Fast, Fun, and Informative!

Imagine a dynamic learning experience where you can absorb a wealth of knowledge in just 45 minutes. Welcome to Speed Learning, where education meets excitement!

Dive into a whirlwind of discovery with over 30 timely topics, all handpicked for their relevance and importance. Engage in lively roundtable discussions, each lasting 15 minutes, with some of Sterling’s most brilliant minds. It’s your chance to interact, ask questions, and gain insights from experienced professionals in a fast-paced, fun-filled setting.

Don’t just be a learner, be a fast learner! Speed Learning is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Join us and supercharge your learning journey!

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The Team Showcase Competition is the ultimate team recognition and competition where your team presents your improvement project live-on stage in front of the conference attendees! Projects will be scored against criteria for Project Selection, Problem Statement, Root Cause analysis, Final Solution, Project Implementation, Results and Presentation.

The Application of Intent should be emailed to by March 31, 2024.

The Sterling Storyboard competition captures your project’s improvement process on a single storyboard. It includes Project Selection, Root Cause Analysis, Solution Development, and Implementation and Impact.

Registration limited to the first 15 registrations – don’t wait!

Submit Application of Intent by May 17, 2024.

The awards process is designed to:

  • Recognize high-performing Florida manufacturing companies.
  • Provide opportunities for organizational learning and development.
  • Promote and elevate participating manufacturers and the Florida manufacturing sector.


Eligibility: All manufacturers with production facilities in Florida and Georgia are eligible to participate. It is not necessary for the nominee to be a member of any association.

No nomination write-ups are required.

How to Nominate a Company: A nomination may be made by any individual or organization including any industry group, supplier, customer, workforce or economic development organization, University/College/ School, or government agency. Self-nominations are also acceptable.

To nominate a manufacturer, complete the form or send an email to

  • the company you are nominating,
  • a point of contact for the nominee company,
  • their contact information,
  • your name and contact information.


The Process:

SMBEA Process Description

Application Profile and Overview

  • Following the nomination, the nominee will be notified and asked to complete the Organizational Profile, and forward the completed questionnaire with attachments to Phil Centonze, at The Profile provides context for evaluation, detailing company information, and describing internal and external pressures and influences. The Organizational Profile and Overview should be submitted by Monday, December 18, 2023. Application Profile
  • Business Overview – Once the Profile is submitted, an initial web meeting is scheduled with the Nominee and a team of Examiners for an overview (about two hours) of the nominated company. Discussion will include review of basic elements of high performance based on the Evaluation Manufacturers screening favorably advance to the Semi- Finalist stage of the competition.
  • Site Visit – The Examiner team will conduct a more in-depth interview (about three hours) with managers and employees to discuss detailed aspects of each Semi-Finalist manufacturer to evaluate company systems and
  • Selecting Finalists and Winners – Upon completion of all company interviews, Examiners confer to review the evaluations, select, and recommend to a team of The Judges will review the recommended Finalist evaluations and decide the winners based on scoring against the 2023 Evaluation Criteria for high performance.
  • Recognizing Finalists and Winners – Finalists and winners will be recognized on May 31, 2024, at the Sterling Governor’s Award Banquet, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.
  • Additional Benefits – All Finalists and winners will be provided a value-added evaluation feedback session (about two hours) offering identified company strengths and opportunities for improvement. Afterwards, finalists and winners should also expect to be invited to participate in knowledge sharing and developmental activities in the manufacturing

Please join us to help recognize high-performing manufacturers and elevate Florida’s manufacturing community. We welcome your nominations and invite you to share this award information with companies and organizations throughout the state.