External Advisory Council Bios
Carla Bailo is the President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a leader in engineering and vehicle program management with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry. As the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) President and CEO, she leads the overall mission, manages day-to-day business, and is the face for the automotive industry in several venues. CAR is an independent, non-profit research body respected for unbiased reporting on issues related to HAV’s (Highly Automated Vehicles), Light weighting and Materials research, Powertrain and Electrification, and Business/Government Economic impacts on the automotive industry.
In her role prior to CAR, she was Ohio State’s assistant vice president for mobility research and business development. In this role, she implemented the university sustainable mobility and transportation innovation, while integrating related research and education across Ohio State’s academic units. She also led Ohio State’s involvement as the primary research partner for Smart Columbus, a $140 million program to transform central Ohio into the nation’s premier transportation innovation region.
Bailo is the 2016-2018 vice president of automotive for SAE International, a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.
Bailo has 35 years experience in the automotive industry with 25 years at Nissan. In her most recent role at Nissan, she served as senior vice president of research and development for Nissan North America, Inc. Bailo was responsible for vehicle engineering and development operations in Michigan, Arizona, Mexico and Brazil, managing a $500 million budget and 2,500 employees. In this role, she improved the efficiency of Nissan’s R&D functions. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University and her master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Frederic Bertley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of COSI in Columbus, Ohio and began his leadership of COSI in January of 2017. In his role as President, Dr. Bertley imagines COSI as the epicenter for all things scientific for the Columbus community.
Prior to joining COSI, Dr. Bertley was Senior Vice President for Science and Education with the renowned Franklin Institute in Philadelphia where he directed a diverse portfolio of visionary initiatives supporting innovation in STEM learning, and science communication, as well as departments and programs that capture the history and legacy of The Franklin Institute including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Awards Program. Dr. Bertley also played a critical role in community outreach, partnerships and fundraising practices of the Institute.
Dr. Bertley directed various departments supporting research-based projects as well as program development and implementation. Dr. Bertley founded and directed the Color of Science™, which highlights the incredible contributions of women and persons of color to modern day science and engineering.
Dr. Bertley has a strong record in academia, studying Physiology, Mathematics, and the History of Science as an undergraduate student. Following his B.Sc., he obtained a Ph.D. in Immunology, both degrees from McGill University, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.
After graduating from McGill, Dr. Bertley turned his attention to the lack of primary healthcare, preventative medicine, and basic vaccines in developing nations where he managed multinational teams in Haiti, The Sudan, and the Canadian Arctic. Dr. Bertley continued this focus by joining a vaccine research group at Harvard Medical School focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Bertley has lectured on a variety of science and education topics at universities, colleges, cultural institutions, and government agencies throughout the world. He has keynoted and been an invited speaker at several distinguished institutions including The United Nations, The White House, the US Department of Interior, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation here in the U.S., as well as in Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Africa. Dr. Bertley sits on numerous boards including Health NewsWorks, iPRAXIS, and the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM). He also is a member of the selection committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Public Engagement with Science Award. Dr. Bertley has received numerous honors some of which include: Dell Inc. Inspire 100 World Changers, Harvard Medical School Dean’s Service Award, Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Philadelphia Business Journal Minority Business Leader of The Year, The President’s Award (Merck), Citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and two Mid-Atlantic, National Academy of Television and Science EMMYs™.
Robert Bradish is vice president of Transmission Planning and Engineering for American Electric Power, the owner/operator of the largest transmission system in the U.S., with 40,000 miles of transmission lines, spanning 13 states and 4 Reginal Transmission Organizations. Bradish is responsible for managing activities related to the planning and engineering of the transmission grid, the development of engineering standards, and advanced technical/analytical studies addressing system dynamic analysis, electromagnetic transient analysis, and asset management functions. He is also responsible for managing AEP’s Transmission Technology Research and Development Program.
Prior to returning to AEP Transmission, Bradish led the Market Operations group within AEP’s Commercial Operations organization. He was responsible for the development and execution of AEP’s day-to-day commercial strategy within the RTO wholesale markets.
He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson University in New York. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio.
