• Risk Management & Risk Transfer Insurance — Important Considerations for Independent Contractors

    Brought to you by ISA and AHM Financial Group, LLC


    The International Society of Automation has launched a new initiative to enable our U.S. members to obtain the insurance coverage that they need. This new and innovative program is called Insurance Solutions for Automation Professionals and is designed to ensure that members can obtain very broad coverage for their General and Professional Errors and Omissions Insurance at highly competitive premiums.

    The panel will discuss the need for this program and how it can help members protect their assets and potential liabilities.


    Dennis Brandl, President BR & L Consulting

    Dennis Brandl is the Chief Consultant for BR&L consulting, specializing in Manufacturing IT and Flexible Manufacturing solutions.  He has been involved in MES, batch control, and automation system design and implementation in a wide range of applications over the past 30 years.  His experience has included Space Shuttle system testing, automated systems for chemical plants and oil refineries, manual and automated systems for pharmaceutical and food & beverage production.  Dennis is an active member of the ISA 88 Batch Control System committee, the ISA 95 Enterprise/Control System Integration committee, and the ISA 99 Cyber System Security committee, and writes a regular column for Control Engineering magazine.  Mr. Brandl has a BS in Physics and an MS in Measurement and Control from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a MS in Computer Science from California State University.  

    Charlie Gifford, PMP, Senior Advanced Mfg Consultant

    GM/ Senior Adanced Mfg Consultant as part of 21st Century Mfg Solutions LLC.
    BSS in Chemical and Material Engineering, MS in Solid State Physics from Univ. of Maryland.

    For the past 30 years, Charlie Gifford has been involved in over $60M for designing advanced manufacturing plants and intelligent systems across many industries: aerospace, electronics, CPG, automotive, food & beverage, telecom, energy, mining, and life sciences. As TQM Facilitator and Process Action Team Leader of over 25 years, he has worked in over 70 plants while working 14 years for the US Navy, 4 years for GE, 5 years for SIs, and 7 years for his own company.

    As an internationally recognized expert, author and teacher in combining Lean Six Sigma practices with Operations Management Systems, his team leadership includes hands-on process and system design, supervision, and project management.  As an industry thought leader in professional organizations for over 20 years such as ISA, Supply Chain Council and MESA International, he has contributed to and taught many of today’s applied manufacturing operations standards, such as ISA-84/88/95/99/106, MESA, CMMI, OAGIS and SCOR models. From 1995-99, he was the Director of the Computer Technology Division of ISA for 5 years where he helped start the ISA-95 standards and Industrial Computing Magazine.  He has published 5 books and over 45 papers on the subject of operations management best practices. As Chair and Founder of the ISA-95 Best Practices Working Group for the last 8 years, he was the Chief Editor and Contributing Author for the books, Hitchhikers Guide to Manufacturing Operations Management: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 1.0., When Worlds Collide: ISA-95 Best Practices Book 2.0, and The MOM Chronicles: Book 3.0. In 2011, he co-founded the MESA Global Education Program (GEP). 

    Awards include:

    1. US Navy’s Captain’s Innovation Citation, Team Leader for inventing the Advanced Vertical Mixer
    2. MESA International Outstanding Contributor Award
    3. ISA’s “Thomas G. Fisher Award of Excellence for a Standards-Based Reference Publication”

    Don Roberts, President Exotek LLC

    Don has been involved with system integration (SI) since the late 70’s including owning a large SI company.

    As a Consultant and Principal at Exotek LLC,, Don gets to work with companies from around the world. He works directly with owners and senior management of 100’s of SI companies including facilitating strategic planning and executive coaching. He is also one of CSIA’s Certification auditors.