NJMEP is thrilled to showcase four new members to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program team. All three bring with them a unique perspective and different set of skills to help NJMEP provide the highest level of quality to their clients. Sally White, Ryan Sheehy, Michael Womack, and Ira Finkelstein took on new roles within the organization this May. NJMEP invites everyone to learn a little more about these individuals’ backgrounds, passions, and experiences.
Sally has been a resident of New Jersey for 20 years. Originally from the United Kingdom, she relocated for business and became a US citizen in 2008. In May of this year, she joined NJMEP as Director of Business Development.
As an International Services and Manufacturing Operations Executive, she has a focus on rapid change management and building global businesses. Her experience includes program/project management, manufacturing operations, business development, sales, marketing, branding, quality, mergers and acquisitions, and business transformation. She has transformed and built global enterprises, and held full P&L responsibility in technology-driven manufacturing businesses. Her track record extends to establishing global service excellence and broadening the aftermarket business in a broad range of business sectors including; Department of Defense, Medical Devices, Semi-Conductors, and the Life Science sector.
Ryan was born in New Jersey, but his professional career has taken him all over the world. Graduating from Lehigh University in 2008 with a double major in Communication and Journalism, he used his knowledge to jumpstart a career in strategic sales and marketing in the luxury automotive sales sector. He has nearly 10 years of experience working with world-renowned automotive brands like BMW, Jaguar, and Tesla Motors, even living in Munich Germany during his time with BMW. Once he moved back to New Jersey, a friend put him in touch with John W. Kennedy, CEO of NJMEP and Robert Stramara, COO of NJMEP which led to him becoming part of the NJMEP team as an Account Manager.
Now back in his home state, he was searching for an organization that allowed him to make a difference. He saw the opportunity to help businesses in New Jersey move forward economically while working with manufacturers to retain jobs and help their community.
Michael graduated in 2015 from William Patterson University where he studied new and digital marketing methods. During his senior year, he accepted an internship at an advertising agency that specialized in marketing for manufacturing and logistics companies. After graduating, he accepted a position from that same agency where his main role was developing digital marketing plans and following the campaign through to completion.
Michael created content; writing blogs, creating infographics, and social media posts for each client and began to develop a passion for manufacturing. In that role he provided media coverage at some NJMEP events, writing articles about their impact on the New Jersey economy and the benefits the non-profit provides local manufacturers. After three years, he wanted to see behind the manufacturing curtain instead of just writing about best practices, company announcements, and industry developments. He took on a new role as the Marketing Manager for a New Jersey manufacturing company. After a year with the manufacturer, NJMEP was looking for a digital marketing and content specialist. Michael jumped at the opportunity to make a difference and assumed the role of NJMEP’s Marketing Outreach Coordinator.
Ira lived in NJ his entire life. He graduated from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) with a degree in Mathematics.
He went to work at AT&T right out of college and stayed there for more than 20 years. Starting out as a computer graphics programmer he eventually transitioned over to a variety of sales, marketing, and management roles supporting AT&T’s global business accounts.
Afterward, Ira started my own dental equipment sales and service company. They specialized in the custom production and repair of highspeed turbines and low-speed motors for use in dental handpieces (drills). Ira was responsible for all aspects of the business including sales, marketing, operations, finance, technical, supplier relations, and administrative functions.
Coming to work at NJMEP as an account manager has given Ira the opportunity to combine several of my work life passions. Being an account manager gives him the ability to continue to work with clients and assist them in solving business problems. It also allows him to be involved with the manufacturing side of things, producing tangible products that help people in their daily lives or businesses.