Bradish is a member of the Engineering Advisory Council of Clarkson University, the U.S. National Committee of CIGRE, EPRI’s PDU Sector Council, the Industry Leaders Council of the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Dr. Henry Cialone
Dr. Henry Cialone is President and CEO of EWI, North America’s leading independent materials joining technology organization. He has a record of creating new business opportunities through technological innovation. After joining EWI in 2005, Cialone engineered a turnaround of the company by focusing on strengthening the balance sheet, expanding the company’s portfolio of manufacturing technologies, and creating public-private partnerships like the Nuclear Fabrication Consortium. Previously, he was an executive at Battelle, where he developed and managed the commercial energy technology portfolio ultimately leading the commercial energy business and serving on the governing board of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Cialone serves on several corporate boards and advisory bodies: Energetix Group plc Board of Directors; Midwest Research Institute Board of Trustees; EnerTech Capital Strategic Advisory Board; Ohio State University College of Engineering External Advisory Council; Ohio State University College of Public Health EH&S Advisory Committee; Ohio State University Materials Science and Engineering External Advisory Council; Miami University Research Advisory Council; and Manufacturing Institute Board of Trustees.
Cialone received his BS degree in materials engineering from Brown University, and his MS and PhD degrees in materials science, also from Brown, where he specialized in hydrogen enhanced fracture. He has completed executive management programs at Fuqua and Wharton.
Nancy C. Dawes is a Serial Innovator with roots in the CPG Industry. Through her holistic innovation programs, she led major breakthrough changes in the food (Pringles) and Beauty (Olay) industries. She was recognized at Procter and Gamble via induction in the prestigious Victor Mills Society, a Research and Development organization that recognizes less than one percent of the top technologists. Nancy currently partners with Bruce Vojak (co-author of Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms), consults with local early stage entrepreneurs (lQueen City Angels, 1819 Ventures, Cincy Tech), is a founding member of Ohio State's BEWEL (Buckeye Engineering Women in Executive Leadership) and co-chairs the “Camp Program Vision Team” for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.
While at P&G, her many accomplishments include: designing key product and benefit platforms that drove Olay skin care brand to a billion dollar business, more than doubling Olay’s market share and fueling expansion into 15 plus global markets between 1995-2008; developing multiple new anti-aging product forms that became top 10 selling products around the world (Olay Total Effects, Olay Regenerist, Olay Definity); and establishing key products and claims that tripled the size of Pringles’ U.S. business between 1989-93, positioning the brand for strong international expansion. She holds six granted patents and is a published author. She is an alumna of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. Receiving many accolades throughout her career, one that she holds most dear is being recognized by the College of Engineering as a Distinguished Alumna in 2012
Eric D. Evans
Dr. Eric D. Evans is the Director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a multidisciplinary Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the Department of Defense. The Lab focuses on advanced technology development and system prototyping for national security needs on behalf of the military services and other government agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Dr. Evans is responsible for the strategic direction and overall technical and administrative operations. Dr. Evans is a member of the Defense Science Board (DSB), where he has served on several studies, including as co-leader of the DSB Task Force on Improvised Explosive Devices, a member of the Massport Security Advisory Council, an advisor to U.S. Strategic Command Senior Advisory Group, and President of the National GEM Consortium for Graduate Education for Underrepresented Minorities. He has previously served as a member of the Los Alamos and Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratory Nuclear Mission Committee. From 1999 through 2006, Dr. Evans was the Division Head of Lincoln Laboratory's Air and Missile Defense Technology Division. Prior to 1999, Dr. Evans was the Group Leader of the Laboratory's Air Defense Techniques Group. Dr. Evans has also worked as a radar design engineer for the Navy's Radar Surveillance Technology Experimental Radar (RSTER) program. Dr. Evans is a Fellow of the IEEE and an author of over 45 refereed journal articles and conference papers. In 1996, he and his co-authors received the M. Barry Carlton Award from the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society for a paper on advanced radar signal processing. Dr. Evans holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University.
Barbara Fergus is a community activist, philanthropist and founder of Midwestern Auto Group of Dublin, Ohio, the world’s largest collection of European autos.
