Board of Directors

Robert Barnes

Bob Barnes retired from Northrop Grumman after 41 years of service and was the Manager of Lean Initiatives and Best Manufacturing Practices for Northrop's Electronics Systems Sector. With over thirty years experience in the electronics industry, he has worked in numerous technical and managerial roles stressing innovation in manufacturing competitiveness.

He is currently the Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness for the State of Maryland. The commission recently completed a detailed broad based analysis of Maryland manufacturing and submitted its report including recommendations for the future.

Bob has served on the board of directors of Xetron Corporation and Norden Systems and is involved in many organizations benefiting Maryland's youth, such as Junior Achievement, and the engineering profession, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Bob is a graduate Mechanical Engineer of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and completed the Executive Program at the Darden Business School of the University of Virginia. Bob is active in a number of local and national industry associations, which enable him to benchmark many facilities throughout the U.S. and other countries.

Kevin Haines

Kevin Haines is the Operations/Facility Manager for Cobham Mission Systems (Carleton Technologies Inc.) in Westminster, MD.  Prior to this role, Kevin was also a Materials Manager, Production Manager and Plant Supervisor.  Cobham is a manufacturer of high-performance lightweight composite pressure vessels and structures for the aerospace, defense and commercial markets.

Kevin is currently facilitating “Standard Operating Framework” system development and implementation for Cobham-Westminster.  He has served on the Corporate Cobham Business Lean Team, assessing and guiding other Cobham locations on lean growth and maturity.  Kevin has also facilitated many Kaizen events with the framework to provide significant improvement results and served on the Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning implementation team.

A graduate of the MWCC’s Lean Facilitator Certification course and Leadership Program, Kevin has proven lean and Six Sigma facilitation skills.  He also has significant experience in company start-up, plant relocation, manufacturing design layout and strategy deployment.

Kevin resides in Westminster with his wife, Sherri, and four children. He is a Marine Corps veteran and enjoys performing home renovations and coaching youth sports.

Stanley Kos

Stan Kos is the Lean Facilitator for ATK Aerospace Systems, Spacecraft System and Services Group. This division of ATK, located in Greenbelt, Maryland, is just minutes away from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 

After graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, Stan started his manufacturing career working with space qualified electronics for NASA programs. Over the last 25 years Stan has been involved with all aspects of manufacturing, including operations management and program management. He has also managed support organizations including machine shop operations, inventory control, property management and logistics. Stan's in-depth knowledge of the ATK business practices coupled with his understanding of Lean principles uniquely positions him to guide the organization on its Lean journey. Many positive results have been achieved while many more are being planned or are underway.

Stan has been active with the Consortia since 1998 when ATK (formerly Swales Aerospace) joined the MWCC. He participated in the Consortia's Lean assessment, attended the Leadership Program in 2003 and graduated with the inaugural class of the Lean Facilitator program in 2005/2006.

Stan has been a Maryland resident since birth and currently resides in Carroll County with his wife Kelli, son Ben and daughter Rachael.


Ursula Powidzki


Ursula Powidzki offers over 30 years of managerial experience in real estate, finance and economic development, with a history of operational leadership in a variety of organizational settings.

Ms. Powidzki is the Assistant Secretary of the Business and Enterprise Development.  She manages the finance, business development, international and regional and sector development functions of the department, and overseas a staff of 70.

Prior to joining DBED, Ursula was a senior manager for an emerging market investment management business affiliated with MuniMae (MMA), a publicly held real estate and energy finance company.  She was responsible for portfolio management and investor relations, and played a leading role in creating the business infrastructure for a $220M equity fund investing in the South African housing market.  During her earlier MMA career, she managed a diverse set of projects and teams across functional areas such as credit risk management, IT and strategic marketing.

Ms. Powidzki's career has spanned privately held firms, a not-for-profit organization and the public sector.  She was COO for a regional real estate development firm, Himmelrich Associates, and directed marketing for a high-end commercial millwork and fixtures company.  Ms. Powidzki was the managing director of the Baltimore Advisors from 1996-2000, an affiliate of the National Initiative for led Competitive Inner City (ICIC), led by Harvard Business School Prof. Michael Porter.  Ms. Powidzki staffed USAID economic development contract in Poland in the mid-1990's, and was senior vice president of the Baltimore Development Corporation until 1992, overseeing small business lending, the development of incubator facilities, and re-positioned industrial properties.

