Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Reflections – Part 4

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
—Margaret Mead

A Salute to MEP Center staff 

MEP is nothing without its people – a small group of thoughtful, dedicated people.   We can’t do it without you! Let me say it again – we can’t do it without each and every one of you. It’s as simple as that.  The next question, of course, is:  Why? Why do you do it? Why do we all do it? We do it because it matters. It makes a difference.  We do it because we care about the mission. We are inspired by a mission to accelerate manufacturing’s ongoing transformation into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation, driving economic growth and job creation, and it’s been that way (or a variation of it) for 25 years. While I’d like to think we could do this so well that we wouldn’t be needed anymore, I expect it will be that way for at least another 25 years.

 A Salute to MEP Center staff

MEP is fulfilling its mission by harnessing the minds, the creativity, the common sense and the hard work of the people who call, or have called, themselves MEPers (or maybe MEPites, depending on where you’re from).  MEP Center staff is the best!  Your passion and dedication to the mission of helping U.S. manufacturers are unsurpassed. Some of you have been in the system almost from the beginning and I feel that deserves special recognition, so here’s to:

  • Jerry Gifford of CAMP/MAGNET – CAMP is one of the first three Centers. As of this writing, Jerry has been working in the system for 25 years. MAGNET has been around so long it’s had 3 name changes.
  • Bob Schmidt, also of CAMP/MAGNET. Bob has a member of the system since early 1990.\
  • Steve Davis of MAMTC – MAMTC is one of the second cohort of initial Centers. Steve has been with MAMTC for over 20 years.\Matt Cartwright of ITI/MMTC – MMTC is the other one of the second cohort of Centers. Matt has over 30 years with ITI, an organization that predates the MEP.
  • Dan Luria of ITI/MMTC – Dan is the #2 guy at MMTC in terms of longevity. He’s behind Matt by about a year.

A significant number of you have been recognized by various awards over the years. The MEP system clearly thinks you’re really special since they’re the ones who chose you, and we do too.

Champion of the Year. Bill Donohue (2006), Tom Palisin (2006), Bob Weinstein (2007), Judy Wlodarczyk (2008), Drew Casani (2009), Corinne Dupuy (2009), Larry Stewart (2009), Diana Simek (2010), Ray Snyder (2011), Terry Culp (2012)

Innovator of the Year. Steve Hatten (2007), Dick Krause (2007), Jack Healy (2008), Don Pital (2009), Cheryl Slobodian (2009), Al Diebert (2010), Dana Stone (2012), Katie Bell (2012)

Lifetime Achievement. Jack Crane (2010), Bob Weinstein (2011), Dale Detrick (2012)

Newcomer of the Year. Izzy Galicia (2006), Michael Honeycutt (2006), Brent Meyers (2006), Ray Bard (2007), Steve Milley (2007), Cecile Hebert (2008), Joe Sepkovich (2008), Audrey Smallwood (2008), Jim Marler (2009), Dave Thomas (2009), Barrett Walker (2009), Leigh Ann Wilson (2009), Gina Webb (2010), Robb McCann (2011), Constance Fantin (2012), Matthew Melinkovich (2012)

Practitioner of the Year. Craig Cochran (2006), Petra Mitchell (2006), Jim Handy (2007), Ed Hardison (2007), Kreg Worrest (2007), Dean Young (2007), Rex Raiford (2008), David Zeese (2008), Alan Barfoot (2009), Todd Daniels (2009), Wynn Landry (2009), Thomas Southworth (2010), Dana Stone (2010), Carly Lousteau (2011), Randy Bertram (2012), Greg Thompson (2012)

Unsung Hero of the Year. Deb Perkins (2006), CJ Smith (2006), Mary Ellen Deeds (2007), Rebecca Scherff (2007), Holly Ciecierski (2008), KeAnne Hoeg (2008), Kristin Kautz (2008), Connee Byrd (2009), Nancy Fallas (2009), Diane Lewis (2009), Harsha Prakash (2009), Becky Estes (2010), Rebecca Kane-Dow (2010), Douglas Keith (2010), Jada Freeman (2011), Amy Fitzgerald (2012), Paul Olszewski (2012), Brien Robertson (2012)

Group Unsung Hero of the Year. Margie Jensen, Deborah Nash and Stacey Scott (2006); Andrea Allison, Ron Burke, Allie Myga, Claudia Serrano and Jennifer Sinsabaugh (2009); Jan Hepola, Linda Nielsen, Greg Thomas, Glen Pence and Pat Vasatka (2010); Bruce Brown, Barry Bruns, Phil Christopherson and Rick Rothwell (2010)

Group Innovator of the Year. Roxanne Baumann, Mike Hablewitz and Mike Klonsinski (2006); Libby Allen, Mike Johnston and Karen Wan (2008); Roz Samia and Terry Weiner (2009); Bob Kill, Tom Mason and Lynn Shelton (2010); Mike Brown, Jessica Brown, Deann Desai, Randy Green, Holly Grell-Lawe, Ed Hardison, Robert Hitch, Bill Meffert and Matt Soderlund (2011); Steve Barnhart, Eric Danielson, Mary Hallock, Todd Miller, Steve Parsons, Ender Roa, Sherri Schulz, Don Shaner and Greg Thompson (2012)

Group Practitioner of the Year. Terry Cox, Dan Halverson and Mark Volesky (2007); Bill Donohue, Dick Krause, Mike Sisson and Dean Young (2008); Glenn Dennis and Clay Walden (2008); Todd Daniels, Patricia Giavara, Erick James, Ed Maier, Rich Meyer, Rick Rothwell, John Steele and Dave Thomas (2010); Larry Alford, David Apple, Alan Barfoot, Tara Barrett, Sam Darwin, Danny Duggar, Art Ford, Tim Israel, Bill Nusbaum, Elliot Price, Bill Ritsch, Tom Sammon, Paul Todd and Derek Woodham (2011); Deb Bly, Mary Connor, Jan Hepola, and Vicki Prock (2012)


These awards can’t even begin to convey the depth of our appreciation for all y’all. Your willingness and ability to work with manufacturers and for us for the good of the country is just awesome! For those of you who haven’t received an award, please know that we know we can’t accomplish the mission without your commitment, hard work, dedication and the skills needed to help manufacturers every day. Those of us who have made a career of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership do it because we’ve made the mission personal, part of our ethos.  During its 25 years of existence, the MEP mission may have altered a bit on the surface.  It’s been word-smithed and spit-shined to make sure it always puts its best foot forward, but the underlying ideal of improving the competiveness of U.S. manufacturing has been there all along and will remain a part of what we and you are.  It remains constant because of you, the people and your dedication.  Without you, there really is no mission.


"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."
—Mahatma Gandhi 

About the author

Dave Cranmer

Dave Cranmer is the former Deputy Director of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). With MEP since 1993, he has overseen extension centers, conducted research on innovation, new product and service development and deployment, supply chains, technology roadmapping, eBusiness and exporting, built a business-to-business marketing consulting practice for smaller manufacturers, established specialty consulting practices in financial access, eBusiness, technology scouting and technology-driven market intelligence (TDMI). He has also worked on the formation of technology collaboratives using TDMI and a set of business-to-business network pilot projects for the MEP System. He was previoulsy the government representative on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Devices Good Manufacturing Practice Advisory Committee.

Related posts


Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Please be respectful when posting comments. We will post all comments without editing as long as they are appropriate for a public, family friendly website, are on topic and do not contain profanity, personal attacks, misleading or false information/accusations or promote specific commercial products, services or organizations. Comments that violate our comment policy or include links to non-government organizations/web pages will not be posted.