As a graduate of The Ohio State University, Barbara’s present Ohio State board affiliations are with The Foundation, Arts & Sciences Advisory, Alumni Association, Integrated Medical Association, and Women in Philanthropy.
Her endowments include the Wexner Centers Director’s Dialogue which identifies women’s vision and voice for those issues that for too long have gone unheard; the Barbara K. Fergus Women in Leadership Lecture Series, that supports and gives visibility to our younger generations; and a women’s basketball scholarship that started in 1993 with Katie Smith, a three time Gold Olympian in women’s basketball and present WNBA coach of the NY Liberty.
Within the university community, Barbara has received the OSU Distinguished Service Award, Dan L. Heinlen Award for university advocacy, and the Gerlach Award for volunteer service. She also received the Columbus, Ohio YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award for fostering positive change, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Fundraiser Award, and was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.
She is a founder of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio which helps transform the lives of women and girls and she formulated The Next Generation of Leaders program that educates and enlightens the next leaders of our Columbus community. Barbara also serves on the International Women’s Forum Foundation Board, a 7,000 member organization of 34 countries and has been a frequent panelist and speaker for their executive development roundtables.
John Hamilton retired as vice president of Engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in 2019. In this role, he was responsible for effectiveness and efficiency of the engineering function across Commercial Airplanes. As the Commercial Airplanes Engineering leader, Hamilton was also responsible for identifying and implementing best practices as well as ensuring that the right engineering skill sets, processes and tools are in place for designing, integrating, building, testing, certifying, delivering and supporting Boeing airplane products.
Hamilton was a member of the Boeing enterprise Engineering leadership team. From July 2013 through March 2016, Hamilton served as the vice president of Safety, Security and Compliance. In this capacity, Hamilton led the Aviation Safety, Aviation Security and Regulatory Compliance teams. In addition to his previous role leading Regulatory Administration, Hamilton oversaw processes used to support airplane safety and security issues and oversaw the Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA). Hamilton previously served as the vice president / chief project engineer for the Next-Generation 737 program with responsibility for the safety and product integrity of the airplane’s design, including strategy, the integration of engineering design, product strategy, improvements and compliance to Boeing and regulatory standards and requirements.
Hamilton joined Boeing in 1984 as a design engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Seattle University. He graduated from Columbia University's Senior Executive Program in 2007. Hamilton is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Washington and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Additionally, Hamilton is the Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Flight Safety Foundation.
Sandra Harbrecht, Council Chair
As president and CEO of Paul Werth Associates, Sandra W. Harbrecht is leading the firm through a period of growth, achievement and national recognition. She specializes in executive-level counsel on leadership and reputation building, marketing strategy, issues management, organizational communications and crisis management.
Ms. Harbrecht oversees a team of public relations, advertising, public affairs, interactive and research professionals serving corporate, not-for-profit and association clients in the education, health care, financial and professional services sectors. She also provides coaching and facilitation in areas such as strategic communications planning, presentation techniques and leadership communication. Ms. Harbrecht is a frequent speaker for various regional and national business and professional organizations.
Ms. Harbrecht serves on the board of directors for The Davey Tree Expert Co. and The Motorists Insurance Group. Ms. Harbrecht is a trustee of the Ingram/White Castle Foundation, board member and immediate past chair of Experience Columbus and chair of the Arvin Alexander Fund of The Columbus Foundation. She is on the Dean’s Advisory Council for Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.
She is past chair of the board of trustees for Kent State University and chaired the search committee for the current president. She is immediate past chair of the Law Enforcement Foundation and served as a board member of the Columbus Chamber, Columbus Museum of Art, Easter Seals, CHOICES and COSI Columbus.
Ms. Harbrecht is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a past chair of the Society’s Counselors Academy and a founding member of the Council of Public Relations Firms. In 2010 she was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. She also has been recognized by the Kent State Alumni Association for her service to the university and received The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Pace Setter Alumni Award for distinguished community service.