Ursula has a B.A. from Brown University in Urban Studies and has completed an executive MBA course in Finance, and University at The Wharton School, University in Pennsylvania.

Van Reiner


Van Reiner is a native of Lakewood, Ohio, holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree in chemistry from Lehigh University. He also has completed executive education programs at Duke University and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

He joined Bethlehem Steel in 1974 and spent the first 10 years of his career as an engineer in the coke oven department at Bethlehem’s Lackawanna, NY, plant. In 1984, he was transferred to the Burns Harbor, IN, Division as assistant superintendent of the slab mill/plate mills department and in 1990 was promoted to superintendent of that department.

In 1995, Mr. Reiner was appointed superintendent of the Galvanized Products Division, an operating unit of Burns Harbor located at Lackawanna. He became senior manager, operations, for the Burns Harbor Division in 1997, and president, Bethlehem Lukens Plate, when that division was formed in May 1998 following Bethlehem’s acquisition of Lukens Inc. He was then named president, Bethlehem Sparrows Point Division in August 2000. During his career at Bethlehem, he was a leader for introducing six sigma and lean throughout the company.

Professionally, Mr. Reiner is a past member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Steel Construction. He also held memberships in the American Iron and Steel Institute, Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, American Chemical Society, Western States Blast Furnace and Coke Oven Operators Association.

Since the closing of Bethlehem Steel, Mr. Reiner has served as interim Director to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD, and in March of 2005, was named its permanent President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Reiner serves as Chairman of the Board for the Maryland World Class Manufacturing Consortia and is a founding member and Treasurer of the Partnership for Baltimore’s Waterfront.

He and his wife, Shirley, are the parents of three children. They reside in Bel Air, MD.

Joe Riley


Joe Riley has more than 36 years of experience in a variety of manufacturing and general management positions. He has worked as an Industrial Engineer, Quality & Safety Manager, Plant Manager and Director of Operations, from 1968 – 1984 for Baltimore Aircoil Company, a world wide manufacturer of evaporative cooling equipment.

From 1984-1990 he was President and CEO of Chesapeake Wood Products a lumber distribution and fabrication company with operations in Baltimore and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

He rejoined Baltimore Aircoil in 1990. Since then he held positions as Director of Operations-International, Corporate Manufacturing Engineering and North America Customer Service.

Joe was most recently Senior Lean Leader with Baltimore Aircoil with a mission to simplify the business processes within the Corporate Headquarters and three manufacturing facilities in North America using Lean techniques and kaizen events to improve information flow to support shop floor continuous improvement activities.

Joe was instrumental in getting BAC to join the Consortia and implement lean manufacturing in North America. He served on the first two implementations that converted batch production and bay assembly into continuous flow production in 2000, using Consortia consulting resources.

He is a Senior Member of SME and has served on the Howard County Committee to Improve Workforce Quality.

Joe has a BS from the University of Maryland- College Park and an MBA from the University of Baltimore.

Gary Ruddell



Gary Ruddell is President of Total Biz Fulfillment, Inc., a leading provider of back office and customer relations services, in addition to warehousing, picking, packing and shipment of merchant and consumer orders throughout North America. Companies depend on TBF to build their brands and to support their sales growth. Client manufacturing companies are headquartered in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Denmark and the Philippines. Re-engineered from a publishing company in 1992, Total Biz Fulfillment has built six warehouse expansions over two campuses in western Maryland over the last sixteen years.

Total Biz Fulfillment allows companies to focus on their core competencies of building a brand and selling their products. The challenge of successfully doing so requires managing a myriad of details, including the last-in-line presentation of products, transport of products, order management, credit and financial management, and customer relations. In 2000 TBF lost a large contract for 15 (fifteen) cents per transaction.  Research suggested that, had lean principles been employed, they could have enabled TBF to offer a lower commercial cost that could have won the contract. Total Biz Fulfillment thus joined the Maryland World Class Consortia.

Gary has been actively engaged with the Maryland World Class Consortia for a number of years and has been a missionary for lean principles and membership in the MWCC. In September 2007 some forty-eight companies listened as First United Bank and Trust (first bank in the State of Maryland to join MWCC); New Page (paper manufacturing); and TBF presented their lean business journeys. Gary and other bevy from his firm have attended a multitude of MWCC meetings.

