Board of Directors
Jonathan P. Blank, Ph.D.
General Manager, Engineering Materials Systems
GE Aviation – Engineering Division
Jon was born in Buffalo, New York. He attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a B.S. and M.S. degree in materials engineering in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Jon then joined General Electric in 2002 in the Aviation business in Evendale, OH on the Edison Engineering Development Program. He worked in the GE Aviation Engineering Division as a Materials Application Engineering Team Leader for the CF6 and Marine & Industrial engine lines from 2005 to 2008. In 2008, he completed his thesis research and graduated with a Ph.D. degree in materials engineering from The Ohio State University while working full time. He became the manager of the Materials Department Failure Analysis and Lab Operations team and Meltless Titanium Program manager in 2008.
In 2010, he took an operations role in the newly formed Product Engineering Center at GE Aviation and later in the year was named New Product Introduction Operations Leader. In this position, Jon had the responsibility for developing the strategy, processes and tools to drive key NPI metrics (FTY, OTD, cost and quality) to deliver GEnx, LEAP, Passport 20, Honda and GE38 on an annual $1B engineering budget. In 2012, he took on the role as the Product Definition Leader with responsibility for delivering and managing the definition for all of GE Aviation’s world class products with a complete focus on quality, on time delivery, and cost of all of our deliverables. In 2013, Jon became the Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) Design and Technologies Leader. CMCs are a differentiating technology for GE, enabling improved fuel burn, substantial NOx emissions reduction, weight and durability benefits. As the section leader, he is responsible for leading the GE engineering team to develop and execute on CMC technology for the next generation of GE Aviation commercial and military products. In 2017, Jon transitioned to the role of CMC and Coatings Materials & Processes Leader. As the section leader, he was accountable for leading the GE Materials and Processes team to develop and execute on the CMC product and process recipes, creation of the next generation material systems and processes, and CMC and EBC FastWorks Labs for technology and manufacturing development/maturations. In 2021, Jon took the role as the General Manager, Engineering Material Systems at GE Aviation. In this role, he leads the global GE Aviation materials and life management technology organization which provides full lifecycle support for GE Aviation commercial engines and partners with GE Edison Works in support of military engine programs.
Jon is proud to have spent the last 10+ years really learning, growing and being an ally to allow all of us to bring our whole selves to everything we do in our local and work communities. He is/has been a leader for the GE-Aiken Young Scholars Program, iSPACE board member, GEA-Cincinnati Community Service Fund Leader, OSU External Advisory Board for Materials Science and Welding
Engineer Department, GE Aviation GLBTAQ sponsor, champion and ally, and co-Inclusion and Diversity leader with Tracey Nowlin for the Engineering Division at GE Aviation (GEA).
Jon spends his personal time with his wife Heather and their twins Nolan and Mara. They like cooking, traveling, landscaping, spending time volunteering in the community, and relaxing with family and friends. Jon also is a sports enthusiast that enjoys attending sporting events as well as playing sports including hockey, tennis, and golf.
Courtney Hill – Board Chair
CJ Hill Consulting Services
General Manager, GE Aviation, Manufacturing Technology (Retired)
Courtney Hill retired from the General Electric Company in 2012 after a 36-year career in manufacturing technology, process development, and commercialization. Presently, Courtney operates CJ Hill Consulting Services.
As the General Manager of Manufacturing Technology, a global technology organization for GE Aviation, Courtney was responsible for the development of next-generation affordable manufacturing and inspection processes that support GE Aviation’s products and services worldwide. Notable areas of technology development and commercialization include high-performance structural composites, additive manufacturing, ceramic matric composites, advanced robotic applications, and digital manufacturing.
Throughout his General Electric career, Mr. Hill held numerous engineering, operations, and supply chain management positions within GE Aviation, GE Power, and GE Global Research. A champion of operational excellence to drive productivity and cost-effective manufacturing, Courtney has extensive experience in Six Sigma and lean manufacturing.
A graduate of Lehigh University, Mr. Hill currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences and the Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute. He also serves on the Board of Gardner Business Media. He formerly served on the boards of Oberg Industries, TechSolve and the Edison Welding Institute.
C. Alan Ferguson, PhD
Chairman, Board of Directors
Eclypse International Corporation
Mr. Ferguson served as CEO and President of Eclypse International where he led the company through a period that resulted in 1500% revenue growth. Mr. Ferguson was nominated as a finalist for CEO of the year in Southern California by the Tech America executive committee. His technology and manufacturing experience spans a very wide spectrum that includes: machine tools, manned spacecraft, nuclear safety analysis and surety review, nuclear effects and mitigation, advanced avionics consisting of radar, electronic countermeasures and acoustic signal detection and analysis, plus the attendant support equipment to maintain these technologies. His professional management background entailed Program management, Product Line manager, Director of Business Development, Business Area Manager, Vice President Operations, President, and Chief Executive Officer in aircraft, avionics, and aerospace test equipment industries. He is also a Board member of Applied Technology, Inc. and Wolfpaw Associates. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, he continued with graduate level studies in psychology, marketing and finance culminating with a PhD in Business Management.
