The Conexus Team

We’ve brought together some of the brightest minds in Indiana to help position our state as a global leader in advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML). Our continued success is due to the vision, expertise, and hard work of our internal team and our board of directors.

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Bryce Carpenter
Vice President, Industry Engagement
Email: bcarpenter@conexusindiana.com

Working with industry, public-sector and educational partners, I hope to strengthen our economy and support industries that provide meaningful, life-changing careers for all Hoosiers.

As Vice President of Industry Engagement, Bryce supports the organization’s robust network of industry, public-sector and higher education stakeholders as they identify and activate the most impactful projects for industry growth.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Bryce spent more than 10 years in business development, fundraising, marketing and communications for the Marion County Republican Central Committee (MCRCC). He most recently worked as the Executive Director for the MCRCC in Indianapolis, creating and executing individually tailored campaign platforms and grassroots strategies, and partnering with the Indianapolis City-County Council, State Legislature, and Mayor’s office on advance issues and legislation. Within the Committee, he previously held the position of Communication and Political Director where he managed press relations and volunteer programs.

Bryce holds a Bachelor of Arts from Centre College, Danville, Ky., where he majored in Government and minored in History.

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Frederick Cartwright
President and CEO
Email: fcartwright@conexusindiana.com

During my career, innovation has always found me. My focus is always on the future and I am energized by the opportunities to partner with industry, the public sector and universities around important issues that drive Indiana’s economy and Hoosiers’ prosperity.

Frederick Cartwright has always been on the leading edge of innovation and brings more than 38 years of experience in automotive technology commercialization, business development, public/private partnerships and talent development to his role as Conexus Indiana’s president and CEO.

An Indiana native, Fred graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and from Butler University with a master’s degree in business administration. He began his career with Allison Transmission, where he developed the original business case for hybrid powertrains and led the development and production approval for transit buses. He continued at General Motors for 10 years where he held numerous high-profile positions in Detroit and Europe focusing on advanced technology and collaborations with automotive manufacturers in the United States and Europe.

In 2013, Fred became executive director of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, S.C., which is a 250-acre, $250 million advanced-technology research campus where education, research and economic development collaborate to create a global venue for the automotive industry. As executive director, he led multiple growth initiatives, including a $25 million partnership in advanced manufacturing workforce development and research, called the Center for Manufacturing Innovation, with Greenville Technical College. He led the growth of CU-ICAR, as an economic development engine for the Greenville area, by recruiting new companies and research to the campus and the creation of a $25 million multi-tenant co-working environment, called One Research Drive.

Fred lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Beth Kay, and has two grown children who are early in their careers in the high-tech fields of advanced logistics and driverless truck technologies.

Bryce Carpenter

Vice President, Industry Engagement

Bio

Frederick Cartwright

President and CEO

Bio

Frederick Cartwright

President and CEO

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Guillermo Guillen
Manager, Adult Programs
Email: gguillen@conexusindiana.com

I wish to provide the good people of Indiana an opportunity to experience and understand the Fundamental Skills and Standard Work within the advanced manufacturing industry.

A 28-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps with additional experience in the private sector, Guillermo has spent much of his career focused on training and process improvement.

Joining Conexus Indiana in July of 2021, Guillermo came from the manufacturing and orientation training department at Subaru of Indiana (SIA), where he helped employees gain basic skills and learn about standard work and safety processes in the manufacturing environment. Previously, the fluent Spanish speaker led and trained employees at two Nevada aircraft-maintenance firms, DynCorp International and L3 Vertex.

Guillermo holds a number of certifications, including a Green Belt in Process Improvement Management in Lean and Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints, as has undertaken extensive training in supply chain management. While with the Marine Corps, he put his expertise to work as lead maintenance production supervisor of a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron, an aircraft component repair facility supporting seven fixed-wing squadrons and processing more than 900 components each month. In that role, he implemented Theory of Constraint/Lean Six Sigma methodologies to produce an 80% reduction in awaiting parts and component runaround time.

