Thomas Taylor is Operations Manager for Ludlum Measurements. He has a diverse background in Operations Management with over 25 years of experience in developing teams for manufacturing businesses. During his career Thomas has worked in multiple industries including consumer electronics, commercial refrigeration, and aerospace air-frames and aircraft seating. He is well versed in building processes, systems, and operations staff to help businesses grow. Focused on lean manufacturing techniques, data analysis and the use of metrics, and process improvement projects, Thomas enjoys helping people learn and grow through new challenges. A graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering he enjoys road-bike cycling, woodworking, and cooking meals with his wife
Steve Dye serves as Director of Public Relations for R.E. Dye Manufacturing Corporation, a family business celebrating 100 years of success. A 1984 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Agricultural Economics, Steve’s passion is rooted in connecting people to work, each other, and God. His first professional endeavor to connect people was to install R. E. Dye’s first ever company-wide computer system. Steve continues to be a connector by serving as an executive board member first to Tech Prep Advisory and later to Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas. He also volunteers as a Young Adult Minister at his church. When he needs a break from people, Steve will say, “gardening and graphic design feed my heart and keep me out of the doctor’s office.”
Bob W. Johnson has 50-plus years of experience in the metal fabrication industry and is the President/Owner of BWJ Metalworks, LLC, a family owned and operated company located in Abilene, Texas. Bob is a lifetime member of the American Welding Society and a Certified Welding Inspector since its inception in 1976. He and his wife, Peggy, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2018. He is an avid deer hunter and fisherman and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.
Mark Colman is the President of Rentech Boiler Systems Inc. He began his career with Rentech in 2005 as Vice-President of Operations. Mark’s expertise in organizational change management with a focus in the areas of sales, operations, and finance created several years of strong growth for Rentech in both sales and profitability. This success instilled great confidence in the company’s board and ultimately led to Mark’s promotion as President. Mark has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. When time allows, Mark enjoys hitting balls on the green or taking in fresh air while hunting.
Jeff Grimland is a Plant Manager with two decades of experience in various leadership roles for United States Gypsum Company. He specialized in improving plant performance through increased employee engagement and leadership development. On the weekends he can be found riding dirt bikes with his wife and two children.
Mary Ross has served as the Executive Director of the Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas Board since January 1997. During her tenure, the Board has been awarded over $600,000 in incentive awards and over $2.5 million in additional, outside funding for outstanding performance, innovative programs, and exceptional service to employers, job-seekers, and the community. Ms. Ross believes in servant leadership, partnership, and innovation. She serves on a variety of business, education and community boards. She is a native of California and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Vicki Hayhurst is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Specialist for Region XIV Education Service Center working with 43 school districts to create and improve CTE programs. Vicki specializes in developing partnerships among school districts, business and industy, and Higher Education (local colleges and universities). As an involved board member of the state Career and Technical Association of Texas, she represents Area 12 advocating for rural CTE programs. Vicki also serves as Chair of Team Workforce (Abilene Industrial Foundation) where she partners Region XIV students with local business and industries to work in work-based learning opportunities. Vicki’s life is a full one, where in addition to her work and community service, she spends time with her family and church activities.
Ken Becker is the Executive Director for Sweetwater Economic Development, a non-profit that educates industry and facilitates business expansion, retention, relocation, and quality of life for the community of Sweetwater. Ken is an expert in his field, holding 25 years of management experience in non-profits, government, and secondary education. He graciously shares his knowledge with many organizations speaking on topics such as community, economic development, renewable energy, and workforce development. Prior to entering the non-profit sector, Ken worked in RV and steel manufacturing, and ran his own construction company. Ken and his wife, Carla, have enjoyed Texas life since 1982 and, while passionate for his West Texas community, Ken still roots for the Fighting Irish. When not cheering for Notre Dame, Ken can be found volunteering at church and spending time with his grandkids