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Manufacturing Champions

The 2020 Manufacturing Champions Announced

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The Council of Industry is proud to announce the 2020 Manufacturing Champions. These are individuals and an organization, who through vision, dedication, hard work, and tireless involvement have helped to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers in the Hudson Valley community and in so doing they have made it possible for manufacturers and their employees to prosper. This year’s honorees are:

Private Sector Champion: John Waldron,  IBM System Supply Chain- Poughkeepsie Manufacturing Plant Manager
John Waldron’s career at IBM has spanned over 35 years. His experience within the Supply Chain consists of several roles, including leading Planning, New Product Development, Supply Assurance, and Marketing Brand Advocates. This served as a foundation for his current role as Plant Manager for IBM’s flagship product, the System-Z Mainframe. His impact for IBM’s financial success is significant, but equally as important, the influence on the employees and teams he manages is even more substantial. John has developed active recruiting relationships with Dutchess Community College to connect students with IBM Blue Collar initiatives, resulting in many graduates starting an exciting career at IBM. He cultivates and participates in the local P-Tech programs in Newburgh and Kingston. He takes time to visit the classroom to share perspectives. In addition to his career, John maintains a strong desire for developing a sense of community. A major focus of his time at work consists of stimulating employee engagement. He does this by encouraging a ‘friends and family’ culture, where the organization builds relationships, but also focus on community-related objectives.

Public Sector Champion: Lieutenant Governor Hochul
Lt. Governor Hochul is Chair of the State’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils that are transforming the state’s economy by building upon regional strengths through long-term strategic plans. The Councils include leaders from academia, business, labor and not-for-profits and, to date, have invested over $6.1 billion into more than 7,300 projects across the State. The Lieutenant Governor also chairs the State Workforce Investment Board, addressing a major concern of manufacturers – the lack of skilled workers.

Organization Champion: Crystal Run Village Inc. (CRVI)
Crystal Run Village Inc. (CRVI) connects disabled people that want to learn and work with manufacturers that need committed and engaged employees. CRVI is a non-profit organization that raises, manages and distributes funds for the purpose of improving the lives of individuals with developmental and other disabilities. CRVI is committed to providing services for the integration and empowerment of people with disabilities. Their goal is to become the provider of choice for people who need our services and the employer of choice for those who want to work with the people they support. In addition to residential services, the agency offers Vocational and Skill Development Programs, Service Coordination, Respite House and Community Habilitation. As part of the Vocational and Skills Development Program, CRVI has been able to connect disabled individuals with manufacturing companies,

Educator Champion: Dr. Charles Khoury, Superintendent, Ulster BOCES
Dr. Khoury is a passionate advocate for career and technical education and for fostering innovation in education. In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer, he is the New York State Education Commissioner’s representative in the field, the major liaison between local districts and the State Education Department, as well as the spokesperson for regional education issues. Working closely with his administrative team, including Dr. Jonah Schenker, Deputy Superintendent, and Allison Dodd, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, Dr. Khoury oversees collaborative opportunities for districts to increase their capacity, provide support, and create possibilities for students to meet the changing requirements for graduation.

The Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast is tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 22, 2020, from 7:30 am – 9:30 am at The Powelton Club in Newburgh, NY. In light of current circumstances, we will keep you informed as the date approaches if we need to cancel or alter the format. You can view past Manufacturing Champions here.

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Manufacturing Champions Honored at Council of Industry Award Breakfast

 

Pictured above: 2019 Manufacturing Champions (from left to right): Bryan Van Vliet, Robb Engle, Sonja Brown and Meghan Taylor

Each year the Council of Industry, the manufacturing association of the Hudson Valley, recognizes the individuals and organizations, who through vision, dedication, hard work, and tireless involvement have helped to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers in the Hudson Valley community making it possible for manufacturers and their employees to prosper. On Friday, May 17th, the Council honored the 2019 Manufacturing Champions at a breakfast held at the Powelton Club in Newburgh, NY. The Council of Industry was proud to honor Meghan Taylor, Director of the Mid-Hudson Region at the Empire State Development Corporation for the public sector;  Robb Engle, Vice President of Engineering at Sono-Tek Corporation for the private sector; Bryan Van Vliet, technology teacher at Saugerties High School as the educator champion; and the organizational award went to the Workforce Development Institute (WDI).

This is the twelfth year the Council of Industry has held the Manufacturing Champion Awards and several past Champions were in attendance at the sold-out event. In addition to manufacturers and associate members, students and officials from the Saugerties School district were on hand to celebrate Bryan Van Vliet, the educator champion. There was a record crowd of 190 attendees there to honor the award recipients. The crowd was moved by the speeches and enthusiasm of the champions, making it obvious as to why they were chosen.

The private sector champion, Meghan Taylor, was introduced by the Operations Manager of Middletown’s Pratt & Whitney Advanced Coating Technologies, John Yelle. Meghan has been responsible for guiding and managing ESD’s Mid-Hudson Regional Office and Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative within the seven County Region. She secures state investments that leverage significant private investment for a variety of projects that contribute to economic growth and job creation in the Mid-Hudson region. Meghan has paid particular attention to the Region’s manufacturers ensuring that advanced manufacturing is a priority industry for the REDC and working to bring resources to bear to assist their growth and expansion. Meghan has over a decade of leadership experience in economic development. Prior to joining ESD, she served as President of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation and Director of Business Attraction at the Orange County Partnership. Meghan holds a Master of Business Administration from Mount Saint Mary College and a Bachelor of Finance from SUNY Binghamton.

