Board of Directors
The Central New York Technology Development Organization (CNYTDO)
is a not-for-profit economic development organization that receives
significant financial support from the New York State Foundation
for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), New York's high-technology
economic development agency, and the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
CNYTDO serves as NYSTAR®'s designated Regional Technology
Development Center for Central New York and one of nearly 350
MEP locations across the country.
CNYTDO's mission is to accomplish
economic development through the support of high tech and manufacturing
entrepreneurs and businesses in Cayuga, Onondaga, Madison, Cortland,
and Oswego counties.
President and CEO
Bob has been president and CEO of the CNYTDO since early 1994, and provides the company with a unique combination of technology, business, manufacturing, and economic development experience. In the past five years, the CNYTDO has significantly expanded its programming by becoming affiliated with the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NYMEP) and by expanding its services to clients and the community in the area of information technology.
Prior to joining the company, Bob was president and CEO of Hamilton Digital Controls in Utica, NY, which manufactured magnetic recording equipment. From 1973 to 1984 he was executive vice president of Brush Industries in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Bob held product line management and engineering positions at Hamilton Watch and Forglo Corp., also in Pennsylvania, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. on Long Island--where he was assigned to the lunar excursion module project--and Hazeltine Electronic Corp. in Greenlawn, NY. Bob brings perspectives from defense and non-defense, large, medium and small business to the CNYTDO.
Bob holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, class of 1961.
Bob is a licensed private pilot and is very active in community volunteer activities, having served or serving on the board of directors of CNYNet, the New York Export Society, the CASE Center, the Mohawk Valley Applied Technology Corporation, Housing Visions Unlimited, and Temple Emanu-El in Utica. He also has served on advisory boards to the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Albany Law School Science and Technology Law Center as well as having been a member of the executive board of the Land of the Oneidas Council of the Boy Scouts of America
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Deborah E. Forbey
Master Black Belt
Forbey has over 20 years experience in the manufacturing and
service sectors. Deb is a GE certified Master Black Belt with
over 8 years of Operational Excellence consulting experience
assisting companies with Lean Six Sigma implementations. Deb
has held positions as Engineering Manager, Director of Quality,
and Director of Six Sigma for both national and global corporations.
She was responsible for management and financial performance
of Six Sigma and Lean programs for multiple facilities across
the globe. Deb has been a Lean Six Sigma consultant within
a diverse cross section of industries including Manufacturing,
Energy Management, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, Financial,
and Service industries.
a Deployment Director and Master Black Belt, Deb has trained
over 400 Black Belts, Green Belts and Master Black Belts.
In addition to training, she has supplied direction in the
launch of Lean Six Sigma programs including education of management
and staff, structure of implementation, selection of candidates,
identification of projects, and determination of cost accounting.
Activities in these multiple deployments include business
process assessment, infrastructure design, training delivery,
coaching and project identification and execution. Deb has
also supported Lean Six Sigma deployments as a project leader,
deployment strategy analyst, and performed curriculum development
and customization. Deb has been with TDO since January, 2008.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration
from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI.
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Steve has spent his professional career helping
people improve themselves, what they do and how they do it.
So, joining the TWI Institute was clearly an extension of
Through December 2008 he was the chief operating
officer at Hezel Associates, responsible for development and
management of educational evaluation projects. As a fulltime
consultant Dr. Grossman maintained his connection to the technical
workplace as principal investigator, for the National Science
Foundation, in an evaluation of the implementation of Problem
Based Case Learning in community colleges.
At the time of his retirement from public education
in 2004, he was the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
at Onondaga - Cortland - Madison BOCES (a large educational
service agency in Central New York). His oversight responsibilities
included career and technical education, and adult and continuing
education. In addition, Dr. Grossman has been an adjunct professor
at the State University of New York at Oswego in the Department
of Vocational Teacher Preparation (VTP). As a vocational and
technical education specialist, Dr. Grossman worked to provide
programs to empower skilled workers, in and out of the workplace,
with improved skills for productivity. Steve is looking forward
to continuing that important work as an organizer and advocate
for TWI. He believes in the promise of TWI for workers and
Dr. Grossman earned his Doctorate in Educational
Administration from Syracuse University in 1986.
