The Mavens Manufacturing Tour for students is one step towards reestablishing the U.S. as a global manufacturing powerhouse. This opportunity promotes manufacturing to younger generations of potential leaders and skilled talent on a national scale, highlighting the technical and industrial advances that are occurring within America.
- Date: Friday, October 22, 2021
- Time: 9:00 am – 2:30 pm CST
- Location: Beloit Memorial High School | 1225 4th St, Beloit, WI 53511
Keynote Speaker: Mr. Andrew Crowe | Leader of the New American Manufacturing Renaissance
Andrew Crowe is on the front lines in the battle of closing the workforce and skills gap in the Manufacturing Industry. He teaches manufacturing industry leaders how to reach and hire the next generation of the manufacturing sector by growing awareness of the industry among our youth by being at the forefront of training the next generation of skilled manufacturing industry leaders.
He is building a bridge between the manufacturing sector, the youth, and our communities through collaborative efforts, organic reach, and private/public partnerships!
He is determined to close the gap and keep out sector thriving.
Mr. Jesse Salazar | Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy
Appointed in February, 2021, Mr. Jesse Salazar serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. In this role, he leads the Industrial Policy team as they assess, protect, and promote the Defense Industrial Base. He advises the Under Secretary of Defense of Acquisition and Sustainment on the health of the Industrial Base to ensure a robust, secure, resilient, and innovative industrial capabilities upon which the Department of Defense can rely to fulfill current and future Warfighter requirements.
Prior to his appointment in Industrial Policy, Mr. Salazar led global external relations for the Advanced Industries practice of McKinsey & Company, where he managed the development and dissemination of vital industrial research on the automotive, machinery, advanced electronics, semiconductors, aerospace, and defense sectors, as well as industry stakeholder engagement. He also served on McKinsey’s Advanced Industries COVID-19 global leadership team and supported several industrial and manufacturing research partnerships with the World Economic Forum.
Mr. Salazar served as Vice President of Content Design and Vice President of Communications at the Council on Foundations. He also worked to strengthen minority and small businesses and ensure inclusive economic growth, as Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He held additional roles as Special Assistant and Field Representative to U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., Commissioner of Latino Affairs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Communications Director for SEIU. Mr. Salazar also taught in the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University.
Passionate about nonprofit service, Mr. Salazar supports national efforts to create life-sustaining employment opportunities as secretary of the board for the nonprofit Generation USA. He also serves on the board for Baltimore Center Stage, the State Theater of Maryland. Mr. Salazar is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and chair emeritus for The Communications Network. He holds an MA in History from Princeton University, where he received the Davis Merit Prize and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Advanced Humanistic Studies, and he earned a BA with honors from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Salazar resides with his husband in Baltimore, MD.
Mr. Tony Gunn | General Manager | MTDCNC Global
Tony Gunn started in the manufacturing industry in 1999, running a hydraulic punch press on a shop floor with no experience.
After several years of hard work and determination, gathering knowledge from those around him, Tony has since learned how to program and run many types of machines, traveled and studied with engineers around the world, and has become the Global General Manager for MTDCNC, the most popular news, media, and marketing channel for the world of engineering and manufacturing.
Having a passion and love for an industry that has given him so much, Tony now spreads awareness and excitement through weekly podcasts, educational videos, and social content. To learn more, visit
Mr. Jake Hall | The Manufacturing Millennial
His passion for automation and high-tech manufacturing manifests itself on social media. With 23,000 followers and 8,000,000+ views on his content, he ignites conversations about the latest in the manufacturing and automation industry to build relationships, go-to-market strategies, and creates market accessibility for manufacturing and automation.
Jake Hall is a Business Development Manager for Feyen Zylstra, but to others he is known as the Manufacturing Millennial. His passion is to work with manufactures, integrators, and end-users to share his knowledge around automation, robotics, and Industry 4.0.
Mr. Justin Sherman | Founder | Equity Machine Works, SPC
Justin Sherman is motivated to have a positive impact wherever he is, driving improvement, leading initiatives, and developing staff. His career has taken him from a Machinist Apprentice, through inspection, programming, shop management; trade instruction and non-profit program management; scientific instrumentation, to managing a large prototyping team.
Throughout his career, Sherman has lead a variety of safety and skill-training programs. He also spent the last 6 years volunteering his time advising on development and implementation of trades education programs. Now, through Equity Machine Works SPC, he intends to promote systemic change within the manufacturing industry and help lead others to engage with their communities and adopt more equitable models.
Mr. Tim Wilborne | TW Controls
Tim and his wife, Amber, have a passion for helping people reach their goals. They work together, parent together, and somehow manage to still live together. Nothing makes them happier than knowing that they have helped someone advance their career, get a broken machine back going, or even hearing that a future “competitor” just started their automation company with our help.
Mr. Aaron Prather | Senior Technical Advisor | FedEx
With over 25 years at FedEx, Aaron Prather has developed and deployed numerous technology applications across the FedEx enterprise. From Hub operations in Memphis, Indianapolis, and Oakland, to Courier Operations around the world, he has worked in every corner of FedEx’s day-to-day operations.
In his current role as Senior Advisor, Technology Planning & Research, Prather leads efforts to find and deploy new technologies into FedEx operations, including robotics and automation.
He sits on the company’s Operations Technology Council which coordinates efforts across all the FedEx companies. Outside of FedEx, Aaron participates in developing robot standards at the RIA and UL. Through the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, he works with universities and colleges in the development of educational programs for the next generation of technologists in logistics.
Prather received an MBA from Christian Brothers University and holds a BS from University of Memphis in Geographic Information Science and Cartography.