Gary’s academic background is Marketing and Sales where he holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland (College Park).

Gary resides in a home overlooking Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County with his wife Luanne.

John B. King


John King is the Continuous Improvement Manager for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, responsible for training Continuous Improvement Techniques including LEAN and 6 Sigma processes, and for Implementation of large scale improvement projects.  

John graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and from Loyola University of Maryland with an Executive MBA.  Mr. King is a 6 Sigma Master Black Belt and a licensed Professional Engineer. 

Mr. King is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in Manufacturing, Operations, Supply Chain, and Quality management in a number of industries including consumer products, automobiles, aerospace, communications, and capital equipment manufacturing.  Much of this experience has been in the areas of cost reduction and process improvement.  John has made several presentations of the results of his work in Process Improvement and Lead Time Management at both regional and national conferences.



Jerry Solomon













Jerry Solomon has had a unique opportunity to implement Lean accounting and manufacturing techniques, as he's simultaneously held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Manufacturing at three middle market manufacturing companies.  In his dual role he was able to cast aside traditional departmental barriers and galvanize the accounting and manufacturing areas to develop timely and actionable information.

In 1986, while Mr. Solomon's additional responsibility of Financial Officer of Vermont Castings Inc., he assumed the additional responsibility for the manufacturing operations of this heavy industrial company.  He immediately realized that a key customer of the accounting department, the manufacturing organization, was getting information that at best was marginally useful.  Mr. Solomon redesigned the accounting procedures and teamed with the operating folks to provide user friendly reporting that facilitated the improvement process taking place on the production floor.

In 1998, Mr. Solomon became the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Manufacturing at PACE, Inc., an electronics manufacturing firm providing equipment to the telecommunications, consumer electronics, automotive, computer and medical industries.  Mr. Solomon led the Lean transformation that resulted in customer lead-time reductions of 75%, productivity improvements of 64%, space reductions of 50%, quality improvements of 100%, and a doubling of inventory turns. In addition to the improvements taking place on the plant floor, the cost accounting system was simplified and the use of MRP for executing the production plan was eliminated in favor of a pull system with electronic links to all suppliers. As a result of these efforts, PACE, Inc. was the first company certified to World-Class levels by the Maryland World Class Consortia.

Currently Mr. Solomon is the Vice President of Operations – Hunt Valley, for MarquipWardUnited, the largest division of the Barry-Wehmiller Companies Inc., the Western Hemisphere’s leading packaging automation and converting group. 

Mr. Solomon has a B.S. degree from Clarkson University, an M.S. degree from Michigan Technological University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He’s served on the Board of Directors of Vermont Castings Inc. as well as the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation. He’s been an instructor in Lean Accounting, serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Maryland World Class Consortia, and chairs the Vendor Certification Committee. Mr. Solomon is also the author of the Shingo Prize winning book, Who’s Counting?, a highly acclaimed business novel focusing on the interaction of the manufacturing and accounting functions during a Lean transformation and Leading Lean, a novel about a three day Lean event. In collaboration with Professor Rosemary Fullerton, Mr. Solomon has also written, Accounting for World Class Operations, which has also won the Shingo Prize.  Mr. Solomon brings a truly unique perspective to the requirements of manufacturers in their quest to achieve World-Class performance levels.

Shawn Wolf


Shawn Wolf is currently President of Wright Manufacturing Inc. (WMI) in Frederick, MD. Shawn started his career at Wright as a consultant handling marketing and management issues, then joined the company in 2001 as the Chief Operating Officer. Shawn, along with Bill Wright, the CEO of WMI, completed the MWCC leadership program and aggressively began transforming Wright from a traditional batch manufacturer to a lean enterprise. Wright Manufacturing remains focused on its lean journey and proudly promotes lean enterprise to other businesses through tours and other means. Wright Manufacturing produces commercial lawn equipment serving the professional lawn care industry.

Previously, Shawn spent ten years in higher education as an administrator for three different universities. He also spent several years as an independent consultant focused primarily on leadership development, management, and marketing. He has a B.S. degree in Business Administration, Bryan College, an M.S. in Management, Eastern University and is currently a student at Regent University pursuing a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership.

Shawn resides in Frederick County with his wife Denise and their three children - Ryan, Lauren and Connor.


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