About the Presenters
Dr. Mary Slowinski, Symposium Moderator
Dr. Mary Slowinski currently serves as PI for the NSF-ATE Working Partners Workshops project, which provides tools and support to educators seeking to cultivate and sustain productive industry relationships. She is a tenured faculty member and previous program chair of the Digital Media Arts program at Bellevue College in Washington State. Mary has extensive experience in designing and implementing educator professional development, curriculum, and technology-mediated education. She has moderated numerous workforce conference sessions and frequently facilitates sessions for programs that are seeking to align their curricula with workforce need.
Jeremy Banta is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with over thirty years of experience in civilian and military logistics. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the Supply Chain Management Program at Columbus State Community College. His military career includes fifteen years of full-time service in the Ohio National Guard as a senior logistician, deployments to Iraq and Kuwait, and hurricane relief in Louisiana and Nicaragua. Jeremy gives back to the logistics industry by serving on school and organizational advisory boards, as well as by being a member of the Board of Directors at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, a Board Member at Large for the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC), and co-founder of the Ohio Supply Chain Academic Network (O-SCAN).
Kevin Curley is Professor and Program Chair for the Engineering Technology AS Degree Program at Valencia College Osceola Campus. Prior to his time at Valencia, he served in the USAF and worked in industry for nearly forty years as a design engineer. Kevin’s industry experience includes a wide variety of engineering applications, including high-speed data processing, simulation and training, aerospace solutions, and multimedia control systems. Kevin is also an artist and owns several CNC machines that he uses to create unique works of art.
Chris Dennis has been an Instructor at Columbus State Community College for the last three years, teaching supply chain management, international commerce, procurement, and logistics engineering technology courses. He has been in the automotive industry for over 25 years and has worked for Japanese Tier 1 suppliers starting as an associate in the receiving department and ending as Director of Supply Chain.
Dr. Kevin Fleming
Dr. Kevin Fleming has dedicated more than twenty years to changing the dialog about eliminating the skills gap and helping students gain a competitive advantage as they identify and pursue their purpose. He produced the viral YouTube video Success in the New Economy, has written three books including the bestseller (Re)Defining the Goal, has elevated career and technical education (CTE) programs nationally via inspirational professional development, and has secured and managed over $75 million to advance economic and educational opportunity. Before becoming Norco’s Vice President of Strategic Development and Planning, Kevin supported over forty CTE programs as well as multiple state and federal grants as a Dean of Instruction.
Josh Gonzalez is the Senior Manager of the new Training Facility for Maintenance Technician Apprentices located in Fontana, California. A native of Southern California, he is now supporting Target’s first paid technical apprenticeship in his hometown. Josh has spent the past twelve years leading teams across Target Stores and Target’s Global Supply Chain Engineering and Facilities Teams. He has a passion for learning, understanding, and teaching others to develop and grow as individuals and leaders at Target and in the communities they serve. Josh is blazing a trail within Target, leading the first technical training center and setting up three remote training centers across the United States.
Charles Henkels joined Norco College’s team as an Apprenticeship Director in May of 2016 and led the development of one of the state’s first college-sponsored apprenticeship programs. Charles directs both federal and state grants, working to integrate apprenticeship and work-based learning pathways into the community college system. Previous to his work at Norco, he coordinated the Associated General Contractors of America’s largest apprenticeship training program in San Diego. He serves as the Secretary for the California Conference on Apprenticeship and is active in the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium and the Department of Labor’s Sector of Excellence in Apprenticeship. Charles has worked with state legislatures in drafting legislation aimed at incentivizing businesses to offer work-based learning to students in registered apprenticeship programs.
Phil Jones is the Director of Supply Chain Engineering & Facilities Management at Target Corporation. His team plans control systems and software for automation projects in all of Target’s forty types of distribution centers. Phil focuses on recruiting engineering talent and developing engineering career paths from college internships to senior management. He serves on Target’s Technical and Engineering Coalition working group and as co-chair of the Industry Leadership Team for the National Center for Supply Chain Automation. Phil has fifteen years of experience in facilities/maintenance and engineering management. He also was an artillery officer in the U.S. Army for ten years.
