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Team

 

IMEC Team Listing

For more assistance, use our Team Listing below to contact one of our IMEC specialists directly.

Contact our team directly.

Client Engagement Team

For more assistance, choose your zip code below to identify and contact your regional manager.
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  • Jeff Allspaugh

    Jeff Allspaugh

    Regional Manager

  • John Azara

    John Azara

    Regional Manager

  • Melissa Basa

    Melissa Basa

    Regional Manager

  • Amy Clary

    Amy Clary

    Regional Manager

  • Jim Hancock

    Jim Hancock

    Regional Manager

  • Dean Harms

    Dean Harms

    Regional Manager

  • Ryan Langdon

    Ryan Langdon

    Regional Manager

  • Mike Lyle

    Mike Lyle

    Regional Manager

  • Mary Mechler

    Mary Mechler

    Technical Specialist

  • Dave Musgrave

    Dave Musgrave

    Regional Manager

  • Maria Moran

    Maria Moran

    Regional Manager

  • Rob Newbold

    Rob Newbold

    Client Engagement Manager

  • Steve Sandercock

    Steve Sandercock

    Regional Manager

  • Mike Waight

    Mike Waight

    Regional Manager

Jeff Allspaugh

Regional Manager

“Business leaders tend to want three major outcomes from a service provider: ‘Help me improve my brand.  Help me grow my business.  Help me make my life easier.’  Focusing on and delivering these fundamentals makes us a valued and trusted partner. “

Contact

Phone: 815-441-7746
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jallspaugh@imec.org

Lending a Hand

My role as a Regional Manager affords me the opportunity to listen, observe and learn from the business leaders in my area.  Each industry and organization has its unique challenges and cultures.  However, they all share the need for successful execution of basic fundamentals to grow and prosper.

Listen, observe, and learn.  Then offer ideas, possible solutions and a plan for execution.  There is limited value in simply pointing out what needs to be fixed in an organization.  The real value is in a partner that can identify the right issue, and then help to implement the solution.  This brings immediate results and lasting value for the business, and helps to cultivate a healthy business relationship.

At IMEC, I am able to demonstrate my expertise in areas like financial analysis, process improvement, strategic planning, and business continuity planning to help organizations in Northwest Illinois build sustainable competitiveness. I enjoy earning a spot at the table as a solution provider that can design and implement practical solutions that get results…quickly.

My Background

I have served for more than 30 years in operations and leadership roles, across a range of industries including healthcare, financial services, and agriculture with both profit and not-for-profit organizations.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication at Illinois State, then an MBA at St. Ambrose University midway in my career.  My graduate work flipped the entrepreneurial switch on for me.  I brought that to all of my roles in operations management and organization leadership in COO and CEO roles.  Eventually it led me to start my own consulting firm in order to help small and medium sized business leaders.

John Azara

Regional Manager

“Achieving excellence is not a simple solution; it’s a journey and requires a commitment on all levels to improve a little every day.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 773-851-5303
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jazara@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

My passion for helping manufacturers and more importantly, people, runs deep. In my most recent role with a healthcare manufacturer, I was privileged to witness the meaningful impact we made on people’s lives. As a team member of IMEC, I am able to continue to pursue my passion by assisting Illinois companies to retain jobs, and create new jobs and opportunities for the manufacturing workforce.

With over 25 years of manufacturing experience working in a variety of roles on both the production floor and in the front office as a director of operations, I bring a broad perspective to any situation in order to gain the best results.

My Background:

I began my manufacturing career working my way through college, and quickly realized that manufacturing was a field in which I belonged. I worked my way through the ranks, beginning as a technician and was steadily promoted throughout my career from supervisor to supply chain project manager and eventually to director of operations.

My expertise is within Lean manufacturing, project management, facilities layout, new product development, supply chain management and top-line improvements. Having a broad range of manufacturing experience, I pride myself on bringing the right solutions and strategies to solve the most pertinent and critical challenges.

Melissa Basa

Regional Manager

“Keeping Illinois manufacturing strong is the reason I joined the IMEC team.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 847-417-5747
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mbasa@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

I began my manufacturing career just blocks from where I grew up. To say I have a vested interest in the success of manufacturing in Illinois is an understatement. I love the idea of helping more than just one company and really making Illinois manufacturing stronger, better and more sustainable.

With more than 12 years of manufacturing experience, I am able to bring my industry know-how to progress IMEC’s mission. I have worked with numerous manufactures identifying their various difficulties. I pride myself on bringing in the right solutions delivered by our own Technical Specialists as well as partners to help these businesses improve their overall performance.

My Background:

I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area, graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and then earned a Masters of Engineering Management from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. I have more than 12 years of hands on experience in Distribution Management, Production Control, Materials Management and Sales. I led teams to implement lean scheduling and flow techniques, evaluated and implemented MRP, coordinated 5S activities, efficiently scheduled and tracked international freight and fostered innovative culture.

I have experience with Lean Manufacturing, ERP and MRP, Inventory Control, EDI, Project Management, Training and Innovation.

Amy Clary

Regional Manager

“You don’t inspect quality, you build it.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 312-502-2429
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: aclary@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

In over 20 years of experience, I have worked in a variety of manufacturing fields from the high tech aerospace industry to a family owned toy manufacturer here in Chicago. Being involved in manufacturing nearly my entire life, I am able to assess businesses difficulties and bring the right solutions to the forefront in order to solve challenges in the quickest and most efficient way possible. My diverse background and my unique skill set has given me the expertise to become that trusted advisor to manufacturers.

My Background:

I have always been exposed to manufacturing. My father worked in the industry designing and manufacturing golf equipment for all of his career and that is where I have gained my knowledge. He influenced me in my career decision. Having many years in the industry, I know my way around a shop floor. My passion in working with the team, getting their input.

As a professional, I have over 20 years of manufacturing experience with responsibilities ranging from Vice President of Operation to Vice President of Quality and Human Resources to a Manufacturing Engineer. My expertise lays in Leadership, Strategy Planning, Operational Excellence, Lean Manufacturing and Quality. I earned a Bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University.

Jim Hancock

Regional Manager

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford

Contact:

Phone: 815-570-1768
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jhancock@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

Growing up on a small farm in northwest Illinois, I’ve carried a hands-on approach throughout my 30 year career. I spent the early part of my career working for large OEMs and their suppliers, before venturing into the world of entrepreneurship for over 15 years. I later returned to the workforce as director of technical sales for a supplier to large engine manufacturers in the agricultural, power generation, oil & gas, marine, automotive and on-highway market. Throughout my career and my time as an entrepreneur, I developed a strong understanding of the expectations of large OEMs to their suppliers and the challenges they face. The challenges that come with meeting these requirements range from cost break down analysis to lean, 5S and Six Sigma, to delivering a quality product with tight cost restraints.

By developing strong relationships with customers and delivering results-oriented solutions, I have been able to enrich my clients’ bottom lines. At IMEC, it is my mission to provide the manufacturers in Northern Illinois with the ability to meet their challenges while remaining profitable.  At the same time, developing a highly skilled workforce that fosters a team atmosphere, leading to greater job satisfaction and higher retention rates, subsequently building competitive futures in the communities

My Background:

After graduating from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Arts Engineering, I began my career on the installation crew of large commercial heatset offset printing presses. From there, my 30 year career lead me through engineering, project management, sales and sales management to a business owner for over 15 years where I bought, sold and remanufactured large newspaper printing presses.

Dean Harms

Regional Manager

“P2P – People working with People.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 815-997-6789
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: dharms@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

My passion has always been to help people. I’ve made it my goal to provide the best possible information to help my clients make the best possible decisions to build and sustain competitive and profitable businesses. In my time in the industry I have learned the key component is relationship building; it’s not about companies doing business with other companies, but rather people doing business with people. In spite of our modern technologies, it is the ability of two people to come together to identify the need and bring about the resources to implement solutions.

