MAST Holds Annual Meeting To Highlight Innovation

Ben Rand, Insyte Consulting president, giving the keynote speech during the Manufactures Association of the Southern Tier Annual Meeting at Moon Brook Country Club. Submitted photo

Innovation and the talent pipeline were focus areas for the Manufactures Association of the Southern Tier Annual Meeting, held Thursday at Moon Brook Country Club.

This year’s event featured a presentation on Shift, a resource designed to help manufacturers start the process of identifying and investing in achievable and implementable technology. Shift is being offered through a partnership of Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Insyte Consulting and Next Street.

Keynote speaker for the evening was Ben Rand, Insyte Consulting president. Rand focuses on business development, innovation and executive coaching for Insyte based on his 20 years of experience in general management and consulting with manufacturing companies. Before Insyte, Rand was president of Sefar Filtration and a senior vice president and general manager with USFilter, a Fortune 500 water filtration manufacturer. Rand is chair of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition based in Washington, D.C., a member of the World Trade Center Board of Directors and the lead for the Entrepreneurship Work Group of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.

Also addressing the group was Tim Piazza, MAST Talent Pipeline Management manager and apprenticeship program coordinator. Appointed to the position in March, he was previously manager of product development for SKF Aeroengine North America and prior to that was president of Blackstone-NEY Ultrasonics, a division of the Cleaning Technologies Group LLC. He was earlier an assistant professor at Jamestown Community College, where he helped to found the Manufacturing Technology Institute. Piazza attended Jamestown Community College, State University at Albany and the State University at Stony Brook and holds a doctorate in experimental nuclear physics.

Even though talent is a renewable resource, manufacturing is lagging in generating a workforce with the needed skills and qualifications required to compete in a global market. Talent Pipeline Management is a demand driven solution that works by applying the lessons from supply chain management, used in industry, to manage education and workforce partnerships. As the manager, Piazza is working with local manufacturers to make a clear link between their talent strategy and their business strategy and identify the jobs upon which their competitiveness depends.

Employers are the end customers of talent supply chains, working through the Talent Pipeline Management initiative with MAST a preferred network of partners will be put together and managed for supplying the talent needed in today’s workforce. As with any supply chain, quality is one of the key activities in this initiative. To be successful infrastructure must be put in place to ensure end-to-end performance tracking at every stage of the supply chain. Beneficiaries of this initiative include employers, who get a better-prepared workforce; providers, who achieve better outcomes for students; students and workers, who can access clear career pathways; and policy-makers, who generate a higher return on their education and workforce investments.

Assembled manufacturing leaders and their guests also got an update on Dream It Do It events and projects underway in the region from Evelyn Sabina, Dream It Do It coordinator for Cattaraugus County, and Jehuu Caulcrick, Dream It Do It coordinator for Chautauqua County.

MAST board officers who were elected include president, Rhonda Johnson, Weber Knapp; senior vice president, Eric Livengood, Ulrich Planfiling; vice president, John Stahley, Dresser-Rand; treasurer, Dale Gier, Producto Corp, Ring Precision; and immediate past president, Mark Shafer, Heidenhain Corp. Returning board members include Mike Abbate, Cummins; Kevin Brombacher, M&T Bank; Chase Churchill, Jamestown Electro-Plating; John Mulryan, Scott Rotary Seals; Chris Napoleon, Napoleon Engineering Services; Rick Turner, Blackstone Advanced Technologies; and Paul Zebraski, Nestle Purina PetCare. New board members are Bill Andrews, Monofrax Corp., and Randy Manitta, Hope’s Windows. Retiring board members who were recognized for their service are Cory Duckworth, Jamestown Community College, and John Zabrodsky, Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

The MAST Annual Meeting was sponsored by OBSERVER, The Post-Journal and Univera Healthcare Southern Tier.