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Sarah Harrison
Director, Talent Programs
Email: sharrison@conexusindiana.com

My goal is to positively impact on Hoosiers’ economic mobility by ensuring they are aware of the available programs to learn new skills and realize the employment opportunities those skills bring.

Sarah works with high school students, industry leaders, teachers and administrators with one goal in mind: to prepare the next generation of students for careers in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. As Director of Talent Programs, she manages and supports all of Conexus’ post-secondary programming including the annual Case Competition and the Movers & Makers: Emerging Leaders lecture series.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Sarah held the position as Key Account Manager for NETLOGX in Indianapolis where her consultative sales and business expertise facilitated the company’s move from government to the private sector. Prior to NETLOGX, Sarah was Director of Admissions at the International School of Indiana where she recruited and retained domestic and international students and planned and coordinated school-sponsored events. Sarah has also held positions as Lead Trainer, Sales Training and Marketing Research Associate, and Pharmaceutical Sales Representative at Eli Lilly and Company U.K. where she managed in-house sales training for sales representatives and promoted four retail products to general practitioners and hospitals.

Sarah graduated from the Cookridge School of Radiology in Leeds, U.K. and served as a Combat Medical Technician in the Army Reserves, U.K.

Guillermo Guillen

Manager, Adult Programs

Bio

Sarah Harrison

Director, Talent Programs

Bio

Sarah Harrison

Director, Talent Programs

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Ryan Henderson
Director, Innovation and Digital Transformation
Email: rhenderson@conexusindiana.com

At Conexus Indiana, Ryan advances Conexus’ Industry 4.0 programming, which supports Indiana-based, advanced manufacturing and logistics companies with emerging and sustainable technology adoption to drive productivity, competitiveness, and sustainability.

Ryan is passionate about emerging technologies, innovation, and sustainable economic development. He strives to propel collaboration and innovation initiatives between industry, startups, nonprofits, and the investor community to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. He joined Conexus Indiana as the Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation from Techstars, where he helped manage The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars. During the program, Ryan helped 10 hardtech startups grow from early-stage to venture-backed companies. He engaged founders in Techstars intensive 3-month accelerator programming, which included working closely with 12 global network partners, the corporate partner (The Heritage Group & Heritage Group Ventures), over 85 mentors, and the Techstars associate team.

Before Techstars, Ryan worked at Current, Chicago’s water innovation hub. He helped build demonstration projects and pilots and ran various events to accelerate the adoption of innovative water technologies. Most notably, Ryan supported the development of H2NOW Chicago, a first-of-its-kind pilot project aimed at providing real-time water quality data from the Chicago River to the general public.

Ryan a bachelor’s degree in business from Eastern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in sustainability management from DePaul University.

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Nikki Jagow
Manager, Talent Programs
Email: njagow@conexusindiana.com

I want to see Indiana’s high school students become a viable solution for the growing need of skilled workers within advanced manufacturing.

Nikki, Manager of Talent Programs, spent more than 15 years in K-12 education. At Conexus, she uses that experience to support of K-12 talent initiatives with particular emphasis on the Modern Apprenticeship Program creating connections between high school students, educators and employers to establish comprehensive career pathways in advanced manufacturing.

Prior to joining Conexus, Nikki was the Work Based Learning Coordinator for the J. Everett Light Career Center (JELCC) where she was responsible for creating opportunities for students to learn in the workplace by facilitating and coordinating internships, apprenticeships and career exposure projects focused on student pathway goals. In this position she assisted students and families in successful transitions to postsecondary programs or career placements. The most meaningful moments were seeing students realize the powerful potential their future holds when their pathway is made clear.

Prior to JELCC, Nikki was a Parent and Community Coordinator for Indianapolis Public Schools. In this role she coordinated the efforts to establish the school as a centralized hub and resource to the students and families that attended. She was responsible for developing parent workshops to increase student academic performance, creating a viable parent/teacher organization, developing and sustaining community involvement, and organizing school-wide tutoring programs. It was in this role that she discovered a genuine talent and passion for seeing student growth and achievement.

