MIKE Matthews, European Operations Officer for Nifco and Managing Director of Nifco UK, one of the world’s leading car parts manufacturers, will be keynote speaker at this year’s Durham Oktoberfest.
Mr Matthews, who started at the company as an apprentice after leaving school, has worked his way up through the business, playing an important role in Nifco’s transformation from one which, just 10 years ago, was operating at a loss to the success story it is today.
Now at the helm of the business, Mr Matthews will talk about the challenges he has faced in turning the business around and some of the highs and lows he’s experienced in his 30 years, which culminated in his promotion to European Operations Officer three years ago.
Mike said: “I am delighted to be invited to be keynote speaker at this year’s Durham Oktoberfest. The event is all about promoting the region’s strengths within the fields of engineering and manufacturing and part of that process is to give our firms the chance to hear from people like me, who have experienced first hand the highs and lows of running a business.”
Nifco UK, which manufactures plastic fasteners and interior, exterior, fluid carrying and engine plastic component parts for the automotive industries, moved to £8.5million premises in 2012, and opened a second facility in April 2014 on land adjacent to its main headquarters. This enabled the business to increase capacity and grow its research and development arm.
Darren Race, project leader for Durham Oktoberfest and chairman of South Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Forum, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce Mike Matthews as our keynote speaker. To secure someone of Mike’s calibre is a real feather in our cap and one which demonstrates the importance of Durham Oktoberfest on a regional scale. Other guest speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.”
Nifco has also been confirmed as one of this year’s Meet the Buyer participants, joining the likes of Heerema, AKS Precision Ball, Northumbrian Water and Parker Hannifin.
Corum Hirst, Nifco’s Purchasing Manager, said: “Nifco is looking forward to another great Meet the Buyer event in which we hope to meet with many potential new suppliers in some key growth categories for us.
“Nifco is currently experiencing a large and rapid growth period and require potential new suppliers to support this growth. We are confident this event will provide some good contacts to move forward with.”
This year’s Durham Oktoberfest, which is being delivered by the North, East and South Durham Engineering Forums in partnership with NEPIC, the Advanced Manufacturing Forum, NOF Energy, Business Durham and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), takes place on Thursday, October 23, at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe.
Business Durham has been confirmed as one of the gold sponsors of the event and other packages are still available.