MANAGER, STATE REGIONAL NETWORK
As the state regional network manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, Karen Fite oversees the statewide outreach for service delivery to manufacturers and entrepreneurs. She is responsible for connecting businesses, manufacturers, and communities to Georgia Tech’s wealth of innovation and technology services, which is designed to elevate their competitive position and economic impact.
Fite is an RAB-Certified Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor. As a member of the Center for International Standards and Quality (CISQ), she provides implementation assistance and training to companies pursuing ISO 9001. She has expertise in assisting companies in the implementation of Lean Principles in manufacturing, government and healthcare entities.
Her earlier experience includes the application of industrial and management engineering, employee involvement, and business principles.
Fite has a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelors of Science (Health Systems) degree from Georgia Tech.
SOUTH METRO ATLANTA REGION MANAGER
Larry Alford is the south metro Atlanta region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. As the primary contact for 11 counties, he helps fulfill client needs through using the Institute’s vast array of resources. Alford leads the south metro region of the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium, which seeks to accelerate the rate of learning and implementation of Lean principles.
Alford has a B.S.I.E. from Auburn University and an MBA from Columbus State University.
NORTHWEST REGION MANAGER
David Apple is the northwest region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. Based out of Cartersville, his primary focus is connecting northwest Georgia manufacturers to the services of Georgia Tech. He has over 20 years experience in manufacturing operations, engineering, and quality systems in engine manufacturing and heavy industry.
Apple has led dozens of kaizen events and improvement projects, including value stream mapping, set-up reduction, 5S, cellular manufacturing, capital equipment purchases, new plant starts, and relocations.
Apple holds an M.B.A. from Georgia State University and a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech. He has worked for Georgia Tech since 2001.
CENTRAL REGION MANAGER
Alan Barfoot is the central region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and provides engineering services to manufacturers and economic development organizations.
His manufacturing areas of expertise include cellular manufacturing, set-up reduction, Kaizen blitz, plant layout, and general problem-solving. He has experience in manufacturing control systems, such as production and inventory control, costing, capacity analysis, and manufacturing management. In the economic development arena, he is proficient in industrial site selection, prospect recruitment, and local economic impact modeling (LOCI™).
Prior to his work at Georgia Tech, Barfoot worked at Scientific Atlanta and led the conversion of large-batch process to Lean.
Barfoot has an industrial engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina.
SOUTH REGION MANAGER
Art Ford, based in Albany, serves as south region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, comprised of 32 counties in Georgia. Fostering innovation and competitiveness, he provides management and technical assistance to industries and communities. Ford helps managers and community leaders solve specific problems and connect them with Georgia Tech resources. He has been employed at Georgia Tech for 25 years.
Ford is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), and a registered Professional Engineer (PE). He is a member of numerous associations and served on the Lee County Family Connections board and the Lee County Board of Education.
Ford previously worked with Lilliston Corporation where he designed industrial and agricultural equipment. He holds a patent for the design of a rubber spring for gauging depth of a no-till furrow opener.
Ford has an M.B.A. from Albany State University and a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Florida.
COASTAL REGION MANAGER
Orjan E. Isacson, P.E., is the coastal region manager, based out of Savannah, for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.
Prior to October 2006, he was CEO for CONNECT Sweden, a startup accelerator assisting technology entrepreneurs to create and develop successful companies. In addition, Isacson worked for 20 years in both Japan and the U.S. in various positions, including leading the R&D efforts for numerous facilities in Japan, Germany, and the U.S., developing heat exchangers, dehumidifiers, air curtains, and other energy saving products. Isacson also has experience setting up a new manufacturing plant. He has written several books about various energy and environmental issues.
Isacson has an M.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
NORTHEAST REGION MANAGER
Bill Nusbaum is the northeast region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. Based out of Gainesville, he has years of experience in Lean and transformation. He provides technical assistance to area industries and supports Georgia Tech’s economic development efforts via training, research, and on-site assistance.
Before joining Georgia Tech, Nusbaum managed the Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Program where he directed the sales and delivery force serving that state’s manufacturers. Previously, he worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a project engineer and as a controls engineer in manufacturing for Corning Glass Works and Milliken & Company.
Nusbaum holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a master’s degree in technology commercialization from the University of Texas—Austin.
AUGUSTA REGION MANAGER
Elliot Price is the Augusta region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. As field engineer, he provides technical and managerial assistance to manufacturing and service industries.
He is a member of the Lean and Quality Center and Energy and Environmental Management Center’s associate staff. A RAB-certified lead auditor, Price has helped companies successfully prepare for ISO 9000 registration. He is also an ASQ Certified Quality Manager and chaired the 2001 Oglethorpe Conference.
Price has a M.B.A. from Augusta College and a B.S. in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
NORTH METRO ATLANTA REGION MANAGER
Bill Ritsch is the north metro Atlanta region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He assists Georgia manufacturers with Lean implementations and training to improve their processes. His primary area of focus is acting as a change agent to develop cultures that support and drive continuous improvement. He has assisted organizations in Manufacturing, Government, Healthcare, and Service implement improvements.
Ritsch has a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina.
WEST REGION MANAGER
Derek Woodham serves as the west region manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He is a Lean expert with over 17 years of experience in various engineering, operations, and corporate leadership roles. Woodham coaches national and international corporations on the Toyota Production System or ‘Lean Enterprise’. His work spans across key industries such as Automotive, Textiles, Printing and Packaging, Healthcare and Hospitals, Maintenance/Repair/Overhaul, Military, Government Agencies, and various Job Shop environments. Woodham is a national Shingo Prize examiner and a certified Growth Coach for MEP. He serves as a CEO PeerSpectives Roundtable Program facilitator.
Woodham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from LaGrange College. He is also a 2006 Leadership Troup graduate.