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Susan A. Kuhns
Director of Marketing
brings over 20 years of multi-disciplinary experience in Marketing,
Strategic Planning, Sales Management, Product Development and
Team Building to the TDO and our client organizations. She is
an experienced manager and business consultant.
career experiences with General Electric and Inficon, a leading
manufacturer of process control instrumentation, spanned diverse
industries such as the semiconductor, electronics, heat treating,
instrumentation, optics, and thin film markets. She successfully
marketed products worldwide and has direct experience with sales
networks in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
various marketing management positions, Sue led the development
and implementation of strategic initiatives that addressed business
issues such as declining sales, price erosion, quality problems,
and aggressive competition. In addition, she created financial
plans, worldwide pricing strategies, competitive analyses, forecasting
systems, and sales and promotional literature.
played a critical role in the selection, development and introduction
of several new products. These projects involved market research,
determination of specifications, project scheduling, product packaging,
beta site management, and market introduction. She also initiated,
negotiated and implemented private labeling relationships both
as a supplier and a customer.
was intimately involved in Total Quality Management programs and
has had extensive training and experience in Team Building, Problem
Solving, Facilitation, Conflict Resolution and Organizational
a principal consultant with the Directions Group from 1997 to
2001, she worked with organizations in Central New York on numerous
projects including development of marketing plans, business acquisition
planning, assessment of business processes, customer satisfaction
surveys, creation of marketing and sales tools and guiding the
launch of a Continuous Improvement Program.
has a BS in Interdisciplinary Engineering and Management from
Clarkson University and has performed graduate studies in the
MBA program at Syracuse University with a concentration in Marketing.
She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the
Sales and Marketing Executives of Central New York.
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Alan K. Lane
With over 20 years of diverse manufacturing experience, Alan is
a strong leader recognized for improving manufacturing competitiveness,
leading change, and developing staff potential.
Throughout his career in operations and quality management, Alan
has delivered innovative and timely solutions to business challenges
involving lean six sigma, training & development, quality assurance,
continuous improvement, problem solving, food safety and ANSI/ISO/ASQ-9000
Alan is a seasoned project leader and trainer. He has led Lean
Manufacturing initiatives including 5S, Value Stream Mapping, Total
Productive Maintenance, Set-Up Reductions, Critical Spare Parts
and 1st Piece Inspection projects that have returned significant
savings and cycle time reductions. Alan also drove the successful
implementation of ISO 9000 registration at two facilities.
Alan’s previous positions include Operations Manager, Director
of Quality, and Continuous Improvement Coordinator and for both
small and large companies in union and non-union settings. His experience
crosses a wide variety of industries including aluminum can making,
labels, folding cartons, electronic devices and paperboard container
Alan is a Certified 6 Sigma Green Belt and holds a Masters of Engineering
& Quality from Kennedy-Western University. He earned his B.S.
in Industrial Arts Education from the State University of New York
at Oswego. He is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality
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Senior Process Improvement
Cindy Oehmigen is a leader recognized for guiding organizations
through change, improving manufacturing competitiveness, creating
team environments, reducing costs, and developing staff potential.
With over 20 years of diversified manufacturing and engineering
experience in union and non-union settings, her expertise lies
in lean manufacturing, plant layout, methods design and improvements,
capital project management and workforce development.
Since joining TDO, Cindy has consulted with over 100 companies
on lean initiatives and workforce development. As a certified
trainer in all three TWI Training Within Industry modules Cindy
has delivered programs to hundreds of employees.
At Crouse-Hinds, Cindy spear-headed projects in machining, assembly,
wet processes, packaging and warehousing resulting in millions
of dollars impact savings and work-in-process reductions. In addition,
she directed the design and implementation of a 300,000 sq ft
assembly and automated distribution center with a return of $2.5
million in annual savings. She also managed manufacturing and
process engineering functions.
During her tenure at Carrier’s Carlyle Compressor Division,
she specified and implemented a state of the art on-line maintenance
management system and served as the superintendent of automated
paint and final assembly operations. As the Director of Process
Improvement at Loretto Management Corporation Cindy brought her
skills in organizational efficiencies and problem solving techniques
to the healthcare field.
Cindy is a graduate of United Technologies Lean Manufacturing
University and has been certified in APICS, ASQC and in several
quality control and management planning tools. She has a Bachelor
of Science in Industrial & Management Engineering from the
University of Iowa and a Masters in Business Administration from
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has thirty years of Accounting experience; fourteen of which are
in the non-profit sector. Clara joined CNYTDO in September of
1991 and is responsible for handling all of CNYTDO's finances
and reporting. Clara manages our client contracts, tracking &
invoicing and monitors CNYTDO's goals, participates in Board Meetings
and is responsible for our yearly audit in conjunction with our
auditors. Prior to joining TDO Clara spent 10 years raising her
family and held many volunteer positions in the School District
that her children attended. Clara is still an active community
member in her school district and church. Clara is also a Notary
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SBIR and Business Development Specialist
Marcene S. Sonneborn is the Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Specialist for the Central
New York Technology Development Organization (TDO). The TDO's
SBIR/STTR program covers a 35-county region.
In this capacity, Marcie conducts
workshops around the region for companies interested in federal
technology programs including SBIR, Small Business Technology
Transfer Research (STTR), the Advanced Technology Program (ATP),
and others. She also provides one-on-one assistance to companies
and entrepreneurs to help them to coordinate the proposal preparation
process. She reviews proposals for her clients prior to submission,
and assists them when they are preparing their SBIR project budgets.