My job is all about providing program support and guidance to clients for their functional and transformational improvements. By encouraging accountability and a focus on making positive changes, I help my clients recognize when they’ve excelled in their business endeavors and achieved an ideal return on investment. It’s a value driven process supported by a growing relationship between people.

My Background:

I’ve spent my career engaged in the industrial OEM & MRO markets engaging customers through direct and distribution sales channels. I’ve worked in industries ranging from high volume lighting, electronics, industrial controls, motor, generator and transformers to lower volume heavy equipment, marine, power generation, production line MRO wear parts and transportation. My experience covers the business development and marketing side of the business along with an operational focus on manufacturing, engineering and production control. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University.

Ryan Langdon

Regional Manager

“The link between a long term vision and the improvements we make today is vitally important for sustained competitiveness. Being able to assist manufacturers through this process is extremely rewarding to me.”

Contact Information:

Southern Illinois University
1740 Innovation Drive, Suite 136
Carbondale, IL 62903

Phone: 618-304-2898
Email: rlangdon@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

With over 12 years of experience in manufacturing and Continuous Improvement implementation, my expertise lies in helping organizations become more efficient and more profitable. I begin the process by assessing the big picture and identifying gaps in both performance and practice. I work closely through all levels of the organization to understand and identify the gaps, develop the right tools and plans to reduce and/or eliminate the gaps, and establish the necessary mind set to sustain the improvements.

I enjoy seeing an organization implement this approach because it benefits the organization as a whole; employees, stakeholders, customers and suppliers. Seeing the manufacturer gain results based on the efforts we all set forth is an extremely rewarding process.

My Background:

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Western Illinois University and an M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. My education has given me a great base for my career as I have held positions in manufacturing that range from a Lean Manufacturing Coordinator to Continuous Improvement Manager.

Mike Lyle

Regional Manager

“Henry Ford said, ‘Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success’. I joined IMEC to work together with the manufactures of Illinois to achieve a sustainable, and successful future”  

Contact

Phone: 309-846-1593
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mlyle@imec.org

Lending a Hand

My career began as technician at an OEM dealership in Kansas City. Repairing every aspect of a vehicle lead to the desire to learn everything automotive. That passion would carry me through college and into the world of OEM manufacturing, where I had the opportunity work with three large OEM’s, and most recently, a world class supplier of hydraulic hoses and tubing assemblies.   

Throughout my career, I have developed a strong background in leading shop floor improvements and problemsolving teams, working hands-on with process engineering to implement corrective actions, facilitating major kaizens, and driving lean activities. 

My success has always been tied to the ability to listen, observe, and help teams resolve problems. As my career evolved, I’ve learned that continuous improvement and lean principles are truly the foundation for excellence.   

At IMEC, I am excited to serve as an extension of clients’ teams and help them on their journey to excellence and sustainable, longer term success.  

My Background

I bring over 30 years of expertise in leadership and practical hands on application with manufacturing methods to the IMEC team. My background includes OEM Automotive and Heavy Equipment manufacturing as well operational leadership in the supply chain. Immediately prior to joining IMEC, I was General Manager and Global Director of Quality and Environmental, Health, and Safety for an award winning, hose and tubing assembling company.  

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Technology from Pittsburg State University in Kansas and a certificate from the University of Wisconsin School of Engineering in Lean Operations Management. I am an ASQ CQIA, a certified ISO 9001:2015 IATF 16949 Lead Auditor and a Green Belt in Lean, DMAIC and DMEDI Six Sigma.

Mary Mechler

Technical Specialist

“There’s always an answer and always a solution, you just have to keep searching for it. There are different ways of looking at a problem. Don’t give up.”

Contact Information:

IMEC at SIU
1740 Innovation Drive
Suite 136
Carbondale, IL 62903

Phone: 618-453-3829
Cell: 618-534-4573
Email: mmechler@imec.org

About:

As a member of the IMEC team, I am responsible for expanding business throughout Illinois. I develop relationships with local manufacturers, assess their challenges as well as opportunities, and offers IMEC’s strategies for innovation, marketing and promotion, sales growth, and development of new products and revenue streams to help them become more profitable and competitive in today’s business environment.

I bring over 25 years of marketing, sales and management expertise to IMEC. Previously, I was an Entrepreneurship Counselor at the SIU Small Business Development Center in Carbondale. I assisted clients in writing business plans and finding financing, as well as providing marketing, sales, and management advice. Prior to SBDC, I was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SchoolCenter, a software company, where I developed the corporate marketing plan, and selected and managed the team responsible for creating and implementing a new product development process. In addition, I started and owned an e-commerce business for three years. For 20 years, I was employed in various roles from sales rep, direct marketing manager, advertising director and human resources manager. In these positions, I successfully managed the retail and classified advertising staffs, started a new direct marketing department and directed the team to a successful incorporation of new products into the traditional advertising product line. I also reorganized the customer support department, implementing a new workflow and customer touch program to build loyalty and retention.

Expertise

  • B.S. degree in Marketing from SIU Carbondale
  • M.B.A. from SIU Edwardsville
  • Develop New Products and Revenue Streams
  • Innovative Thinking and Networking

Specialized Skills

  • Sales Management
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Business Planning
  • Customer Support

Results

I helped an individual branch out to go out on his own. He struggled with his business at first, but he was so good at his craft that he in turn had a great customer base. I helped him put together a business plan and meet with investors to inject capital into his business. I went to bat to emphasize his client base and his innovative process. The result of this was that the investors bought in and that helped him grow. Today, he has paid back his initial loan and has taken out another to grow to the next level.

Dave Musgrave

Regional Manager

“In a world where you can be anything… be the change.”

Contact

Phone: 815-814-5522
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: dmusgrave@imec.org

Lending a Hand

I bring over 25 years of expertise in leadership, plant management, project management, supply chain management, and new product development to the IMEC team. Having worked in – and lead – a variety of organizations on 6 continents, I have been fortunate to learn about different cultures and gain different perspectives on approaching and solving problems.

This global perspective is helpful in working with small and mid-sized manufacturers in parts of northern Illinois. At IMEC, I have the exciting opportunity to help these manufacturers with strategic improvements so they can become more competitive on a local and global level.

My Background

My career in Operations and Supply Chain Management started in the United States Navy. For the past 25 years, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of operations and leadership roles across a range of industries including consumer electronics, technology, CPG, and industrial organizations.  Prior to joining IMEC, I served as the Director of Global Operations at a large manufacturer.

I received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Southern University – Carbondale, a Master of Science in Telecommunications from DePaul University, and an Executive MBA from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. I also earned a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate from the Project Management Institute.

Maria Moran

Regional Manager

“Sustained growth requires systemic change.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 630-842-6836
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mmoran@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

I am an insightful business leader with the unique ability to translate big picture vision into detailed action plans; efficiently rectify issues; and provide proactive solutions. I can help Illinois manufacturers become stronger not only on their balance sheet but also in the community as a job creator.

With my diverse background and as a Baldrige Examiner, I help manufacturers recognize operational components that are in need of enhancement, expeditiously evaluate all plausible options and implement results-oriented solutions. Together we can design custom business strategies that mature company systems; develop creative workforce solutions and continually foster company growth. I also customize creative solutions for sales, marketing, strategic planning, and hiring the Autistic workforce.

My Background:

I first began my career in healthcare which emphasized the importance of partnering with a team to strategically create success. Each team member contributed to the overall results. The importance of using tools like continuous improvement and employee relations to improve organizational and personal growth was undeniable. As my career matured, I found myself using these same principals in the manufacturing sector. Combining my experience in healthcare and manufacturing, and using components of the Baldrige framework as a guide, my passion for strategic change has made me successful in assisting organizations to both identify and reach their goals.

My passion for strategic change began when I was able to experience the positive results produced when all levels – from the leadership team to the shop floor – were striving for a clearly identified, common goal. When all employees trust the process, the opportunity for success is limitless. It is inspiring! My greatest satisfaction comes when everyone is empowered to create the solution. It doesn’t always come easy, but when it does happen, it’s extremely rewarding and productive.

