Staff and Board

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Manufacturers need quick access to current information and proven resources for wide-ranging needs.  The VMEC Team has decades of combined, hands-on experience in all aspects of manufacturing and enterprise growth. And when necessary, we have ready access and established relationships with State of Vermont and private resources, plus more than 1,300 NIST MEP National Network consultants and numerous other resources across the nation through VMEC’s longstanding affiliation with its federal stakeholder partner, the Hollings National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Companies can also access a wealth of valuable information and resources through the VMEC website, newsletters, events, certification programs and connections to numerous local, regional and national resources.

(802) 279-6103
[email protected]

Patricia was appointed to the position of Interim Director and CEO effective July 1, 2021.

Patricia served as VMEC’s Assistant Director for 12 years with leadership roles in VMEC’s strategic planning, new business development opportunities, stakeholder and partnership relationships, and services portfolio development and delivery including growth services and technology acceleration.  Most recently this has included coordinating VMEC’s Cybersecurity service offerings and introducing Industry 4.0 technologies through partnerships with the New England Regional Defense Initiative Collaborative (NERDIC) including the New England MEP centers; and the MEP National Network.

Patricia is highly respected and recognized for her pioneering work as a certified Innovation Engineering Black Belt (2012).   She was part of the Innovation Engineering development team working with the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and Eureka! Ranch to develop and improve Innovation Engineering tools and systems to help small manufacturers accelerate innovation and growth.

Patricia has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has worked at several major manufacturing sites in industries including paper, glass & ceramics, and telecommunications.  During her 21 years of manufacturing experience prior to joining VMEC, she held manufacturing and leadership positions as a Process Engineer, Quality Manager, Engineering Manager, and as Plant Manager at one of Corning Incorporated’s optical communications plants. 

Patricia lives in East Montpelier and enjoys outdoor activities and contra dancing.

Office: (802) 728-1568 / Cell: (802) 793-0919
[email protected]

Rebecca is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Masters degree in Leadership from Franklin Pierce College. She has worked with manufacturing companies since 1986 and has been the financial support both internally as Controller and externally as a consultant, auditor and tax advisor. Rebecca joined VMEC in April 2002 and works out of the main office in Randolph Center.

(802) 299-1456
[email protected]

In July 2012, Lisa returned to VMEC, having previously worked for us from November 1996 – June 2009. With over 35 years of practical experience in the manufacturing and professional services industry, she has held positions in technical sales and service, strategic planning, quality management and project management and most recently as Director of Manufacturing at the King Arthur Flour Company. Lisa has worked broadly across enterprises from the shop floor to the executive boardroom, coaching and facilitating organizational transformations in continuous improvement. Lisa’s broad skills and experiences integrate throughout industry sectors with experiences in Healthcare, Higher Education, Government as well as Manufacturing. She is working with Vermont companies to implement an Innovation Engineering Management System; as a pioneer of the practice, in early 2014, Lisa became the fourth VMEC Team Member to be certified as an Innovation Engineering Black Belt.

When she is not working with clients, Lisa can be found outdoors enjoying the beauty our region has to offer with her husband, Chris.

(802) 793-2078
[email protected]

Robynn has over 30 years of hands-on experience in the areas of communications, marketing, event management and public relations. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Communication Arts/Public Relations from SUNY Plattsburgh as well as an Associate Degree in Business from Champlain College.

Robynn’s past work experience has included positions with the Plattsburgh & Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, Assistant Marketing Director with the NYS Department of Economic Development, Director of Special Events for the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC), Trade Show and Training Coordinator for Blodgett Corporation and Community Relations Specialist for TD Banknorth.

Robynn left her position with TD Banknorth in 2005 to create her own successful residential cleaning business that she managed until July 2009 when she joined the VMEC Team as Marketing & Training Manager. She resides in Essex Junction and outside of work, enjoys biking, snowshoeing, hiking and traveling.

(802) 498-7711
[email protected]

Anne has worked with VMEC for nearly 15 years in an administrative capacity. She earned her Associates degree in Business Management and Technology in 2016 from VTC. Prior to working with VMEC, she was employed by BCBSVT for 14 years in the claims and project management departments. She worked for Merchants Bank as a teller, head teller, and assistant manager and co-owned a business for 12 years.

She lives in New Hampshire and prior to there, lived in Northfield where she raised her 4 children and spent thousands of hours traveling the state for hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, and softball.  Anne’s passions include creating stained glass pieces, mosaics, landscaping, and traveling to see her children and grandchildren.

(802) 734-1227
[email protected]

Carla C. Wuthrich joined the VMEC team after 25 years of experience at IBM and GlobalFoundries in technical, managerial and transformational roles. Over 10 years while at IBM, she led and aligned the Strategy Deployment processes, Leadership Development and continuous improvement efforts for the IBM Microelectronics Division, reaching over 3 sites and 5,000 employees. Areas of direct influence included manufacturing engineering and operations, development, characterization and test, quality management systems, finance, supply chain and value stream management. At GlobalFoundries, Carla became the Value Stream Program Manager for semiconductor modules, managing the daily to annual processes to exceed on-time delivery, revenue and inventory objectives.       

