Industrial Advisory Council

IMSE Industry Advisory Council member Mary Beth Brown
Mary Beth Brown Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Mary Beth Brown is the retired Vice President of Product Integrity and Supply Chain Technical Resources for Hallmark Cards, Inc.  In this role she was responsible for the protection of Hallmark’s brand equity and social license to operate by ensuring all products meet customer and consumer expectations of quality, are safe, compliant with all laws and regulations and made in a manner consistent with our standards of ethical sourcing and environmental sustainability.  In addition, she led the technical organization that builds capabilities to support the Hallmark supply chain.

Prior to that assignment, Mary Beth was the Vice President of Manufacturing responsible for all North American production and tooling facilities.  She was the Production Center Manager for Hallmark’s Lawrence Production Center which was our pilot lean facility in 2006.

Brown joined Hallmark in 1981 as an Industrial Engineer and held positions of increasing accountability in creative and operations, including Director of Fixture Operations, Chief Technology Director, and Director of Global Supply Chain prior to assuming the production center manager position.

Mary Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas.  She is a registered professional engineer in Kansas.

Joe Byrum: Chief Data Scientist at Principal Financial Group.

Dave Corbin, Vermeer
Dave Corbin
Vermeer Corporation

David Corbin is Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Vermeer Corporation, a global industrial and agricultural equipment company. His responsibilities include information technology, environmental health and safety, continuous improvement and facilities management.

David joined Vermeer in 1998 as a plant manager after starting his career at Dynamics Corporation and Ford New Holland. Since joining Vermeer, he has held leadership positions in manufacturing, procurement, engineering, continuous improvement and business segment management and has provided leadership to subsidiary organizations through board roles at Vermeer Freeman and Lely Vermeer Maschinenfabrik.

David serves on Iowa State University’s IMSE Industrial Advisory Council and is also involved in the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Council, Technology Association of Iowa, Rotary International, the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

He is a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering. David and his wife, Joan, have eight children and five grandchildren.

Greg Doonan

Greg Doonan is the Head of Novel Algorithm Advancement at Syngenta. In the 18 years he has been with Syngenta, Greg has held a variety of roles in Research and Development that include platform and protocol development of high throughput systems, soybean trait development and leading Global Genetic Projects in Oilseeds.

Prior to joining Syngenta, Greg held a research position with the University of Iowa, in which his work supported the human genome project. It was there that he gained an appreciation and appetite for platform development and process improvement. He took the experiences he gained while at the University of Iowa and began work at Garst Seed Company, a legacy company of Syngenta. He started Garst’s first sequencing lab and soybean genetic marker platform. Greg then took a role leading Syngenta’s Soybean Trait Introgression program in which he was responsible for the planning, implementation and delivery of Syngenta’s Soybean trait development program. During this time, Greg become interested in modelling and simulations to drive improvement in Syngenta’s soybean breeding programs. His efforts, along with the work of his colleagues in Soybean Product Development were recognized in 2015 when Syngenta won the Frantz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Syngenta became the first agriculture company ever to be named a finalist for the award, much less win the prestigious honor.

As Head of Novel Algorithm Advancement at Syngenta, Greg is responsible for leading the development of tools and methods focused on process improvement, optimization, and improved decision making in Syngenta’s breeding programs.

Greg holds a BS in bioology and a MS in plant breeding, both from Iowa State University.

IMSE Industry Advisory Council member Eric Ervin
Eric Ervin
J.B. Hunt Transport

Eric Ervin has served on IMSE’s Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) since 2003 and has also served as the committee chair. Eric is Vice President of Engineering & Technology at J.B. Hunt Transport and started with the company in the Fall of 2002. He has managed engineering support for JBHT’s intermodal, trucking and logistics business units and leads engineering support for the sales, pricing, marketing and operations organizations. Eric works with JBHT’s sales team to help shippers identify value creation opportunities for: truck-to-intermodal conversion, LTL-to-TL conversion, TMS applications, logistics network design/optimization and supply chain consulting. Eric’s team specializes in management science applications including: optimization, simulation, forecasting, predictive analytics and financial modeling.

Eric previously worked as a project manager Promodel Corporation (1 year) in Bethlehem, PA and as a manager at Accenture (7 years) in Chicago, IL. Eric has Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University (1995) and an MBA at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas (2005). Eric is a member of INFORMS and IIE.

You can find out more about Eric’s professional experience and education from his LinkedIn profile.

Eric Flakne
Procter & Gamble

Eric Flakne is the Global Innovation Supply Network Leader for Gillette, which is housed in Procter & Gamble (P&G) the world’s largest consumer products company.  In this role Eric leads the supply network design for new product innovation, global sourcing, cost savings portfolio, long range business planning and supplier relationships.  He sits on the Global Male Shave Care Leadership team.

