2021 Competitiveness Forum & WiM Recognition Luncheon

2021 Virginia Competitiveness Forum
WiM-Virginia Leadership Conference: Day of Empowerment

November 16-17 – Virtual Event

Tuesday, November 16 – Virginia Competitiveness Forum

Join Virginia’s top manufacturing executives, industry leaders and service providers to the manufacturing industry, to learn about best-practices, technologies and solutions that drive Virginia’s manufacturing competitiveness in five major areas: Business Climate, Workforce, Innovation, Infrastructure and Economic Strength.  The program will examine the Commonwealth’s competitiveness standing against other US states and explore how to move Virginia forward.  The VMA will also showcase the annual update to the Virginia Manufacturing Competitiveness Index. Check back later for additional session information!


“Virginia’s MFG Competitiveness State Ranking”

Speaker: Ted Abernathy, Economic Leadership LLC

Ted Abernathy will unveil the 2021 VA MFG Competitiveness Index results, as well as compare and contrast Virginia to southern and northeastern/Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states.



“Reshoring Manufacturing and the US MFG Supply Chain”

Speaker: Harry Moser, President, Reshoring Initiative

Growing sustainability and resilience concerns brought about by trade war uncertainty, geopolitical turmoil, environmental concerns, and the COVID-19 pandemic have companies looking for ways to mitigate risk and increase agility. Reshoring shortens supply chains, shrinks response time, and reduces our overreliance on imports, while maintaining or improving profitability. Harry Moser will discuss the tool and resources available to help industry leaders more accurately assess the total microeconomic impact of their offshoring or reshoring decisions.


“Turning Legal Challenges into Opportunities”

Speaker: John M. Huddle, CEO & Founder, The Global Law Group, PLC

This session will focus on a number of recent developments and enforcement initiatives that represent challenges to U.S. manufacturers, but which also provide an opportunity for competitive advantages if managed properly and proactively. Mr. Huddle will also highlight several other strategies and programs that may significantly increase profitability and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers whose products are exported by others or the manufacturer or who import goods.

VMA Annual Business Meeting | 1:30PM-2:30PM

Speakers: Jim Taylor, EHS&S Chair; Edwin Amerson, VCC Co-Chair; David Lyons, Energy Co-chair; Nat Marshall, Workforce Solutions Chair; Brett Vassey, VMA/GAC

The VMA Annual Business Meeting is for members only. Members will be briefed on the VMA 2022 Legislative Agenda, VMA Committee work and participate in VMA board elections.


Wednesday, November 17 – WiM-Virginia Leadership Conference: Day of Empowerment

Join the VMA as we focus on the importance that women play in keeping manufacturing competitive in Virginia

This conference will include professional development sessions, roundtable discussions on important topics, and inspiring keynotes. We will also recognize STEP Ahead and Emerging Leader Award nominees from Virginia.  The STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards recognize women in manufacturing who exemplify leadership within their companies and recognizes the widespread impact women have on shaping the industry, whether they are running the company, designing the next big product or testing innovations that help make Virginia more competitive. Check back later for session information!

The Power of Strengths: Go From Being Passed Over To Picked First Workshop

9:00AM – 10:00AM

Speaker: Consuela Muñoz, Gallup® Certified Strengths Coach

This interactive workshop will introduce you to the power of strengths. Learn about the 34 strength themes and the 4 leadership domains and how they represent the most amazing parts of you. Learn how using your strengths with purpose will build your strengths-based confidence so that you will be heard and be respected. You will create a Strengths Story to use in the Confidence Power UP exercise, and hear about the 3 C’s of presence and then complete an exercise to “see” yourself as a Confident Leader. You are more powerful than you know, and you are ready to unleash your power.

The Importance of Building Your Professional Brand

10:30AM to 11:30AM

Speaker: Melissa Villanueva Jass,  Senior Organizational Development Business Partner and Women’s Inclusion Network Chairperson, Yellow

Why is a professional brand important? Your professional brand is how people perceive you, it’s your reputation. When well-defined and promoted effectively, your professional brand can lead to better opportunities in your career. Join us to learn more and walk away with tools to help you define your professional brand in a way that reflects your values and your future your career ambitions.

WiM Virginia Recognition Ceremony & Keynote Speaker

12:00PM to 1:00PM

Keynote Speaker: Lorraine Amesbury Holder, Vice President of Operations, STIHL

Join us to celebrate the women of Virginia who have been nominated for the STEP Ahead and Emerging Leader awards for 2022.  Nominees have demonstrated significant contributions to their company in the areas of Innovation & Leadership, Mentorship and Community Impact by advocating for manufacturing careers and volunteerism.  We will also unveil the WiM-VA Engagement App and launch our WiM Virginia Chapter Leadership Program.  We will be joined by this year’s Keynote Speaker, Lorraine Amesbury Holder, Vice President of Operations, STIHL, to discuss her journey to a career in manufacturing, the importance of mentorship, and the role we all play in inspiring future women to pursue opportunities in industry.

Embark on Your Professional Development Journey: WiM Leadership Programs

2PM to 3PM

Speaker: Stacey Schroeder, Founder & President, EVelop

WiM provides a variety of development programs geared towards women at all levels of a manufacturing organization – from production to the C-Suite.  The WiM Leadership Programs include a Leadership Consortium, Leadership Institute for Women, WiM Management Development Program, and Empowering Women in Production.  Join Stacey Schroeder, Founder & President of EVelop, to explore each program offered through WiM and learn how you can gain knowledge and competencies needed to succeed by leveraging these resources.  Learn how you can access $25,000 in scholarships that will be awarded to WiM Virginia members in 2022 for participation in these programs.

Thanks to this year’s sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors


Break Sponsors