Shadrach Stephens is an Electrical Engineer with 10 years experience in project management, lean manufacturing, six-sigma, and reliability engineering. Mr. Shadrach is currently facilitating improvement teams as a Senior Instrument and Electrical Reliability Engineer at The Dow Chemical Company in Deer Park, Texas.
Christopher Garcia has 19 years of experience in the instrument and electrical discipline. He is currently an Instrument and Electrical Technology Leader for The Dow Chemical Company Maintenance Technical Service group (MTS) supporting the Houston Area Operation and Maintenance organizations. Mr. Garcia is currently pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Power Engineering Technology at The University of Houston
Doug is a member of the human resources department in the Bosch Anderson facility in South Carolina. Doug is responsible for the career development of over 230 technicians. In May, Doug created the Bosch Technical Scholars program in partnership with a local technical college to help graduates close the gap between the technical knowledge learned in school with applications common in industry. The Bosch Technical Scholars Program has been a tremendous success turning out qualified technicians. Doug spent 20+ years among the technician ranks at Bosch and is very familiar with the technical skills desired for applicants in the manufacturing industry.
Ted is the Engineering Manager for Schneider Electric’s Assembly Plant in Seneca, SC. His team provides the engineering expertise needed for building enclosed drive systems, electric vehicle chargers, and the Model 6 Motor Control Center. His engineering team is also responsible for Intelligent Motor Control Center (iMCC) applications containing industrial networking and automation products. He has more than 30 years of experience in automation and motor control. For 18 years he’s taught electrical motor and PLC courses at TriCounty Technical College, part time. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University.
Accounties Lashan Smith serves as the Program Coordinator for the Industrial Electronics Technology program at Tri-County Technical College. He also serves as an academic advisor for students interested in completing degrees in high demand Industrial and Electronics fields.During his tenure with Tri-County Technical College, Mr. Smith has assisted with fostering an academic environment that meets the needs of Industrial Manufacturing firms and companies looking to locate and invest in the Upstate Region of South Carolina. As a member of the College’s Business and Industry Advisory Committee, Mr. Smith has the opportunity to engage with several industry anchors such as Michelin North America, Robert Bosch, and Duke Energy, for the purpose of creating relevant curriculum for prospective students and current technicians.
Cheryl is currently the job placement coordinator at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, SC and is responsible for connecting students with industry for meaningful work-based learning experiences and full-time employment. A long time educator, Cheryl has combined her love of students and a passion for seeing them become successful working adults, with meeting the increasing demand for a skilled workforce in the South Carolina upstate counties of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens. Through collaboration with faculty, students and industry, opportunities for work-based learning experiences and the placement rate of students has increased by over 300% during her tenure. Cheryl received her undergraduate degree at Gardner Webb University and her master’s degree in education from Furman University.
Thomas J. Burke was one of the four founding members of the OPC Foundation and an architect for the OPC Data Access specification, which provided the initial standard for interoperability infrastructure between control devices and industrial automation software applications.
As president of the OPC Foundation, Tom supports its vision for OPC UA (Unified Architecture), the current generation multi-vendor, multiplatform service-oriented architecture that unifies all of the OPC specifications to provide a single standard for secure and reliable interoperability. Tom’s efforts have directly resulted in widespread adoption of OPC technology from embedded platforms through the enterprise. He is actively engaged in collaborations with other consortiums to provide information integration for their domains into industrial automation.
Tim Herrick is the Advanced Executive Chief Engineer for GM Global Product Development. In this role, he is responsible for all global product development from inception through production. This includes defining the requirements of GM’s new vehicles to ensure they win in the marketplace as well as understanding the competitive landscape and managing cost, quality and performance targets.
Prior to his most recent promotion, Tim held the position of Executive Chief Engineer of GM Global Crossover Vehicles, responsible for product development from inception through production of all GM crossovers, including the all-new Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
Krevis manages a team responsible for creating and implementing IT solutions for industrial automation projects. The projects include SCADA systems, HMIs, operational dashboards and an enterprise historian. The team is also responsible for building software interfaces between factory floor systems and business systems. He has worked at Sherwin-Williams for 20 years and has held positions in engineering, plant process controls, and MES IT.
Tom Birkholz has served for as a Project Engineer at 3M Company for more than 30 years, designing and installing control systems for different 3M Divisions.
After graduating from Connecticut College in 2000 with a degree in History, Wheeler was working as a mason’s tender, learning the trade of dry stack stone work in rural New England, when he decided to start out on his own somewhere new. Wheeler moved to Asheville in February of 2001 and worked as a handyman and for a canoe livery service until he landed a job at Highland Brewing in October of 2001 working on the packaging crew. While his degree was in History from a liberal arts college, Wheeler had grown up working with his hands and gained great experience with machinery as well as a wide variety of other trades. It was a natural fit. Over the years, Wheeler has grown with the company, first to the role of Packaging Supervisor and then to Operations Manager in 2007.