Rob Newbold

Client Engagement Manager

“It’s about how we can do this together.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 217-572-1551
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: rnewbold@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

I understand that change is difficult. It’s a challenge for people at all levels of the organization to understand, to implement and to embrace. Change can’t be made without trust and that’s exactly why I work to build relationships with people. Clients, community leaders, and partners – first and foremost is building trust: then we get to the real issues.

I want manufacturers to be able to call me with questions about how they can improve – knowing I will bring the right solutions because we’ve built that relationship.

My goal is to bring efficient solutions to help companies become more productive and globally competitive. And, for them to know, we can do this together.

My Background:

I bring a different background and nuance to the manufacturing industry. I have experience in legislation, consulting, project management and education. In my previous role as a private consultant, I delivered leadership development, organizational change, personal coaching, strategic planning and project management training to government and small businesses.

Most recently, I helped identify and implement an improved Quality Management System for a Springfield- based manufacturer of medical devices, utilizing my experience working in operations and sales and opportunity planning.

My organizational skills include business operations, HR, project management, sales projections, budgets, marketing, customer satisfaction, lead generation / follow-up, accounting, and community outreach.

I earned a Bachelors Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Steve Sandercock

Regional Manager

“If you treat your customers well, and your employees even better, everything else will take care of itself”

Contact Information:

Phone: 217-779-8227
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: ssandercock@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

My journey started as a stockroom clerk at a corporation in Quincy, Illinois while I was attending college.  I was fortunate to be surrounded by individuals who cared more about their fellow employees and their success, than they did about themselves.  This is also where I leaned the value of building relationships with customers and suppliers. I have a strong understanding and appreciation for team work and prioritizing actions that will drive value for customers. As a result, I’ve spent more than 20 years of my career increasing sales through dealer, distributor, OEM and client relationships. At IMEC, I help businesses focus on areas that provide value internally and also for their customers, resulting in bottom line and top line growth.  I enjoy helping companies implement innovative ideas and continuous improvement techniques in their business processes.

My Background:

My career spans more than thirty years across a variety of industries including high technology, industrial products and service-based business. Most of my time has been in customer-facing positions and executive leadership roles for various organizations. I have also co-founded a company and written several business plans that resulted in securing private funding. My expertise includes product development, client relationship building, brand awareness, market expansion, and continuous improvement– purchasing, engineering and manufacturing to drive efficiencies. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from Quincy University.

Mike Waight

Regional Manager

“Thoughtful questions will help you understand what really matters to people.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 309-677-4628
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mwaight@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

My past exposure to many types of manufacturing processes, as well as the diversity of positions I have held, allows me to help manufacturers, especially at a strategic level. I have had responsibility for product design, manufacturing engineering, safety and quality. The time I spent leading a quality organization really helped me develop an understanding of how processes efficiently work together, from customer order through manufacturing and shipment of the product.

My approach to helping a manufacturer is simple – ask questions in a manner that helps me truly understand what the issue is, why they’re experiencing it, how they’re being impacted by it, and what desired outcome they would like to achieve.

One of the best projects I worked on involved consolidating three locations from across the country to a single site in Illinois. It included movement of all manufacturing equipment, as well as office furniture and over $5M in inventory. Using a time-phased implementation schedule, the majority of the move occurred during a 2-3 week period, and was completed on schedule and more than $10,000 below budget.

My Background:

Working in the wire harness manufacturing industry for more than 13 years, I have had broad exposure to CNC Machining, brazing, plating, heat treatment, plastic injection molding, and assembly.

My experience also covers strategic planning, ownership transition planning, ERP system selectionfinancial analysis & assessments, growth planning, facility planning & relocation, waste management, and employee health and safety issues.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Western Illinois University and a Masters in Business Administration from Bradley University.

Client Services Team

  • Shankar Anant

    Shankar Anant

    Technical Specialist

  • Ashley Beaudoin

    Ashley Beaudoin

    Technical Specialist

  • Jesse Brady

    Jesse Brady

    Technical Specialist

  • Jim Floyd

    Jim Floyd

    Technical Specialist

  • Mary Hallock

    Mary Hallock

    Technical Specialist

  • Ed Huey

    Ed Huey

    Technical Specialist

  • Lisa Kenney

    Lisa Kenney

    Technical Specialist

  • Tim Maurer

    Tim Maurer

    Technical Specialist

  • John Remsey

    John Remsey

    Senior Technical Specialist

  • Greg Thompson

    Greg Thompson

    Senior Technical Specialist

  • Hanoz Umrigar

    Hanoz Umrigar

    Technical Specialist

  • Rick Winkler

    Rick Winkler

    Technical Specialist

  • Ken Wunderlich

    Ken Wunderlich

    Technical Specialist

  • Holly Bender

    Holly Bender

    Technical Specialist

Shankar Anant

Technical Specialist

“My focus is to add unquestionable value and leave behind a culture of success & self-sustainability.”

Contact Information:

IMEC at TMA
1651 Wilkening Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Phone: 847-380-1592
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: sanant@imec.org

About:

I hold over 20 years of international manufacturing experience having worked in the U.S., Europe and Asia in a variety of industries. This experience directly corresponds with how I help manufacturers in Illinois. With so many different industries being represented, my diverse background aids in my ability to help a variety of manufacturers.

The past eight years, I have consulted with global, diverse manufacturing industries helping them in their Lean transformation journey. I work with companies to implement Lean Business Systems, quality management systems and process quality upgrades that bring improvement to and help transform the entire organization.

Expertise

  • 5S & Visual Management
  • Setup Reduction using Shingo’s SMED principles
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Kanban & Pull Systems
  • Policy (Strategy/Goal) deployment
  • Lean Daily Management
  • Standard Work
  • Mistake Proofing
  • Cell Design/Layout
  • Point of Use
  • Line Balancing
  • Lean Product Development
  • A3 problem solving
  • Variation Reduction
  • Lead Product Development
  • Transactional Process Improvement
  • Total Productive Maintenance

Ashley Beaudoin

Technical Specialist

“I like helping manufacturing companies realize the heart of an organization are their employees. They are the ones who ultimately determine the customers happiness.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 630-589-4888
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: abeaudoin@imec.org

About:

Based in Chicago, I focus on the people aspect of the people, process, product model and bring my diverse experience as an associate human resources consultant to IMEC. I am responsible for aiding Illinois manufacturers in all of their human resource needs to deliver customized HR solutions. I provide human capital management advisory services and help companies develop and communicate policies, train employees and implement a recruitment process. I also provide consultation and guidance to senior management and organizational partner in the interpretation of HR management policies, procedures, programs and applications of laws and regulations.

One of the most enjoyable aspects is helping with the people aspect. I am able to assist in their onboarding process, to implementing a feedback vehicle to improve employee moral and satisfaction in both formal and informal manners.

Expertise

  • Six Sigma White Belt
  • Six Sigma Yellow Belt
  • Eastern Illinois University Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Valdosta State University Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Specialized Skills

  • Data Collection Analysis
  • Cultural Index Survey
  • Qualtrics
  • EBSCOhost
  • Pbworks
  • SPSS
  • Leadership Training
  • Certified Trainer for Development Dimensions International (DDI)

Results

I created a process of enhancing workplace culture within a university department. I developed an outline of a certificate program for current employees. This was for employees who want to develop and enhance skills for professional growth. A survey was developed to see what employees thought of their workplace. With the results, specific details were able to be implemented within the certificate program (along with a two tier pay scale). Training courses were created, along with short tests for the end of each training, that had topics which would not only benefit the employee, but also for their future careers. In addition to the core classes, elective course options were also intact. In completion of the certificate program, along with any required tests, a pay increase will occur.

Jesse Brady

Technical Specialist

“A wise man once told me that the most costly phrase in industry is: ‘Because it’s always been done that way.”

