Director Rochester Operations, Re:BuildOptimation Technology, LLC
Years in current role: 37
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy almost everything about my role. What I do is as much a hobby as it is a job. I work with one of the greatest groups of people anywhere. They have talent and they share it selflessly to make the team successful. They work long hours and make sacrifices when needed. We get to work with American manufacturing firms to rebuild the American manufacturing base. We hire young individuals into our industrial apprenticeship program and help them build careers. We hire engineers to design manufacturing plants in innovative industries. Every day is challenging and fun.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
A year ago, we were emerging from the COVID pandemic economic downturn. It was welcome relief after long months of limited opportunities, staff reductions and project delays. But there were also challenges including staffing shortages, growing inflation and supply chain disruptions causing delays in both commodity and specialized products. While we have been able to hire great additional talent and raise prices to help cover increase costs, many of these challenges continue. We don’t expect to return to pre-COVID operations any time soon, but we do feel confident that we can face each challenge and find ways to overcome them.
What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?
Before the COVID pandemic negatively impacted the economy we had planned an ownership change. COVID caused reductions in revenue and profits, making this a challenge. We extended the search time for our new parent. The results were very gratifying. Optimation was successfully acquired by Re:Build Manufacturing, a well-funded start up with a vision in total alignment to Optimation’s. We both wanted to be employee centric, develop great technology and rebuild American manufacturing. Re:Build saw the value that Optimation brought and made us part of their organization. Being part of this plan gives everyone at Optimation opportunity for an exciting future.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the technology industry over the next year?
Domestically, and globally, there is a challenge to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy as quickly as possible. At Optimation we are doing our part and are heavily engaged in the renewable energy industries including wind, solar, green hydrogen, and green hydrocarbons. We also are active in systems for fabrication of lithium batteries. It will be a long time until we are able to wean our economy off oil and gas, but there are many willing investors eager to help us and others to accelerate progress.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
I believe in community involvement and support community organizations when I can, both for the value they bring to the community as well as the opportunities they bring me to meet and engage with others. Recently I served a term on the board of WXXI as well as two terms on the Rochester Technology Manufacturers’ Association. I also serve on the board of Celebrate Family Church. I live in a small rural area, and in my town I serve as a member of the Board of Assessment Review.