<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=121089&amp;fmt=gif">

Champion For Industry - Class of 2019

The manufacturing industry continues to be among the most innovative, advanced, productive, and successful sectors of any across the world. But that doesn’t happen by accident — it’s the result of some incredibly talented and driven leaders who go above and beyond every day. At Thomas, we’re recognizing the achievements of these amazing manufacturing professionals.

January - Joel Stone

Joel Stone Image
As the CTO at Fermentum, Joel engineered the design of a two million liter biotechnology plant in Rochester, NY. He has held many C-level positions at various food ingredient, animal health, enzyme, ethanol, and renewable chemical companies. Joel is the only executive in the history of biotech to have simultaneously built three, 100 million gallon per year ethanol plants, in 16 months. Learn more about Joel >

February - Karen Norheim

Karen Norheim

In her years at American Crane, Karen has successfully been able to revitalize and modernize her company’s culture. She created the grit matters campaign, which provides employees with the ability to work through challenges together as well as share success stories. This initiative has enhanced collaboration across various departments, and as a result, has led to increased profitability for the company. Find out more about Karen >


March - Anand Singh

Anand Singh-1
In his role at Philips, Anand strategizes ways to improve the medical device and accessories business by partnering with suppliers to bring new healthcare products to market. Using data insights, Anand and his team established a tracking system to discover gaps and opportunities in the market, which has resulted in 9.6% YoY growth for Philips since 2015. Read more about Anand >

April - Scott Lindblad

Scott is the inventor of SMT-Flex, a technology that has gone on to be used in many applications including the first Motorola phone, as well as in ABS brake systems. Scott is currently working on a new technology called Wire Write, which will be used as an additive manufacturing process to design medical and automotive components. Learn about Scott >

May - Tracy Tenpenny

Tracy tenpenny
During his 13 years at Tailored Label Products (TLP), Tracy has been able to transform the company from a $6.5 million business to a $24 million business. He has had the opportunity to work with large companies such as Tesla, providing label solutions for the aerospace, hydraulic power, and light industries. With his direction, TLP has been voted a Best Place to Work company. Learn more about Tracy >

June - Jim Schweich

As Chief Executive Perfectionist at Plateco, Inc., Jim inspired his 74 employees, increased efficiency and optimized his plant floor layout tripling his 45-years-strong company’s capacity without increasing the size of his factory or adding new equipment. Learn more about Jim >


July - Dr. Salvatore Menzo

Sal Menzo - Football Game - SQUARE - 300X300
In his ten plus years as superintendent of Wallingford Public Schools, Sal Menzo has taken a once conventional public-school district and transformed it into a diverse collaborative partnership with local manufacturers to develop hands-on educational programs that deliver career skills, both technical and soft, for students and local residents. Learn more about Sal >

August - Penni Boxall

Penni_300x300 (1)

Penni Boxall started her career at Sure Flow Equipment 25 years ago working on invoicing and inventory. After shifting to be more heavily involved in the company's accounting, she later became IT manager in addition to overseeing accounting. Two years ago, Penni was named company president — the first female president in Sure Flow's history. With a focus on her employees, Penni hopes her work motivates others to achieve more, especially women.  Learn more about Penni >

September - Dr. Steven Skerlos


When Skerlos entered the world of machine cutting fluids, it was a dangerous space; known to pick up traces of harmful metals and bacteria known to put machinists at heightened risk for cancers and respiratory conditions, the fluids also presented a host of environmental hazards. With a Ph.D. in machining fluids and a drive to develop a better solution, Skerlos created a new type of supercritical carbon dioxide fluid that has revolutionized machine cutting. Learn more about Steven > 

October - Dave Chenevert


Three weeks after selling his business and retiring, Chenevert was appointed as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association (RIMA). Today, he continues to advocate for manufacturing across Rhode Island, develops hands-on, educational opportunities for RIMA businesses, and has grown the association from only 40 to 300 members. He also founded We Make Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to educating students, parents, guidance counselors, and teachers on the career opportunities available in manufacturing. Learn more about Dave >

November - Phil Lundman

Phil Lundman (2)

Phil Lundman has always been involved in manufacturing; he was practically raised learning about Petersen Products, a family business since 1916, and its manufacturing processes. After returning from service in the U.S. Air Force, Lundman took over the family business and has continued to push the company toward new innovations ever since. Under his leadership, Petersen Products also prioritizes its employees and local community by paying up to 70% of tuition costs and books for full-time employees and donating half its profits to charity annually. Learn more about Phil >

December - Jacqui Guillette

Jacqui Guilette- Champ December

As a retired New Hampshire school superintendent, Jacqui Guillette partnered with a local manufacturer to create a hands-on curriculum to educate students, teachers, parents, and faculty about all of the career possibilities available in additive manufacturing. Since implementing her new curriculum and course offerings, Guillette has seen a major shift in the stigmas surrounding manufacturing and industry; her new courses now have a waiting list. Read more about Jacqui >


Champions For Industry drive their teams, their companies, and the manufacturing industry itself forward. If you know a Champion, let us get to know them too.