Contact:

Phone: 815-252-9385
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jbrady@imec.org

About:

Born and raised in Central Illinois, I take great pride in the ability to help manufacturers improve operational efficiencies. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of industries and environments from plastics to electronics recycling, and pristine food shop floors to turn of the century steam powered forge shops. I’ve developed a strong background in quality, safety, and continuous improvement. My past roles range from sales, sourcing, and operations & maintenance under wide range of Quality Systems: ISO 9001, AS9100, and FSSC 22000.

I am passionate about consistently producing the best quality of service while always remaining positive, organized and ready to solve complex issues to improve performance. My diverse professional background grants me a unique perspective as to how quality systems impact all departments within a company. At IMEC, I get to use my expertise and leverage a multitude of resources to help Central Illinois manufacturers create and sustain a competitive advantage.

Expertise

  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Eastern Illinois University
  • Six Sigma Black Belt

Specialized Skills

Results:

During a Six Sigma Black Belt project, we were able to eliminate wastes and increase productivity of their saw department. These improvements in efficiencies equated to a greater than $90,000 annual cost savings for the company.

Jim Floyd

Technical Specialist

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

Contact Information:

Phone: 815-922-9806
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jfloyd@imec.org

About:

It is my passion to support our partners and clients by involving all associates – from the executive suite to the front line – in exploring their undiscovered and unrealized potential. I help Illinois organizations plan for and implement actions that drive growth through enterprise excellence, leading the way to their competitive future.

With more than 17 years of experience leading sustainable, enterprise-wide lean transformations and continuous process improvements – both domestically and internationally – I serve as a facilitator, creating a unified culture of ownership and accountability, deploying strategic business plans and achieving break-through outcomes.

As Benjamin Franklin says “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Expertise

  • Lean Continuous Improvement Leader
  • Lean Master Black Belt
  • Process Improvement Engineer
  • Professional Educator
  • B.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Master of Education from the University of St. Francis

Specialized Skills

Results

Facilitated and led lean transformations, producing sustaining break-through outcomes including:

  • 34% productivity improvement
  • 75% reduction in WIP
  • 20% reduction in raw material working capital
  • 90% reduction in past due orders
  • 67% improvement in on-time deliveries
  • 47% reduction in order entry errors

Mary Hallock

Technical Specialist

“My favorite days are working with supervisors and managers to help them develop strong leadership skills. They gain confidence and strong processes that help them create good atmospheres for their employees. I like checking back with them to find out how their work lives have improved and how they have improved the work lives of their employees.”

Contact Information:

Cell: 815.721.4474
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mhallock@imec.org

About:

I have a great passion for helping manufacturers in the Northern Illinois area. I have helped manufacturers grow and maintain over 300 jobs during my time at IMEC. It’s extremely important to me to see this area of our state thrive and grow as I have been part of this community for over 10 years.

When I am brought into a project, one of the very first things I like to do is to fully understand the company’s objectives. Once the goals are clearly understood, I sit down with the leadership team to discuss and set the agenda of exactly how we are going to create the change they desire. From there, we create an implementation path that defines the project deliverables and sets the expectations for impacts to the company.

I provide direct technical assistance to manufacturers. I specialize in solutions to help companies improve their business and leadership strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the chemical and food ingredients industries, I can assist manufacturers in the areas of production, strategic planning, business management, workforce development, continuous improvement and green business practices. My favorite projects are those where I have the opportunity to help management and the shop floor personnel learn how to address the cultural side of change along with the processes.

I earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from The Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from LaSalle University. I am a certified Training Within Industry (TWI) Job Instructions and Job Relations Trainer and Coach, an OSHA authorized general industry trainer and a certified trainer for Development Dimensions International (DDI).

Expertise

Specialized Skills

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Management
  • Training Within Industry (TWI) Job Instructions and Job Relations Trainer and Coach
  • OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer for General Industry
  • Certified trainer for Development Dimensions International (DDI)
  • One on one coaching

Results

Heading over 50 separate projects, I have helped companies create over 30 new jobs, retain over 300 jobs and help Illinois companies accrue an aggregate impact of over $27M.

Ed Huey

Technical Specialist

“Manufacturing combines the things I enjoy, technology, processes, and people. When you combine all three, you can always find a better way.”

Contact Information:

IMEC
1501 W. Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625

Phone: 309-830-6871
Fax: 309-438-8626
Email: ehuey@imec.org

About:

I work as part of high performance service delivery teams, drawing upon IMEC’s extensive state and national resources to help companies implement actions to improve their productivity and competitiveness.

I have more than 11 years of experience in manufacturing and management in a variety of industries. I was formerly Plant Manager of a metal roll forming company and worked within the auto parts and accessories industry to plan, organize, and lead teams in a Lean environment. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida and am a certified Training Within Industry (TWI) Job Instructions and Job Relations Trainer and Coach.

Expertise

  • Safety Management
  • Project Management
  • Operations Management
  • Fabrication Management

Specialized Skills

  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Management
  • Training Within Industry (TWI) Job Relations and Job Instruction Trainer and Coach
  • OSHA Authorized Outreach Training Provider

Results

A local manufacturer wanted help and guidance to develop and support their Lean journey. We started with addressing their safety program followed with Leadership training. We then taught them Lean tools. The resutls were an improved safety environment, the plant laid out in cells, and Pull Kanban being used. With my coaching, the manufacturer was able to proceed to the point of sustaining their Lean journey on their own.

Lisa Kenney

Technical Specialist

“Everyone is a leader in some way, regardless of the formal title. We can learn best practices for interacting with others in the same way we can learn the technical skills of the job. It’s just as challenging. It’s just as important.”

Contact Information:

Southern Illinois University
1740 Innovation Drive
Suite 136
Carbondale, IL 62903

Phone: 314-330-9795
Email: lkenney@imec.org

Never underestimate the impact you have on the people around you. Whether to the positive or the negative, each of us has endless opportunities to influence others every day. Competitive businesses rely on this endless stream of interactions, person by person, to build the fabric of the business. When people come together and interact in meaningful ways with clear communication, sincere appreciation, and respect and trust for one another, an organization can soar. I like to get people thinking about the impact of their behaviors at work, and then support them as they change those behaviors to positively influence others throughout the organization.

I like to focus on “how” effective leadership happens in organizations, one person at a time, every day. When these skills are practiced on a regular basis, they become the organization’s blueprint for success. They are the foundation to a competitive, strong and successful organization that attracts and retains the best of the best in today’s workforce.

How do you personally relate to others? Do you maximize their strengths? How do you build on and improve your relationships when the going gets tough? Whether you lead from the corner office, the front-line, or the shop floor perhaps the most challenging thing you will do every day is interact with the people around you. These daily interactions can either make or break the company’s success.

Expertise

  • Bachelor’s degree from Stephens College
  • Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University

Specialized Skills

  • Certified Master Trainer for Development Dimensions International (DDI)
  • Certified facilitator for the MyersBriggs Type Indicator
  • Certified Dale Carnegie Instructor

Results

One of my lasting memories involved working with a group of employees who had vast technical expertise in automotive parts manufacturing, but limited formal training in how to get their work done through others. As the organization grew, the enhanced capability of team leads and front-line supervisors became critical to the organization’s success. After working with the group for several months and training them in foundational leadership skills, I received an email from one of the participants. “Not a day goes by that I do not use something that I learned in one of your classes.” For me, that simple statement said it all. I cannot think of a more meaningful result!

Tim Maurer

Technical Specialist

“Let us help you resolve problems that are limiting your company’s potential.”

Contact:

Phone: 309-265-5463
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: tmaurer@imec.org

About

Over the last 30 years as an engineering and manufacturing project management professional, I’ve become deeply experienced in completing diverse, complex initiatives and skilled in determining root cause and providing corrective action. I am passionate about developing strong cross-functional working relationships between the manufacturing team and operations, quality, product engineering, materials, and accounting. Professionally, I am recognized for a “Can Do” approach to challenging projects that I am eager to bring to Illinois manufacturers and help them excel on their lean journey.

