January 9 - 11, 2024
OCCC | West Concourse, Hall WE1


Rock LaManna

With almost 50 years as a growth catalyst guiding strategic transitions in the printing and graphic communications industry, Rock LaManna serves as an independent board director for non-profits, philanthropic organizations, companies, and educational institutions. As part of his personal mission, Rock has founded, endowed, and supported scholarships, charities, educational and athletic programs, and philanthropic efforts with an emphasis on youth with special needs. Rock also founded the Rock LaManna Foundation on behalf of the LaManna family in the name of his mother, Virginia LaManna. The foundation is dedicated to helping students with special needs remove barriers to education through mobility. 

Rock’s early years in business were spent working alongside his father, Carlo LaManna, then owner of Vomela Specialty Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Rock went on to lead that company as President and CEO. 

Later, he founded and was President/CEO of Advanced Converting Technologies Inc. in St. Paul. During that time, he worked extensively with 3M Company as a customer, supplier, and beta site partner in creating innovative global markets, products, and applications. Rock is a patent holder.

Rock went on to launch, grow, and sell numerous companies. Most recently, as President of LaManna Consulting Group, Rock has guided and advised entrepreneurs and investors of all types who are interested in buying, selling, and growing businesses.

Rock holds an Owner President Management degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in business management from Metropolitan State University.

Rock is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He also has been awarded the “Lifetime Industry Expert” designation from Business Brokerage Press (BBP). As an industry expert, Rock has published over 20 years of bylined columns, special reports, media posts, and audio-video programming. He is a well-known lecturer and a popular featured speaker at industry events.

Most recently, Rock published a business memoir, They Named You Right. In his own words, LaManna recounts his roots in South St. Paul, his life, workaholism, challenges and joys of family life, fatherhood, and his rebirth, both financially and spiritually, which culminated in a trip back to his homeland of Italy, where his family business saga began.

For information, contact Rock LaManna at 561-543-2323 or email [email protected]

Neal Michal

Neal Michal has a 36-year career focused on making and converting web products.  He was Kimberly-Clark’s senior web handling expert and led open innovation efforts at the Web Handling Research Center for two decades. Neal was responsible for winding and converting performance. During this time, he led computer modeling efforts for winding, wrinkling, accumulators, and tension control. Neal launched Converting Expert to help companies improve capability, productivity and delivered quality.  Converting Expert has designed slitters, winders, unwinds, accumulators, spoolers, laminators, and packaging systems.  Neal is a technical advisor for the Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters and launched their web handling committee.  He presents training at R2R conferences and is a contributor to Converting Quarterly and Paper, Film and Foil magazines.

Steve Lange

Steve is the managing member of ProcessDev, LLC, a manufacturing process consultancy in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He has more than 35 years of experience in process and material development in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry, retiring as a Research Fellow in Research and Development at the Procter & Gamble Company. Applying his chemical engineering education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, he developed polymer films, nonwovens, laminates, and adhesives with suppliers and the processes to convert them into consumer products.  As an internal company expert at P&G in web converting, he improved processes for bath and facial tissue, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products, wipes, laundry and dish pods, pharmaceutical patches, batteries, shaving blades, dental floss, floor cleaning substrates, and flexible packaging. He has expertise in modeling/simulation, experimental design, and data analytics. He is a co-inventor on 26 U.S. patents.

E. J. (Ted) Lightfoot

E. J. (Ted) Lightfoot, is the Principal Consultant at Ted Lightfoot LLC.  Ted worked for DuPont for over 35 years in the photographic business, casting, coating, and laminating fluoropolymer and optical films (as well as some emerging technologies that remain proprietary).  He is a consultant, writer, speaker, and gives short courses.“