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2015 Speakers & Handouts
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David Zach

What's in Store - The Next 50 Years

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David Zach is one of the few professionally trained futurists on this planet, having earned a master’s degree in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Of course, this was way back in the 1980s, so it's pretty much history by now. Since then, David has worked with over 1500 associations, corporations and colleges offering insights on the personal and professional impact of strategic trends. In other words, he gives funny and thought-provoking keynote speeches on the future of design, logistics, technology, economics, business, education, demographics and society.

He reads a lot – and he reads more about the past than he does about the future. He knows that change is vital but it's also overrated and in this time of tumultuous change, it's far more important that we find the things that don't change and shouldn't change. Tradition and change are really choices, and we are only prepared to choose wisely when we look far and wide for causes, implications and lasting value.

Helgi Leja
Director of Sales, Fortna Inc.


The Future of Logistics

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Helgi Thor Leja is an innovative supply chain strategist who helps high growth companies transform their complex distribution operations for competitive advantage. He helps drive improvements that result in top-line growth and bottom-line efficiencies by developing a strong business case for investment and achieving alignment across a diverse group of stakeholders. 


In Mr. Leja’s 22 year career, he has held positions leading day-to-day distribution operations as well as helping clients to improve their supply chain operations.  He has a B.S. in Financial Management (International Finance) from Clemson University and a M.S. in Management (Operations and Production Management) from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. 


Mr. Leja has been quoted / published in Industrial Distribution Magazine, DC Velocity, and Modern Materials Handling Magazine..  He has presented on a number of supply chain topics at leading conferences including CSCMP, ProMat, Georgia Logistics Summit, NA Conferences, and Modex. 


Rajeev Kulkarni
Chief Product Officer & Vice President, 3DSystems

The Future of Manufacturing

Rajeev is the Chief Product Officer (CPO) at 3D Systems, a leading provider of 3D printing centric design-to-manufacturing solutions including 3D printers, 3D scanners, print materials and on-demand custom prints for professionals and consumers.

An innovator himself, Rajeev has been at 3D Systems for nearly two decades and been one of the core members who helped invent five different 3D Printing platforms and pioneer the growth of 3D Printing.  He holds multiple US and international patents in 3D Printing and has received several “Outstanding Innovation of the Year” awards. He has held several engineering, marketing and business positions at 3D Systems.

During the last three years, as the GM, VP of the Consumer Solutions Business, he started and grew the Direct-To-Consumer Business Unit for 3D Systems. In the process, he created two of the most well-known brands in this space - Cube®, Cubify® and launched twelve new products. 


Robert M. "Bobby" Hitt, III
Secretary, South Carolina Department of Commerce

Celebrating Our Successes

Robert “Bobby” M. Hitt III was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve as Secretary of Commerce in January 2011. Hitt, the previous manager of corporate affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg, brings a wealth of economic development experience to the Department of Commerce and has personally worked with the previous five commerce secretaries.

Hitt served as the director of planning and development for the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm in Columbia. In that role, Hitt was involved in bringing the BMW Manufacturing Company to the Upstate, one of the state’s largest success stories. He worked for 17 years at The State and The Columbia Record newspapers. He served as the managing editor of The Columbia Record from 1980 to 1987. In 1988, Hitt was named managing editor of its sister paper, The State, a position he held until 1991.

Hitt is past chairman of the S.C. Manufacturers’ Alliance, has served on the executive committees of Advance SC and the Upstate Alliance and on the boards of St. Francis Hospital System and Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC.

Hitt is a native of Charleston and graduate of the University of South Carolina. USC recognized him as Distinguished Journalism Alumni of the Year in 2001. In 1987, he received the prestigious Nieman Fellowship for journalists, which allowed him to study for a year at Harvard University where he focused on management and law. 

He and his wife Gwen have two sons, Lucas, and Robert Paul and one grandson, Ben.


Governor Haley Barbour
Founding Partner of BGR Group

Haley Barbour, Founding Partner of BGR Group, returned to BGR in January 2012 after serving two consecutive terms as Governor of Mississippi, including two years as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. At BGR, he heads advocacy coalitions, lobbies on behalf of his clients and remains a major force in Republican party politics and elections.

