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Monday, September 25 2023

2023 MEP National Network Forum Recap & National Award Recipient


Members of the Purdue MEP team attended the 2023 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network Forum in Buffalo, NY, from September 11 - 14. Hosted by the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence, this four-day event brought together over 600 attendees from MEP Centers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The Forum programming included focused discussions on industry challenges, understanding MEP’s evolving role, and sharing knowledge to better assist, strengthen, and empower small and medium-sized manufacturers. On behalf of Purdue MEP, seven team members presented best practices sessions highlighting successful initiatives that could be replicated in other Centers throughout the United States.

The Purdue MEP team presented several sessions including:

  • Bill Pearce, Manager of Grant Programs, along with FloridaMakes, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, and Impact Washington presented “Capturing the MEP's True Value".
  • Julie Warner, Marketing & Client Development Manager, presented “How to Achieve Marketing Success on a Budget” with assistance from Aaron Bailey, Lead Software Services Specialist, on technical Salesforce questions.
  • Bob Goosen, Associate Director - Engineering and Technology Services, represented Purdue MEP in two panel sessions including “A Demonstration of Technology Tools” and “I4.0 Community of Practice”.
  • Joe McMurry, Senior Advisor of Workforce Partnerships, presented “Opening the Eyes of Manufacturers to Untapped Pools of Talent”.
  • Art Thomas, Director of Business Development, presented “Selling & Executing Key Elements of Digital Transformation”.
  • Ranae Stewart, Interim Executive Director, was a member of the panel presenting “Center Distinctive Practices” Discoveries from Panel Reviews” along with members from NIST and FloridaMakes.
  • Dietra Rosenkoetter, Senior Industry Advisor from Purdue MEP, and Chris Stager from the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County (EDC) presented “Increase Revenue and Manufacturing Engagement Through Partnerships with Local Economic Developments”.

As part of the closing ceremony, Stalin Encarnacion, Workforce Development Specialist for Purdue MEP, was presented with the 2023 Newcomer of the Year award. Stalin provides training and consultation services for Purdue MEP, specializing in Workforce and Leadership development. His passion, energy, and creativity in engaging participants in his teaching sessions helped earn him this prestigious award that represents the entire MEP National Network.

Pictured left to right: Pravina Raghavan, Director of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), presents Stalin Encarnacion, Workforce Development Specialist at Purdue MEP, with the 2023 Newcomer of the Year award.

Writer: Julie Warner, 765-496-1200,

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