She also uses the NYSTAR (New York State Office of Science, Technology
and Academic Research) network to provide expertise to clients
from across New York State if capabilities are not available within
the client's region.
Marcie also provides technical
and business development assistance to TDO clients, principally
in the areas of research and development, technology transfer
and commercialization, intellectual property protection and licensing
agreements, technology-business organizational planning, management
team development, and strategic marketing. She has prepared clients
to make presentations to venture capitalists and to participate
in venture capital forums.
Marcie's specialty is marketing and strategic planning for technology-based and emerging growth companies. She has her MBA from the SU School of Management and received her degree in the Innovation Management Program, with emphasis in marketing and finance. Marcie is an adjunct faculty for the SU School of Management Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises Program, teaching both a classroom-based and a distance learning course.
In October, 1997, Marcie was a recipient of the Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This award is given for economic impact of technological innovation, business achievement and effective collaborations, and effective state and regional impact and support.
Marcie also has published articles
on technology management, wrote an assessment workbook for "Taking
Your Business Online," and a chapter on the marketing of
financial services for a textbook which was published in Eastern
Europe. She has participated as the marketing representative on
a management team for management training programs in Eastern
Europe. She also has worked in marketing research and survey design,
including participation on a subcontract to a Fortune 50 company
designing and developing technology products for the 21st century.
In 1994, Marcie first heard about nanotechnology after attending a World Future Society conference in Boston. This marks the beginning of her incorporation of futuring into her consulting practice. She recognized that this, and other technologies on the horizon (such as the World Wide Web), would fundamentally change the way we live, work and interact with each other. From an entrepreneurial perspective, this creates an exciting environment filled with opportunity, due to the confusion and chaos that occurs through any major transition to a new enabling technology. She began to include in her strategic planning sessions information about nanotechnology, the Human Genome project, teleomeres, etc., and their impact on the client's future business directions and products. An enabling technology's greatest influence is usually the impact on the consumer and what and why people will buy products and services in the future.
Her technology clients often develop technology for products that won't be ready for market until three to five years into the future. Therefore, they have to think forward five years about the life and needs of the consumer, if they want to have customers who will buy what they plan to produce. This forward thinking or "futuring" is especially worthwhile with Marcie's SBIR clients who seek funding for high risk R&D for products the average person cannot imagine ever wanting or needing.
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Robert J. Wrona
TWI Institute Executive Director
Bob joined TDO early in 2001 after
fifteen years as an independent organizational consultant. During
that time he worked with over thirty organizations, coaching leaders
to establish performance improvement goals and then implementing
the strategy either as a project or by forming employee teams
to change the culture.
Always looking for a better way to tap the productive potential
of people, Bob came across the Training Within Industry Program
(TWI) as a footnote in a Japanese book about continuous improvement.
Contact with the authors led to a relationship with an American
by the name of Patrick Graupp who had been trained in TWI in Japan
and delivered the program around the world for Sanyo. Bob and
Pat developed a common interest to reintroduce the program in
the U.S. that became possible when Bob joined TDO in 2001. TWI
has since grown into a national program that requires Bob to spend
most of his time working with companies and MEP centers throughout
the U.S. to establish TWI as an integral part of the NIST MEP
Prior to becoming an organizational consultant, Bob spent four
years running his own retail/wholesale franchise business that
he opened after spending 11 years at Fay's Inc., 9 of which as
Vice President of Organizational Development. Fay's utilized his
strong interpersonal and problem solving skills to organize and
improve the key organizational functions of human resource development,
distribution, store operations, and store design, construction
and maintenance as the company grew from 12 to over 120 stores
in a ten-year period.
Before joining Fay's, he worked four years in government contracts
for Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY and six years for the Chevrolet-
Tonawanda Division of General Motors in Buffalo, NY where he served
in a variety of manufacturing and supervision positions.
Bob earned an AAS Engineering from Erie Community College, Buffalo,
NY, a BS Economics from Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, and an
MBA in Marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester,
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If you are a technology based entrepreneur, a technology based or manufacturing startup company or a small to medium sized manufacturer your TDO may be able to assist you.
Your TDO delivers :
A Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) outreach program assisting companies and individuals apply for federal research grants.
A Regional Technology Development Center (RTDC) providing access to State and Federal research, introductions to sources of funding, business development assistance, business plan reviews, etc.
An industrial Technology Extension Service (ITES) providing direct assistance to help manufacturers improve competitiveness
The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NYMEP), partially funded by NIST, providing a national network of resources MEP to manufactures.
There is no cost for initial
consultation and costs are usually well below market for specific
projects. You never incur any costs without first receiving a
formal quotation and then agreeing to the statement of work. For
more information on how the TDO can help your company: Contact
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