Nikki attended Indiana State University and University of Southern Indiana with a major in Community and Public Health.

Ryan Henderson

Director, Innovation and Digital Transformation

Bio

Nikki Jagow

Manager, Talent Programs

Bio

Nikki Jagow

Manager, Talent Programs

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Mitch Landess
Vice President, Innovation and Digital Transformation

Email: mlandess@conexusindiana.com

I want to help secure Indiana’s leadership in the make-things, move-things economy.

Mitch joined Conexus Indiana as Senior Director of Industry 4.0 after more than 17 years at Rose-Hulman Ventures (RHV) where he grew revenue from $200,000 to $1.2 million over 12 years, formed collaborative innovation projects with universities across Indiana and developed paid internship opportunities for more than 1,000 students.

At Conexus Indiana, Mitch uses that experience to help develop Conexus Indiana’s Industry 4.0 initiative, which focuses on ensuring advanced manufacturing and logistics companies adopt technologies that will drive their growth.

Mitch served as director of business development and operations at RHV from 2005 to 2019 where he helped expand the RHV operating model and managed the mechanical engineering group. Before joining RHV, Mitch was a Senior Control and Process Optimization Engineer for Wabash River Energy, LTD.

Mitch holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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Kyle Marshall
Director, Talent
Email: kmarshall@conexusindiana.com

I aim to enhance student learning by curating dynamic programs that strengthen the pathways to promising careers in advanced manufacturing and logistics.

Kyle joined the Conexus team as the Director of K-12 Talent Initiatives in January 2020. He is responsible for leading the Hire Tech program and supporting its related programming, including teaching training and enrichment, Conexus Interns and the Conexus Interns’ Summit.

Kyle’s connection with Conexus Indiana started in 2015 as an educator in the Hire Tech program at the J. Everett Light Career Center in Indianapolis. While there, he served as a Hire Tech Master Teacher, demonstrating pedagogy best practices and supporting new Hire Tech teachers across the state of Indiana.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana and teaching Hire Tech, Kyle was a project manager for Wynright Corporation. There he implemented logistics solutions for customers throughout North America and supported sites with document creation and training. His projects integrated automated palletization, pick sortation, package routing, and many other material handling and storage technologies.

When Kyle decided to take his industry knowledge to the classroom, he chose Teach for America as a transitional program to earn his teaching license. As a Teach For America corps member, he served at-risk youth as a middle school math and science teacher.

Kyle holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and an Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University.

Mitch Landess

Vice President, Innovation and Digital Transformation

Bio

Kyle Marshall

Director, Talent

Bio

Kyle Marshall

Director, Talent

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Bob McQuern
Director, Adult Education
Email: rmcquern@conexusindiana.com

I hope to provide the unemployed and underemployed of Indiana with the opportunity for a bright future.

Bob works with industry and educational partners of our Catapult program to provide job training to unemployed and underemployed Hoosiers for entry-level manufacturing jobs. The goal of the Catapult program is to meet current and emerging industry needs, build a stronger talent pipeline, expand employment participation and increase worker wages.

Bob joined Conexus after a 30-year career in the manufacturing industry, starting on the production side and working his way to human resources. Working with Caterpillar and Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), Bob specialized in recruiting production, technical and professional staff, and implementing policies and procedures and wage and benefits surveys. While working for SIA, Bob managed the Advanced Internship Manufacturing (AIM) program for high school students which provides skills and training to develop students into full-time maintenance associates.

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Anna Meer
Manager, Operations & Data Analytics
Email: ameer@conexusindiana.com

Through educational and hands-on experiences, I hope to increase Hoosier awareness of the incredible opportunities that exist in Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics careers.

As Manager of Talent Programs, Anna is responsible for data and information tracking, coordinating and supporting talent programming, drafting communications for talent programs, and providing Hire Tech field support.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Anna was a Write Place Consultant with the Franklin College Academic Resource Center where she tutored students who were struggling in English literature courses, created and delivered short seminars on exam preparation, and led one-on-one workshops for students struggling in writing and composition courses. Anna also served as a Research Assistant for the Franklin College Department of Biology editing educational brochures and articles for publication through the Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN).

