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.
Connie Casteel is a project manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, helping Georgia manufacturers grow their businesses through technology scouting, strategic business development projects, and connecting them with Georgia Tech research solutions.
Previously, Casteel helped U.S. and global entrepreneur groups and business incubators/ accelerators grow and improve their businesses. Casteel also helped launch Georgia’s SBIR Assistance Program, a business assistance program located at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia’s startup and small high-tech companies obtain federal research and development funding. She began her Georgia Tech career managing the marketing efforts of NASA’s Southeast Regional Technology Transfer Center (SERTTC). Prior to Georgia Tech, she worked for TMP (Executive Search Division) and Solvay Pharmaceuticals.
Casteel received her BA from the University of Mary Washington and her MLIS from the University of South Carolina.
Mark Heflin is a project manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, specializing in new product design and development. He assists Georgia industrial manufacturers with their mechanical needs. He has extensive experience designing automated machinery for manufacturers in various industries. Through modular designs, Heflin has helped companies alleviate repetitive motion injury syndrome problems to entirely automating a manufacturers’ process.
Heflin’s knowledge base includes machinery design, automation, pick and place systems, electro-mechanical interface systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, machining and fabrication, structural steel design, plastics fabrication processes, fluidics, and piping and vacuum systems.
Heflin has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Robert Wray, located in Dublin, is a project manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He specializes in helping Georgia firms develop top-line growth strategies, lean project management, and existing product and process improvement. Wray has 25 years of experience in product design, testing, production implementation, project management, and productivity improvements.
Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he was chief engineer with Husqvarna, a leading producer of lawn and garden equipment with $2 billion annual sales revenue. Within Husqvarna, Wray was instrumental in implementing lean product development methods and led integrated product development teams on strategic multi-million dollar projects.
Wray holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of South Florida and an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina.