Involta Manufacturing Advisory Board

Involta Manufacturing Advisory Board

Involta knows manufacturing and technology go hand in hand – and with the right technology in place, manufacturing leaders can increase productivity, reduce downtime, and drive efficiencies at every level. The Involta Manufacturing Advisory Board is designed to help realize this vision, further identify IT needs for industry-wide business innovation, and scale best practices.

About the Board

The Involta Manufacturing Advisory Board brings top manufacturing executives and honored guests from across the U.S. together to drive innovation in both technology and manufacturing. Each year, the Board gathers to discuss current information technology industry trends and how continued digital transformation can advance the manufacturing industry.

Involta asks board members and industry thought leaders to act as strategic advisors for key Involta manufacturing initiatives. This helps ensure Involta can continue to provide valuable and reliable services to improve manufacturing operations. Drawing upon the group’s knowledge, expertise, substantial business experience and insight into the manufacturing industry’s continued evolution is critical to Involta’s vision and overall success.

When the country’s top leaders come together, incredible things happen. Involta looks forward to the continued partnership and camaraderie among our board members and esteemed industry-leading guests for years to come.

 

Involta Manufacturing Advisory Board Members

Michelle Bates

Chief Executive Officer, SkyPrairie Inc.

Coralville, IA

Michelle Bates, Founder and CEO of SkyPrairie Inc., is a transformational business and technology executive with more than twenty-five years of experience across multiple industries and market segments. In 2020 she was named CIO of the Year by the Technology Association of Iowa.

An accountant by trade, who took a left turn into technology, she is passionate about leveraging technology to drive business outcomes and innovation to achieve strategic and operational results. Today, Michelle provides Executive and Start-up Consulting, Advisory Services and Business Development to drive organizational growth and transformation. She also serves as the Executive in Residence for the Technology Association. 

Michelle is the former Chief Innovation Officer for Involta, an award winning Cloud and Managed Service provider where she was responsible for Involta’s Consulting practice, Enterprise Architecture, Core Business Systems and Cloud Services across
the US.

Prior to joining Involta she was the Founder and CEO of the IT cloud consulting firm, BluPrairie Technologies. She rapidly grew the firm and exceeded revenue and growth targets resulting in a successful exit and acquisition by Involta in 2018. She also held the position of Director of IT Architecture Services at Collins Aerospace, where she was responsible for driving the Global Cloud Strategy. Throughout her career, Michelle has had extensive experience working with cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft.

Michelle has a strong commitment to her community and is engaged in philanthropic work and supports the LGBTQ+ Clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, One Iowa, Shelter House and the Englert. In addition she coaches and mentors students at the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and regularly mentors women in technology and business.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of
Houston-Clear Lake.

Jeff Chenevey

IT and Digital Services Leader, Vitamix

Cleveland, OH

Jeff Chenevey leads Global Information Technology and Digital Services at Vitamix in Cleveland, where he has been employed since 2015.  As a member of the Vitamix Leadership Council (VLC), Jeff is responsible for driving the overall IT & Digital strategy as the company continues to grow and become even more direct to consumer focused.  Prior to Vitamix, Jeff was a Partner / Managing Director at Accenture for 23 years, followed by founding his own consulting firm.  Jeff has a variety of experiences helping companies and government agencies improve the way they work, leading large transformational efforts at NASA, USDA, US Army, Freeport McMoran, Devon Energy, US Navy, Yamana Gold and Rio Tinto, amongst many other companies in different industries.

Chenevey is a graduate of the University of Mount Union, where he serves on the Business Advisory Council (BAC).  Jeff also serves as a mentor at Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve, Vice Chair of Ohio Boys Town and also Treasurer and Board Member of his local church.

