Former Ford Technologist, Author To Speak At Retool Conference

Clint Wilder

Clint Wilder and John Ellis will be the keynote speakers the Retool 22 Conference to be held in Jamestown in October.

Retool WNY announced the speakers and schedule for Retool’22, a climate technology conference for manufacturers and the manufacturing industry to be held at the Northwest Arena from Oct. 17-19. The event is one part of the Retool WNY initiative to encourage business growth and development in the climate technology sector in Western New York and New York’s Southern Tier. The conference will address changes the region’s manufacturers will undergo as the state works to meet the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which sets aggressive targets for decarbonization and reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050 with the goal of 100% zero-emissions electricity by 2040.

Retool’22 will address these changes as well as emerging opportunities for manufacturers, entrepreneurs, educators, and financiers in the climate technology sector.

During the three-day conference, industry leaders will speak on market opportunities that exist in climate technology, innovative ideas already becoming new business ventures, and financial resources available from the private and public sector for start-ups and manufacturing innovations. Representatives from secondary and higher educational institutions also will address new careers and workforce training.

Wilder is a best-selling author and analyst who has covered the clean energy and climate tech industries for nearly two decades. He is the co-author of two books: The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity (HarperCollins 2007, translated into seven languages) and Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy (HarperCollins 2012). A native of Warren, Pa., and a lifelong visitor to Chautauqua Institution, Wilder is the editorial director of leading clean-tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge. Wilder will address climate change and opportunities in the climate technology industry.

John Ellis

On day two of the conference Ellis, a best-selling author, software expert, and former global technologist with Ford Motor Company, will present a future-focused keynote address on opportunities and advancements in supply chain manufacturing and the transportation industry. Managing director of Ellis & Associates, Ellis is an expert in new and emerging transportation technology, and how it is changing the way cities, airports, and transportation authorities manage public spaces. As a former executive at Motorola and Global Technologist at Ford Motor Company, Ellis has led or participated in teams that built many of the innovations we see today.

Featured speakers include John Williams, vice president of policy and regulatory affairs at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Marnie LaVigne, president and chief operating officer with LAUNCH NY, a 27-county venture development organization whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of upstate New York, and Paul Tyno, associate vice president of sustainability technologies with NOCO Energy. Energy consultant Dennis Elsenbeck, head of energy and sustainability with Phillips Lytle LLP will conclude the conference.

Participants will have an opportunity to choose from a number of breakout sessions addressing opportunities in supply chains, market segments, supporting resources, and market needs as well as entrepreneurial successes thus far. Expert panelists from manufacturing, education, investment and finance will lead those discussions.

Conference goers may also join networking events at the National Comedy Center, the Robert H. Jackson Center, and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, as well as the Northwest Arena.

Prior to the event, two free online webinars will introduce topics related to manufacturing and climate technology. On August 16th Rick Gardner, University of Buffalo (UB) associate vice president for economic development, and Allan Rae, director of the Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics at UB, will present Tools for Transformation, how entrepreneurs and manufacturers can access resources to take advantage of emerging opportunities in climate technology. On September 13th, Launch NY’s Marnie LaVigne and David Whipple, director of industry development at Empire State Development (ESD) will discuss private and public funding sources for manufacturers and entrepreneurs in Western New York. Participants who join both webinars will be eligible for complimentary registration to the event in October.

Retool WNY is a collaboration of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and regional community partners working to raise awareness of economic opportunities and encourage the development and expansion of climate technology-related businesses in the region. The Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College, Siemens and Insyte Consulting are major sponsors for Retool’22. For a full schedule and more information, visit bit.ly/Retool22.


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