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Eight New Members Added to the MEP Advisory Board

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board welcomes eight new members. The MEP Advisory Board is authorized by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (P.L. 114-329). The MEP Advisory Board consists of members broadly representing the interests and needs of the manufacturing sector and provides MEP advice and assessments on programs, plans, and policies focused on supporting and growing the U.S. manufacturing industry.  The board meets three times per year and has a minimum of 10 members.    

Eight new members were recently appointed by Acting NIST Director, Kent Rochford for three-year terms.  

LaDon Byars – President and CEO of Colonial Diversified Polymer Products, LLC of Dyersburg, Tennessee.  Colonial Diversified produces high-quality rubber products for a wide variety of industries including automotive, defense, commercial building, construction, farm equipment, aerospace, computers, medical, telecommunications, recreation, health, entertainment, plumbing, refrigeration and many more.  She started out as a financial analyst and rose to become the president of the company.  Ms. Byars is very active in the manufacturing community, has received many awards and is on the Advisory Board of the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.   

Joe Eddy –  President/CEO of Eagle Manufacturing, which produces more than 750 industrial safety and materials-handling products, many of them from high-density polyethylene. He is an advocate for regional ethane crackers that would create polyethylene. Mr. Eddy is past Chairman of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association and is Chairman of the WVMA Educational Fund Board, Vice President of the Foundation Board at West Virginia Northern Community College, on the Advisory Board at the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta College, Treasurer of the Regional Economic Development Partnership Board, on the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Charleston Industry Roundtable, on the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers, on the West Virginia Economic Development Authority Board and founded the Joseph and Debra Eddy Foundation, as well as the Joseph Eddy Technology Fund at West Virginia Northern Community College.

Gary Groleau – Corporate Manager of Labor Relations & Organizational Development for New Hampshire Ball Bearings (NHBB), a subsidiary of global manufacturer MinebeaMitsumi Inc. headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. NHBB has 1500+ employees and three US manufacturing plants, each producing a diverse range of ultra-precision aerospace and instrumentation products. Mr. Groleau inspires progressive approaches to Collective Bargaining, Workforce Development, Employee Training, Performance Management, Leadership Development and is a tireless advocate in promoting career opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology.  Mr. Groleau is also a member of the New Hampshire MEP Advisory Council.

Mary Isbister – President of GenMet Corporation., a custom metal fabricating company located in Mequon, Wisconsin.  After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science degree in chemistry, she worked at Pfizer, in Groton, CT for 11 years.  During her tenure at Pfizer she held positions in medicinal chemistry, clinical research, and senior organizational development. In 1997 she moved to Wisconsin and founded Synergy Solutions an organizational development and strategic planning consulting business which she ran until 2001.  In 1999 Ms. Isbister and her husband purchased GenMet Corp a custom manufacturer specializing in high value added metal fabrications and enclosures. From 2010 – 2014, Ms. Isbister also served on the U.S. Manufacturing Council reporting to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Mitch Magee – Director of Engineering for PPG’s Architectural Coatings business unit, the consumer paints business of PPG, with over 35 manufacturing plants and distribution centers in North America.  He has over 30 years of manufacturing experience, having served in a number of capacities from front line plant operations to global quality and EHS roles in PPG’s automotive, industrial and food and beverage package coatings business units.  Mr. Magee is also actively engaged in workforce development as the past Chair of the Delaware Manufacturing Association and the development of Delaware’s first Pathways to Prosperity high school manufacturing technology program.  This program was developed in conjunction with Governor Markell’s administration, Delaware Technical and Community College and local high schools. 

Matthew Newman – Director of Business Management for Covanta.  He joined Covanta in 2008 and has over 25 years of experience in the energy industry, which includes renewable energy, natural gas, exploration and production, electricity generation, asset optimization, risk management and public relations.  In his current position, Mr. Newman is responsible for all business matters pertaining to the financial management and public affairs initiatives of the Covanta Tulsa Renewable energy facility located in Tulsa, OK.  In addition, Mr. Newman plays an integral role in advancing Covanta’s corporate programs for the company’s extensive fleet of Energy from Waste facilities across the United States.

Chris Weiser – Owner and President of J.V. Manufacturing, Inc.  Since 1978 J.V. Manufacturing has provided the best equipment solutions for America’s waste and recycling needs.  J.V. Manufacturing provides safe, quality products made in the USA.  Known for their excellent customer service which has made Cram-A-Lot one of the most respected brands in the industry, J.V. Manufacturing has over 200 employees, 2 manufacturing locations, and 3 remote service locations. Upon graduating from the University of Arkansas, Chris moved to Louisiana and worked for Freeport-McMoRan, a minerals and oil and gas producing company.  In 1985 he moved back to Arkansas to help his family run J.V. Manufacturing, Inc.  Since 1996 Chris has been President, CEO and owner of the company.  Chris is passionate about the waste and recycling industry and about service to his community.

Jim Wright – Vice President of Operations for Proof Research located in Columbia Falls, Montana. Proof Research is an industry leader that designs and manufactures state-of-the-art carbon fiber composite firearms for both military and commercial applications.  Jim has 25+ years of experience in manufacturing engineering and production management across the aerospace, automotive, semi-conductor and firearms industries.  His experience includes working for a diverse range of organizations from corporations such as McDonnell Douglas, Peterbilt Motors Co, and Applied Materials to medium-sized and start-up companies -  Semsysco (Salzburg, Austria), Semitool and Proof Research.  He holds a B.S and M.B.A from Southern Illinois University and was a member of the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center advisory board for 6 years, serving in both the Vice President and President roles. He is active in the local community and serves on the Board of Directors for the Kalispell City Chamber of Commerce.  

The next MEP Advisory Board meeting will be held in Denver, Colorado April 30, 2017. Visit the MEP Advisory Board website for more information on the committee.

Released March 23, 2017