Planning for 2017: what’s Next for Manufacturing?

KCMN Events

KCMN November Meeting

As the dollar has strengthened, US Exports have dragged. Policy uncertainty from both the US and Europe have frozen some from taking action. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) indicates declining growth.  There has been an ongoing concern over the lack of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector.  Given this spate of less than optimal economic news, what’s a manufacturer to think when planning for 2017 and beyond?

Despite the gloomy news, Kansas City is seeing much activity. The Kansas economy showed some strength in manufacturing, outpacing the nation in both durable and non-durable manufacturing. Missouri’s GDP in 2015 grew at a 1.8 percent rate – slightly ahead of the national rate of 1.7 percent. Manufacturing, construction and healthcare were particularly strong in Missouri as each sector outpaced national rates.

Join us for our annual forecast meeting on November 1 to learn more.  Jon Willis, economist with the Federal Reserve, and KCMN favorite since 2011, will present his overview of the current economic conditions in both the US, and in manufacturing.  Following Jon’s presentation, our panelists will present the view of the Kansas City Manufacturing and Industrial economy from the perspective of those who are out in the marketplace daily.  The event promises to be a thorough look at what’s happening, and what’s next for manufacturing in Kansas City.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

7:30 – 9:00 AM

CBIZ MHM, LLC 700 West 47th St. 11th Floor, Kansas City, MO 64112

 Cost is $20 for KCMN or KCIC members, $25 for manufacturing company guests, and $50 for non manufacturing company guests. Guests may attend 2 meetings before having to join as a member.  Sign up today BY CLICKING HERE or contact Donna Gordon at 816-304-7958, or


Jonathan L. Willis, Vice President and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Jon Willis is a Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He joined the Economic Research Department in September 2000. A native of Iowa, Willis received a B.A. degree in economics from Grinnell College in 1993 and a Ph.D. degree in economics from Boston University in 2001. Willis conducts research on labor market dynamics over the business cycle and the relationship between the price-setting behavior of firms and inflation dynamics. In addition to working at the Bank, he has served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Panel Discussion Leader: Mark Chalfant, CEO, Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center (MAMTC) Mark leads the MAMTC team, not only providing direction and guidance to the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, but also working with other agencies and organization to help build the manufacturing sector in Kansas. Mark is a graduate of the Industrial Engineering program at Kansas State University, and has a Master’s degree from the University of Southern
California in Systems Management. He has 30 years of manufacturing and industrial setting experience working for both large and small companies in California, Utah and Kansas. Mark is an Innovation Engineering Black Belt
working with companies on growing their top line utilizing the Innovation Engineering Management System.

Rob Bratcher, Senior VP, Commercial Banking Division Manager, Kansas City, Commerce Bank Rob joined Commerce Bank in early 2012 as the Commercial Division Manager for Healthcare Banking across the  bank’s Western Region.  Beginning in 2014, Rob was promoted to serve as the head of Commercial Banking for the Kansas City Region.   Rob has spent 20  years in the financial services industries, providing guidance to medium and large middle market companies. Rob’s community interests include serving as Treasurer of the Kansas City Repertory Theater, and serves in multiple leadership roles for the United Way of Greater Kansas City. Rob is a cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri- Columbia with a BSBA in Finance & Real Estate from the Trulaske College of Business.

Chris Gutierrez, President, Kansas City SmartPort, Inc. Chris Gutierrez is the President of Kansas City SmartPort, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization that promotes and enhances the Kansas City region’s status as a leading North American logistics hub. SmartPort is an affiliated group of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC). Chris has been active in logistics and international business for more than twenty-five years. He has worked in the public and private sector in international business and logistics. Chris’ community involvement includes his positions as a board member of the Board of Advisors of the University of Kansas Supply Chain Management Program, CSCMP, and the World Trade Center – Kansas City and Feed Northland Kids. He’s also alumni of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions.

Bob Dowling, Lead Managing Director, CBIZ MHM, LLC Bob is a Lead Managing Director in the Kansas City office and serves as a Lead Managing Director responsible for supervising, reviewing and performing attestation engagements for a variety of middle to large market-sized clients. Formerly an audit partner at a Big Four firm, Bob has over 30 years of experience as a public accountant. He works with clients in a wide array of industries, including retail, manufacturing, distribution, consumer products, software and life sciences. Bob is responsible for business growth, particularly in the public company arena and he is the leader of the local Manufacturing, Retail and Distribution (MRD) industry practice. Additionally, Bob is responsible for performing independent quality reviews of financial statements and served as the technical leader of the Kansas City Attest Practice for many years.


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