NCMS board membership provides the opportunity through collaboration to apply his multifaceted experience background to promote technologies and innovative manufacturing to and through small and medium businesses in the United States. In the last several years Mr. Ferguson has supported industry and government initiatives related to technology development and commercial technology insertion, published several technical papers, and provided leadership in Eclypse and Government sponsored automated nondestructive test technology developments related to aging aircraft and to implement safety inspection and maintenance protocols in high value aircraft assets.
Thomas R. Kurfess received his S.B., S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from M.I.T. in 1986, 1987 and 1989, respectively. He also received an S.M. degree from M.I.T. in electrical engineering and computer science in 1988. He currently serves as the Chief Manufacturing of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and was the Founding Director for the Manufacturing Science Division Officer at ORNL. At present, he is on leave from Georgia Tech where he is the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. During 2012-2013 he was on leave serving as the Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America. In this position he had responsibility for engaging the Federal sector and the greater scientific community to identify possible areas for policy actions related to manufacturing. He was responsible for coordinating Federal advanced manufacturing R&D, addressing issues related to technology commercialization, identifying gaps in current Federal R&D in advanced manufacturing, and developing strategies to address these gaps. He was President of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2018, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the ASME. His research focuses on the design and development of advanced manufacturing systems targeting secure digital manufacturing, additive and subtractive processes, and large-scale production enterprises. Kurfess is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of ASME, AAAS, and SME.
John Rand Langmead
Siemens Digital Industries Software
Randy Langmead is a PLM Fellow for the Aerospace, Defense, Federal and Marine division of Siemens Digital Industries Software. He leads a Business Development team that provides Industry Solutions and Strategy to Siemens customers in pursuit of “The Digital Enterprise”. Randy received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1980, and an MS in Aeronautical Avionics from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1988. A former Naval Aviator, Randy served as a carrier-based Helicopter pilot and held a wide variety of Organizational Level Maintenance and Defense Acquisition Workforce positions while on active duty. Randy has been with Siemens since 1997 and has been involved with numerous Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) projects across the Department of Defense and at both commercial Aerospace and Defense and Naval Shipbuilding customers.
Director, Manufacturing Technology and Strategy
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Bill Saathoff is Director of Manufacturing Technology and Strategy for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. His current area of responsibility is the formulation of Production Operations near and long term strategies and the development and deployment of Manufacturing Technologies and Manufacturing Systems to support current and future LM Aero programs and sites. Bill additionally serves on the Lockheed Martin Production Council to support technology sharing across the corporations Missiles and Fire Control, Rotary and Missions systems, and Space Systems business areas.
Mr. Saathoff has worked over 20 years at Lockheed Martin in Operations and Engineering roles developing manufacturing methods, systems, and advanced materials. He has worked extensively in key programs such as F35, F22, F16 as well as several years in hypersonics research as Manufacturing Lead for the X30 program. He additionally served as Program Manager for AFRL funded research programs in Manufacturing Simulations as well as IPT lead for early JSF efforts, leading the Airframe Affordability Demonstration, which established technologies and designs to meet JSF affordability goals.
After departing Lockheed Martin in 2000 and prior to his return in 2009, Mr. Saathoff spent 10 years in the general aviation business with Hawker Beechcraft (formally Raytheon Aircraft). During his time there, he served in several roles including Transition to Production Manager for 2 new aircraft models, Plant Director of Composites Manufacturing, and Program Manager of International Production (Offsets, Outsourcing and Divestitures) establishing new facilities and suppliers in Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Isreal and the UK. During his time in commercial aviation, signiifcant experience was gained in Supply Chain Management. Mr Saathoff is a Program Management Professional (PMP) certified by Program Management Institute (PMI) since 2005 and a Lockheed Martin Level 3 Certified Program Manager.
A. Donald Steinman, III
Executive Vice President – General Manager
Mr. Steinman joined Product Knowledge in March of 2015 as the Executive Vice President and Senior Product Expert. In July of 2015, he was selected by the board to serve as General Manager. In this role, he directs all product strategy, planning, and execution for the firm and its clients.
He brings with him more than 20 years of technology product development and commercialization experience resulting in more than $2 Billion in delivered product. He is widely recognized as a leader in results-oriented unconventional product strategy and delivery. Having extensive experience with both large and small firms his expertise provides value across Product Knowledge’s entire range of clients.
Prior to joining Product Knowledge, Mr. Steinman most recently served as Vice President for Product Strategy and Business Development for QinetiQ North America overseeing nearly 90% of the firm’s product offerings. He joined QinetiQ in January of 2006 and served them continuously in multiple high visibility roles including as Vice President of Washington Operations where he focused on managing the corporation’s relationships within the US Congress, the Pentagon, and the DoD requirements commands. He also served as the Director of Technology Marketing and Commercialization.
Prior to joining QinetiQ, he served as an Executive Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Northeast Technology Transfer Center and also served as the principal Technology Scouting consultant for Nike, Burton Snowboards, Benetton Sports Systems, Converse and several other sporting goods manufacturers.
