NJMEP Adds New Board Members and COO

Morris Plains, NJ —August 6, 2012, The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) recently appointed two new Board Members James Black and William M. Rodgers III, Ph.D.and added John Kennedy, Ph.D as its Chief Operating Officer .

Mr. Black holds a senior management position at Entel Systems, a multi-dimensional telecommunications company; serves as Chairman of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board; sits on the Board of Northern NJ Telecom Group and is a member of the Governance Committee of the State Employment and Training Commission. Prior to joining Entel, Mr. Black spent thirty-six years at Bell Atlantic in engineering, operations and sales. He attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and took Executive Courses at Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania; The Draden School of Business, University of Virginia and Rutgers University. He also participated in the AT&T Advanced Communications Program.

Dr. Rodgers is Professor of Public Policy and Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, where he is also a member of the graduate faculty of Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and serves on the Academy’s Board of Directors. Rodgers also serves on the Board of the United Way of Northern New Jersey and as U.S. Trustee for United Way Worldwide.

Prior to coming to Rutgers, in 2000, Rodgers served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and was a professor of economics at the College of William and Mary. He holds a B.A from Dartmouth College, MA from UC Santa Barbara and MA and Ph.D. from Harvard.

Black and Rodgers join other board members: Officers, Steve Gerber, Esq. and Robert Loderstedt, III; and Trustees: Chairman Frank Wyckoff; Donald Sebastian, Ph.D., Brian Peters, Peter C.  Connolly, Henry A. Plotkin, Ph.D, and Victor J. Sordillo in overseeing the not-for-profit organization.

Robert Loderstedt, President & CEO, NJMEP, explains, “Our new board members are a powerful addition to our Board of Trustees. The business experience and expertise Messieurs Black and Rodgers bring to the board expands our capability.” Mr. Loderstedt adds, “Working with the board, we recently created the position of Chief Operating Officer. I am pleased to welcome Dr. John Kennedy who will fill the newly created position.”

As COO, Dr. Kennedy is responsible for Business Development, Sales, Strategic Implementation Partners and New Initiatives.  Kennedy holds a Ph.D.  from LaSalle University, and several other technical and business degrees.  He owned the successful Engineering firm The Multitech Group in South Plainfield, and most recently was a Sr. VP for Cofely Services. Currently Dr. Kennedy serves on the Executive Board for Patriots Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the NJ Area 3 Special Olympics, and the Board of Directors of the Park Avenue Club Foundation.

The recent additions to NJMEP allow the organization to provide greater support to the small and mid-sized manufacturers in New Jersey.  Our board members and all employees will assure that we are staying current with the ever changing needs of manufacturers.


NJMEP is a member of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP), a network of centers throughout the U.S.  The centers are part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The MEPs were created to help small and mid-sized companies improve their competitive position in the market by focusing on five critical profitable growth areas: continuous improvement, technology acceleration, supplier development, sustainability and workforce development. To learn more about NJMEP visit njmep.org.

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