I earned a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Bradley University and a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from Arizona State University. I am a certified 6 Sigma Black Belt expert with in-depth knowledge of capital equipment and continuous improvement.

Expertise

  • Project Management
  • Process Improvement
  • Plant Layout
  • Standard Work Development
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • New Product Development
  • Cost Reduction
  • 3D Modeling
  • Production Staff Optimization
  • Lean Manufacturing/Six Sigma
  • Machine & Tool Design
  • Quick Changeover
  • Performance Tracking
  • Manufacturing Methods
  • Production Workflow Improvement

Specialized Skills

  • Six Sigma Black Belt-Certified
  • Caterpillar Production System Black Belt
  • Lean Manufacturing Certified through Lean Enterprise Institute

Results

  • Ran a Six Sigma project to resolve a 5% loss of production due to quality issues from cracked cylinder liners.
  • Conducted root cause analysis and managed the design and installation of new custom material handling equipment, resulting in $500,000 in annual savings.

John Remsey

Senior Technical Specialist

“Today’s supply chains have increased in complexity, diversity, and scale resulting in companies experiencing a lack of collaboration, security and visibility.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 618-453-3829
Email: jremsey@imec.org

About:

I have more than 30 years of business and manufacturing experience with an emphasis on Supply Chain Optimization, Information Technology, Lean Manufacturing, and Production Control.

Based on a Theory of Constraints methodology, I can help improve supply chain performance by quantifying the needs of the extended supply chain and focusing on improving the points in the process which are impeding the throughput of the entire supply chain.

Along with supply chain optimization, I can also provide guidance with the selection and implementation of an effective manufacturing (MRP/ERP) system as well as in-depth business services in strategic planning, financial analysis, production control, shop floor scheduling, and business expansion.

My background includes leadership positions in Information Technology, Production Control, Activity-Based Management, Logistics, and Small Business Counseling. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance, a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics, a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In addition to on-going technical training, I am an OSHA Authorized trainer and have been trained by the Shingo Institute on the Shingo Prize standards for Operational Excellence.

Expertise

Specialized Skills

  • Information Technology
  • Software Selection
  • Hardware Implementation
  • Networking Technologies
  • Software Implementation
  • Cybersecurity Compliance
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Constraint Theory
  • Supply Chain Optimization
  • Production Control/Scheduling
  • Activity-based Management
  • Financial Analysis

Greg Thompson

Senior Technical Specialist

“I like helping people and working with different manufacturers. It’s really fulfilling to become a catalyst for a company’s success.”

Contact Information:

Northern Illinois University
Chick Evans Field House
1050 Lucinda Avenue, Room 223
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-621-4368
Fax: 815-753-2615
Email: gthompson@imec.org

About:

I work with IMEC Regional Managers to help manufacturers implement process improvements to increase their productivity and competitiveness.

I have more than 10 years of experience in manufacturing, primarily in the semiconductor/electronics and food industries, having held positions of Sr. Industrial Engineer, Group Leader (Industrial Engineering and Supply Chain Management), Operations Financial Advisor, and Program Manager (Supply Chain Management).

My background experiences include: traditional Industrial Engineering work, Lean Manufacturing, production planning/control, ERP system implementation, and budgeting/cost modeling/P&L maintenance for manufacturing operations. I earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).

Expertise

  • Lean Enterprise
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Systems Process Improvements

Specialized Skills

  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Visual Controls
  • Capacity Planning
  • Production Control/Scheduling
  • Simulation Modeling
  • Financial Analysis
  • Capital Justification
  • Manufacturing Costing Models
  • 5S
  • Kanban Systems
  • Work Cells

Results

Through a lean implementation project, I was not only able to help a manufacturer become more efficient, I was able to help an individual lengthen his career. This particular worker would have to manually lift heavy loads (50-80 lbs.) about 120 times per day. Using lean tools, we helped them design a cell which doubled productivity and saved the workers the hard labor of lifting heavy units.

Hanoz Umrigar

Technical Specialist

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts”.  Winston Churchill  

Contact

Phone: 678-883-6837
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: humrigar@imec.org

About

As a member of IMEC’s client services team, I am responsible for defining and executing processes for the development of an Industry 4.0 plan, which supports IMEC’s vision to lead the way for organizations to create their competitive futures. In doing so, I lead and facilitate continuous improvement initiatives related to business processes and systemic enhancements within the scope of Industry 4.0 methodology and application.

I have over 4 years of combined academic and professional experience with HVAC design, vendor negotiations, and project management for emerging technologies in the renewable energy field. My goal at IMEC is to help diverse manufacturing teams deliver tangible solutions to complex issues within fast-paced, dynamic environments. By identifying trends and digital manufacturing technology gaps, I am able to help small-mid size manufacturing clients across Illinois optimize their performance.  

Expertise  

  • Master of Science in Industrial Technology and Management at Illinois Institute of Technology  
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology  
  • Strategic planning  
  • Process Design & Improvement  
  • Modeling Techniques for HVAC systems 

Specialized Skills 

  • SAChE Safety Certification in Chemical Engineering  
  • Advanced Modeling Techniques for HVAC systems 
  • Project Management  
  • Data accusation and analytics    

Results 

  • Spearheaded emerging technologies projects with CSMART lab at Illinois Institute of Technology. Air monitoring sensors, smart street lights, gunshot detection, smart water sensors.  
  • Spearheaded acquisition of commercial hotel contracts, in addition to collaborate with team members to install commercial and chill water systems.

Rick Winkler

Technical Specialist

“We can show you how to do “it” right the first time and avoid wasting time, energy and resources having to do “it” again.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 314-416-1991
Cell: 314-578-7497
Email: rwinkler@imec.org

About:

Based in the Metro East St. Louis region I work as part of high performance teams that draws upon IMEC’s extensive state and national resources to help companies implement actions to improve their productivity and competitiveness.

I have over 35 years of progressive experience in engineering and continuous improvement consulting and training. I managed various business operations, with P&L and personnel responsibilities. In addition to my experience in the private sector, I spent over 11 years with IMEC’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) affiliate center in Missouri.

As a Project Manager with Missouri Enterprise, I led projects that enabled manufacturers to improve productivity by implementing the Toyota Production System of Lean Manufacturing. I am a seasoned business management professional with a range of operational capabilities to help manufacturers improve cost, quality, and productivity performance.

Expertise

  • Lean Enterprise
  • Systems Process Improvements
  • B.S. in Engineering Management with a minor in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Specialized Skills

Results

Setup reduction project on CNC Machining cell resulted in an average 75% reduction in setup time across all changeovers. This provided additional capacity and flexibility across all machining centers.

Ken Wunderlich

Technical Specialist

“My mind is never at rest when it comes to solving issues and solving problems.”

Contact Information:

Northern Illinois University
Chick Evans Field House
1050 Lucinda Avenue, Room 223
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 630-880-7433
Fax: 815-753-7433
Email: kwunderlich@imec.org

About:

I believe that everyone has a toolbox of skills, and it’s these abilities that make people successful. As a Technical Specialist at IMEC, I strive to create or expand the toolboxes of Illinois manufacturers and the Leadership Team. By expanding their toolbox with new skills and systems I intend to positively influence their future achievements.

I work alongside various companies in Illinois, providing technical assistance to manufacturers and service oriented firms through consulting and training. I also implement solutions to help companies improve their organization overall. Utilizing my experience in various fields, including medical device, automotive, and consumer manufacturers, I can objectively review and assist clients with continuous improvement efforts related to quality management systems and process. This allows me to facilitate improvement in heavily regulated environments.

