Milwaukee, November 5, 2013:  Rich Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter Inc. and an outspoken force behind an effort to make the Milwaukee area a global water technology hub, will deliver the keynote address at the Manufacturing Matters! conference to be held Feb. 27, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Milwaukee.

A native of West Allis, Meeusen has served as president of Badger Meter, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of water meters and flow measurement solutions, since 2001 and as CEO since 2002. He added the role of chairman in 2004. Meeusen joined Badger Meter in 1995 as its chief financial officer.

Meeusen co-founded the Milwaukee Water Council in 2007 and currently serves as co-chairman of the organization’s board of directors. The Water Council reached a milestone in its efforts to create a water technology cluster in the region with the official opening of the Global Water Center in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood in September.

The $22 million, 98,000-square-foot center, located in an a 107-year-old renovated industrial building, houses water-related research facilities for universities, existing water-related companies and accelerator space for new, emerging water-related companies.  The facility is a venue for attracting and creating new businesses in the water industry, and aims to address key local and global water-quality, technology and policy issues.

Twenty-five organizations currently occupy space in the seven-story facility.

An outspoken leader, Meeusen is known to offer his candid views on topics affecting the manufacturing sector, and water-related issues.

“Rich Meeusen is one of the most dynamic and outspoken manufacturing leaders in the state,” said Buckley Brinkman, executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. “His commitment and boundless energy made the new Global Water Center in Milwaukee come to life. The center will become a model for how business clusters develop in Wisconsin. Rich took on this role while continuing to oversee the success of Badger Meter, which has earned an international reputation as a leader in its field. Rich always provides valuable insights and incredible energy and we are excited to have him kick-off Manufacturing Matters! this year.”

Meeusen began his career with the Milwaukee office of public accounting firm Arthur Andersen. He then became chief financial officer at Zenith Sintered Products Inc., a Germantown automotive supplier, prior to joining Badger Meter.

Meeusen received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1976 and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1995.

He serves as chairman of the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and holds seats on the boards of the United Performing Arts Fund and the Milwaukee Public Museum. He’s also a director of the Menasha Corp., a corrugated and plastic packaging manufacturer and supply chain solutions provider with headquarters in Neenah, and West Bend-based Serigraph, a commercial printing operation.

Meeusen is a member of the advisory boards for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater School of Business and the Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He also serves on the boards of the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce and the advisory council of the Milwaukee 7.

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Manufacturing Matters! conference focuses on providing opportunities for learning, networking and collaboration. For 16 years, the conference has raised public awareness of the vitality, strength and contributions of the manufacturing sector and promoted the well-being of manufacturing as essential for a healthy, vibrant economy.