Patty Katsaros is the Director of Marketing and Growth for Waypoint Robotics. Patty has over twenty years of marketing experience in the world of manufacturing and robotics. Before joining the Waypoint team, Patty served as the Owner and Principal Consultant at P.H. Koules Consulting, where she led sales and marketing and SEO efforts. Prior to starting her own consultancy, Patty co-founded and served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Aigis Mechatronics LLC, a video security component manufacturer and spinoff of Philips Electronics NA.
Dr. James McDonald
Dr. James McDonald has been with Valencia College since February 2007. During that time, he has served in several roles, including his current role as the Executive Director of the Bachelor of Applied Science program in Business and Organizational Leadership. He has also been an academic dean overseeing AS degree programs at Valencia’s Osceola campus, a professor and program chair for the Criminal Justice AS degree program, and a program coordinator for the Florida state corrections academy and professional development courses for police and corrections officers. Prior to starting his career at Valencia, James was employed by the Orlando Police Department, where he managed the department’s field training and recruiting units and served as a patrol sergeant, SWAT team member, and patrol officer. James proudly served his country as a United States Marine.
Paul Perkins is president and co-founder of Amatrol, Inc., a manufacturer of technical learning systems and online interactive multimedia software for colleges, industry, and high schools. Paul is the author of over twenty books on industrial controls and automation, has designed numerous training systems for teaching engineering and technical skills, and has consulted on training program development for Fortune 500 organizations and foreign governments. Community service activities include serving as Chair of the Indiana State Workforce Innovation Council and past Chair of the National Governors Association State Workforce Board Chairs Association.
Neil Reddy is the co-founder and CEO of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), an industry-led, non-profit training, assessment and certification organization focused on the core technical competencies needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers. Internally, Mr. Reddy oversees all departments from operations to marketing. MSSC has more than 1,600 Authorized Assessment & Training Centers in 50 states and has issued more than 147,000 credentials. Mr. Reddy’s passion lies in helping people get work, but also to help them build and develop career pathways. Mr. Reddy has held this position since 2006. Prior to joining MSSC, Mr. Reddy worked at the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM). There he worked with the Department of Defense and NIST on national programs dedicated toward the advancement and development of next-gen manufacturing.
Dr. John Sands
Dr. John Sands has over thirty years of experience in teaching and developing curriculum in the areas of data communications, information technology, and information assurance. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator/Executive Director of the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA), an NSF-ATE National Support Center. As a department chair, full-time faculty member, and academic researcher, he has developed and taught numerous technology courses using an integrated virtual teaching and learning environment. John has served as the Executive Director of one of the country’s most successful Cisco System - Network Academy Training Centers. He also has a strong background in developing and implementing online curriculum and has received several awards in innovation and teaching.
Dr. Bob Sompolski
Dr. Bob Sompolski is the Dean of STEM and Health Careers at Oakton Community College and a Co-Principal Investigator for the National Center for Supply Chain Automation. As Dean, Bob provides academic leadership to programs that address transfer curricula (natural and computer science, engineering, and mathematics), remedial curricula (developmental mathematics), and career curricula (health careers, computer networking, electronics, and manufacturing/CAD). Throughout the development of supply chain technologies at the college, he has proposed curricular representation of courses featuring logistics, radio frequency identification, and blockchain-supporting software. He has been teaching on the collegiate level in mathematics and computer science since 1982.
Jason Walker is the CEO and co-founder of Waypoint Robotics, which develops and manufactures industrial-strength, fully autonomous mobile robots for material handling applications. Prior to founding Waypoint Robotics, Jason was the Vice President of Operations at Stanley Innovation as well as co-founder and Director of Operations at CyPhy Works, a leading persistent drone company. With over fifteen years of experience in the robotics industry, Jason has won awards for multiple academic robotics competitions and owns multiple patents for robotic-related technologies.
Dr. Ned Young
Dr. Ned Young is a Professor of Management and MIS at Sinclair Community College and Co-Principal Investigator for The National Center for Supply Chain Automation. Ned has been teaching at Sinclair since 1994, having spent eight of those years in a department chair role in which he managed the creation of Sinclair’s Supply Chain Management program. Before moving to the educational sector, Ned worked for fifteen years in the industrial sector, primarily concentrating on software systems development, maintenance, and management.