She graduated at the top of her class with a Master of Business Administration degree and earned a Master’s degree in education from The Ohio State University. She is a magna cum laude graduate from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Ray Harishankar is an IBM Fellow and Vice President of Technology & Innovation within Global Business Services (GBS). He defines and operationalizes strategies for GBS to have a strong portfolio of Business Solutions & Assets, enables clients to adopt and benefit from these assets as well as from emerging technology approaches. Collaborating with IBM Research, Harishankar identifies and infuses innovative & market differentiating capabilities into these solutions & assets. An expert in Systems of Insight, Social Business and Cloud technologies, Harishankar has made significant contributions in the area of asset strategies, service-oriented architecture, actionable business architecture, reference architectures, etc. He joined IBM in 1999 as an Executive IT architect. In 2003, he was nominated an IBM Distinguished Engineer and was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology. Harishankar has received three Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards within IBM. In May 2006, he was appointed as an IBM Fellow, the highest honor an employee can receive for technical innovation.
With over 30 years of industry experience, Harishankar is actively engaged globally with clients across multiple industries. He serves on the technology advisory council for selected customers, guiding them on business related technology decisions. He was instrumental in establishing an architect profession in India and in growing and maintaining the vitality of that community. Harishankar is also very active in strengthening the relationship between academic institutions and IBM. Carnegie Mellon University, University of Kentucky in Lexington, and Indian Institute of Technology – Chennai are few of the institutions with whom he collaborates. He also serves on the External Advisory Council for College of Engineering and on the Advisory Council for the College of Computer and Information Science at The Ohio State University.
During the industry E-Week celebrations held by the National Engineers Week Foundation, Harishankar was named an Asian American Engineer of the Year for 2009. In October 2013, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Engineering.
Luana Iorio is General Manager of the Engineering Material Systems Department for GE Aviation, where she has responsibility for the entire life cycle of the materials used in the 60,000+ GE turbine engines that power both commercial and military aircraft. This team develops novel material systems and processing techniques, spanning a range of materials including superalloys, ceramic matrix composites and coatings, provides application engineering and material behavior assessments and develops and applies component life management methods. This work supports the development of next generation engines, production of current products and the maintenance, repair and overhaul of fielded GE engines.
Luana started her career as a materials scientist at GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY and held several leadership roles there in the development of magnetic materials, superalloys and casting processes before becoming the Manufacturing Technology Leader in 2011. In that role, her team was responsible for developing novel manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing, computational tools to enhance manufacturing productivity and non-destructive inspection technologies to all of GE’s industrial businesses. She had the opportunity to collaborate with multiple industry partners and government agencies to advance the state of art in manufacturing.
In 2014, Luana joined GE Aviation and was the Services Engineering Operations Leader, responsible for creating and executing processes to drive customer responsiveness and operational rigor across the product-aligned organization supporting GE Aviation’s fielded commercial engine fleet. Prior to assuming her current role, Luana was the Materials Integration Leader for the newly-created GE Additive business.
Luana received a B.Sc in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. She has 16 granted US patents and 16 publications to her name.
As Interim Senior V.P. of Human Resources, Aimee Kennedy is responsible for the development of HR strategy, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, employee and leadership development, succession management, organizational effectiveness and diversity and inclusion.
Prior to this role, Aimee served as the Senior Vice President for Education and Philanthropy at Battelle. Before joining Battelle in 2013, Aimee was the Chief Administrative Officer for Metro Early College. She first joined the school in 2007 as a classroom teacher.
Aimee holds a bachelor’s degree from Malone College in Communications, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Akron, and a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership from The Ohio State University. She chairs the NASA Advisory Council STEM Engagement Committee and serves in an advisory capacity for The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering and the Federal STEM Advisory Panel. Aimee also serves on the boards of Battelle for Kids, KIPP Columbus, COSI (Columbus’s Center of Science and Industry) and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).
Kowalski joined Huntington in February 2014 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO). He spent the last 12 years in numerous technology leadership roles at JPMorgan Chase (JPMC). Most recently, he was the chief technology officer for the Corporate Internet Group where he was responsible for all technology aspects of JMPC’s Internet and Mobile platforms.
