2017 LM&QE Keynote Speakers

Tuesday, October 3 2017: Michael Balke, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans in Ladson, South Carolina.  See below for his biography and click here learn more about Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Balke 2017.JPGMichael Balke is President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC (MBV) in Ladson, South Carolina. MBV is an assembly plant for Sprinter and Metris vans, and is currently undergoing a major expansion to add a body shop and paint shop where
– for the first time in Mercedes-Benz Vans history — the next generation Sprinter will be built part-by-part in the United States.

Michael is originally from Germany, and has been with Daimler since 1992. He holds degrees in Automotive Engineering & Manufacturing.

During his career, he has held a variety of positions within Daimler. He started his
career in Sindelfingen, Germany working for the Mercedes-Benz Cars Development department. Since then he engaged in specialist and managerial functions in Production,
Production Planning and an Executive Assistant to a member of the Board of Management.

Aside from his experience in Germany, Michael also engaged in international assignments within Mercedes-Benz Cars as Plant Manager in Egypt and Vice President of Quality in Tuscaloosa. In his most recent role, he was the Director of the E-Class and CLS-Class in Sindelfingen, where he successfully prepared the team for the pending launch of the fifth generation of the E-Class launched in 2016.

Michael is married to Martine Lisette and has a 21-year old daughter, Sophie.

Wednesday, October 4 2017:


HalmaVincent Halma is the president and CEO of KION North America Corporation, headquartered in Summerville. KION North America is a member of the KION GROUP AG, one of the world’s two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions. He previously served as the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, then chief sales officer.

His prior experience includes roles as vice president of the Western European subsidiaries and managing director for STILL Netherlands—one of KION Group’s brand companies.

Prior to the KION Group, he served in a variety of capacities at Cargotec Corporation—the leading provider of cargo handling solutions—including product manager, regional sales manager, sales and marketing manager, and managing director.

Mr. Halma holds a Master of Business Administration from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from NHL Hogeschool in the Netherlands.