Head Brewer for 16 years and Vice President. A Siebel graduate and Asheville native, John has been with the company since its inception.
Randy obtained a degree in finance and computer science and worked for the traditional public accounting firms directly out of college. Randy owns a consulting firm based out of Atlanta that serves batch-manufacturing companies. He's part Arkansas southern boy, part Yankee transplant from New Jersey and Ohio, living in Atlanta. With a background like that, who is better equipped to head Vicinity?
Cory Ross is currently a Senior Project Manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. In 1997, He received his degree in Industrial Technology with a focus in Manufacturing Management from CSUC and started his career with Sierra Nevada as a Bottling Line Supervisor. Cory was promoted to Packaging Manager and while in that role managed multiple packaging expansion projects, the packaging department, as well as material procurement. In the 15 year he has been with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., he has contributed to the growth by installing 7 production lines, including two in North Carolina. Cory was moved into Project Management in preparation for the new brewery expansion and has assisted in the new facility’s construction, commissioning and the plant wide network architecture. He currently manages continuous improvement projects within the two brewery locations.
Anthony Peterson will present on the topic of reporting downtime in realtime at Bush Brothers. Bush Brothers is a family-owned corporation best known for its Bush's Best brand canned baked beans (which are made from a closely guarded secret family recipe). The company produces approximately 80 percent of the canned baked beans consumed in the United States, representing estimated annual sales in excess of $400 million and the processing of more than 55 million pounds of beans per year.
Lee Miller is a cross-functional team leader who is passionate about creativity and innovation in the packaging industry. He currently leads an engineering team at MWV focused on developing packaging machinery and automation solutions for the food, beverage and healthcare markets. Over the course of a 20-year career, Lee has been involved in the introduction of innovative products such as the Fridge Pack and Stack Pack beverage multipacks for soft drinks and Shellpak adherence packaging for prescription drugs. He is a graduate of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia, and holds an MBA from Kennesaw State University.
David Mattes founded Asguard Networks to create products that address the challenge of managing connectivity and information security for Industrial Control Systems (ICS). Prior to Asguard Networks, David spent 13 years in Boeing’s R&D organization. At Boeing, David focused on ICS security issues, particularly on the challenge of segmenting connectivity for ICS devices into private networks and securely connecting them to and through Boeing’s Enterprise networks. David was the co-creator and technical and implementation lead on an architecture that not only satisfied Boeing’s InfoSec governance and security requirements, but also met the needs of the end users. In November of 2011, David was nominated for the Boeing R&D Engineer of the Year award. He received an MSEE from the University of Washington and a BSEE from the University of New Mexico.
Sushma Narisetty-Gupta P.Eng. M.Eng., is an Electrical Engineer with the Grid Solutions Engineering team at Toronto Hydro. She is responsible for the successful deployment of solutions to modernize the Toronto Hydro-Electric distribution grid to improve overall system reliability and improve customer service. The Grid Solutions team has successfully introduced feeder automation, transformer monitors, community energy storage, power line monitors, intelligent nodes and meter-ready transformers at Toronto Hydro. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Electric Power Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Bob Leigh, P.Eng, is the CEO of LocalGrid Technologies. LocalGrid solves asset integration challenges that distribution utilities face when adding renewables and developing a smarter power grid. Bob is dedicated to advancing renewable energy sources and is on the board of directors at WindShare, the wind power co-operative that installed the first urban wind turbine in North America. Bob graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Mathematics Engineering and has used his education in control and communication systems to engineer embedded solutions for a variety of industries over the last 10 years.
Jason Stefanski was instrumental in designing the electrical re-gen capabilities which enable the new test stands to generate up to 80 percent of their own power. Stefanski manages the controls and software engineering team and has also designed the advanced software and controls system that provides the unified, modular operator interface for RedViking test systems. Mr. Stefanski graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
As VP Engineering, Chris Lake manages the engineering staff and oversees the complete design and build of all RedViking mechanical systems projects. Lake graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Roderick Emery is Vice President at SuperiorControls, Inc. headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. Emery is a graduate from the University of Michigan, a recipient of the William J. Branstrom Award for Academic Excellence and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He has led numerous projects which resulted in patented technology and the development of highly engineered one of a kind equipment, machinery and automation. He is currently in charge of the Integrated Assembly Systems team.
Emery’s leadership experience includes engineering management of a large and diverse engineering staff including mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, software engineers, process engineers, engineering interns and technicians. Additionally, Emery has extensive experience in project and program management as well as operations management.