As one of CIRAS’ chief points of contact, you’ve been inside hundreds of business over the past several years. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen happen in an Iowa company?
In general, I see a growing interest in utilizing technology to improve current products and/or services, provide new products and services and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. One change I’m very proud of is a company that formed a new business unit to utilize metal 3D-printed mold inserts for injection mold tooling. This is a new concept within metal 3D printing technology, and we already have an Iowa company that is utilizing it and being successful. They have already expanded and have plans to hire additional employees. I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life and will always do whatever I can to help improve the state’s economy.
Tell me what a client should expect the first time that you meet with them.
My first priority is to listen and understand why they are asking for support. I then look to understand the cause of their problem and discern which solutions will potentially benefit the organization the most.
A client can expect very open and candid feedback with options and alternate views. My goal is to ensure the client has the best information available to make informed business decisions.
How many miles do you drive in a given year?
I actually have not tracked this, since it is determined by what the client needs. However, if I had to make a guess, it would be around 10,000 miles.
What was your first job?
My first job was in a plant that produced transmissions for clothes washers, where I supervised more than 40 people on the production floor. I was responsible for final and sub-assembly production, heat treating, shipping, quality and inventory. It was a tough job, but it helped me grow my “manufacturing legs” quickly.
How much time did you spend in the private sector before coming to ISU?
I worked in industry for more than 26 years in production, materials, purchasing, quality and product research and development. I had the opportunity to work in many different countries and in hundreds of factories.
If you could wave your magic wand and change one thing for Iowa manufacturers, what would it be?
I would ensure that every company has a strategic plan to provide current and future customers with products and/or services which exceed expectations. Customers’ needs change over time and companies need to be agile in avoiding competition.