DIRECTOR, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP)
As the director of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, 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. Previously Fite was the state regional network manager for the GaMEP, leading the team of nine regional managers in their outreach efforts.
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.
REGIONAL NETWORK MANAGER
Derek Woodham serves as the west region manager and the regional network manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He helps fulfill client needs through using the Institute’s vast array of resources. He is a Lean expert with over 17 years of experience in various engineering, operations, and corporate leadership roles. Woodham is a national Shingo Prize examiner and a certified Growth Coach for MEP.
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.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GaMEP
GROUP MANAGER – PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
Tim Israel is the manager for both the Lean and Quality services groups at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He helps organizations reduce waste and improve manufacturing operations.
Israel is a RABQSA certified Quality Systems Lead Auditor and RABQSA certified Environmental Systems Lead Auditor. He has trained more than 2,500 individuals representing 300 companies on all aspects of Lean, ISO 9000, and ISO 14000.
Israel holds both M.S. and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
GROUP MANAGER – ENERGY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Bill Meffert manages the Energy and Sustainability Services group for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He oversees the development, transfer, and adoption of energy and environmental best practices and innovations in industry and commercial buildings. Meffert has over 25 years of experience in providing both technical and management solutions to address the energy needs of industrial, commercial, and institutional organizations.
At Georgia Tech, he and several faculty members developed the first U.S. energy management system standard, ANSI/MSE 2000. Meffert is also a U.S. technical expert for development of ISO 50001, the International Energy Management Standard. In addition, his group is currently assisting the U.S. Department of Energy with the development of the Superior Energy Performance program, which utilizes ISO 50001 as a basis for certifying industrial energy performance.
Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Meffert worked for Combustion Engineering and Thermax.
Meffert holds both a bachelor and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.A. in natural science from Covenant College. He is also a Certified Professional Engineer.
GROUP MANAGER – GROWTH SERVICES
Don Pital is the growth services manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He helps train and coach companies on innovative techniques for organizational sales growth using ideation techniques and innovation process management strategies. He trains organizations in the process of practical innovation for top-line growth and bottom-line operational savings.
Prior to Georgia Tech, he served in the telecommunication manufacturing industry in a variety of roles including quality, operations, and engineering management for over 12 years. Pital has coached and conducted training in all-sized organizations in quality management system implementations and best practice execution in areas such as root cause analysis, process improvements, SPC, process mapping, high-impact auditing, project management, and creativity.
Pital has M.S. and B.S. degrees in Ceramic Engineering from Georgia Tech. He is a Business Growth Coach, certified by the Eureka Ranch. Pital won the National MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) Innovator of the Year award in April 2009.