Presented by Minnesota Manufacturing Executives (MME)

Gears & Gadgets

 What is Gears & Gadgets?

Founded in 2012, Gears & Gadgets is an exclusive quarterly event hosted by Minnesota Manufacturing Executives (MME) where members discuss manufacturing business trends and develop synergistic connections. A typical event showcases a manufacturing industry speaker followed by a networking Happy Hour with a cash bar and appetizers. Our generous Platinum Sponsors contribute to the success of Gears & Gadgets.

Why attend Gears & Gadgets?

  • Stay current on manufacturing industry changes that affect your business
  • Peer-to-peer interaction builds your network and a strong Minnesota manufacturing community
  • Maximize business development and supplier synergies for your company

Who is eligible to attend Gears & Gadgets?

  • Manufacturing business owners
  • Manufacturing executives and senior leaders currently employed in a manufacturing company

How do I receive an invitation to Gears & Gadgets?

Gears & Gadgets is “by invitation only” for eligible members of MME.

Please contact the group founder,
Marni Hockenberg at;

Marni Hockenberg is the Principal of Hockenberg Search, a firm specializing in Executive Outplacement for the manufacturing industry.
Your network is your net worth — see you at Gears & Gadgets!

Take a minute to Download the Guidepost and LinkedIn to learn more about our sponsors and our events!

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Upcoming Event

Registration is now open for our next event on Monday, October 21st, 2019 for our next Gears & Gadgets.

Vision 2020: Planning for Success

As we near the end of 2019, it’s a great time to start thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2020. Many companies begin the annual planning process by deciding on which of the primary annual initiatives the organization can focus on to drive growth. Whether you have those initiatives identified or not, this panel discussion can help you understand how the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) identifies upcoming opportunities (and risks) you need to be aware of. Panel experts will provide a holistic understanding of why they believe EOS has been key to improved business plans and increased positive results.

EOS is a complete set of time-tested, simple concepts and tools that have helped thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses. Made famous by the book, Traction, by Gino Wickman, EOS has impacted thousands of entrepreneurial companies around the world. Participants will walk away with a clear understanding of how EOS® helps companies:

1. Define and achieve its vision
2. Set measurable priorities that align with its vision and goals
3. Structure specific initiatives in a way that bests fit their company and timeline
As well as … a checklist of actionable steps to take their manufacturing business further, faster.

Peter Beaumont, Business Advisor – The Resultants

Mary Nutting, Owner & President – CorTalent

Deb Steigauf, Director of Operations – Core Products International, Inc

Shane Steffensen, Chief Operating Officer – Lube-Tech Custom Brands

Tony Wand, CEO/President – HM Cragg

Register Today






Recap of February Gears & Gadgets Event

Gears & Gadgets honors the finalists and winners of the
Minnesota Business Magazine–Made in Minnesota Manufacturing Awards.

Back by popular demand for the third year in a row, King Banaian, Dean of the School of Public Affairs at St. Cloud State University and longtime economic forecaster was our speaker at the Gears & Gadgets 2019 kick-off program. Despite the dicey winter weather, sixty manufacturing professionals gathered to hear Dean Banaian’s economic predictions for our manufacturing community. Economies do not develop new areas of specialization randomly; they build new industries that use the skills and assets used by existing ones.  In this edition of his annual forecast to Gears and Gadgets, Prof. Banaian took a look back not just at the last few years but offered a longer view of what made Minnesota and the Twin Cities what it is, how manufacturing developed around the state and the skills that are the competitive advantages of its workers.  Dean Banaian provided data and a prediction on where the next boom in Minnesota manufacturing may occur, and what this means for the next 12-24 months.

Dean Banaian’s Conclusions:

  • Minneapolis has focus in industry into some very high-value production and it’s workers and entrepreneurs thrive.
  • As competition happens, it will seek other nearby pathways for development.
  • It’s industries are positioned in areas that seem likely to continue to grow.

The national and world environments are challenging, and sufficient headwinds could slow growth in 2019. But no recession yet

Click here now to view our Photo Gallery from the Feb 2019 Gears and Gadgets with King Banaian.

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Platinum Bank has become one of the fastest growing banks in the Greater Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin.  Establishing a sound financial footing and a loyal client base since its inception in 2007, Platinum Bank continues to grow by thinking outside-the-box to meet the needs of small businesses, their owners, families and executives.

As one of the world’s leading insurance brokers, Gallagher leverages its expertise – along with a global network of partners – to deliver a broad range of commercial insurance and risk management products and solutions to clients around the world.

DS+B provides a connected, proactive and accessible team to streamline your outsourced accounting, tax and business advisory needs – so you can spend more time focused on growing your business. With 60+ years actively involved in the Minneapolis / St. Paul business community, DS+B CPAs and specialists work with small to midsized manufacturing firms, their management teams and shareholders across Minnesota.

Balius Marketing & Web Design serves sophisticated business-to-business companies primarily in the manufacturing area, helping to project their story, in one clear voice. We offer decades of industry experience and absolute dedication to service, product, and results. Companies count on us for straight talk, down-to-earth work ethic, and a full range of marketing services—from websites, management, creative and production of all brand assets.

Businesses feel stuck because they’re maxed out. The Resultants have lived that, failed, learned and grown. We advocate for the best interest of your company and work alongside business leaders to implement a simple process that has proven time and time again to help companies like yours move further, faster to thrive and sustain over time.

Hockenberg Search is an Executive Outplacement and Executive Career Transition Coaching company. We specialize in delivering comprehensive, HIGHLY INDIVIDUALIZED Executive job search services that help our clients land the RIGHT JOB, FASTER.  As ‘recovering recruiters’, we have an insider’s understanding of how Executive HIRING DECISIONS are really made. That knowledge – along with our track record for SUCCESSFUL PLACEMENTS of hundreds of Executives and deep NETWORK CONNECTIONS – make us uniquely qualified to lobby on behalf of manufacturing Executive job seekers.

At Carlson Partners we help find space solutions for Tenants through the United States and beyond. Using enviable experience (45-plus collective years) and broad networks, we help meet your location, operational, cultural and financial objectives now – and into the future.

CorTalent is a provider of recruitment and retention services in the Minneapolis area. We serve clients across a broad range of industries with talent management and project staffing including but not limited to: Manufacturing/engineering, distribution, service, sales, and technology recruiting. As your company grows or changes, we help develop a People Plan to achieve desired results.

Think of us as an IT department without the overhead. Without the costs of an internal staff, you can purchase services when you need them, from people with a broad range of specialties. And even more importantly, our managed services allow you to turn your attention and talent to running your business, and to using technology to produce real value, rather than just struggling to keep the network running.