Conexus Indiana adds three new members to Board of Directors

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 16, 2020) Conexus Indiana today announced three new members to its Board of Directors. Teresa van Niekerk, vice president of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for Allison Transmission; Teresa Wade, founder and owner of CFA Staffing; and Tom Fuja, professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, are the newest appointees to the 19-member board.

“Our Board is critical to the success of our organization and, with their leadership, we have  delivered on our mission to accelerate, promote and grow Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics economy,” said J. Mark Howell, president and CEO for Conexus Indiana. “We continue to grow our board to ensure statewide representation of all industries and organizations that help us with our work, and we are fortunate for new voices and many legacy companies and organizations that have worked with us for several years.”

Wade joins the board as the first representative from the talent recruitment industry, a vital part of the advanced manufacturing and logistics landscape. Van Niekerk and Fuja are new board members, who will  replace long-time board members from Allison Transmission and the University of Notre Dame.

Wade has been in the staffing business for 20 years, starting with her first job driving a bus delivering temporaries to work. Today, CFA Staffing has more than 5,000 associates, with approximately 70 percent of the company’s activity being in manufacturing and logistics. CFA’s clients include Caterpillar and Honda Indiana. CFA Staffing is a member of the National Minority Supplier Council and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Van Niekerk oversees global procurement, supplier readiness and supplier quality functions for Allison Transmission and is responsible for identifying and implementing best practices in support of global operational goals and objectives. Prior to Allison Transmission, van Niekerk was the vice president of purchasing for Navistar Inc. truck division and has over 20 years of experience in the heavy duty transportation and the advanced manufacturing industry. Van Niekerk holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Fuja serves as the faculty director of iNDustry Labs, a collaboration platform established to leverage the region’s biggest economic drivers: a powerful manufacturing base and a leading global research university. At Notre Dame, prior to taking on his current role with iNDustry Labs, Fuja spent 12 years as the chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and two years as the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering. He received  Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and M.Eng and a Ph.D., both in Electrical Engineering, from Cornell University. 

About Conexus Indiana

For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public-sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, visit