Anna was an Intern with Conexus during the summer of 2016, providing support for Talent Team programming.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Franklin College.

Bob McQuern

Director, Adult Education

Bio

Anna Meer

Manager, Operations and Data Analytics

Bio

Anna Meer

Manager, Operations and Data Analytics

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Laura Miller
Vice President, Communications
Email: lmiller@conexusindiana.com

Laura Miller is a 35+-year marketing communications veteran with a passion for crafting and delivering compelling messages that support the growth of Indiana’s economy and Hoosier career opportunities.

As Vice President of Communications, Laura is responsible for developing Conexus Indiana’s strategic communications plan and working with its network of partners to increase the awareness of Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. She leads Conexus Indiana’s statewide public awareness campaign to inspire young Hoosier adults to pursue a career in advanced manufacturing and logistics as well as content development, creative design and social and digital strategies.

Laura began her career as a journalist, first as part-owner of a community newspaper then as a general assignment reporter for a weekly business journal.

After 11 years as a journalist, she joined a small marketing communications agency in Indianapolis as public relations director. She later joined Eli Lilly and Company as a corporate Public Relations Senior Associate where she gained experience working in the medical field and communicating complex issues to consumer audiences.

Laura stepped back into the agency environment after nearly four years at Eli Lilly and Company, serving in leadership roles at various global and small public relations and advertising agencies in Indianapolis. Her last agency position was as Vice President, Director of Public Relations for Caldwell VanRiper.

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Tara Pearson
Director, Industry Engagement
Email: tpearson@conexusindiana.com

I hope to contribute to increased economic opportunity for all Hoosiers by engaging Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries as partners in this goal.

As Director of Industry Engagement, Tara Pearson works closely with Conexus Indiana’s 200-plus industry partners to identify opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics sector growth and promotion. Specifically, she leads targeted projects focused on workforce development, economic development and innovation in collaboration with industry leaders from throughout the state.

Tara began her career in investment banking and corporate finance specializing in project-based work. She went on to work as an independent management consultant with a diverse range of industry and nonprofit experience. She has also worked in the public sector, performing policy and advocacy analysis and public policy research. Tara has an MBA from Rollins College and a BS in Finance from the University of Florida. Additionally, through her ongoing coursework as an MPA candidate at IUPUI, she has developed a deep knowledge base in public policy process, advocacy and government relations, public finance, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurship. She has a passion for community and economic development, a commitment to continuous learning, and a fervent desire to impact her local community.

Laura Miller

Vice President, Communications

Bio

Tara Pearson

Director, Industry Engagement

Bio

Tara Pearson

Director, Industry Engagement

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Brad Rhorer
Chief Talent Programs Officer
Email: brhorer@conexusindiana.com

I hope to ignite the passion of education and industry to engage the workforce of today and inspire the talent of tomorrow.

Brad is a long-time industry professional recognized in both the public sector and manufacturing industry for his expertise in talent development. As Chief Talent Programs Officer, Brad uses his experience to develop and direct programs that support secondary and post-secondary students, as well as adult workers across Indiana, to succeed in an evolving technologically advanced industry sector.

Brad joined Conexus Indiana after a 25-year career at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. (SIA), starting with experience on the production assembly line. He held positions of increasing leadership up to his most recent role leading Human Resources operations and serving as manufacturing liaison for more than 5,000 employees at the Lafayette, Ind., plant. He was instrumental in developing major programs to address talent needs at SIA. He is also a member of the Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, a group created during the 2018 legislative session to assess and realign Indiana’s workforce development programs and services.

Brad holds a master’s degree in business administration from Western Governors University, a bachelor’s degree in management of human resources from Bellevue University and an associate’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision from Purdue University.

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Chana Sweeney
Director of Operations
Email: csweeney@conexusindiana.com

I want to improve the quality of life for Hoosiers by growing the advanced manufacturing and logistics economy and providing more pathways and opportunities for Indiana residents.