Carla is equally energized when facilitating and coaching the executive suite through to the front lines, in production and non-production environments.  Using end-to-end, strategic thinking and data, she partners one-on-one with leaders and their teams to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and mindsets that can sustain a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, while working on the challenges and opportunities that matter today.

Carla has a diversity of training and experience in Materials Science (Cornell University (BS) & Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Lean / Continuous Improvement systems (IBM/LSSBB, VMEC, LEI) and ballet (American Ballet Company, School of American Ballet and currently a choreographer for Vermont Ballet Theater). Carla is an amalgamation of ‘big picture thinker’ and problem solver, system designer and manager, engineer and artist. While she is profoundly energized by her work, she also is called to share music, a meal or a quick hike with her family and friends.

(802) 274-1407
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Phil has been helping manufacturing businesses improve and grow since earning an engineering degree in 1990.  Starting as an engineer visiting customers to solve problems and introduce new products led to roles in sales and business development.  After completing an MBA, he moved into management and held positions as a Technical Director developing electronics and engineering solutions and was a Plant Manager in two different locations.

Along the way he has implemented lean transformations, ISO certifications and business development systems. This includes experience at both small and large companies in industries including papermaking, nonwovens, electrical insulation, electronics and metal fabrication. He brings a diverse background and a track record of successes, whether on the shop floor or working with the leadership team.

When not working, he can be found with his family in the Northeast Kingdom, hiking, biking or skiing.

(802) 373-3537
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A problem solver by nature, Chris has been helping product development and manufacturing companies overcome challenges throughout his career. He has been instrumental in developing new products and implementing manufacturing technology as well as working in regulated industries including defense, medical device and FDA. Chris brings a thorough understanding of quality management systems, design controls and good manufacturing practices. He joins VMEC to assist companies with Industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing technologies to increase growth and competitive advantage.

Chris has collaborated with engineers and businesses on a portfolio of products including in vitro diagnostics, medical devices, surgical instruments as well as electro-mechanical scientific instrumentation. He’s worked to improve manufacturing processes through Lean practices, methodical problem solving techniques and implementing creative equipment solutions to improve throughput and increase capacity.

With an affinity for advancing entrepreneurial ventures, Chris has worked in multiple start-up companies. In 2002 he started his own business, Adaptive Engineering, LLC, a consulting company focused on assisting Vermont-based product development and manufacturing companies. He is proficient in all aspects of the product lifecycle – from market research and customer discovery to design, manufacturing, market launch and process improvement.

Originally from Massachusetts, Chris earned a mechanical engineering degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. When not solving problems for Vermont manufacturers, Chris can be found mountain biking, skiing, or exploring the outdoors.

(802) 363-7229
[email protected]

Louis comes to VMEC after a variety of work experiences at numerous Vermont manufacturers. He’s held operational roles including Logistics Manager, Supply Chain Manager, Quality Manager and Director of Operations. He has been on a Lean journey for over 20 years. His work experience ranges from a small start-up to a large aerospace manufacturer. As a collaborative leader, Louis enjoys identifying challenges and improving processes with functional teams. The idea of empowering a workforce to continuously improve, makes the work exciting and rewarding.

Originally from northeastern Vermont, he moved to Burlington for a college degree and stayed. He studied business management and earned degrees from both Champlain and Trinity Colleges. As a lifelong learner he immersed himself in Lean philosophies, advancing that knowledge with every position he has held.

As a Vermonter, Louis embraces all five seasons. He enjoys the amazing opportunities Vermont offers in the rain, snow and even mud.  You may bump into him jogging, hiking or biking back-country trails. In addition, he plays hockey and dabbles in standup comedy. Most importantly, Louis is a dedicated husband and father.

(802) 779-2709
[email protected]

Brett comes to VMEC with over 20 years of experience developing and managing product lines across a wide range of categories and in varied businesses. He has been implementing new products and manufacturing techniques around the globe in regulated industries including the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and healthcare.   His systems-driven approach to understanding processes and interdependencies has made him able to successfully work with large and small companies domestically and internationally.

Brett is a proud graduate from the University of Montana and resides in Bristol, Vermont. Outside of work, he is a collector of misfit hunting dogs, a mushroom forager, and an avid fly fisherman and hunter.

(802) 431-3323
[email protected]

Don retired full time from VMEC in December 2020 but works with us on an as-needed basis.

Don has over 40 years experience in manufacturing engineering and manufacturing management, including Department of Defense (DoD) manufacturing. He also has expertise implementing Lean improvements and strategies in the healthcare industry. Prior to VMEC, Don was process and test engineer, a manufacturing manager, and a partner in a startup technical services business where he served as General Manager. Don holds a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Pennsylvania State University and studied Software engineering at the University of Vermont.

