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AutoConnect® 2024

April 25, 2024 9:00 am CT Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN

Road Ready: Business & Legal Insights for the Ever-Changing Automotive Landscape

AutoConnect is a one-day conference bringing together leading voices from across the automotive industry for a 360° look at the forces shaping the competitive landscape today, as well as the business and legal trends likely to define the next chapter in the future of automotive.

The auto industry today is fast approaching another inflection point, promising dramatic shifts in vehicle connectivity and electrification, as well as the ascendancy of new players and markets around the world. Against this backdrop, AutoConnect 2024’s theme centers on readiness—and how to get there—whether it’s responding quickly to contain a crisis, shoring up cyber defenses, or navigating cross-border transactions and trade regulations.

At this year’s conference, you’ll hear from experts and prominent figures in the industry, including OEM executives and Tier suppliers, and get that rare chance to take it all in while networking with some of the very best in the automotive field.

Register for AutoConnect 2024

2024 Panels & Topics

Registration and Networking Breakfast will begin at 9:00 a.m. Lunch will begin at 12:00 p.m. Following the last panel, there will be a Networking Reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Charging Ahead: Forecasts for the Automotive Future | 10:10 - 11:00 a.m.

Our closing speaker from AutoConnect 2022, Paul Fanson of Toyota, is back by popular demand in 2024 to bring us up to speed on emerging trends and technologies with the potential to reshape the very fabric of the automotive industry. From new AI applications in manufacturing and supplier operations to EV/AVs and smart infrastructure, join us as we journey into the future of auto with this engaging and informative session.

How will the auto industry evolve over the next five, 10 or 20 years as we move toward a more interconnected mobility ecosystem? And what challenges will leaders need to overcome to compete in tomorrow’s business and consumer marketplaces? We’ll touch on these questions and more during our keynote session, using current industry trends and projections to help you more proactively pursue strategies for the future.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks! With Paul Fanson at the wheel, this session will have you on the cutting-edge of your seats.
  • Keynote Speaker

    Paul Fanson, Ph.D.

    Senior Manager

    Future Value Creation Group

    Toyota North America R&D

An Inside Look at Doing Business in Mexico | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Explore opportunities and challenges for automotive suppliers, customers, investors, and lenders doing business in Mexico.

This panel will provide an inside look at doing business in Mexico from manufacturers, Mexican and U.S. lawyers, financial advisors, and lenders who will shed light on navigating this cross-border relationship. Topics include the import/export challenges, risks and benefits of investments in infrastructure, M&A activity, supply chain challenges, urban mobility, and other changes paving the way for opportunities in this cross-border automotive value chain. Participants will gain valuable insights on market-specific challenges as well as avenues for future collaboration and expansion in the manufacturing and mobility sectors.

  • Brad S. Keeton


    Business & Commercial Litigation

    Frost Brown Todd

  • Jan de Beer


    Trade & Foreign Law

    Frost Brown Todd

  • Josef Koberl

    Senior Vice President and Country Manager

    Comerica Bank

  • Erik Olin

    Associate General Counsel

    Legal & Compliance

    Kasai North America

  • Bernardo Reyes-Retana


    Banking & Finance

    Gonzalez Calvillo

  • Julio Cesar Valdez

    Consulting Senior Manager

    Global Services

    Plante Moran


Making Sense of the Global BEV Market and Investment Strategies | 1:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Rev up your investment strategies as industry experts dissect current market dynamics for the future of electric vehicles and the financing opportunities available to support increased investment dollars.

Presented by B. Riley Advisory Services, this panel will delve into the recent market declines in BEV vehicle sales, the whys and the view forward. The panel will discuss these impacts on investment strategies/recoveries for companies that have made and/or are planning to make big bets on electric vehicles. You’ll hear from financial experts, powertrain forecasters and lending experts about economic considerations driving automotive investment decisions. In an uncertain climate, a successful future will belong to the automotive players who make sound, commercially viable investments and who can pivot when market dynamics and new vehicle technologies throw continuous curveballs. Our panelists will provide a risk-management framework and insight into investment strategies with the most promise and potential.

Panel sponsored by…

  • Alicia Masse

    Senior Managing Director

    B. Riley Advisory Services

  • Bruce Denby

    Managing Director

    Head of Secured Lending

    CIBC U.S.

  • Kevin Riddell

    Senior Manager

    Powertrain Forecasting



Regulatory Outlooks: Trends that Will Impact the Future of Automotive | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Get a 360º view of the political, environmental, and economic factors that stand to significantly impact the automotive industry moving forward.

Following a year of significant policy changes and the rollout of government incentives for auto innovation, our regulatory panel will provide an in-depth look at topics including the U.S. EPA/EV mandate, the Chinese EV threat and tariff considerations, regulations impacting connected vehicle technology and AI, as well as recent legislation at the state level likely to affect auto manufacturing, and other hot button issues on the minds of industry stakeholders. Participants will gain valuable insights into regulatory trends and how to navigate both the challenges and competitive opportunities they present.

  • Mandy K. Bishop, P.E., S.I.

