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We know how important it is to be connected to experts as we navigate through these ever-changing times. That's why we have compiled a group of subject-matter experts for our Rise Above initiative to help you immediately move forward and excel in the areas of finance, human resources, sales, and operations.

Finance Strategic Development Session

B2B CFO will meet with business owners and finance leadership to provide insight for managing and improving cash flow. B2B CFO will take the information gathered in the discovery meeting to analyze your business and develop a 2020 business economic model. Along with the business economic model, B2B CFO will also share a company-specific summary of items business owners should consider to maximize liquidity and plans for continued future success. This economic model is a great tool to validate your projected company outlook.

Investment: $1,500 / company (~ 15 hours for building the 2020 forecast model)

Timeline: A discovery meeting will take place in-person or virtually with B2B CFO, business owners, and financial leadership to identify and share financial data necessary to develop a customized business economic model. After analysis and development of the financial model, a follow-up meeting in person will be held to review the results along with a recommended action plan.

Who Should Attend: Business Owners & Finance Leadership

Estimated Company Time: Discovery Meeting ~ 2 hours, Closing Meeting ~ 1 hour

Kurt began his career working with the “Big 4” public accounting firms providing audit and consulting services for clients in various industries. For the past 30 years he has served/owned businesses in each of the startup, growth, and reinvention phases in senior financial and operational roles.

Email sara.wevik@usd.edu to set up a one-on-one Discovery Meeting.

Human Resources Strategic Development Session

Manufacturing leaders will have access to fresh insight and human resource expertise to develop a strategic workforce roadmap for 2020 and beyond. The workshop begins with a four-hour session focused on managing, developing, and retaining your talent. The afternoon features hands-on guidance in assessing the business and developing an HR strategic roadmap. You’ll leave with an assessment of your HR strategies, programs and practices and a plan for building the people-side of your business to meet future challenges and growth objectives head on. Questions will be answered. Ideas will be presented. Solutions will be shared. Plans will be developed and support will be ready. You can succeed in this ever-changing world with the right strategy.

Investment: $500 / company, allowing up to three attendees from the company

A strategic development session may contain up to four companies. No direct competitors will be allowed in the same session. Private (single company) sessions are also available.

Estimated Company Time: One day, 8 hours

Date: October 28 in Mitchell

Steve Schad formed Optima Advisory, LLC to help businesses build the organizational capability they need to achieve planned growth and transformation objectives. Having worked across industries and sectors as an HR executive and consultant, he knows the missing ingredient is often strong human capital executive leadership. So, he set out to create a business model that provides “fractional” part-time or interim Chief HR Officer leaders for small to mid-sized companies that need new and better strategies to build executional capability, but which are not yet large or complex enough to justify having a full-time, seasoned, executive-level person in the top HR role.

Neil Moses-Zirkes is a fractional HR executive and advisor with Optima Advisory. He collaborates with small business leaders to maximize talent potential and optimize growth. Neil has worked as an HR executive in a variety of large corporate and private equity firms over his career. Recent engagements include serving as interim Head of HR for a telecommunications company; redesign of talent pipeline for a private equity firm; recruitment and restructure of sales organization for a small manufacturer; and organizational design, and selection and implementation of a new HRIS for a family-owned precision coating firm.


Sales Strategic Development Session

Is your sales strategy ready to take your manufacturing business to the next level? Are your sales messages converting your prospects into customers? If your sales strategy needs improvement, sign up for our Sales Development Session on September 16-17th in Sioux Falls with Sales Experts Dean Ash and Karl Berger.

Over an intense day and a half, you and your leadership team will go through a guided, proven process to refine your sales strategy, messaging, and process to achieve breakthrough growth. Manufacturers will find solutions to bridge the gaps in their sales processes and develop a Sales Playbook (a roadmap to sales success) to equip their organization with a reliable, repeatable, and scalable sales approach. A consistent approach leads to consistent results, which helps you strengthen your business and position it for future growth.

Don’t miss the chance to surround yourself with these top sales executives. Learn, grow, and lead your company to dramatically improved sales.

Space is limited and spots are going fast, so sign up now!

Investment: $2,500 / company, allowing up to three attendees from the company to participate.

The strategic sales session may contain up to four companies. Companies will be asked to sign a NDA.

Who Should Attend: Owners and Sales leadership

Estimated Company Time: 12 hours, or 1.5 days

Dates: November 4-5 in Sioux Falls


    Sales Experts

    Dean Ash - Founder, Certified Integrity Coach

    With more than 20 years of sales leadership experience, Dean enables clients to grow sales revenue, improve profitability and implement comprehensive sales strategies. As a leader, communicator and collaborator, Dean is a proven executive, skilled in building and leading organizations to achieve results. Dean’s pioneering spirit builds and equips organizations to deliver high performance.

    Before co-founding 360 Consulting, Dean spent two decades building, rebuilding and leading sales organizations in the high-technology industry. He’s worked with such companies as Hewlett Packard, Polycom, Cisco, Amdahl, and IBM, always with the focus on unlocking potential and delivering results.

    Karl Berger - Partner, Certified Integrity Coach

    Having been a president and P&L owner, Karl understands the challenges companies face and the rewards of creating wealth. Karl tripled a DFW-based services company while maintaining above-average EBITDA, successfully selling the business to a mid-tier Private Equity firm.

    He has also held diverse sales leadership positions. He successfully delivered complex solutions with revenue from $2 million to $1.7 billion. He has led teams of up to 70 people, focusing on local and global markets and he has been a part of M&A activity and pre-deal analysis of sales team potential.

    Karl has been a business owner and understands what it takes to deliver customer service and revenue growth. He looks forward to working with like-minded businesses to help them achieve their goals.


    Now more than ever companies are realizing the importance of working efficiently to reduce their operational costs. There is no more time waste on broken systems and MTS is ready to help companies looking to improve. If you are confused or overwhelmed about where to begin on your continuous improvement journey, want help gaining a competitive edge obtaining your ISO 9001 certification or need help automating your processes, reach out to us to set up a meeting.

    Investment: Project-based

    MTS Business Advisors have an average of 27 years manufacturing experience and are strategically located throughout the state to cover all of South Dakota. MTS is also affiliated with a nationwide network consisting of 60 centers across the United States with over 1,200 consultants to make sure the solution provided is the best solution.

    I want to improve my leadership skills, click here.

    I want to do a Value Stream Mapping of my processes, click here.

    I want to surround myself with other CEO and business leaders in the manufacturing industry to learn from each other, click here.

    I want to see what my options are for increasing automation in my facility, click here.

    I want to enroll my team in a Lean training program, click here.

    Questions? Contact Sara.Wevik@usd.edu