Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation

Bob Cortese

Morgan Corporation, GM Canada

My name is Bob Cortese and I have been a senior operations and financial leader in a number of manufacturing and one service organization during my career.  I have had the opportunity to oversee operational and financial responsibility from one to 17 operating units across Canada and the USA ranging in complexity from 50 to over 1,000 associates in industries from automotive, waste management to defense and aerospace.  My experience working across all functional lines, stepping into the deep end without a rescue plan, doing lots of systems and data warehousing projects  in different industries has allowed me to grow not just as a professional but as an individual as well.  Feeling comfortable in a new environment has become second nature to me, because after you have made every mistake known to civilized man you have basically developed quite a robust knowledge base, besides seeking challenges is what excites me.  I have an unparalleled passion for process improvement, developing/mentoring those around as well as learning from them, creating a culture of accountability, improving reporting and the decision making process but also breaking down barriers and taking a wrecking ball to the silo’s.

I bring a large bandwidth of operational, financial and systems experience having worked within organizations with diverse revenue streams, complex processes and costing systems, conflicting agendas, matrix and value stream alignments within multinational companies as well as leading special project teams throughout NA and Europe.  My focus has always been on leveraging the people, systems and processes.  I am currently the GM Canada for Morgan Corporation out of the Morgantown, Pennsylvania.  We have two manufacturing facilities here in the GTA and the largest truck body manufacturer in Canada. Listed below are some recent activities my teams have accomplished in the last couple years;

  • Establishing a culture of lean, quick kaizen activity and 5S through training, setting the example, measuring and continually highlighting and recognizing successes and even failures
  • Restarting our MRP system, training and developing key support roles and establishing accountability amongst the functional teams
  • Setting up a focused reporting systems via a data warehouse for real time reporting to support shop floor through senior leadership decision making
  • Identifying risk exposure scenarios and capital acquisition analysis
  • Building and mentoring cross functional teams (e.g., engineering and production, CSR and Scheduling, Operations and Materials group, Finance and Procurement), focusing on the process not individual silo’s
  • Developing facility and corporate KPI’s (pick one)
  • Develop forecasting and P&L modeling and analysis tools that identify options and help align resources to focus on customer development and relationship building

Dave Duggan

ECNG, Director, Energy Supply & Market Strategy

Dave is an energy professional with over 20 years of experience. His areas of expertise include natural gas commodity and transportation, Ontario electricity market, Alberta Electricity market, alternative fuel sector and the renewable energy sector. Dave deals with North America’s largest and most credit-worthy energy market suppliers, marketers and financial institutions negotiating energy contracts and business transactions to cover our client’s energy needs.


Doug Dittburner

MolsonCoors Brewery, Chief Engineer

Douglas Dittburner is presently the Chief Engineer at the MolsonCoors Toronto Brewery and active member of the Energy Team. During his 36 year career, Doug has also worked at a number of other locations including: Manager of Power Services at Campbell’s Toronto plant, Chief Engineer and Energy team leader for the Kraft Canada Cadbury and as Chief Engineer and focused improvement pillar champion Unilever Rexdale plant and Energy Conservation Specialist Unilever Americas. Doug has worked at many plants completing audits, energy reduction projects, starting up sustainable energy teams, and more. Doug is presently the Chair of the CIPEC Food and Beverage Sector Task Force and the Vice Chair of the Task Force Council. Doug's drive towards greater energy efficiency also extends to energy reduction programs and energy teams, which focus on increasing employee awareness and involvement. Doug’s teams have won top spots at Canada’s Energy Efficiency awards (Unilever and Kraft Foods). As well as a Global water efficiency award, Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Energy Project of the Year Award and Canadian Pollution Prevention Award (Ministers of the Environment).


Heinz Avendano

Primex, Vice President Manufacturing

I have more than 25 years experience in leadership, manufacturing and quality systems from plastics, steel and other industries. I hold a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Autonoma de Mexico and a certificate in project management from UBC. I am currently taking my last semester towards my master's degree in organizational psychology from Adler University and working for Primex in Langley, BC as VP of Manufacturing, where I play a key part in the decision-making process.

I am passionate about manufacturing and the study of people at work. I particularly enjoy collaborating with my team members and seek their advice, input and insight on how as a team we can best drive growth.


James Janeteas

Cimetrix, a division of Javelin Technologies, President

James Janeteas is the founder and President of Cimetrix. For the past 25 years, James has been engaged in the design, engineering and manufacturing sectors within a variety of verticals – consumer products, medical devices, automotive and aerospace to name a few. With his comprehensive manufacturing background 20+ years’ additive manufacturing experience, James is an industry authority, providing recommendations on how to best leverage Additive Manufacturing to dramatically impact business processes.


