Their role is to advise, assess, and advocate. They report annual recommendations to the National Science Foundation and ensure that the National Center strategically operates in alignment with the project's approved scope.
Nick Little is Assistant Director of Executive Development Programs at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University (MSU). He has over 25 years industry and international experience in Supply Chain Management. He introduced the first computerized order entry and replenishment system on British Railways and led feasibility studies for several UK Post Office supply chain systems. In 1995, Nick joined Michigan State University to work on a research project in procurement as part of the integrated supply chain and helped write several reports.
In 2001 Nick joined Executive Development Programs at MSU where his passion for people development was aligned with industrial experience to help design, develop and deliver educational programs, often customized, for global corporate clients in many industry verticals. Nick is currently chair of the Supply-Chain Council’s North America Leadership Team, was elected to the APICS Educational & Research Foundation Board with current role as Corporate Secretary and Treasurer. A founding member of the global Supply Chain Talent Academic Initiative, he is working globally with industry, academia and professional bodies to close the quantity and quality gaps in supply chain talent.
Thomas O'Brien is the Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach and the Associate Director of Long Beach Programs for the METRANS Transportation Center, a partnership between CSULB and the University of Southern California. He also serves as the director of the FHWA Southwest Regional Surface Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC). His teaching and research focus on logistics, supply chain management, and goods movement policy. Dr. O’Brien has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Development and a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California. He is both an Eno and Eisenhower Transportation Fellow and a member of the Transportation Research Board's Intermodal Freight Transport Committee and Intermodal Freight Terminal Design and Operations Committee.
Senior Workforce Consultant
League for Innovation in the Community College
Industry Liaison (Consultant)
Steve Harrington is currently the Industry Liaison for the National Center for Supply Chain Automation. In this role, he is responsible for the development and oversight of a National Industry Leadership Team consisting of Supply Chain industry leaders and various other industry stakeholders. He has 27 years of experience in warehouse operations most recently as the West Coast Logistics Manager for the Perrigo Co., a Fortune 500 over-the-counter generic drug manufacturer. Steve is Chairman and past President of the Distribution Management Association of Southern California (DMA), a 250 member logistics industry association he organized and developed. He is a two time "Spirit of the Entrepreneur" award winner for his volunteer work with DMA and for his work in the field of economic development during his prior tenure with the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. He is a graduate from Cal State University Fullerton with a degree in Business.
NATIONAL VISITING COMMITTEE
Phil Jones is the Senior Manager for Major Vendor Relations at Target Corporation. His team plans control systems and software for major automation projects in all of Target’s 40 various types of distribution centers (DC). They also handle support engineering for the DC network, providing incident management when key systems fail.
He is focused on recruiting engineering talent for Target, and developing engineering career paths all the way from college internships to senior management. He serves on Target’s Technical and Engineering Coalition working group. Phil has 15 years of experience with Facilities/Maintenance & Engineering Management. He also was an artillery officer in the U.S. Army for 10 years. Phil is married with one daughter and enjoys traveling, landscaping and home projects, and supporting his daughter’s competitive swimming events.
Ms. Molko’s professional background includes 20 years of managerial experience in both government and the community college system. She has experience with academic affairs, resource development, project management as well as counseling. Ms. Molko also serves as the Associate Dean of Career and Technical Education at Norco College (Southern California). Ms. Molko earned her Bachelor of Science in Business and Management at the University of Redlands and a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from California State University, San Bernardino.
A lifelong learner, she has earned certificates in Management Development, Facilitative Leadership, Curriculum Development and Leadership and holds a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor credential through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. She is passionate about the power of education to change lives.
Media & Marketing Specialist (Consultant)
For nearly a decade, Michael and his company, HigherEdPhotos.com, have provided photography, media, and content creation services for higher learning institutions primarily in Southern California. His work has been featured on billboards, websites, marketing materials, new media and print publications. While higher education is his primary focus, Michael also services corporate clients such as Yahoo! and NTN Buzztime, as well as private individuals and families.
In 2005, Michael left his management position at American Apparel, Inc. to become the managing partner of a short-lived social media start-up that focused on personal fundraising. The experience reinforced his entrepreneurial spirit and he has since been involved in a handful of business ventures. Most recently, he was recruited by Texas Woman's University to join their Marketing and Communication department in Denton, Texas. In July 2016, he founded the Denton Innovation Organization to continue pursuing projects focused on higher education, art, and creative marketing. His work and upcoming projects can be seen at http://modecki.com or http://denton.io
External Evaluator (Consultant)
Terryll Bailey is the Founder and President of The Allison Group, an accomplished consulting firm for over 30 years in Seattle, Washington. Her firm has designed and produced workforce development research and evaluation projects for mid-sized and large organizations across the U.S. External evaluation, systems thinking and skill standards research in emerging technologies are areas of focus in Ms. Bailey’s practice. She has worked with numerous organizations to manage performance and change and to provide formative and summative evaluation of grant-funded projects and Terryll has been involved with the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program for 15 years as a consultant and external evaluator. She has been on the Advisory Board for the Manufacturing Technology Advisory Group since its inception in 1996, and currently serves on the Workforce Development Advisory Board for North Seattle Community College. Terryll has attained certification in systems thinking and collaborative conflict resolution and her clients include Fortune 100 corporations, federal, state and local government agencies, foundations, public schools, colleges and universities.
Education Liaison (Consultant)
Ms. Gaertner assists community colleges and secondary schools in using the National Center’s educational resources. With over 25 years' experience in leading community college workforce initiatives, Elaine represented community colleges during an assignment with the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Elaine has been a nationally recognized leader in training community college professionals to deliver customized training to business and industry. She joined the National Center for Supply Chain Automation in 2013 after leading a California Community Colleges labor market research initiative focusing on identifying high growth industries and emerging occupations for use in aligning college curriculum with employer workforce needs.