Gov. Barbour began his political career in 1968, dropping out of college to work on Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign; in 1976, after supporting Ronald Reagan for the GOP nomination, he ran Gerald Ford’s fall campaign in the Southeast. In 1982, he ran for U.S. Senate in Mississippi but lost to incumbent John C. Stennis. Gov. Barbour later served as Political Director of the Reagan White House. In 1987, he cofounded the government affairs firm that later became BGR Group.

From 1993 to 1997, Gov. Barbour served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, managing the 1994 Republican surge that led to GOP control of both Houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.


Fred Cartwright
Executive Director, CUICAR

The Future of Automotives

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Frederick (Fred) M. Cartwright, Jr. is the new Executive Director of Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Prior to joining CU-ICAR, he spent 32+ years at General Motors, including assignments in manufacturing, engineering, planning, corporate development and M&A. Most recently, he has served as Director of Corporate Development, at GM’s headquarters in Detroit, developing and negotiating partnerships in areas of new technology and products. He had previously spent 14 months in Europe as Vice President, Alliances and New Business Development, focused on the development of an intellectual property strategy for GM’s European subsidiary Opel-Vauxhall, as well as all alliance activity.


Kate McEnroe
President, Kate McEnroe Consulting

The Workforce of the Future

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Kate McEnroe Consulting is a sole proprietorship founded in 1993 as a full service location selection and economic development consulting firm.  Prior to starting this practice, Ms. McEnroe was  a Vice President and Principal with PHH Fantus Consulting (now Deloitte Touche Fantus) and has over nineteen years of experience in advising corporations on location selection issues, implementing relocation and expansion plans, and assisting economic development organizations in planning and managing effective programs. 

Corporate clients, which account for the majority of Kate McEnroe Consulting assignments, have included two Fortune 100 health insurance companies, DialAmerica, a Midwest-based Steel Service Center, and a global battery producer.

For economic development organizations, she specializes in creating labor market business cases and high-impact, cost effective targeted marketing plans and programs incorporating all media channels. Among Kate McEnroe Consulting’s economic development clients are NESA (North Eastern Strategic Alliance, SC), Bulloch and Laurens County (GA) Development Authorities, TVA, and the Southwestern Arkansas Planning and Development District in partnership with AEP.

She is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and the Wharton School of Business, and lives and works in Atlanta and Chicago.


Scott Whiteside, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Food, Nutrition & Packaging Sciences, Clemson University

The Future of Agriculture

Dr. Whiteside is a tenured associate professor and joined the Packaging Science Department at Clemson University in January of 1999. Dr. Whiteside has taught various short courses and made formal presentations both domestically and internationally on a variety of topics such as; packaging fundamentals, food packaging basics, food processing, confectionary packaging, retort packaging, packaging design and development. He is also sought by U.S. food processing and packaging companies for his knowledge of retort pouch processing and food packaging. Dr. Whiteside led in the development of the Cryovac® Flavour Mark™ Retort Laboratory at Clemson University which opened in October 2008. This state-of-the-art laboratory is focused on the application and development of new retort pouch technology and other thermal processing technologies for packaged foods.

Dr. Whiteside currently teaches senior and graduate level classes in packaging machinery and has also taught courses on packaging distribution and packaging design. He is also a recognized thermal process authority by the FDA and USDA. Dr. Whiteside has developed a successful research program in the areas of food packaging, retort pouches, bio-polymer film modification and oxygen scavenging technology resulting in research publications, a book chapter and 3 U.S. patents. He is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IOPP), and the Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists (IFTPS).

Tarun Gupta
India Representative, South Carolina Department of Commerce

The Future of Trade

Tarun Gupta is the India representative of South Carolina Department of Commerce, with a mandate to attract Foreign Direct Investment from India into South Carolina. He is the Co-founder and Managing Director of T&A Consulting, with over 15 years of experience in Europe and India in the field of Corporate & Investment Banking and Consulting.

Tarun’s prior experience includes Head of International Business Division, at HSBC Bank Plc, United Kingdom and Regional Head of Corporate Banking for HSBC in India, running a wide portfolio of corporate customers operating in diverse industries

Tarun has a proven track record in achieving trade and investment between OECD countries and India, with on the ground experience of assisting over 100 foreign companies towards achieving entry into the Indian market.Tarun is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi University and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management.

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