Chad DuMars

Vice President of Operations, Lake Assault Boats, LLC

Superior, WI

Chad DuMars serves as the Vice President of Operations for Lake Assault Boats, LLC of Superior Wisconsin. Chad has spent his life in and around the water. As a 3rd Generation shipyard worker, the maritime industry is not just a carrier path but is rather in his DNA.  With more than 20 years of experience and the successful completion of more than 200 + new construction projects in steel commercial passenger vessels, aluminum mega yachts, and highly customized performance tactical craft.  Chad joined Lake Assault Boats in 2010 where his 20+ years of experience help guide all aspects of the day-to-day operations.  Chad's diverse background in maritime design and manufacturing has helped Lake Assault Boats grow to be one of the leading boat builders for Fire Rescue, Law Enforcement, and Military customers all around the world.  Chad resides in Duluth, Minnesota with his wife and (3) kids where they enjoy golfing, hunting, and of course spending time on the water either fishing or just relaxing.

Kathryn Freytag

Chief Information Officer, iFit

Kathryn Freytag is the Chief Information Officer for iFit, an interactive workout app.

Kathryn previously served as the Vice President and CIO at Donaldson Company. She joined the company in January 2017, bringing more than 20 years of experience with Fortune 100 companies leading global IT organizations and delivering strategic technology initiatives. Prior to Donaldson, she spent six years with Honeywell International, where she was VP and CIO for Building Solutions and then Enterprise Systems & Solutions. Kathryn also held technology leadership positions at Stratasys, Medica, American Express, and Wells Fargo & Company. Kathryn has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iona College and an MBA in information systems from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. She chairs the governing body of Minneapolis CIO Executive Summit; sits on the Hennepin County IT Advisory Board; and serves on the Board of Directors for NuWay and WithAll.

Troy Fridley

Senior Vice President, Information Technology, Kent Corporation

Muscatine, IA

Troy Fridley serves as the Senior Vice President, Information Technology for Kent Corporation. He is responsible for leading the business process design and technology vision/strategies for Kent Corporation's portfolio of operating companies. Before joining Kent in 2011, Troy served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Process Design for Bridgestone Americas, as well as in multiple roles at Bandag Incorporated. Troy serves on multiple Board of Directors and is a member of several CIO and Manufacturing boards and associations. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa, and his MBA from St. Ambrose University.

Rick Hawkins

Senior Director, Information Technology, TimkenSteel Corporation

Canton, OH

Richard E. (Rick) Hawkins is Sr. Director Information Technology for the TimkenSteel Corporation.

In this role Rick is responsible for directing the development and execution of the company’s information and operational technology strategy as well as the tactical and operational aspects of the IT function.

Rick started his career with The Timken Company in 2005 managing the telecommunications function.  He subsequently held director level roles in IT managing infrastructure; application development & support; and in Supply Chain managing business process development.  He led the IT work stream when Timken spun off the steel business into what became TimkenSteel and then assumed his current role.  He is currently leading a transformation project focused aligning the company’s IT strategy with a revise company mission and strategic imperatives.

Prior to joining Timken/TimkenSteel he spent 12 years with Avery Dennison in various IT management and support roles.

He earned his MBA at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and holds a BBA from Harding University.

Rick currently serves as president of the board of  directors for Stark County TASK and secretary of the board director for Vantage Aging.  He has previously served on the Dean’s Advisory Council and the CITe Advisory Board at the University of Akron and as a member of the Stark County Broadband Task Force.

John Kehoe

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Xylem, Inc.

Rye Brook, New York

John Kehoe was named Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Xylem in September 2018.  Reporting to Xylem President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Decker, he leads the Company's global information technology organization and global shared service teams. Xylem is a leading producer of global water and water technology solutions.

Prior to Xylem, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Valmont Industries and was a senior IT executive at Rockwell Collins, where he managed a wide portfolio of global enterprise services.

Earlier in John’s career, he held senior leadership roles at L-3 Vertex Aerospace and at Raytheon Aircraft.  John served in the U.S. Air Force in multiple roles and countries, including the first Gulf War conflict.

