OMI Announces New Leadership

Posted: March 26, 2014

New leadership to propel Ohio Manufacturing Institute initiatives
Statewide, university support for manufacturers to be reinforced by industry, policy experts

Columbus, OH (March 31, 2014) - The Ohio Manufacturing Institute (OMI) has announced the appointment of several new team members to lead university and statewide efforts that support manufacturing needs.

A center at The Ohio State University College of Engineering, OMI works with manufacturers to deliver quick and cost-effective applied engineering solutions for research, development and process support utilizing OSU faculty, student and researcher expertise. Additionally, OMI provides leadership on the development of manufacturing policies related to connecting industry to technical services supplied by a full range of university, government, and public technical resources.

Under an Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) grant, OMI is developing a mechanism to allow Ohio manufacturers easier access to technical services from a wider range of public and private resources throughout the state. The mechanisms also facilitate industry convening and technology roadmapping that allow manufacturers to have a strong voice in technology grant funding and policy development.

Rich Spivey, executive director, is ending his two-year term as executive-on-loan from Honda of America Mfg., Inc. Contributing 30 years of experience in manufacturing, strategic planning, purchasing and supply chain management, he identified the technical support structure available to the Ohio manufacturing supply chain and developed strategies to bridge the gap for the many industries not fully leveraging available resources.

“Rich’s contributions to OMI’s advancement cannot be overstated,” said Glenn Daehn, PhD, incoming director and Fontana Professor, Materials Science Engineering, at Ohio State. “His initial industry research, development of the overall objectives and methodologies, and the construction of a viable architecture for a statewide technical support network will serve as a strong foundation for continued efforts to support manufacturing in Ohio.”

Using production processes and technologies developed under Spivey’s leadership, the team that has been assembled will work with ODSA, Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, Edison Centers, industry organizations and universities to survey state manufacturers, identify the gaps, and create an industry-led mechanism whereby support structures can be implemented.

OMI team members include:

Daehn will reprise his role as executive director of the Ohio Manufacturing Institute. Daehn was the founding director of OMI and developed the initial mechanisms to promote and improve engineering services engagements between Ohio manufacturers and academia. He currently has leadership roles in several of Ohio State initiatives and programs related to manufacturing technology development, application, and ecosystem advancement. 

Jeff Garlock, associate chief engineer and department manager at Honda North America Engineering Center, will replace Spivey as Honda representative and will champion industry input and direction on the project. Jeff's experience in industry/academic technical engagements as well as his strategic planning and systems development experience make him well positioned to support the technical network development activity. 

Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech, PhD, assistant professor, John Glenn School of Public Affairs has been designated Director of Manufacturing Innovation and Policy. She brings over a decade of professional experience in engineering and manufacturing, primarily in General Motors product development. Her research on the connections between public policy, business, engineering, and technological innovation inform her leadership of the statewide technical network development activity.

Kathryn Kelley, OMI program manager, will continue to lead operational activities and coordinate overall support for the state grant. She is responsible for the development of the state manufacturing technical network website, outreach, and communication strategies, and is working closely with state partners in developing the initial requirements and structure for a statewide technical resource and researcher expertise portal.  

“We have assembled a strong team to continue to collaborate with industry, state government, manufacturing organizations, and academia to execute these crucial objectives,” said Rich Spivey, executive director and senior manager at Honda of America Manufacturing, who is ending his two-year term as executive on loan.

“This team will be well positioned to make additional recommendations for state technical support structure alignment and manufacturing technology innovation policy enhancements that will further strengthen our manufacturing support ecosystem in Ohio.”  

More information about OMI is available at