Throughout his professional career, he has held a number of senior positions in both management and technology development areas. His career spans both the defense and the commercial sectors with a principal focus on transitioning core technologies to sustainable products. Mr. Steinman holds degrees in Political Science and History from Emory University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.
President and CEO
The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences
Lisa Strama is President and CEO of NCMS, a leader in establishing and executing programs for increasing U.S. manufacturing global competitiveness through the acceleration of technology transfer. She brings extensive and diverse leadership experience spanning functional roles responsible for product delivery, sales, systems design, and infrastructure improvements.
Prior to joining NCMS, Lisa was a senior director of Aerospace and Defense business development for digital enterprise software at a Fortune Global 100 ranked company. In this role, she represented the global Aerospace and Defense industry and was responsible for providing integrated product and application lifecycle management solutions, strategy and execution leadership. Prior to this, Lisa was a senior director for a Fortune 500 global security company where she provided leadership and strategic direction and execution for an affordable, enterprise-wide, integrated and common engineering environment. She also served as a senior director for manufacturing operations, where she grew and led a portfolio worth more than $1 billion in manufacturing sales for highly technical and complex products.
Throughout her career, she has supported and been an advocate for numerous employee resource groups and women in STEM careers. Lisa is also actively involved with numerous charities and organizations as she is a mentor for employees and students.
Lisa’s academic credentials include a Master’s of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from DePaul University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Western Illinois University. Additionally, she has been published and has held certifications from the University of Virginia Darden graduate school and American Production and Inventory Control Society.
Tyrone C. Taylor
President and CEO
Capitol Advisors on Technology
Tyrone C. Taylor is the President and CEO of Capitol Advisors on Technology, a firm founded in 2003. Capitol Advisors on Technology provides management solutions, technology management, and innovation management services to help its clients excel, which have included DoD, GSA, EPA, DHS, and General Electric. Prior to leading Capitol Advisors on Technology, Mr. Taylor held senior management positions at NASA and the private sector. He has worked extensively in the science and technology community, supporting federal departments and agencies, small and large businesses, and non-profits.
Mr. Taylor worked for NASA for over 20 years and held various executive and management positions. As a NASA executive on loan, he represented the entire Federal R&D community as the Washington, D.C. Representative for the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, a congressionally chartered organization. In this capacity, he provided leadership in building public/private partnerships and crafted legislation that governs the private and public sector’s ability to collaborate with the federal government in R&D activities, manage intellectual property and commercialize technologies. Also, Mr. Taylor held key positions in several NASA Offices, including the Office of Space Station, the Office of Policy and International Affairs, the Office of Education, Office of Space Science, and Office of Inspector General. He participated in several special projects, such as an internal review of the Challenger Space Shuttle accident, oversaw centers of excellence and science investments valued at approximately $300 million, and managed about $1 billion in contracts and grants for systems engineering, information systems, facilities management, and technical and administrative services.
Mr. Taylor also held senior positions in the private sector and was responsible for various technology projects and initiatives. As V.P. for an I.T. Services company, he managed and supported business development activities for information technology and health care solutions. As Director for a High Technology Consortium Foundation, he developed and managed strategic partnerships with public, private, and academic organizations in technology commercialization. While in this role, he managed and provided technical support for technology development programs for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, and NASA. As a Senior V. P. for a Technology Management company, Mr. Taylor’s duties included serving as the Program Manager for a multi-million dollar, dual-use technology development program and developing test and evaluation procedures.
Mr. Taylor has served on numerous technology advisory committees. He was a member of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advisory Committee, Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technologies, and a member of the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Committee of Visitors. He contributed to a groundbreaking NSF review that played a vital role in reauthorizing the SBIR program. In addition, Mr. Taylor is a member of the National Defense Industrial Association and served as Chair of the Small Business Division and an Executive Committee Member of the Health Affairs Division. Over the years, he has worked with Congressional committees to assess potential legislation affecting the technology community. Also, he has served on the National Council Committees in determining the impact of various innovation initiatives.
Mr. Taylor earned his master’s degree in Business and Public Administration from Southeastern University, Washington, D.C., and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Wilmington College, Ohio, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. He has received several awards for his work and contributions, including the NASA Exceptional Service Award and NDIA’s National Gold Medal. Also, he was recognized by Congress for his outstanding leadership and successful efforts in support of the federal R&D laboratory community. The FLC bestowed upon him the FLC Harold Metcalf Award, their highest award. In addition, Mr. Taylor was recognized by DoD as an “Honorary Office of Research and Technology and Applications Representative” for his contributions to DoD’s technology transfer community.
VP, Global Total Rewards and HR Technology
Dr. Dawn R. White
Founder and President/CTO
President and CEO
Executive Vice President
Business Development & Programs
Senior Vice President
Digital Enterprise & Initiatives
Communications, & Partnerships
Senior Vice President of Financial & Business Operations
Lenore Litwin, SHRM-SCP
Human Resources and Facilities Management
Maintenance and Sustainment Business Development, CTMA Director
Director, Contracts and Corporate Secretary