Eric has been with P&G since 2000 in their Product Supply organization starting at the Iowa City, IA manufacturing site.  In his time at P&G he has held positions of increasing responsibility across different disciplines in Product Supply ranging from engineering, manufacturing, supply network and innovation management and across several regional and global business units spanning Hair Care, Oral Care, Baby Care and Shave Care.  He has obtained P&G’s certifications in Supply Network Design, Program Management and IWS Manufacturing.  Prior to his career at P&G Eric graduated from Iowa State University with a BS degree in Industrial Engineering in 1999.

IMSE Industry Advisory Council member Wayne Flory
Wayne Flory Rockwell Collins

Wayne Flory is the Vice President of Material and Supply at Rockwell Collins. His responsibilities include running the supply chain organization. Previously, Wayne served as the Vice President of Manufacturing Operations for Rockwell Collins, where his responsibilities included execution of Operations supporting all Government programs globally.

Wayne was  also the Senior Director of Advanced Operations and Services for Rockwell Collins with responsibility for the overall leadership for Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Facilities Services, Environmental Safety & Health, and the Rockwell Collins vertical supplier businesses in circuit board and fabrication production. Wayne has also held positions of increasing responsibility within manufacturing including Director of Manufacturing Operations in several locations.

Wayne earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. He earned his master of business administration degree from the University of Iowa.

Dave Gardner: VP of Business Improvement and Manufacturing Capability at HNI Corporation.

IMSE Industry Advisory Council member Nat Harris
Nat Harris
John Deere Waterloo Works

Nathaniel (Nat) Harris, IAC Chair, is the Maintenance and Facilities Manager for the Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations at the John Deere Waterloo Works, Waterloo, Iowa. His responsibilities include the leadership of all preventative and reactive maintenance activities supporting John Deere’s 2.4 M sq. ft. large tractor assembly facility.

Prior to joining John Deere, Nat spent over 20 years with General Motors at its former Electro-Motive Division. While there Nat held several senior leadership positions including Director of Manufacturing Engineering, Director of Quality and Lean Manufacturing, and Director of Operations.

Nat earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He earned his Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Engineering as a General Motor’s Fellow at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

Kara Hobart
General Mills

Kara Hobart is a Senior R&D Engineer for General Mills and started with the company in 2005.  She currently works in Minneapolis, MN, supporting global baking products.  You may find her running a DOE to test new ingredients in the pilot plant, analyzing data to create manufacturing efficiencies across baking platform plant locations, or interacting with consumers about all kinds of baking products.  Prior to her current role, Kara held positions supporting the quality and regulatory organization in General Mills’ Grain Lab in Minneapolis, MN, and plant operations in Lodi, CA, and Cedar Rapids, IA.  In addition to R&D work at General Mills, Kara spends much of her time supporting Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), which connects expertise with opportunity.   PFS connects small and growing businesses in Africa to learn from experts around the world to create improved business models and processing efficiencies.  She is the country lead for Ethiopia, supporting 10 different businesses on 22 projects.

Kara received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State in 2003.  She earned her master’s degree also in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University at State College, PA in 2005.  Kara is also an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer.

Susie Lenssen: Senior Manager of Industrial Engineering Fabrication at The Boeing Company.

IMSE Industry Advisory Council member Russ Rein
Russ Rein
HNI Corporation

Russ Rein served as the Engineering Development Program Manager for Muscatine, Iowa-based HNI Corporation from 2001 to 2018. HNI is the world’s second largest manufacturer of office furniture and the leading producer of gas and wood burning fireplace products.  His responsibilities included the strategic execution of activities to recruit and train engineering talent to support the design and operational initiatives of the HON and Allsteel brands.  Since 2001, Russ has held various product development engineering and operational positions of increasing responsibility within HON and Allsteel including managing several focused factories, new product development, project management and engineering support for multiple operational locations.  He also held various engineering roles with the furniture operations division of Rosemount, Inc. (12 years) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Russ earned his bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana and his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

IMSE Industry Advisory Council member David Rush
David G. Rush Tory Burch

David G. Rush is the Senior Vice President, Distribution & Logistics for Tory Burch. He is responsible for Distribution & Logistics Operations globally, including day-to-day operations and longer term strategic planning, and he is a member of the Leadership Team reporting to the CEO.

Before this position, he was the Vice President for Supply Chain Integration at Ralph Lauren Corporation, a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories, fragrances and home furnishings. He led client/KSA teams (including Polo Ralph Lauren, Europe & in the development of appropriate logistics strategies, facility and systems designs, implementation, and start up of state-of-the-art Distribution Centers.

David joined Kurt Salmon Associates in 1986 and over 20 years progressed from Staff Consultant to Vice President.  He led KSA’s Supply Chain Execution practice in Europe from 2000-2004 and subsequently joined Ralph Lauren in December 2005.  His 25+-year career in the Retail, Consumer Products, Direct Marketing, and e-commerce industries are characterized by the implementation of innovative solutions to problems that frequently become industry benchmarks.


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