With more than 22 years of experience in both manufacturing and product design, I have acquired a diverse set of skills in various manufacturing arenas. My experience ranges from medical devices, automotive products, food packaging, consumer products, maintaining ISO 9001, AS9100, IATF 16949, ISO 13485, and 21CFR regulations, certifications for medical devices, and more. My primary skill set lies within process development, improvement, and organization. I have seen a variety of processes from the perspective of both supplier and customer, which has provided a unique addition to my toolbox – diplomacy. Finding a solution is my goal. Let me find your solution.

Expertise

  • HAACP Certified
  • Certified Auditor for ISO 13485:2003 and ISO 9001:2015
  • Certified Auditor for IATF 16949:2016
  • Risk Management
  • Certified ASQ
  • Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Certified Auditor for AS9100:2016

Specialized Skills

  • Quality Auditing Systems and Controls
  • Process Development
  • Process Improvement
  • Process Optimization
  • Master’s Degree in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University
  • Master’s Degree in Information Systems from DePaul University

Results

Certifying a quality management system to any standard takes initiative, time, and effort. Previously, I worked with a manufacturer in the Chicagoland area that had received a significant amount of findings during their previous audit for TS 16949. In order to meet the requirements for the transition to the new IATF 16949 standard they needed to correct all of the previous issues, as well as create new systems in compliance with the new standard. Along with this, the manufacturer had leadership and resource challenges to address regarding support of the business quality management system. Working together hand in hand, we were able to correct the previously inefficient and non-compliant systems as well as create a program that exceeded minimal requirements mandated by the standard. They received a certification in 2018 to the IATF 16949 standard, were able to increase sales by $4 million as well as retain existing sales, invest in new Information Systems, retain employees, and kick-start the improvement process for continual improvement. This is what we do at IMEC, we partner with you.

Holly Bender

Technical Specialist

“The road to excellence is always under construction” – Author unknown

Contact Information:

Phone: 309-235-5204
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: hbender@imec.org

About:

I am a marketing, data analytics, performance excellence, and strategic planning professional of more than 25 years. I spent twelve years in healthcare where I was part of the business intelligence team for a regional health system. I spent nine years as a senior examiner and team lead on the board of examiners at the state level Baldrige programs in Iowa and Illinois — focusing on strategic planning, leadership, customer engagement, knowledge management, and results. My performance improvement skills include PDCA, SBAR, Lean A3, and extensive Baldrige framework training. Additionally, I participate in as many leadership development opportunities as possible.

My background before healthcare was in media and marketing with 15 years spent as the media director, account manager, and eServices director at a regional advertising agency.

I love crunching numbers, doing research, planning, coaching and leading teams — especially in conjunction with strategic planning and performance improvement.

Expertise

  • Attended Illinois State University
  • BS in Business Administration/Marketing from Thomas Edison State University
  • Eastern Iowa Community Colleges certificate in Advanced Leadership
  • Dardis Communications training
  • Healthcare
  • Marketing
  • Business Intelligence

Specialized Skills

  • 6 Years as ILPEX Examiner and Team Lead
  • 3 Years as IRPE Examiner
  • Baldridge Framework
  • ILPEx Performance Excellence
  • Data Analytics & Visualization
  • Strategic Planning
  • Healthcare Market Research
  • MS Excel and Access

Results

Through the use of business intelligence and data visualization tools, reduced time spent by senior leaders on a monthly review process from 48 hours per year to 12 hours and eliminated the use of hundreds of pages of paper per month.

Advocate, co-writer and category lead for a state-level Baldrige application for an organization that won a Gold performance excellence award.

Used Excel and Access skills to automate various reports and reduce preparation time from hours to minutes.

Affiliate Relations and Client Outreach

  • John Bradarich

    John Bradarich

    Affiliate Relations Manager

  • Michelle Fossett

    Michelle Fossett

    Client Outreach Coordinator

John Bradarich

Affiliate Relations Manager

“I enjoy getting to know and understand people, their business, its challenges and their personal stories to build long lasting relationships.”

Contact Information:

IMEC at TMA
1651 Wilkening Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Phone: 847-989-6280
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jbradarich@imec.org

Responsibilities:

As Affiliate Relations Manager, I work closely with the IMEC leadership team and staff to develop strategic alliances and identify key partner resources that can help support IMEC’s mission and operations. These alliances and resources can be used to expand IMEC’s outreach to targeted industry sectors, enhance IMEC’s relationships with organizations involved in economic development, and organizations with financial and other resources to support IMEC’s operations. I also assist IMEC staff in identifying and utilizing available resources to assist companies in becoming more productive and globally competitive.

I have extensive experience in workforce development in both the university and public sectors. Prior to joining IMEC, I led business development and workforce initiative efforts for two organizations specializing in assisting small and medium-sized manufacturers grow and prosper. I also directed the career planning and placement offices at two major universities in Chicago.

I have experience in bringing key programs and people together for the benefit of manufacturers seeking ways to expand, broaden and strengthen their businesses. I can deliver and implement initiatives to strengthen the relationship between manufacturers’ workforce and fiscal needs and Federal and State programs and agencies.

Qualifications:

  • Masters of Education degree from the University of Michigan
  • Masters of English Literature from Saint Louis University
  • Bachelor of Science degree in English from Loyola Marymount University

Michelle Fossett

Client Outreach Coordinator

“It is exciting and rewarding to build relationships with manufacturers of all sizes so they can change, sustain, and grow!”

Contact

Phone: 815-275-0159
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mfossett@imec.org

Lending a Hand

I bring a combined 20 years of expertise in manufacturing and academia to the IMEC team. With over 12 of those years being in manufacturing and workforce development, I have a sincere appreciation and love for the industry. My career started on the production floor many years ago, where I gained firsthand product knowledge. I later transitioned into the design and development which gave me a new and fresh perspective of manufacturing. Over time, I have been able to contribute to workforce and economic development solutions in the manufacturing sector.

I am passionate about sustainability, positive change, workforce development and growth, and being at IMEC allows me to help organizations further develop in those areas.  I am able to assist manufacturers of all sizes across the state with identifying their needs, and build a relationship that allows me to connect manufacturers with the right resources within our organization to gain solutions to their problems.

My Background

I grew up in Northern Illinois near the Wisconsin and Iowa borders and earned a degree in Engineering Technology from Morrison Institute of Technology as well as a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management (with a Specialization in HR for the Master degree) from Ashford University. Over my working years, I have assisted in many different areas of service. From developing business to business relationships, serving on area economic development boards, as well as an advocating for skills gap awareness and what can be done to help close it, my career has been primed me to continue helping Illinois businesses build and maintain competitiveness.

Leadership Team

  • David Boulay

    David Boulay

    President

  • Gretchen Clifton

    Gretchen Clifton

    Client Services Manager

  • Amanda Hawley

    Amanda Hawley

    Human Resources & Talent Development Manager

  • Kristy Johns

    Kristy Johns

    Marketing Manager

  • Rob Newbold

    Rob Newbold

    Client Engagement Manager

  • Mike Monahan

    Mike Monahan

    Vice President, Finance & Information Systems

David Boulay

President

“My passion is creating a competitive future for the organizations and workforce of Illinois.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 309-677-3766
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: dboulay@imec.org

Responsibilities:

My leadership has developed from diverse settings that extend from a family-owned business, to manufacturing, universities and non-profits. These various experiences help guide our public-private partnership’s strategic direction to serve as a catalyst for small and mid-sized company competitiveness.

I grew up in a family-owned business where I learned first-hand about the trial, challenges, and pride that I see in the owners and leaders of companies we work with today. I recognize their situations, understand their challenges and have the tools and knowledge to help accomplish their goals. I have also had the good fortune to work in various manufacturing roles from food plant sanitation to maintenance supervision to production, plant manager and business unit manager in companies such as Frito-Lay and Pillsbury.

Through these experiences, I learned how company success is reliant on the skills and talents of its’ workforce. This has driven my passion in human resource development. My Ph.D. included a primary focus on high performance work practices in small and mid-sized companies and career pathways for workers.

