perry will share his experiences on adopting and applying robotics in the workplace. After completing a fellowship in Neuromuscular Disease and Electrodiagnostic Medicine with the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, as well as completing an MBA from the Asper School of Business, he now splits his time between his role as medical director of The Arena Hand and Arm Clinic in Winnipeg and his position as Director of Operations, Managing Partner of Dimatec – a privately managed business that produces diamond-impregnated drilling bits for global mining and geotechnical drilling industries as well as precision machining for the oil and gas sector.


General Manager of Micro Tool & Machine (MTM)

Gord will share Micro Tool & Machine’s reasons for adopting 3D printing as an SME and their experiences thus far. Micro Tool & Machine is a custom machinery manufacturer with a particular focus on the transformer industry. The company is a leader in the design and production of coil winding machines, cut to length lines, panel radiator production lines, with customers in over 40 countries.



Kevin Lusk

Advanced Manufacturing and Senior Executive Leadership Champion, CME

Kevin is a senior executive leader with domestic and international business experience. Kevin’s comprehensive background includes innovation and technology, robotics, additive manufacturing and composites. He holds several patents and is a past board chair of the Composite Innovation Center. He currently serves on the boards of several organizations serving the Manitoba Including the new Innovation Hub at the University of Manitoba.



Oversight of an entire safety management system can be an overwhelming addition to anyone’s portfolio. This presentation will highlight priority risk management areas for non-safety professionals and incorporates best practices from Made Safe, the industry-based safety association for manufacturing.

  • Simplify and manage the biggest risks and safety compliance requirements for your own business
  • Identify where you’re at with your current safety and health situation
  • Develop a safety and health roadmap to help you reach your next level safety goals


Training and Development Supervisor, MacDon Industries Ltd.

Don’s focus at MacDon is the training and development of 1,300 employees, across a range of training topics, including safety, leadership, lean and more. Don has his Greenbelt certification from CME-MB, has attended Dare to Compete for many years and has enjoyed partnering with CME-MB and Made Safe on many successful training initiatives over the years.

Program Manager, Made Safe

Steven provides leadership to the Made Safe team to provide Manitoba manufacturers with a comprehensive suite of training and services to accelerate workplace safety progress. Steven worked in the heavy construction and mining industries before getting involved with manufacturing. Steven has been with the Made Safe team since the initial launch in 2016. Steven volunteers for the CSSE Professional Development Conference committee, the CSSE Safety & Health week committee, the Herzing College Advisory Board for the Occupational Safety & Health Office certification and is the Safetys Gala Chair on the CSSE Manitoba Chapter Executive.

Safety Advisor, Made Safe

Nathan has worked in the manufacturing industry for 18 years, gaining experience in Foundries, Sheet Metal and Millwork. In his manufacturing career, Nathan has spent 11 years as a Safety Professional and 6 years in a safety training role.


Instead of the “binder on the shelf” approach, organizational plans that are executed through strategic deployment use both top-down and bottom-up perspectives – and look at both process and results. See how strategic deployment connects each person to the business purpose. Attendees will:

  • Understand the overall approach to strategic deployment
  • Learn patented strategic deployment tools through hands-on learning and exercises
  • Practice learning to reinforce the concepts and instill confidence when heading back to the workplace


Kirk Burcar (New Flyer)

Vice President of Engineering Services, New Flyer

Kirk Burcar is a seasoned production engineer, having held progressively advancing roles in automotive and heavy-duty manufacturing for over three decades. He currently leads New Flyer’s engineering operation as Vice President, Engineering Services. Since joining New Flyer in 2009, Kirk has provided direction and guidance to its critical design processes and engineering programs, lending expertise in vehicle controls, statistical problem solving, product quality, and lean strategies focused on process improvement. Prior to joining New Flyer, Kirk spent 20 years in the automotive industry with General Motors in various engineering management positions. Kirk is a certified Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from McGill University, and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Toronto.



John Tuhkanen

Chief Financial Officer, Color Ad Packaging

John’s manufacturing career has spanned more than 35 years predominantly in the aerospace and metal fabrication fields. He has worked in or been responsible for all the various functions of a manufacturing company at one time or other, and for the past 20 years has operated at the executive level as a COO, CFO or General Manager. By formal training John is a CPA, CMA and a Certified Lean Blackbelt. For most of his career he has had the responsibility for the strategic planning function and has practiced the Hoshin Kanri (Strategy Deployment) methodology for the past eight years. John’s current company is just being introduced to Strategy Deployment.


Erwin Matusoc

Lean Facilitator, CME

With more than 20 years’ experience in the manufacturing engineering field, Erwin has supported over hundred companies through Lean Consortia, Kaizen events, Lean assessments, training, coaching, mentoring and strategic planning and execution. He is a Certified Quality Improvement Associate through the American Society for Quality as well as a Certified Lean Master Blackbelt. Currently, Erwin is the Hoshin Kanri (Strategy Deployment) Champion for CME Manitoba.



