MADISON – John W. Kennedy of Kings Road was named as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program Inc. (NJMEP) based in Morris Plains.
Kennedy previously served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and has more than two decades of experience in the manufacturing and engineering arenas.
“I am honored to serve as NJMEP’s new CEO,” Kennedy said.
“Supporting New Jersey manufacturing is very important to me on both a personal and professional basis,” he noted. “I am a ‘Jersey Boy,’ born and bred in Madison, and have owned and sold two firms in the engineering and manufacturing fields. I look forward to continuing the work we have begun with our incredible staff to help New Jersey’s manufacturers become more globally competitive.”
The NJMEP is a not-for-profit that helps New Jersey’s manufacturers become more profitable. Its services are geared toward helping state manufacturers increase sales, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and spur job creation.
The organization is chartered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a network of more than 60 MEP centers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Since 2000, the NJMEP has helped manufacturers realize nearly $2.58 billion in value: $1.88 billion in increased and retained sales, $293.51 million in cost savings and $402.66 million in investments. The NJMEP also has enabled Garden State manufacturers to create or retain more than 20,000 jobs for the state’s economy.
Under Kennedy’s leadership, the organization also will release new programs and services in 2014. The NJMEP will specifically aim to help manufacturers through its “Pro-Action Network,” which is designed for progressive New Jersey manufacturers looking to embrace innovation, new technology, higher efficiencies and market expansion.
“A lot of manufacturers know the NJMEP for training grant assistance and workforce development projects. While we will continue to serve in this capacity, we also want to emphasize our ‘Pro-Action’ services that drive growth and profitability,” Kennedy explained. “There are programs such as ‘Innovation Engineering®’ and ‘ExporTech’ that help manufacturers develop new products or enter foreign markets.”
The “Pro-Action Network” will have three tracks: “Transformation,” “Enterprise” and “Medallion.” The NJMEP also is planning a major advocacy campaign for New Jersey’s manufacturing community through the “Pro-Action Network,” including such offerings as an introduction to new technologies for manufacturers and classes on topics such as “Lean Manufacturing” and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) principles in both English and Spanish.
Kennedy comes from a strong background in manufacturing, engineering and leadership. Prior to joining the NJMEP’s management team, he served as a corporate senior vice president – and president for the U.S. market – for Cofely Services, a provider of high-end operation, maintenance, manufacturing and integration of sorting and security equipment for major airports throughout the world.
Kennedy additionally owned the Multitech Group based in South Plainfield, an engineering design and services firm that worked with government facilities, power plants and airports. The company specialized in material handling design, as well as the development and implementation of open operation and maintenance (O&M) training and documentation for manufacturing/integration companies.
The NJMEP’s new CEO also has strong ties to the community. Kennedy currently serves on the local and national Executive Board for the Boy Scouts of America, the New Jersey Special Olympics, and the Board of Directors of the Park Avenue Club Foundation in Florham Park, which supports local charities.
Kennedy will take over the position from Robert Loderstedt, the founding CEO, who served for 17 years.
“This is a position I take on with the same pride and passion as Bob,” Kennedy said. “He has been at our helm for 17 years and has had great success in supporting our 11,000-plus manufacturers. We would like to thank him sincerely for his commitment to NJMEP and the manufacturing community.”
For information about the NJMEP’s services or its “Pro-Action Network,” visit www.njmep.org or call (973) 998-9801.