I bring a diverse blend of expertise in performance management, small business development, and organizational growth strategies to IMEC. I have helped create and implement several initiatives to increase the flow of state and federal funding to manufacturers for projects, update worker skills, and help smaller manufacturers adopt new technology and business practices and to improve energy efficiency.

Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Workforce Development and Education from The Ohio State University
  • Masters of Business Administration from Franklin University
  • Bachelor of Science in Operations from Binghamton University

Gretchen Clifton

Client Services Manager

“If you stop learning, you stop improving.”

Contact Information:

Cell: 217-202-9554
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: gclifton@imec.org

Responsibilities:

As the IMEC Client Services Manager, I am responsible for managing and supporting the Technical Specialists across the state of Illinois as they work with companies as well as providing leadership and coordination to develop services for IMEC to deliver high quality services to our clients.

I have over 39 years of manufacturing and leadership experience and I challenge our employees to enhance their knowledge and skills in an effort to share that with the clients we serve. My management skills in quality, continual improvementcoaching/training, project management and problem solving assist me in my role.

I look forward to enhancing IMEC employee knowledge and carrying this learning forward to our services so that our customers can continue their learning and improvement in their organizations.

Qualifications:

  • Former IMEC Technical Specialist
  • Program Manager- Higher Education
  • Business Unit Manager- Automotive, Food
  • Quality Manager- Automotive, Food, Chemical
  • Production Manager- Food
  • Business Owner- Consulting
  • Food Technologist

Amanda Hawley

Human Resources & Talent Development Manager

“People… People are my passion. I love helping and building relationships, which is why Human Resource Management comes naturally to me. I am driven by my team.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 309-677-3933
Cell: 309-360-2282
mail: ahawley@imec.org

Responsibilities

I oversee talent development at IMEC. Working with our team, I help identify capability gaps and take a collaborative approach to creating Individual Development Plans designed to strengthen both individual and team performance. In addition to talent development, I lead the efforts of workforce planning, talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, succession planning, reward and recognition, as well as engagement and retention.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Illinois State University
  • Professional certification in Human Resources (PHR)

Kristy Johns

Marketing Manager

“Be A Part of Something Bigger than yourself.”

Contact Information:

Bradley University
1501 W. Bradley Avenue
404 Jobst Hall
Peoria, IL 61625

Phone: 309-677-2977
Cell: 309-224-0117
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: Kjohns@imec.org

Responsibilities:

As the IMEC Marketing Manager, I view our department at an extension of our talented field team.  We provide tools and resources to help the team identify prospects, provide customer service, nurture accounts and spread the IMEC message.

With over 10 years of experience in strategic marketing, including project management, campaign development, digital marketing, graphic design, CRM integration and brand development, I have worked with clients across multiple industries, from small organizations to Fortune 500 companies.  My expertise in strategic planning and implementation has helped them expand their markets and product offerings to a new or existing customer base. This also resulted in award-winning campaigns that helped to increase brand awareness.  Ultimately, these organizations were able to increase efficiency and profitability through their sales channels.

I am excited to bring my experience and knowledge to help the IMEC team continue to grow and create competitive futures.  The work we do and the services that we offer are so important to help organizations in Illinois prosper. I am excited to be a part of such an impactful team.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Emphasis on Communication and Business Management from Western Illinois University
  • Project Management
  • Campaign and Brand Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Digital Marketing
  • Leader of award-winning brand awareness campaigns

Rob Newbold

Client Engagement Manager

“It’s about how we can do this together.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 217-572-1551
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: rnewbold@imec.org

Lending a Hand:

I understand that change is difficult. It’s a challenge for people at all levels of the organization to understand, to implement and to embrace. Change can’t be made without trust and that’s exactly why I work to build relationships with people. Clients, community leaders, and partners – first and foremost is building trust: then we get to the real issues.

I want manufacturers to be able to call me with questions about how they can improve – knowing I will bring the right solutions because we’ve built that relationship.

My goal is to bring efficient solutions to help companies become more productive and globally competitive. And, for them to know, we can do this together.

My Background:

I bring a different background and nuance to the manufacturing industry. I have experience in legislation, consulting, project management and education. In my previous role as a private consultant, I delivered leadership development, organizational change, personal coaching, strategic planning and project management training to government and small businesses.

Most recently, I helped identify and implement an improved Quality Management System for a Springfield- based manufacturer of medical devices, utilizing my experience working in operations and sales and opportunity planning.

My organizational skills include business operations, HR, project management, sales projections, budgets, marketing, customer satisfaction, lead generation / follow-up, accounting, and community outreach.

I earned a Bachelors Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Mike Monahan

Vice President, Finance & Information Systems

“I enjoy creating solutions and systems and to help our staff better serve the manufacturers of Illinois.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 309-677-4631
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mpm@imec.org

Responsibilities:

I bring over 30 years of experience in economic development, business consulting, organizational planning and reporting, and systems administration to the IMEC team.

As IMEC’s Vice President of Finance and Information Systems, I am able to utilize the wealth of knowledge and expertise I’ve acquired from successfully developing of a number of information systems to support economic development organizations; and consulting with manufacturers and service companies to develop custom applications to support their operations. My strong background in data analysis, computer systems, financial and grant reporting, financial and business planning, and database development allows me to support IMEC’s growth by providing leadership through technology and financial systems.

Qualifications:

  • Expertise  in IBM Domino, MS Access and  Excel
  • Proficiency in Crystal Reports and Power BI and SQL Databases
  • Administration of Windows and Domino Servers
  • Proficiency in numerous other hardware and software applications
  • Business Administration degree from Judson College
  • Master of Business Administration from Bradley University

Organizational Support Team

  • Lori Amerman

    Lori Amerman

    Operations Coordinator

  • Vickie Griffin

    Vickie Griffin

    Executive Assistant

  • Eddie Leach

    Eddie Leach

    Assistant IT Systems Analyst

  • Ben Krupowicz

    Ben Krupowicz

    ILPEx Executive Director

  • Jordyn Shawhan

    Jordyn Shawhan

    Administrative Assistant

  • Shannon Shrum

    Shannon Shrum

    Accounting/Grant Specialist

  • Melissa Zirbel

    Melissa Zirbel

    Resource Manager

Lori Amerman

Operations Coordinator

“I enjoy being part of a team that every day makes a difference for the employers of Illinois and the jobs in our hometowns.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 618-453-3829
Email: lamerman@imec.org

Responsibilities:

I serve as IMEC’s Operations Coordinator. This role allows me to take 20 years of manufacturing and consulting experience in various administrative and field roles to provide IMEC leadership and staff comprehensive approaches to serving Illinois manufacturers and stakeholders.

My primary responsibilities are to provide oversight of project proposal contracts with IMEC Regional Managers and Technical Specialists and develop working relationships with subcontracted delivery partners. I also coordinate resources for daily diverse solutions as needed.

I am part of IMEC’s marketing team that coordinates public and private educational opportunities. I use my field experience consulting on safety and health best practices to lead the annual Southern Illinois Occupational Safety & Health (SIOSH) Day conference.

Qualifications:

  • Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Bachelor of Science in Management
  • OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer
  • Industrial Safety Certificate from Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Hazmat Technician
  • Associate of Arts and Certificate for Supervisory Management from Kaskaskia College

Vickie Griffin

Executive Assistant

“Building strong relationships is the key to success.”

Contact:

Phone: 309-677-3765
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: vgriffin@imec.org

Responsibilities:

As the Executive Assistant at IMEC, I work closely with the President, providing support on internal and external matters. I serve as a liaison to the IMEC board of directors and the IMEC leadership team, assisting with executive outreach and external relations efforts. This includes coordinating board and staff meetings while also managing special projects and assisting with human resources functions.  Having worked in manufacturing earlier in my career, plus over 11 years of diverse experience in non-profits within healthcare and education, I am able to provide exceptional support across IMEC that supports our mission to drive growth through enterprise excellence.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Illinois State University

Eddie Leach

Assistant IT Systems Analyst

“The power of people working together, while leveraging the tools and capabilities that technology provides, creates an unstoppable workforce that is empowered and driven to excel beyond achieving business goals. Without people, technology is nothing.”