John received his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems at Friend University in Wichita, Kansas and his Master of Business Administration from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Tisa Mullis

Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Babcock & Wilcox, Inc.

Tisa Mullis, Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Babcock & Wilcox, Inc. is an experienced, results-focused transformational leader who has demonstrated strong business acumen with commitment to collaborative, complex problem solving, customer service, and the ability to build effective and high-performing teams. Since joining B&W Inc., she has transformed and centralized IT Operations in North East Ohio and is current leading the department through additional and significant transformational efforts across the entire portfolio. Tisa joined B&W in 2017 as Senior Director, IT Business Services, after serving in several progressively more responsible IT leadership roles during 20 years with Belk Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Winthrop University, and holds Six Sigma Green and Black Belt certifications from NC State University.

Sherry Neubert

Chief Information Officer, Goodyear

Akron, OH

Sherry Neubert is the Chief Information Officer and the Vice President of Information Technology at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, where she has been employed since 2002. 

Sherry has worked in Operations and IT-related positions for 25 years.  She began her career with Goodyear in the Enterprise Data Warehouse leading the Business Intelligence team, and during her tenure she has held various positions in IT and Project Management. Sherry is passionate about data and analytics and especially interested in understanding the role artificial intelligence will have in the workplace of the future.

A native of Akron, Sherry was educated in the Akron Public Schools and graduated from North High School, and through her work and education she has traveled all over the world and lived in both the U.S. and Europe.

Sherry holds a Bachelor of Science in Management of Information Systems from The University of Akron, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, and a Masters in Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.  She is a certified PMP and a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Sherry is a graduate of Leadership Akron’s Class of XXVII.  She received the Greater Akron Chamber’s “30 for the Future” Award in 2011, the Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Akron College of Business in 2017, the Case Weatherhead Outstanding Alumni Award in 2018, and the Athena Leadership Award in 2018.

She actively coaches and mentors individuals both inside of Goodyear and in the Akron community.

Sherry’s community interests are mainly in the areas of the economic empowerment of women, STEM education, and diversity in tech.  She is the Chair of the Leadership Akron Board, serves on both the LeBron James Family Foundation Community Advisory Board and the Corporate Visiting Committee for Case Western Reserve University, and she is the immediate past President of the Women's Endowment Fund, a fund of the Akron Community Foundation.

Himanshu Parikh

Vice President, Manufacturing Operations, Roche Tissues Diagnostics (Ventana Medical Systems)

Tucson, AZ

Himanshu Parikh is Vice President of Manufacturing Operations at Roche Tissues Diagnostics (Ventana Medical Systems) in Tucson, AZ. He is responsible for managing manufacturing andoperations for Tucson and Pleasanton, CA (Spring BioScience) sites. He has over 20+ years of experience in running manufacturing operations of various diagnostics & biotechnology companies like Digene Corp., PerkinElmer life Sciences and Becton & Dickinson. He earned his Ph.D. from M.S. University in India and MBA from University of Maryland.

Besides running manufacturing operations, Himanshu is very passionate about implementing continuous improvement tools to improve operational efficiencies and leading manufacturing through digital transformation. He is a certified Six Sigma black belt.

Ryan Schaap

Chief Information Officer, Wells Enterprises

Ryan Schaap joined Wells Enterprises in March 2015 as the VP IT & CIO, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in technology roles, cybersecurity, and leading merger and acquisition integrations. 

Prior to Wells, Ryan spent the majority of his career working in the energy industry. He worked for MidAmerican Energy and Berkshire Hathaway Energy for more than 18 years and served as their VP-IT leading a team of IT professionals from across the state of Iowa. While leading IT, he led IT merger/acquisition activities for multiple wind, solar and other utility-specific projects, including the purchase and integration of NV Energy.

In his current role as CIO at Wells, he is charged with developing strategic plans for technology and systems to support the business. Ryan also serves as the senior business leader on teams that drive the company’s efforts related to eCommerce and acquisition integrations.