    President & CEO

    Forward Momentum

  • Trey Grayson

    Practice Group Leader

    Lobbying & Public Policy

    Frost Brown Todd

  • Chassen Haynes

    Regional Manager

    Government Relations

    Ford Motor Company

  • Steve Horaney

    Sr. Vice President

    Membership and Sales

    MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers

  • Mark Johnson

    Vice President

    Government Affairs

    Toyota Motor Corporation


Future-Proofing Production Facilities: How to Prepare for and Manage Crisis Scenarios  | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Explore risk factors for common (and uncommon) crisis scenarios in automotive industry production facilities and learn key elements of an effective crisis management plan to contain the fallout and preserve the integrity of your consumer and supplier relations.

From supply chain disruptions to natural disasters, the automotive sector must contend with risk from many angles. And while many in your company are watching for threats outside of the proverbial four walls, do you have a plan in place for when crisis occurs within your facilities? Our panel of veteran front-liners will share insights gleaned from their experience navigating companies and clients through times of significant disruption and reputational risk. In addition to case studies, discussion will focus on the importance of risk assessments in crisis preparedness, the role of cross-functional crisis management teams, legal liabilities and notification requirements, as well as proven methods to strengthen your crisis management capabilities for the future.

Participants will gain a better understanding of prevalent production threat factors and the essential ingredients for an effective, multi-pronged crisis response and remediation plan. 1.0 hour of CLE is pending. 

  • Steven M. Crawford


    Manufacturing Industry Team

    Frost Brown Todd

  • Kyle D. Johnson


    Labor & Employment

    Frost Brown Todd

  • Tim Myers, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI

    Principal Engineer & Office Director

    Exponent, Inc.

  • Randy Reavis

    Senior Products Counsel

    Volvo Group North America and Mack Trucks

  • Jami Statham

    Deputy General Counsel

    Nexteer Automotive Corporation


Cyber Readiness: Data Security Essentials for Manufacturers | 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Learn more about current types of cyber threats, how to move through a breach or suspected breach, and key considerations for risk mitigation in third party IT contracts.

This panel will bring you up to speed on common threat vectors and the primary types of hacks targeting manufacturers, including key differences between IT vs. OT vs. DDoS attacks and how to prevent or remediate them. It will also look at lessons from a few well-publicized hacks and provide an overview of the latest cybersecurity statutes, regulations, and guidance that directly affect the automotive industry. Participants will gain valuable insights into cyber threats and how you can protect your business from attack. 1.0 hour of CLE is pending. 

  • Gene F. Price


    Data, Digital Assets & Technology

    Frost Brown Todd

  • James (Artie) Crawford

    Cyber Security Coordinator

    Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

  • Todd Wagner, CISSP, CIPM, CDPSE

    Deputy Chief Information Security Officer

    Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

  • Matthew R. Schantz


    Data, Digital Assets & Technology

    Frost Brown Todd

Thank You to Our Sponsors! 


AutoConnect through the Years

2022 AutoConnect

Back to the Future of Automotive

The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with legislative efforts to stimulate or shore up key industries, have resulted in fundamental changes to the competitive landscape for all segments of the automotive industry. From disruptions to the global supply chain, to new funds allocated for EV infrastructure, to one of the most robust M&A markets in recent memory, we have reached a pivotal point in the history and, indeed, the future of auto. Join us for AutoConnect 2022 as we bring together leading voices among OEMs, tier suppliers, economists and legal advisors for an executive-level discussion about what these changes mean and where to prioritize.

Visit the AutoConnect 2022 event page for more information.

  • Supply Chain: Managing the Pivot
  • Keynote Address: Dr. Christopher Borroni-Bird
  • Regulatory Outlook for the Future of Automotive
  • Present and Future Mobility Infrastructure
  • Closing Remarks: Paul Fanson

2018 AutoConnect

Speed, Resilience and Success in the Mobility Economy

The mobility economy promises to revolutionize the transportation of people, goods and services. AutoConnect 2018 zeroes in on how to adapt and succeed during this revolution. The conference highlights the relationships among auto industry sectors and provides a platform on which industry leaders can engage in dialogue and gain insights from leading experts.

Topics Included:

  • Economic Trends
  • Diversity & Inclusion from Supply Chain to Management
  • Legal Challenges in the Workforce
  • Liability in the Mobility Economy
  • Government Relations Update
  • Challenges and Opportunities in the New Mobility Economy
  • Trades & Tariffs
  • GDRP Compliance & Implications
  • OEM/Supplier – The New Supply Chain

View the 2018 AutoConnect program.

2017 AutoConnect

The Future of Globalization

Will the new administration’s policies slow the auto industry’s globalization? What impacts will protectionist trade policies have? And what changes is the industry making to adapt? We’ll tackle these questions and more at this year’s AutoConnect on October 12, 2017, the auto industry event with the highest level networking and most impactful educational sessions. No other auto event gives you access to the widest cross-section of C-level automotive executives from OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers to investors and others across the supply chain.

Topics Included:

  • Global Cybersecurity Risks
  • Global Economic Trends
  • Europe’s Role in Automotive
  • Managing Currency Risk
  • Digital Transformation of the Global Auto Industry
  • Trade in the New World
  • CASE Trends Propel Deals
  • The Future of NAFTA
  • Where Globalizations Meets the Road

View the 2017 AutoConnect program.

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