Contact:

Phone: 309-677-4630
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: eleach@imec.org

Responsibilities:

I possess 14 years of experience across a wide array of Information Technology proficiencies which includes desktop and laptop support, distributed infrastructure support, cloud & digital platforms, IT operations, and business process improvement.

As the Assistant IT Systems Analyst, I am responsible for evaluating, selecting and implementing new systems to improve IMEC’s operations. I have a strong background in project management, which is crucial to meeting commitments and delivering value to IMEC. My passion for collaborating with business teams and vendor partners, as well as providing excellent customer service, drives me to help IMEC achieve results.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Telecom and Networking Management from DeVry University
  • Cloud computing and platforms; Azure, AWS, O365
  • Identity Access Management
  • Administration of Windows Servers and Microsoft System Center
  • ITIL and IT Service Management
  • Scaled Agile Framework (SP, SSM certified)

Ben Krupowicz

ILPEx Executive Director

“Good business leaders know how their organization is performing, and where there is room for improvement. Great leaders engage their team to implement steps to achieve positive change.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 630-536-7062
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: bkrupowicz@imec.org

Responsibilities:

Inspire, guide, serve, and coach. That’s the best way to describe my leadership style and it’s the same approach I use to help others achieve success.

A leader must inspire a shared vision, guide employees to excellence, serve multiple stakeholders and coach to enhance their abilities. I believe that these attributes are also present in the Baldrige criteria as organizations strive for leading edge performance.

Illinois Performance Excellence (ILPEx) is committed to being the catalyst for transforming Illinois into a leading state of economic opportunity and we’re doing it by driving organizational excellence across industries. As a seasoned quality executive with more than 20 years of experience focused on process improvement, I lead ILPEx as Executive Director and coach to many organizations.

Qualifications:

  • Loyola University of Chicago, MBA Finance and Production
  • Illinois State University, BS Industrial Technology
  • EXCEL Partnership, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Jordyn Shawhan

Administrative Assistant

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.” – Jane Goodall

Contact:

Phone: 309-370-1532
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: jshawhan@imec.org

Responsibilities

My role as Administrative Assistant affords me the opportunity to assist the entire organization. In addition to general administrative duties, I am responsible for providing outstanding support to the leadership team and to team members in the field. Some days I am working closely with the President, other days I am assisting the field staff with their schedules or producing documents for client meetings. Being able to work independently, balance multiple priorities, and effectively manage simultaneous projects, I am able to proudly contribute to IMEC’s mission to drive growth through enterprise excellence.

Qualifications

  • Master of Business Administration Candidate at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Bachelor of Science in Management and Leadership from Bradley University
    • Minor in Creative Writing
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration from Illinois Central College

Shannon Shrum

Accounting/Grant Specialist

“It’s really rewarding to be able to assist and help move Illinois manufacturing industry forward.”

Contact Information:

Bradley University
1501 W. Bradley Avenue
403 Jobst Hall
Peoria, IL 61625

Phone: 309-677-3931
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: sshrum@imec.org

Responsibilities:

I am responsible for providing support, oversight and guidance for all of IMEC’s grants, including but not limited to, grant accounting, budget modification as well as ensuring compliance with funding source administrative guidelines, timely receipt of revenue, accurate submission of financial and other related reports, grant regulations, executed contracts and agreements as well as applicable statutes and regulations.

In addition, I have expertise in financial accounting, financial statement review and audit specific to the nonprofit sector where I work with federal and state stipulations of funding.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Illinois State University
  • Over 20 years experience working in the Non-Profit sector

Melissa Zirbel

Resource Manager

“Individually we can do very little, but together we can do so much more.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 815-514-3769
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: mzirbel@imec.org

Responsibilities:

My role as Resource Manager is to support IMEC’s Third Party Resources as an extension of our internal team. I am primarily responsible for leading, supporting and facilitating the execution of our internal and Third Party Resources key functions and processes. This includes those related to the allocation of internal and external resources, internal and external service and resource development, client services and organizational support. My role involves recruiting, onboarding and strategically managing our third party partners.

I have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of clients by monitoring our Third Party Resources’ performance and client satisfaction with the resources, and essentially identify opportunities for improvement and growth. I have a strong background in project management and collaboration with different departments across industries that allows me to ensure strategic alignment with IMEC’s core purpose of fostering long-term economic and workforce competitiveness.

Qualification:

  • Bachelors in Business Administration from Lewis University
  • Project Management
  • Customer Advocate

Marketing Team

  • Simone Erskine

    Simone Erskine

    Marketing Coordinator

  • Shayla Kripalani

    Shayla Kripalani

    Marketing Coordinator

  • Emily Lee

    Emily Lee

    Program & Partner Relations Coordinator

Simone Erskine

Marketing Coordinator

“It is exciting to be a part of an organization that consistently demonstrates its dedication to excellence and changing lives.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 312-714-3721
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: serskine@imec.org

Responsibilities:

As an IMEC Marketing Coordinator, I am responsible for supporting the execution of the IMEC strategic marketing plan. Serving as the coordinator of social media content and follower engagement,  I have the opportunity to be the voice of IMEC in a highly digital world. I produce and curate content for the IMEC blog and eNewsletter that highlights our client successes, partners, professional development events and industry news.  Telling the story of IMEC’s passion for organizational excellence invites prospects from across industries to learn more about us.   In addition to social outreach and content creation, I provide support to the overall marketing efforts including generating leads and increasing market penetration, and driving results in client support and legislative relations.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing, with a minor in Industrial Organizational Psychology from DePaul University
  • Certificate of Completion in Writing for Business and the Professions from the University of Chicago

Shayla Kripalani

Marketing Coordinator

“It’s such an incredible environment to be a part of and grow within – working with people who continuously encourage perpetual learning and hard work.”

Contact Information:

Phone: 630-881-6006
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: skripalani@imec.org

Responsibilities:

As an IMEC Marketing Coordinator, I support the IMEC mission through consistent and impactful marketing outreach and client support. Guided by the strategic marketing plan, my work is focused on the promotion of the IMEC brand through engagement with prospective client organizations in their pursuit of excellence, as well as on-going client relations. I also support the efforts to execute a diverse event management program through follow up with event participants, in an effort to nurture new client relationships. Working with other members of the team, we are able to utilize social media, email marketing, print campaigns, client feedback, and more to demonstrate the successful work of IMEC, and the long term improvements across all areas of our client organizations.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Purdue University
  • Google Adwords and Analytics Certified

Emily Lee

Program & Partner Relations Coordinator

“Success in business is built through meaningful partnerships.”

Contact Information:

Bradley University
1501 W. Bradley Avenue
404 Jobst Hall
Peoria, IL 61625

Phone: 309-677-4633
Fax: 309-677-3289
Email: elee@imec.org

Responsibilities:

I work closely with the IMEC leadership team and staff to develop partner relationships and identify resources to support the IMEC and ILPEx missions. My role as the Program and Partner Relations Coordinator includes development of planning documentation for long- and short-term strategic objectives for special initiatives. I also cultivate strong relationships with key strategic partners including the analysis of identified opportunities, project planning and operational groundwork. For all of my work, I manage partner expectations to ensure both parties are adequately delivering on their obligations, and to continue to explore additional growth opportunities with the partner.

A common theme across my experience is identifying the needs of the person or group with whom I work, and determining the best manner to meet the need. My work in non-profit healthcare provided significant financial and grant management experience while incorporating development of staff and community relations. I have over ten years of experience in higher education, specifically in program management. My work with administrators, community partners and students allows me to appreciate the differing perspectives of involved stakeholders, and how to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Qualifications:

  • Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa
  • Event planning and management
  • Grants management
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