ELENA SANTA CRUZ
Grants Administrative Specialist
Elena’s role is to provide administrative support, perform accounting tasks, make purchases, process payments, reconcile grant budgets, and maintain office grant records as required by federal and state regulations. Elena holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chapman University and has spent nearly five years working in post-secondary education for grants and she is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations.
Outside of her professional interests, she enjoys spending time with her three children, traveling and reading.
Senior Manager, Vendor Relations
Who We Are
Asst. Director, Executive Development
Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business
Mel Cossette is the Executive Director & Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation funded National Resource Center for Material Technology Education (MatEd) housed at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, WA. She is also Senior Personnel for The National Center for Supply Chain Automation. Mel has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing education and has developed technician training programs for industry and educational institutions. She serves on numerous committees and national boards and has worked in various industries prior to holding administrative positions in the community and technical college system.
Recent research she has conducted focuses on identifying successful practices in the recruitment of women to STEM fields.
Principal Investigator, MPICT
City College of San Francisco
PROJECT LEADERSHIP TEAM
Co-Principal Investigator | Sinclair Community College
Dr. Young is a Professor of Management and MIS at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH and Co-Principal Investigator for The National Center for Supply Chain Automation. Dr. Young is in his twentieth year of teaching at Sinclair, having spent eight of those years in a department chair role where he managed the creation of Sinclair’s Supply Chain Management program. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science, an M.B.A. in Management and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, where his dissertation work concentrated on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality. Before moving to the educational sector, Dr. Young worked for 15 years in the industrial sector, primarily concentrating on software systems development, maintenance and management.
Dr. Pierre Thiry retired recently from a full-time teaching position at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) which he held from 1984 until 2015, successively in Engineering, Computer Information Science and finally Computer Networking and IT. He was the Principal Investigator (PI) of the NSF ATE Mid-Pacific ICT (MPICT) Center from 2008 to 2016 and the Director of the California Community College ICT Collaborative from 2011 to 2014. MPICT's mission was to coordinate, promote and improve ICT education, with an emphasis on colleges in California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Territories. The ICT Collaborative mission was to advance ICT Education Programs at California Community Colleges. He is proud to see the work that was initiated by MPICT and the ICT Collaborative continue to grow with other players and funding after these two initiatives ended. He is presently a consultant lending his expertise to these new educational projects in ICT in California.
Dr. Thiry holds an Engineering Degree (Mechanical and Electrical) from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from UC Berkeley.
Co-Principal Investigator | Oakton Community College
Dr. Bob Sompolski is the Dean of Mathematics and Technologies at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL and a Co-Principal Investigator for The National Center for Supply Chain Automation. As Dean, Dr. Sompolski provides academic leadership to programs that address transfer curricula (Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics), remedial curricula (Developmental Mathematics) and career curricula (Auto Repair, Business Software Applications, Computer Networking, Electronics, Fire/Paramedic, HVAC and Manufacturing/CAD). Throughout the development of Supply Chain technologies at the college, he proposed curricular representation of courses featuring logistics, radio frequency identification and SAP ERP software. He has been teaching on the collegiate level in Mathematics and Computer Science since 1982, was awarded a B. A. in Mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He has been married since 1988 and has one adult daughter. His professional interests include Computational Mathematics and Parallel/Distributed Computing. His personal interests include music and cooking.
TOM O'BRIEN (Chair)
CSULB Center for International Trade and Transportation
Dr. Laurence J. Warford currently serves as the Senior Workforce Consultant to the League for Innovation in the Community College and is the President of his consulting company, Warford and Associates.
His work with the League includes leadership of several projects relating to workforce education. Most recently he was the Principal Investigator for a two-year MetLife funded research project awarded to the League, Significant Discussions, that focused on improving student transition and success through improved communications leading to better curriculum alignment across education systems and employers.
Out of this research he and his partner, Marsha VanNahmen co-authored the book Significant Discussions: A Guide for Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum Alignment. This need for this research was a finding of the College and Career Transitions Initiative (CCTI), a five-year U.S. Department of Education funded project Warford directed for the League from 2003-2009. Prior to his work with the League, Warford was a community college administrator and teacher for over forty years in Iowa and Oregon and worked briefly as a community college liaison for the U.S. Department of Labor.
Jami Dale has been an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) since late 2011 and assumed the role of Program Chair in 2014. Prior to joining CPCC, Jami worked as a Design and Development Engineer with Ultrablend (Charlotte, NC), a colorant dispenser and paint mixing manufacturer. He also worked as an Automation engineer and later as a Molding/Metrology engineer with Corning Cable System (Hickory, NC).
He received SMSCP levels 1, 2 & 3 instructor certification, all at Siemens Technical Academy in Berlin, Germany. Additionally, he is an MSSC CPT & Green certified instructor. He participates in certification test development for PMMI and AMT. Recent efforts involve integrating Festo Educational Training systems acquired over the last several years into curriculum and CCE courses. In addition, Jami has been serving as a subject matter expert and guiding the reform of the College’s Mechatronics Engineering Technology curriculum, an effort funded by a US Department of Labor Round 4 TAACCCT grant.
Jami Dale received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Get In Touch
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Phone: (951) 739-7811
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The National Center aspires to increase the number of skilled technicians by serving as the national leader for supply chain automation education.
This Center is sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Program under Award No. 1601452. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented on our social media platforms are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.