As Director of Operations, Chana is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Conexus Indiana, including contracts, invoices, budgeting, and grant reports. She also oversees information technology.

Chana previously worked as the Account Manager for Anthony Travel onsite at Purdue University where she was charged with starting and growing a travel program for the staff and faculty.  She also held positions with Conexus as Executive Assistant & Office Manager, College Park Church as the Executive Assistant & Resource Coordinator, Aramark Harrison Lodging in Hospitality Management and was a Corporate Travel Counselor for organizations such as Honeywell and Adidas, Inc.

Chana is currently serving as a mentor to women in topics related to health and wellness as well as teaching local group fitness classes.

Brad Rhorer

Chief Talent Programs Officer

Bio

Chana Sweeney

Director of Operations

Bio

Chana Sweeney

Director of Operations

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Liz Waggoner
Executive Assistant & Events Manager
Email: ewaggoner@Conexusindiana.com

My goal is to help grow and promote Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics industries.

As the Operations Manager and Executive Assistant, Liz Waggoner is responsible for the support of the President & CEO, as well as supporting initiatives within Conexus Indiana. She maintains calendars and details to ensure efficiency of the entire organization.

Prior to joining Conexus in August 2019, Liz spent seven years at Total Quality Logistics (TQL) as a Logistics Coordinator. While with TQL, Liz acted as a liaison between shippers, receivers and transport companies to best serve TQL’s customers. She was also responsible for mentoring and training up and coming team members within the company.

Liz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law & Society from Purdue University.

Liz Waggoner

Executive Assistant and Events Manager

Bio

Our Board of Directors

Nick Anthony

Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Duke Realty

Dr. Gary R. Bertoline

Senior Vice President Online and Learning Innovation, Purdue University

Dr. Gary R. Bertoline

Senior Vice President Online and Learning Innovation, Purdue University

Scott Brand

Senior Vice President, Subaru SIA

Frederick Cartwright

President & CEO, Conexus Indiana

Frederick Cartwright

President & CEO, Conexus Indiana

Bradley B. Chambers

Indiana Secretary of Commerce, Indiana Economic Development Corporation

Kent Duncan

Head of Indianapolis Operations for the Defense Sector, Rolls-Royce

Kent Duncan

Head of Indianapolis Operations for the Defense Sector, Rolls-Royce

Dr. Sue Ellspermann

President, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

Tom Fuja

Faculty Director of iNDustry Labs, Notre Dame

Tom Fuja

Faculty Director of iNDustry Labs, Notre Dame

Scott Glaze

Owner, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Fort Wayne Metals

Julie K. Griffith

Executive Vice President for Strategy, Partnerships and Outreach, Indiana Innovation Institute

Julie K. Griffith

Executive Vice President for Strategy, Partnerships and Outreach, Indiana Innovation Institute

David Johnson

President and CEO, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership

Joe McGuinness

Commissioner, Indiana Department of Transportation

Joe McGuinness

Commissioner, Indiana Department of Transportation

Kathy Miller

Formerly Director of Manufacturing, Assembly & Test Defense

Tim Millwood

Vice President of Global Manufacturing, Cummins, Inc.

Tim Millwood

Vice President of Global Manufacturing, Cummins, Inc.

Darin Moody

Senior Vice President, Eli Lilly and Company

Dennis D. Oklak

(Retired) Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Duke Realty Corp

Dennis D. Oklak

(Retired) Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Duke Realty Corp

Amish Shah

CEO, Kem Krest

Chris Trainor

Senior Vice President, Hillenbrand, President, Batesville Casket Company, Hillenbrand

Chris Trainor

Senior Vice President, Hillenbrand, President, Batesville Casket Company, Hillenbrand

Teresa van Niekerk

Vice President, Purchasing & Supplier Quality. Allison Transmission

Teresa Wade

Founder & Owner, CFA Staffing

Teresa Wade

Founder & Owner, CFA Staffing

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