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About the MEP Advisory Board

MEP Advisory Board Members




(Term expires: April 2016)

Dennis Dotson is a third generation foundryman serving as Chairman of Dotson Iron Castings in Mankato, Minnesota. The company is in the top tier of foundry suppliers and has been acknowledged by the industry’s society as the “Metalcaster of the Year” out of 2,000 North American facilities. Denny has been very active in the industry serving on various boards, past president of the Ductile Iron Society and is the current president of the American Foundry Society. He is also chairman of People Driven Performance, a startup company focused on internal communications. Dennis has a strong commitment to education and is a trustee emeritus of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the governing board for the 35 post-secondary state institutions. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1967 BBA) and the University of Chicago (1968 MBA). He currently serves on the board of Enterprise Minnesota (a NIST MEP affiliate). The constant in his career has been the involvement in many new community, educational and business startups.


Vicki Wessel


(Term expires: May 2014)

Vickie Wessel is the founder and President of Spirit Electronics, Inc. She has more than 30 years of experience in the electronics industry, including sales, marketing, procurement, operations, contracts, finance and quality systems management. Since its founding in 1979, Spirit has grown to support broad line electronic component distribution, supply chain solutions, and component value-added services. Her commitment to continuous improvement is evidenced by Spirit’s ISO9002 and AS9000 certifications and her on-going participation in lean manufacturing and process improvement activities. Vickie’s passion for improving the contracting environment for the benefit of small businesses throughout the nation has led to her active affiliation with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Grand Canyon Minority Supplier Development Council, the Aerospace Industries Association Supplier Management Council (SMC), the Arizona Minority Business Enterprise Center, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. In 2005, she received AIA’s “Amelia Earhart Award”, recognizing women who achieve excellence in the aerospace and defense industry.

Roy Church


(Term expires: May 2016)

Dr. Roy A. Church is President of Lorain County Community College (Elyria, Ohio). He has served thirty-six years as a leader in comprehensive community colleges and has led the transformation of Lorain County Community College as its president since 1987. Dr. Church’s hallmark initiatives during his tenure include building collaborative private and public partnerships to support education, workforce and economic development. Among these accomplishments include: establishing a renowned University Partnership Program involving 12 universities delivering over 40 bachelor and graduate degrees; the only Edison Technology Incubator on a college campus in Ohio; a $14 million pre-seed fund for regional technology start-ups; a 46,000 square foot commercialization center for sensors and microsystems; and a 75,000 square foot Advanced Technology Center supporting advanced manufacturing containing the National Science Foundation Weld-Ed Center and rapid prototyping lab. Dr. Church co-chairs the Ohio Board of Regents Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council, Cooperative Education and Internship Advisory Committee and Complete College Ohio Task Force. He also served on the State Advisory Committee on Adult Career-Technical Programs and the Ohio Board of Regents Technology Transfer and Commercialization Task Force. Regionally, Dr. Church serves on the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, NorTech Board of Directors, Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) and Fund for Our Economic Future.

Eileen Guarina


(Term expires: March 2014)

Eileen Guarino is currently President and COO of Greno Industries located in Scotia, New York. Ms. Guarino attended the University of South Carolina. Early in her career, Ms. Guarino was a buyer for a clothing company which represented apparel in various resort locations throughout SC, Florida and Georgia. There she developed a woman's clothing line that retailed in nine locations. Her responsibilities ranged from coordination of the annual buys to importing fabrics to be manufactured in the US. In 1988, Ms. Guarino relocated to upstate New York, where she lent her talents to her new career in the manufacturing parts business as what she calls "part of the Greno team". Greno Industries is a family owned business, and is a recognized minority women owned business in New York State. Ms. Guarino has worked to expand the company’s clients to now include successful relationships in new markets throughout Europe and Asia, as well as leading the company's strategic planning growth efforts of its 60,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. As a result of her "Greno team" approach, she works to enhance the personal and professional growth of employees to be trained in Six Sigma and Lean Principles. One of her successes in her business career, of which she is most proud, was creating and implementing an in house high school MFG internship training program with local high school students. Ms. Guarino was the past President of the Tech Valley Global Business Network, and current Vice President of the Center of Executives Network of Manufacturing. She is also an active civic member in her chambers of commerce and the Women's Business Enterprise Network Council.

Ned Hill


(Term expires: April 2014)

Edward W. (Ned) Hill is Dean, Professor, and Distinguished Scholar of Economic Development at Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution, a Nonresident Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Government at the University of California at Berkeley, and Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at South China University of Technology. He edited Economic Development Quarterly from 1994 to 2005. Hill is a member of the board of directors of MAGNET, the MEP affiliate organization in Northeast Ohio. Ohio Department of Development Director Christine Schmenk appointed Hill to Ohio’s Manufacturing Task Force in 2011 and he has been a member of Ohio’s Cooperative Education Advisory Council since 2009. Hill and his team completed a major study of advanced manufacturing for Pennsylvania’s Industrial Resource Network Program in 2010. In 2011 and 2012 they advised JobsOhio, Ohio’s economic development organization, and Northeast Ohio’s economic development network on development strategy in 2011 and 2012. The Ohio Manufactures Association presented Hill with its Legacy Award in 2005.

Mark Rice, Board Chair


(Term expires: March 2014)

Mark Rice is President of the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation. After working for several engineering firms and U.S. Government laboratories, he formed Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) in 1986. MAPC has both R&D and production work with offices in Maryland, Virginia and Maine. MAPC currently designs and manufactures electro-mechanical systems that range from submarine and surface ship components to commercial motion control systems. The company has recently completed two unmanned surface vessels for the U.S. Navy along with prototype distributed power and water systems for use by individual families in Afghanistan. MAPC has had several export contracts supplying ship components to foreign shipbuilders. Mark is a member of the local District Export Council for the Department of Commerce. He has a BA in Physics from the University of Maine and is a licensed Professional Engineer.




(Term expires: May 2016)

Jeffrey J. Wilcox is the Vice President for Engineering at the Lockheed Martin Corporation, responsible for leading the development and execution of engineering strategy for the Lockheed Martin Engineering Enterprise and its 60,000 engineers, scientists, and technologists. Throughout his career, Mr. Wilcox has led several critical initiatives for the Lockheed Martin Corporation, including Engineering for Affordability, the Systems and Software Initiative, the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, and the Energy Solutions Center launch. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Wilcox served as Senior Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Virginia. Mr. Wilcox graduated from Drexel University with a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He serves on the Drexel University Leadership Council, the Stevens Institute of Technology School of Systems and Enterprises Advisory Board, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Technical Operations Council, the MIT Open CourseWare Next Decade Alliance Advisory Council, and the US Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative (USMCI) Steering Committee. Mr. Wilcox is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellow and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Ed Wolbert


(Term expires: May 2014)

Ed Wolbert is the president of Transco Products Inc., a leading U.S. medium-sized manufacturer and contractor dedicated to nuclear power. Mr. Wolbert has been in the nuclear power industry for over 30 years, has been with Transco for the last 28 years, and has served as its president for the last 16 years. Mr. Wolbert oversees the daily strategic direction and tactical operations of the company, including direct guidance of its foreign activities. Mr. Wolbert is a member of the American Nuclear Society, and is also a member of ASTM (serving on the C16 committee). Mr. Wolbert continues in his service on the governing board of the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center, the Illinois affiliate of the NIST MEP Program. Mr. Wolbert continues to serve on the Department of Commerce’s Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC), after previously been both the committee’s vice-chairman and chairman, and has been a vocal advocate and champion for small/medium size enterprises in the nuclear power market.

Former Advisory Board Members