21 Graduate from Leadership Program

21 Graduate from Manufacturing Leadership Program

By Brian Pedersen, June 10, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Photo Jack, Ellen Kern presentation

CONTRIBUTED/Manufacturers Resource Center marked the 10th anniversary of its Manufacturing Leadership Institute on Thursday night with a ceremony that recognized 21 graduates with certification diplomas at Brookside Country Club in Macungie. As part of the ceremony, Ellen Kern, chief of staff for Sen. Pat Browne, honored MRC for their efforts with an award that she presented to Jack Pfunder, executive director of MRC.

Manufacturers Resource Center marked the 10th anniversary of its Manufacturing Leadership Institute on Thursday night with a ceremony that recognized 21 graduates with certification diplomas at Brookside Country Club in Macungie.

In 2006, MRC responded to industry needs for executive training and created the Manufacturing Leadership Institute by partnering with Lehigh University and establishing a certificate program using industry and university instructors, said Jack Pfunder, executive director of MRC.

MLI educates the region’s current and up-and-coming leaders in aspects of leadership to strengthen their company’s competitiveness, drive growth and create sustainable business models, Pfunder said.

The five-month curriculum consists of 11 days of and 12 topics on growth and innovation led by eight industry experts with real-world experience, he said. The institute has had more 200 graduates representing more than 80 companies.

Classes average about 20 people per class; most are professionals looking to advance in management and senior level management positions in manufacturing.

“It furthers their education,” Pfunder said. “We did a study back in 2004 of our manufacturing base, and from that a need was out there to get training in leadership.”

Pfunder said the program helps change the culture of companies and allows participants to understand what leadership is all about.

Some of the topics include innovation, management skills and financials for the nonfinancial student. Also, the program covers succession planning; many parent/child participants have gone through the program together since it started, Pfunder said.

Over the years, three companies have sent the most students through the program: Cardinal Systems of Schuylkill Haven with 19; and ATAS International Inc. of Upper Macungie Township and Lutron Electronics of Upper Saucon Township, each with nine, Pfunder said.

Meet the MLI Class of 2016 with Certificates of Completion in hand.


From left to right:

James Wu (Ecopax, LLC), Kevin Wolfe (B. Braun Medical), Shirlann Wilkenson (ATAS International, Inc.), Dave Smith (ATAS International, Inc.), Nicole Smith (Highwood USA), Jim Adams (Follett), Joe Monkiewicz (Piramal Critical Care), Joe Polek (Atlas Machining & Welding), Sandy Osmun (B. Braun Medical), Jeremy Marchie (Fluortek), Adam Bahr (Everson Tesla), Ed Graham (ProtoCAM), Todd Furman (Fluortek), Doug Hartman (Everson Tesla), Alek Farkas (Crayola), Pedro Menendez (B. Braun Medical), Joseph Dominguez (ATAS International, Inc. )

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