Communication can either make or break a team. Being able to effectively communicate the company vision through each level of management and to the frontline is the secret to scaling up. In today’s diverse workforce, communication may be the single most important skill to master for success. Participants will:

  • Recognize different communication styles and adapt your style to ensure effective communication
  • Learn the language of leaders to speak with clarity and create a positive impact on team members
  • Raise awareness of communication vehicles that are most effective for communicating across boundaries or between departments


Randy Dyck

Human Resources Manager, Elmer’s Manufacturing

Randy is a CPHR with 16 years of experience in human resources management, safety, and quality assurance systems in a manufacturing setting with a passion for people and sharing “aha!” moments.


Advisor, CME

John Graham is an experienced business development executive and has assisted many private sector companies and public sector organizations across a variety of industries. Today, John serves in an advisory capacity for CME. Through the Manufacturers Executive Council (MEC), he currently counsels clients on strategic planning, sales and marketing, leadership development and information systems, with a continuous improvement focus on streamlining operational effectiveness and efficiency. John also facilitates the Leadership Development Program. He is passionate about helping front line leaders empower their organizations and achieve their business and personal goals.



We all know problems are costly and disruptive. Their impact often affects other areas and departments – even entire operations. With so many tools and strategies for solving problems already in our toolbox, why do we still struggle? This interactive session will guide participants on how to use common Lean and continuous improvement tools to:

  • Give structure to problem solving
  • Provide effective and concise communications on progress and results
  • Ensure accountability


Plant General Manager, JELD-WEN Windows & Doors

Jim Neirinck is currently responsible for overall plant general management at JELD-WEN Windows and Doors in Winnipeg, MB. Jim has over 30 years operational experience, with the first 20 years spent in the aerospace industry in engineering, project management and manufacturing operations. Over the last 15 years Jim has held senior executive leadership roles driving operational excellence and lean transformations in the environmental products industry, semi-custom cabinet manufacturing industry,  and custom window and door manufacturing industry.


John Chaput

Director of Business Development, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

John has spent many years leading organizations through cultural and process transformation. From small to large manufacturing enterprises to government and service sector industry. His successes have been the result of working with great people and teams, and always challenging status quo. John has a passion for Lean and building learning and problem solving organizations.


RBC Convention Centre
375 York Ave,
Winnipeg MB R3C 3J3


March 23, 2021
(Date is subject to change)


FULL DAY: Members - $405
Non-members $495
HALF DAY: Members $250
Non-members $350


Manitoba Manufacturing Week is the province’s premier showcase for industrial innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurial excellence. Partners and sponsors play a significant role in the delivery and receive exclusive recognition benefits at these two premier events, for which nearly 1,000 registrations are processed each year.



• Premium logo recognition on all Manufacturing Week materials
• PLUS access to platinum package benefits for both Conference and Gala


PLATINUM | $5,000
• Premium logo recognition in all advertising and marketing collateral, including website
• Day-of on signage and audio-visual
• Premium title page logo recognition and full-page advertisement in printed conference program
• Podium introduction opportunity
• Exhibit booth (10 X 10)
• 4 all access delegate registrations


GOLD | $2,500
• Logo recognition in all advertising and marketing collateral, including website
• Day-of on signage and audio-visual
• Half-page advertisement in printed conference program
• Exhibit booth (10 X 10)
• 2 all access delegate registrations


SILVER | $1,500
• Logo recognition in printed conference program
• Day-of on signage and audio-visual
• 1 all access delegate registration


Book your exhibitor space and increase your brand visibility with value-added options from media partner Prairie Manufacturer Magazine. Ads will run in the Spring 2020 issue, which will be distributed at the conference through these value-added options:
• Exhibit booth + quarter page horizontal ad | $1,500
• Exhibit booth + half page horizontal ad | $1,750
• Exhibit booth + full page ad | $2,500


*Rates valid if booked by January 31.


PLATINUM | $7,500
• Premium logo recognition in all advertising and marketing collateral, including website
• Day-of on signage and audio-visual
• Podium introduction opportunity with official program or award introduction
• Airing of corporate video (30 second, supplied by sponsor)
• Gala Awards Dinner tickets (Table of 9 + 1 head table seat)


GOLD | $4,500
• Logo recognition in all advertising and marketing collateral, including website
• Day-of on signage and audio-visual
• 4 Gala Awards Dinner tickets


SILVER | $2,500
• Day-of on signage and audio-visual
• 2 Gala Awards Dinner tickets


*Subject to print and production schedules


Please contact:
Renata Castro
Member Services Coordinator, CME

*For contest rules and regulations, click here.