Before joining Bank One/JPMC, Kowalski was a manager within Accenture’s Banking and Insurance practice, aligned with the Financial Services Industry group. In this role, his responsibilities included architecture strategy development for customer relationship management solutions for a number of clients including Bank One, Bank of America (NationsBank) and First Union National Bank. Kowalski began his career as a programmer analyst at Amerilink Corporation, dba NaCom.
Eric Stephen Lagerberg
Eric Stephen Lagerberg is Executive Vice-President, Board Member and Global Retail Practice Group Leader with CallisonRTKL Architects P.C. He directs the retail practice group and has been one of the firm’s strongest leaders, steering the New York office into one of the most prominent names in the industry and forming relationships with some of the world’s most successful retailers and brands. He previously served as Principal Architect in the firm’s Shanghai and Seattle offices.
With 25 years of experience as an architect, designer, practice leader and educator, Eric’s combination of business acumen and design talent make him an ideal leader for the ever-changing retail industry.
Prior to joining Callison, Eric worked as Design Director (Europe, Middle East and Asia) and Director of Architectural Design for Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle.
Kenny McDonald, CEcD, joined the Columbus 2020 team in July 2010. As president and chief economic officer, Kenny serves as the primary leader of all economic development and business attraction efforts for the 11-county Columbus Region.
Kenny has an extensive background in site selection, regional economic development, community marketing, business recruitment and international business development. Most recently, he served as executive vice president at the Charlotte Regional Partnership. He has also held positions at the Albuquerque Economic Development Corporation, Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and Savannah Economic Development Authority. Kenny graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Dickinson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.
Kenny serves on the boards of the Columbus Chamber, International Economic Development Council (IEDC), MidAmerican Global Ventures, NAIOP Central Ohio, SciTech, and Transportation Research Center. Kenny also serves as chairman of the IEDC’s Planning and Business Development Committee.
Dr. David A. Moody
Dr. David A. Moody is the President and CEO of Moody Engineering, a professional civil engineering company that provides innovative engineering solutions to municipalities, architects, real estate developers, contractors, planners, educational institutions, health care facilities, and industries. A mechanical engineer by trade, David has hands-on expertise in identifying, analyzing, and solving multifaceted design challenges. His diverse engineering background includes positions at Intel, Eaton, Caterpillar, Harley-Davidson and Mettler Toledo. In addition to design, David has severed as a consultant for large corporations such as Blue Shield of California, Yahoo!, Autodesk, McKesson and Virgin America. In the consultant role, he led multiple design and engineering teams from various disciplines in problem solving resulting in innovative solutions to the clients’ most pressing issues.
A leader in cultural competency and diversity inclusion, David has served on The Ohio State University Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Student Committee (2003-2004), was president of the National Society of Black Engineers (2003-2005) and president of the Black Graduate Engineering & Science Students Association (2006-2008), and he served on the University of California, Berkeley Mechanical Engineering Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (2009). Today David continues to serve his community through various volunteer service projects and work in Columbus, Ohio.
David holds a PhD along with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Berkeley. He received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 from The Ohio State University.
Bhavesh (Bob) Patel
Bhavesh V. (Bob) Patel is chief executive officer and chairman of the management board of LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Patel assumed this position January 2015.
Patel first joined LyondellBasell in March of 2010 as senior vice president, Olefins and Polyolefins – Americas. In this role, he successfully led the restructuring of the U.S. business, significantly increasing efficiency. In this role, he also led the development of plans to take advantage of the shale gas expansion in the U.S. In November 2010, he was named senior vice president, Olefins and Polyolefins – Europe, Asia and International, based in the Netherlands.
In October 2013, Patel was promoted to executive vice president, Olefins and Polyolefins – Europe, Asia and International. In this role, he was given additional responsibility for the Company’s manufacturing operations outside of the Americas. Under Patel’s leadership, the company’s operations in Europe and Asia established a track record of strong performance through increased efficiency, streamlined operations and a shift toward advantaged feedstocks.
Prior to joining LyondellBasell, Patel was general manager, Olefins and Natural Gas Liquids for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, where he was responsible for all aspects of one of the company’s largest businesses. At Chevron Phillips, Patel also served as general manager, Asia-Pacific region based in Singapore, where he led all of the company’s activities in the region. Previously, he worked for Chevron Corporation and its affiliates for more than 20 years.
