Manufacturers’ Summit

The 5th Annual Summit of the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire

Regional Manufacturing Summit will Focus on Expansion Through Training

ONTARIO, CA (March 30, 2016) The 5th annual Manufacturers’ Summit, scheduled for April 26 at the Ontario Convention Center, will provide speakers and breakout sessions aimed at informing manufacturers on topics relevant to all levels of their companies. “We have a lot planned and recommend you get there early so that you don’t miss the opening show,” stated Debbie Smith, 2016 Summit Chair.

Garner Holt

Luncheon keynote speaker, Garner Holt

Luncheon keynote speaker, Garner Holt, of Garner Holt Productions (GHP), the internationally recognized leader in the design and manufacture of animatronic figures, will speak on how he started his business and utilizes technology in manufacturing. GHP is known for show and ride systems, show action equipment, special effects, and sets and scenery, and has built nearly 5,000 animatronics characters. Almost 500 of the figures were created for Disney theme parks around the world.  GPH will be bringing a 12’ high, lifesized Raptor dinosaur to the event along with other samples of their work.

The Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) has provided a vital link between the manufacturers and the community for the past ten years, working to develop technical training programs with local colleges and to produce the Summit which provides a day filled with leading edge information for the industry. The annual event has been one of the largest manufacturing events in the state according to Dorothy Rothrock of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association.

Morning Keynote speaker, Ryan Holiday, is an international speaker and best-selling author on media strategy and achieving outstanding business results. After being recruited out of UC Riverside at 19, he went to work for manufacturer American Apparel. He served as director of marketing for many years, where his work was internationally known.  His newest book, The Obstacle is the Way, caught the attention of the sports world and has been attributed to helping coaches and players achieve outstanding results.

Dorothy Rothrock, President of California Manufacturers & Technology Association will emcee the day.  She brings humor and a statewide manufacturing perspective to the event

Eleven informative breakout sessions will fill the balance of the morning. Topics will include: The Urgent Need to Reshore; Lean Manufacturing; Navigating Energy Efficiency for Manufacturers; Grow Your Business Through Exports; Improve your Marketing Process and Grow; State Tax Credits; Effective Project Management Tools; Environmental Excellence; HR – Understanding Emotional Intelligence/Dealing With Bullying; and Your Talent is Retiring – a panel.

A special session for college students will describe careers and opportunities in manufacturing and focus on the need to fill new technical jobs for employment in this industry, in the Inland Empire. The Center of Excellence (COE) report in 2014 identified 4,350 advanced manufacturing businesses within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The COE further identified 45 manufacturing occupations in the region that are expected to generate 2,020 annual openings for new or replacement jobs.

“We know manufacturers are busy people, so we have tried to pack a full day experience into a 6 hour event,” stated Rod Hoover, California Steel Industries and Vice-Chair of the MCIE. “We start early, at 7 a.m. and end about 2 p.m.”

The information packed day will also include a large Exhibit Hall for manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to manufacturers. Exhibits will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a short break during the opening ceremony. The morning coffee break will allow additional time to feature the Exhibitors.

Innovation Awards will be awarded to manufacturers who have excelled in one of three categories including: Innovation in Marketing, Innovation in Resource Efficiency and Innovation in Workforce Development. Winners will present their innovations at the event giving the audience a glimpse into their successes. Past winners in Resource Efficiency have included AMA Plastics of Riverside, and Safariland Group of Ontario. Vista Metals of Fontana, and Brithinee Electric, located in Colton, have been past winners in the category of Innovation in Marketing.

“Made in the Inland Empire” displays will greet attendees, as they enter the event, with over 30 local manufacturers displaying products that are made here in the region. This display has amazed the audience with the realization of the variety and quantity of manufacturers in the Inland Empire.

The Summit has sold out for the last four years with 600 to 800 people expected at this Summit. Molly Burgess, Executive Management for the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire, suggests that sponsors and vendors register now to ensure space is available. Information for registration can be found at or by emailing

The Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2006 and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It supports and provides education on manufacturing topics to manufacturers, employees, students, and the community. The MCIE’s support was key to the successful grant application for the nearly $15 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant that was awarded to the region to improve manufacturing training and create jobs in the Inland Empire.  It works in collaboration with Chaffey College, San Bernardino Community College District, Riverside Community College, 8 other regional colleges and the San Bernardino County and Riverside County Workforce Development Boards to create programs that will provide training to hundreds of manufacturing and distribution firms in the region.