Don’s primary focus is in implementing Lean transformations and providing practical Lean training in manufacturing, office and health care settings. He also has expertise in RFID applications, plus experience working with clients through the VMEC New England Manufacturing Supply Chain (NEMSC) Defense Industry Initiative. He holds a Lean Bronze Certification and is recognized as a LBC-Sensei under the guidelines of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), American Society of Quality (ASQ), and the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

(802) 289-2890
[email protected]

Ken retired full time from VMEC in February 2017 but works with us on an as-needed basis.

Ken brings to VMEC over 30 years manufacturing experience with engineered products. From technical applications of air and water pollution control systems to fabrication of custom aluminum structures, Ken has worked intimately with design and manufacturing teams. As Vice President of Operations and then President of a job shop manufacturer in Baltimore, MD, he applied his technical and financial experience to the strategic development of new products, improvement of manufacturing operations and allocation of scarce resources. Cellular production and work teams were key elements to the company’s success.

Ken was trained as a Mechanical Engineer with distinction from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, followed by a Master in Administrative Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Finance from Loyola College, Baltimore, MD, and course work for a MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.  In his 15 years with VMEC, Ken worked with manufacturers and service organizations throughout Vermont applying Lean fundamentals to improve work flow, workplace organization and problem solving. Additionally, he has used these techniques and the experience of eight years on the Board of Directors for a regional acute care hospital in Maryland to apply the same improvements to several medical centers in Vermont.

Off the clock, Ken trains for endurance racing and competes in cross country skiing and 24 hour orienteering races at the international level. As an active biathlete, he won his age class at the US National Championships in both the Sprint and Pursuit races in winter 2022.

(802) 777-8597
[email protected]

Keri has over 20 years experience working for numerous manufacturers across Vermont.  Starting as an applications engineer, she experienced a complete Lean transformation early in her career with Husky Injection Molding.  That experience coupled with her drive to always be improving her own work processes and those around her spurred her career onto the path of continuous improvement.

Keri has worked in leadership roles in both the manufacturing and front office areas.  She has maintained a relationship with VMEC throughout her entire career becoming proficient in many of its teachings along the way including Lean 101 concepts, value stream mapping, TWI, set-up reduction, 5S, Kata and more.  Keri enjoys helping others to embrace their problems as opportunities for improvement.

Originally from Vermont, Keri earned her bachelor degree in electro-mechanical engineering from VTC in 1998. Recently she started her own small business servicing the local equine community.  She is an avid equine enthusiast who enjoys trail riding with her daughter, fox hunting and leather crafting.

Advisory Board

The VMEC Board is an elected advisory board of up to 15 elected members, with the majority of its members required to be proactive Vermont manufacturers represented by senior leaders and/or owners of the companies. Board members serve without compensation for a minimum of 2 years. Elected annually, the VMEC Board Chairperson is required to be an active manufacturer.

The VMEC Board meets a minimum of three times per year to address important matters and provide guidance and advice in areas including: program content and emphasis; selection and delivery of products and services offered by the Center; assessing the soundness of Center strategies, partnerships and strategic alliances; program funding and revenue generation; and important staff issues and other matters that impact the Center’s ability to fulfill its mission and its commitments to stakeholders.

VMEC Board members

  • Gina Akley – Trow & Holden Company (Barre, VT), President
  • Dave Blittersdorf – All Earth Renewables, Inc. (Williston, VT), President/ CEO / Founder
  • Janette Bombardier, P.E.Chroma Technology/ 89 North (Bellows Falls, VT), Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer
  • Ben Clark – Ann Clark Ltd. (Rutland, VT), CEO
  • Jeff Couture – VT Technology Alliance (Burlington, VT),  Executive Director
  • Bob Flint – Springfield Regional Development Corporation (Springfield, VT), Executive Director
  • Rob Green  – Leading2Lean (St. Albans, VT), Senior Customer Success Manager
  • Dr. Christopher Koliba – University of Vermont (Burlington, VT), President’s Fellow for Engagement & Professor of Community Development & Applied Economics
  • Lindsay Kurrle – Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development (Montpelier, VT), Agency Secretary
  • Dave Lynn – Agri-Mark/ Cabot Creamery, Inc. (Waitsfield, VT), SVP & Top Operations Officer
  • Greg Maguire – Liquid Measurement Systems, Inc. (Georgia, VT),  General Counsel and Director of Business Strategy
  • Ken McAvey – Global Foundries (Essex Junction, VT), Fab 9 Vice President and General Manager
  • Pat Moulton – Vermont Technical College (Randolph Center and Williston, VT), President
  • Mike Rainville (VMEC Board Chairman) – Maple Landmark, Inc. (Middlebury, VT), President / Owner
  • Patricia Giavara – Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (Randolph, VT), Interim Director & CEO