Patel is a board member of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Membership committee of the American Chemistry Council.
Alton (Al) Romig
Alton D. Romig, Jr., PhD, is Vice President and Program Manager of Advanced Development Programs’ (ADP) Engineering and Advanced Systems for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company’s world-renowned Skunk Works®, the pre-eminent leader in aerospace innovation for over 70 years. He leads the organization in the development of advanced systems concepts, product improvements and derivatives, advanced projects and programs, while supporting major program campaigns and capture opportunities across the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Prior to joining ADP, Dr. Romig spent more than 30 years with Sandia National Laboratories, which is operated by Lockheed Martin Corporation. He held a variety of management assignments including Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Science, Technology, and Partnerships; Chief Scientific Officer for the Nuclear Weapons Program; and Executive Vice President, Deputy Laboratories Director, and Chief Operating Officer responsible for all aspects of Laboratory business.
Dr. Romig is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on numerous advisory councils and boards, including the Intelligence Science Board; the Air Force Studies Board; the Standing Advisory Committee to the Special Operations Command; and the Standing Committee on Technology Insight. In 2013 he was named an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA.)
He was also appointed as part-time Visiting Associate Professor in Physics at California Institute of Technology in October 2013.
Elliot B. Ross is the co-founder of The MFL Group, a boutique consulting firm that for the past 13 years has assisted clients in developing and implementing profitable growth strategies. He was previously head of McKinsey & Company’s worldwide marketing practice. During his 15-year tenure at that firm, he became its thought leader in proactive pricing management, authoring articles in several journals, including the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Ross currently serves on the Board of both public and private companies.
Prior to founding MFL, Mr. Ross was President and Director of State Industrial Products, a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty chemical and hardware products. He also led Essef Corporation (NASDAQ) as Chief Operating Officer and a Director to four years of growth to over $300 Million (in excess of 34% per year). He founded Inverness Partners and grew Inverness Castings Group (Co-Chairman and co-CEO) into a leading $70 Million tier I automotive supplier. He was selected by Inc. magazine as regional manufacturing entrepreneur of the year. He is a Director of The Stephan Company and Dunn Paper and served as a Director and Chairman of the Board of Gevity HR, Inc. (NASDAQ). Mr. Ross holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Science (Engineering) from The Ohio State and an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University.
Rick Schostek is executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. He is responsible for planning, support, and governance in that region. Schostek joined Honda in 1987 as an attorney in the Legal Department, concentrating in commercial and environmental areas. He was named general counsel and assistant vice president of the Legal Department and Corporate Affairs in 1998. In 2001, he was promoted to vice president and given additional responsibilities over the support services area. In 2004, Schostek joined Honda Manufacturing of Alabama where he provided overall operational leadership at this facility, which currently produces the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline, and the Acura MDX. Schostek joined Honda Manufacturing of Indiana in 2008 to take a leadership role in the start-up of Honda’s newest auto manufacturing plant in North America. In 2011, he returned to Honda in Ohio and, in 2012, was promoted to senior vice president of Honda North America, Inc. and Honda North America Services, LLC.
In addition to his roles at Honda North America and Honda North America Services, Schostek is chairman of the board of directors of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, as well as a member of the boards of trustees for the National Association of Manufacturers and Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation.
A Cleveland native, Schostek is a graduate of the Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University and General Motors Institute (now the Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan. He and his wife, Doreen, live in Dublin and have two children.
Christina Sistrunk is President and CEO at Aera Energy LLC. Headquartered in Bakersfield, California, Aera Energy is a California limited liability company and one of California’s largest oil and natural gas producers, with approximate revenues in 2015 of over $2 billion. Sistrunk has worked in oil exploration and production in places including the Netherlands and the Gulf of Mexico. As a Shell vice president, helped plan the company’s long-term development strategy in the Arctic.
Sistrunk earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at The Ohio State University before joining Amoco Corp. in Louisiana to work in production, facilities and reservoir engineering. At Amoco she also worked as an operations foreman and was a manager in engineering, procurement and construction.