Jeff Purcell

Organigram Inc., Senior Vice President of Operations

Jeff Purcell has over 27 years of food & beverage manufacturing and operations experience.  Jeff has held various management and executive positions within McCain Foods, Ganong Bros. Limited and most recently Organigram Inc. in facilities in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Alberta.  During his career Jeff has worked with thousands of different employees and on many different production processes and has developed an approach that has also proven to work well in all types of manufacturing, including Cannabis.  Jeff is passionate about finding creative solutions utilizing both capital and creativity. Jeff’s work experience is supported with a Degree in Commerce from Saint Mary’s University.  


John Spagnoletti

Canplas Industries, Plant Manager

John Spagnoletti is the Plant Manager at Canplas Industries Ltd. in Barrie Ontario, a leader in the manufacturing of thermoplastic products for the construction industry. The facility utilizes self-directed teams who are highly trained and skilled throughout the organization. Combined with progressive and innovative manufacturing technologies thousands of different products are manufactured that meet and exceed industry standards. Products are used in four market segments which include plumbing, roof ventilation, central vacuum and grease management systems. Continuous improvement is at the core of all aspects of the business using methodologies such as Lean, Value Analysis/Engineering and Six Sigma.

   John spent two decades in the automotive industry with GenCorp prior to joining Canplas. He has an Industrial Management Diploma from Niagara College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and an MBA from Niagara University. He is a resident of Barrie Ontario with his wife Cindy. He enjoys hockey and tennis and spends time in the summers in Parry Sound enjoying the outdoors.


Mark Girard

Siemens Canada, Food & Beverage Industry Vertical Manager

Mark Girard is the Food and Beverage Industry Vertical Manager for Siemens Canada. Siemens is a global leader in providing Food and Beverage Processors and Machine builders in the industry with proven Electrical, Automation and Digitalization solutions focused on low risk, and long term ROI to meet their Digitalization needs.  


Mike Hutson

SYSPRO Canada, Solutions Architect

Mike brings years of expertise in the food production industry. He has a strong consulting background in Requirements Analysis, Enterprise Software, Systems Engineering and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Mike works closely with customers to design optimized business solutions for customers, from business requirements analysis through to implementation of plant floor manufacturing execution systems.


Paul Weingartner

ECNG, Director of Client Services

Paul is the Director of Client Services at ECNG Energy Group.  Over the past 20 years, he has worked to build Canada’s largest direct purchase programs across multiple industry sectors. This experience has provided Paul with unique insight into how best deploy programs and initiatives to mitigate risk, costs and regulatory uncertainty. 

While ensuring the best possible client experience for some of Canada’s largest organizations is his primary function by day, Paul is also involved in Provincial and National Associations and working groups including being the current Vice Chair of the Corporate Advisory Council to Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society (CHES).


Richard Cook

Arcadian Projects, Manager of Energy Services

Richard has over forty years of experience working in the IT and software industry serving the commercial and industrial sectors. With a foundation in IT and software acquired at IBM, he has delivered enterprise solutions to major corporations to improve business performance. His extensive experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP), asset investment planning (AIP), monitoring and tracking (M&T) and energy optimization systems (EOS) software and systems give him an insight to the range of solutions available to industry.

In the last ten years Richard has focused on working with high consuming energy users; finding solutions to help achieve significant energy cost savings and plant operations to realize improved asset performance in the industrial and commercial markets. He demonstrates a passion for the opportunities and advancement of energy solutions by helping clients reduce their global adjustment (GA) and ensuring that businesses have, and use data to help them make informed decisions about their energy management.

Richard is the Manager of Energy Services at Arcadian Projects, where a synergistic approach to Energy Management Solutions is supported by an in-house team of certified trades, project managers, design technicians,  and energy professionals. Arcadian Projects helps manufacturers in all sectors manage their energy productively and profitably.


Scott Dinnage

N-Dimension Solutions Inc., VP of Cyber Security Technology and Operations

Currently VP of Cyber Security Technology and Operations, Scott is responsible for building managed cybersecurity services in the cloud at a market leading Managed Detection and Remediation Services (MDR) provider, focused on energy, utility and industrial sectors, with innovative solutions tailored to protect IoT, IIoT, IT and OT networks from cyberattacks, improving system reliability and safeguarding critical infrastructure, data and assets.