VMEC News Release – VMEC Director & CEO Announces Retirement


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Contact: Robynn Albert, Marketing & Training Manager
Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC)
PO Box 12, Randolph Center, VT  05061
(802) 793-2078 / [email protected]

       VMEC News Release – VMEC Director & CEO Announces Retirement

Randolph Center, Vermont – Bob Zider, Director & CEO of the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC), has publicly announced his plans to retire on June 30, 2021 after 25 years with the Center. 

At a VMEC Board meeting held on April 13, VMEC Assistant Director Patricia Giavara received a unanimous vote of approval to succeed Bob Zider as Interim VMEC Director & CEO effective July 1.  VMEC’s federal stakeholder partner, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), was represented in the April 13 VMEC Board meeting by Acting MEP Director Dr. Rob Ivester and MEP Resource Manager Tom Williams. Patricia Giavara has been part of the VMEC team for more than 18 years, and she has served as VMEC Assistant Director since 2009 while also delivering a range of client services and support in the areas of innovation, growth, process improvement, coaching and more.    

According to Bob Zider, “For everything there’s a season, and now is the time for me to step into retirement following a work career that has included 44 years in manufacturing-related leadership roles and 9 years on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. VMEC’s leadership transition has been part of our strategic planning for more than 2 years and will be smooth. VMEC is strong and has an exceptionally talented team of highly experienced professionals who are passionate and resolute about assisting enterprises and fulfilling VMEC’s primary mission, ‘To strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers.’ We have a committed Board comprised of proven manufacturing and other leaders, along with supportive stakeholder partners in NIST MEP, the State of Vermont, and our host Vermont Technical College. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to help the VMEC Team execute its Mission and achieve its Vision to be ‘Vermont’s go-to trusted resource to ensure a thriving manufacturing industry.’ Working with VMEC has been the capstone of my career and has provided a journey of continuous learning with many great opportunities to serve companies of all sizes, including their leaders and workforce in impactful and rewarding ways that far exceeded whatever I could have imagined over 25 years ago.”      

From January 1996 when VMEC opened its doors for business through June 2020, VMEC has served more than 900 of Vermont’s approximately 1,300 manufacturers.  As reported in the recently released VMEC 2020 Impact Report available at www.vmec.org, VMEC continues to generate significant measurable results for both the Vermont economy and VMEC clients. Based on client-reported data obtained from formal surveys conducted by an independent third party under contract to NIST MEP, the cumulative total impact of VMEC on Vermont’s economy from January 1996 through June 2020 has been at least $2.87 Billion, with $129 Million in impact between July 2019 and June 2020.   Over the past three years April 2017 through March 2020 alone, every $1 spent by clients on VMEC assistance returned an average on that investment of $206.    

About VMEC: Part of the nationwide MEP National Network™ and hosted by Vermont Technical College since 1995, VMEC operates as a not-for-profit with a primary mission “To strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers.” A local resource and trusted adviser to enterprises of all sizes, the VMEC team brings world class expertise in consulting, coaching, hands-on implementation support, training and education for leaders and workers.  Through the VMEC PSG business unit, on a selected basis, VMEC also brings its process, strategy and innovation expertise to non-manufacturing businesses, non-profits, healthcare, higher education, and government sectors in Vermont. VMEC provides proven Systems and Solutions focused on Strategies, Processes, Products, Technologies and People.