Steve Harshbarger, President of Sono-Tek Corporation introduced Robb Engle who accepted the private sector award. Robb created the Sono-Tek Service Department and led the development of key products in his leadership role of Sono-Tek’s engineering resources. Robb has recently been at the forefront of implanting an automated, software driven system that autonomously creates and prioritizes work orders for every workstation on the manufacturing floor. This system has increased the accuracy and efficiency of every work center by 10-20% and eliminated 10-20 hours per week of work order processing and another 20-40 hours per week of sales order product analysis. In addition, Robb has spent many years volunteering his time at SUNY New Paltz, Marlboro, and other local High schools and with the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy. Rob has been a mentor to the next generation workforce and helped guide many students on their path towards STEM careers.

The educator champion award was presented to Bryan Van Vliet by President of Elna Magnetics, Joe Ferraro. Bryan has developed programs for his technology students that are not only interesting and educational but prepare them for the future workforce. He has arranged plant tours at local manufacturing facilities, and he includes a diverse set of projects that vary from gardening to 3D printing to writing computer programs to control a trackless train. He has also coached teams in VEX robotics and SeaPerch at both junior and senior high levels. This is his fourth year teaching at Saugerties Junior-Senior High School, and he currently teaches Tech 8, Advanced Manufacturing & 3D Printing, and Computer Aided Design.  Bryan’s two high school classes are offered through SUNY Ulster (he is a Collegian Instructor) where students receive up to nine college credits for CAD 101, 102 and 103.

The Workforce Development Institute is the organization champion for their work in identifying targeted strategies that address workforce development opportunities and challenges. These strategies can include partnerships, training and/or funding. Their strength is their ability to identify trends, quickly fill gaps not covered by other programs, and then move successful programs throughout the state. Manufacturing companies are retooling/retrenching and making investments in product innovation, equipment, facilities, and the workforce. WDI believes a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to grow the rest of the economy and they’re interested in seeing the new jobs of manufacturing – with solid wages and career trajectories – come to NYS. That award was presented by Council of Industry President Harold King.

This event was made possible by generous sponsorships from Central Hudson; Global Foundries; The Chazen Companies; Viking Industries; The Affinity Group; Elna Magnetics; and Allendale Machinery Systems. The next event on the Council calendar is our Annual Golf Outing on August 26 which will also be held at the Powelton Club. For details or to become a sponsor go to www.councilofindustry.org/event-seminar/golf-outing/

The Chazen Companies, Elna Magnetics, Viking Industries, Central Hudson, Allendal Machinery Systems, The Affinity Group, Global Foundries

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The 2019 Manufacturing Champions to be Honored at Awards Breakfast on May 17

2018 Mfg Champions

The Council of Industry will hold it’s annual Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast on Friday, May 17th at the Powelton Club to honor this year’s winners. The Manufacturing Champion Awards recognize individuals and organizations who have worked to strengthen and build the manufacturing sector in the Hudson Valley community. These individuals and organization have through vision, dedication, and hard work helped to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers in the Hudson Valley community and in so doing they have made it possible for manufacturers and their employees to prosper. This year’s Champions are:

Private Sector Champion: Robb Engle, Vice President Engineering, Sono-Tek Corporation

A longtime employee and leader at Sono-Tek Corporation, Robb has recently been at the forefront of implanting an automated, software driven system that autonomously creates and prioritizes work orders for every work station on the manufacturing floor. This system has increased the accuracy and efficiency of every work center by 10-20% and eliminated 10 -20 hours per week of work order processing and another 20 -40 hours per week of sales order product analysis. In addition, Robb has spent many years volunteering his time at SUNY New Paltz, Marlboro, and other local High schools and with the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy. Rob has been a mentor to the next generation workforce and helped guide many students on their path towards STEM careers.

 

Public Sector Champion: Meghan Taylor, Director Mid-Hudson Region, Empire State Development Corporation

A Hudson Valley native Meghan has been responsible for guiding and managing ESD’s Mid-Hudson Regional Office and Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative within the seven County Region. The Mid-Hudson Regional Office works hand-in-hand with new and existing businesses to help identify program funding to support business growth and expansion. Meghan has paid particular attention to the Region’s manufacturers ensuring that advanced manufacturing is a priority industry for the REDC and working to bring resources to bear to assist their growth and expansion. Under her leadership, the Mid-Hudson Economic Development Council has secured over $258 million to fund 327 projects. In addition to the success the region has had through the CFA Process, she has also been instrumental in attracting and retaining many companies in the region outside of that process.

 

Organization Champion: Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) is a statewide non-profit organization that works to grow and keep good jobs in NYS. They use a range of tools — including ground level information, workforce expertise, and funding — to facilitate projects that build skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire and promote workers. This often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations with businesses, unions, other non-profits, educational institutions, and government. Manufacturing companies are retooling/retrenching and making investments in product innovation, equipment, facilities, and the workforce. WDI believes a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to grow the of the rest of the economy.

 

Education Sector Individual Champion: Bryan Van Vliet, Saugerties High School Technology Teacher

Bryan has developed programs for his technology students at Saugerties High School that are not only interesting and educational but prepare them for the future workforce. He has arranged plant tours at local manufacturing facilities so students can see the practical application of their education. He includes a diverse set of projects that vary from gardening to 3D printing to writing computer programs to control a trackless train.

You are invited to celebrate the winners at the Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast on Friday, May 17th, from 7:30 – 9:30 am at the Powelton Club in Newburgh. Seats are $35 a person or $325 for a table of ten. Register to attend.

Please consider becoming a sponsor or placing an ad in the event program. For more information click here. Sponsors make this event possible and we would like to thank the following:

Supporting Sponsors:

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