Ryan currently serves on several community boards, including membership on the board of directors for the Technology Association of Iowa where he is a past Board Chair. Ryan is also the Deputy member representative for Wells Enterprises on the Iowa Business Council. Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Brian Schlif

Vice President, Information Technology, Avient Corporation

Avon Lake, OH

Brian Schlif is Vice President of Information Technology at Avient Corporation (NYSE:POL), the global leader in specialized polymer materials, solutions and services. He joined Avient, formerly PolyOne, in 2001 after beginning his career at Accenture. In his current role, Brian oversees Avient’s Global IT Strategy looking for ways to deliver technology solutions to conduct and improve business by collaborating across Avient, our supply chain, and global customer base.

Prior to Accenture, Brian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University.

He currently serves as a member of GCPTec’s Board of Advisors. Hobbies include Taekwondo (Second Degree Black Belt) and competitive swimming.

Brian Sloan

Chief Executive Officer, Sloan Lubrication Systems

Brian has a unique blend of management skills, finance and operations experience. As Sloan Lubrication Systems’ Chief Executive Officer he positions the company for continued growth while maintaining the commitment of a family business whose name denotes four generations of dedication and knowledge.

He began his career at Sloan Lubrication in 2008 as their VP of Sales & Marketing and later transitioned to Chief Operating Officer, a role he held from 2012-2014. He was named Chief Financial Officer during a company-wide reorganizational process in 2014, and ultimately took over as Chief Executive Officer at the culmination of Sloan’s multi-year 3rd to 4th generation transition plan at the end of 2018.

Brian graduated from Kenyon College in 2008 with a degree in American Studies. He continued his education as an Entrepreneurial Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 2011, where he is still active in the Entrepreneurial Peer Forum Program. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh.

He is committed to reframing and streamlining Sloan Lubrication’s business process, delineating clearly defined roles in every operational aspect, and delivering the products, services, and experience their customers have come to know and expect over Sloan’s first 98 years. Sloan will celebrate 100 years in business in 2022, and Brian hopes to help set the company on a strong growth course for its second century!

Involta Manufacturing Advisory Board - Previous Members and Honored Guests

Matt Banowetz

Former Senior Vice President, Engineering and Production Services, Marion Process Solutions

Matt Banowetz was the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Production Services at Marion Process Solutions, a premier manufacturer of custom blending and process solutions.  He joined Marion in 2015 after beginning his career at ESP International.  In his current role, Matt oversaw Marion’s production, supply chain, engineering and product development efforts.  Matt was the leader of the operational excellence initiative at Marion, which is their strategic mantra and vision to implement a self-sustaining business system that auto-corrects without management interference.

Matt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Iowa and a Master of Business Administration through the executive program at the University of Iowa.

Hobbies include travel, finish carpentry, wood working, remodeling, and trying to be as good a golfer as my kids.

Dave Benson

Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces/Loll Designs

Duluth, MN

Dave Benson is the co-founder and chief financial officer of Epicurean, located in Superior, WI, as well as its sister company, Loll Designs, located in West Duluth. Benson brings over twenty years of knowledge and experience in product development and manufacturing, marketing and business development to the Board of Directors. He was invited as U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s special guest at President Obama’s State of the Union address in 2010, where he was held up as a positive example of a successful, local small manufacturing business.  Born and raised in Minnesota he enjoys many different outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and two kids.

Aaron Muhl

President, Toward Zero

Toward Zero President Aaron Muhl co-founded the company in 2015 with the belief that dialing in technology, process and culture is key to helping manufacturing companies thrive. With over 25 years' industry experience, Aaron has built a network of resources to help companies understand the opportunities available with select technology, implementation and change management. Aaron’s extensive background in management, manufacturing technology and systems architecture has also helped him drive enterprise communication standards for manufacturing, as a voting member of ISA-95 for over 12 years.

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