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(Wilkes-Barre, PA August 2, 2023) — Pete Ruggiero, Chief Operating Officer of Crayola, will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2023 Manufacturing Best Practices Summit and Expo, the region’s largest manufacturing trade show and networking event, organized by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC).

This year’s expo will be held on Friday, October 13 at Mohegan Pennsylvania Convention Center, Wilkes-Barre Twp. Individual admission is $50 for manufacturers and $100 for non-manufacturers. Registration, breakfast and networking begins at 8 a.m. The event concludes with a networking reception from 5 to 6 p.m.

As keynote speaker, Ruggiero will discuss how Crayola overcame post-pandemic challenges in his presentation, “Thriving Amidst Supply Chain Chaos.” His Crayola career spans a quarter of a century in previous roles, including interim chief executive officer, vice president global finance and managing director of Binney & Smith (Europe) Ltd. At Crayola, Ruggiero has played a critical role in the transformation of Crayola into an innovative company. Under his leadership, Crayola has diversified its business model through new product development, expansion into international markets, and the opening of multiple Crayola Experience attractions.

Tickets can be purchased through the NEPIRC website, All-access tickets include breakfast, admission to the expo, lunch with keynote presentation, breakout sessions, panel discussions and a closing reception with refreshments. 

Eighty-five regional manufacturers and businesses that support manufacturing will have exhibit booths and product demonstrations at the expo. More than 500 attendees are expected at this year’s event.

“Manufacturing Day is an opportunity for all area manufacturers, businesses that provide services to manufacturers and individuals who want to learn more about northeastern Pennsylvania’s growing manufacturing sector to gather together under one roof at the region’s most impactful manufacturing networking event,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, president and CEO, NEPIRC. “We look forward to this year’s event being the largest in its history, both with the number of exhibitors and the number of attendees. We are very excited about our keynote speaker and the innovative topics planned for our breakout sessions, panel discussions and roundtables.”

A new highlight of this year’s event is the Women Leaders in Manufacturing panel discussion moderated by Dr. Christine Kiesinger, principal, CEK Communication Consultancy. Panelists include Petra Mitchell, president, Catalyst Connection, Pittsburgh; Heidi McKenna, president, The Fredericks Company, Huntington Valley; Pat Frances, CEO, Chaucer Press, Wilkes-Barre; Grace McGregor Kramer, vice president of strategy and operations, McGregor Industries, Dunmore; and Denise Truesdale, senior vice president, human resources, Pride Mobility Products, Duryea.

Additional breakout sessions and roundtable topic discussions include:

  • Refueling the Talent Pipeline: The Importance of Familiarity
  • 3D Scanning and Reverse Engineering
  • Workplace Trends Impacting Safety
  • Deciphering Aerospace Certifications and Entering the Aerospace Supply Chain
  • Subcontracting and Partnerships in Government Markets sponsored by NEPA Alliance Apex Accelerator
  • Demystifying Compliance: What CMMC Requirements Mean for NEPA Manufacturers sponsored by InnoTek Computer Consulting

“Attendees will be able to see product demonstrations, learn more about the wide variety of products manufactured right in their own backyards, and network with decision-makers, buyers and business owners. We are grateful to our many sponsors for the support that makes this event possible,” said Esoda.

For more information or to purchase tickets, email Chelsey Coslett, NEPIRC’s manager of marketing & stakeholder engagement, at or visit the NEPIRC website,

PHOTO ID: Pete Ruggiero, COO, Crayola, will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2023 Manufacturing Best Practices Summit and Expo, organized by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC).


NEPIRC is a not-for-profit organization providing world-class technical, engineering, consultative, and training services to small and mid-sized manufacturers across an 11-county region of northeastern, northern and parts of central Pennsylvania. More information can be found at or via email to Eric Joseph Esoda at

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