Revolutionizing the Industry
Those looking for the future of advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML) need look no further. Rising 30 honors AML’s emerging leaders—those bringing exceptional leadership and innovative thinking to bear on the industries’ toughest challenges.
Each year, 30 honorees under the age of 30 are selected and celebrated, drawing attention to those with the collaboration, energy, and creativity to change the way the world does business.
Rising 30 Class of 2023
Hired in 2022 to drive internal communications and employee engagement for Toyota in Princeton, Caeli had seen her responsibilities expand just a year into her role to include four other states … and even that falls short of her ambition. “In five years, my goal is to have redefined what engagement and communication looks like at Toyota’s North American manufacturing sites,” says the 2016 Purdue University management grad. Caeli’s superiors say she listens to what’s happening on the manufacturing floor and creates communications that are not only clear but meaningful to employees, proving to be an essential asset in a time of change.
Manager, NAMC Regional Communications
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana
Michael pretty much grew up on the water, spending countless hours either in a boat or on skis. He continued that passion at Purdue University by serving as captain of the water ski team (while earning a degree in industrial engineering technology) and in his career by taking a job with Smoker Craft in 2016. While the company has been building boats for more than a century, Michael has moved it into the new century, introducing Industry 4.0 processes and heading up the company’s automation development initiatives. The result? Company leaders say he has dramatically reduced production time and increased quality and consistency, adding, “Michael revolutionized a manufacturing process that has not changed in over 75 years.”
To say John went from curious logistics rookie to passionate industry champion in a few years would be an understatement. The IUPUI business grad was still attending classes and working in retail when he “stumbled upon the logistics industry” at Backhaul Direct. While his employers praise his workplace achievements and continuous drive for improvement, they suggest his greatest impact might come outside the workplace. Recognizing the need for a stronger logistics worker pipeline, John proposed that Backhaul Direct complement its college internship program with K-12 outreach. Now the company works with local school systems and is exploring other partnerships to introduce kids to the logistics industry, and the logistics industry to future employees.
Manager of Strategic Accounts
As Product Marketing Manager, Ashley helps Endress+Hauser clients across the county keep their plants running safely and smoothly. In a little less than eight years with the company, the Ivy Tech mechanical engineering grad has established herself as a strategic thinker who’s more than happy to roll up her sleeves and deliver client solutions on manufacturing floors where few women are found. Ashley’s employers describe her as an industry trailblazer and champion for women and – in a nod to her Syrian American heritage – minorities. She also is passionate about championing the importance of community college education, speaking recently at a national Society of Women Engineers on the value of her community college degree.
Product Marketing Manager
As a manufacturing engineer, Riana played a pivotal role in setting up and ensuring the smooth operations of a new manufacturing facility at 38th Street and Sheridan Avenue in Indianapolis for the contract production of medical devices for Cook Medical. It was a role she seized with passion because the facility brings much-needed economic opportunities to the neighborhood where she grew up. To support Goodwill’s mission of helping people who face barriers to gaining employment, Riana also has developed job aids for people with disabilities, low educational attainment or criminal records. “Riana has opened opportunities for individuals in our community who otherwise would not have been able to have a career in medical device manufacturing,” her nominator says.
Goodwill Commercial Services of Central and Southern Indiana
An ability to develop sound strategy and convert it into an executable plan has pushed Ben to high levels at LDI, Ltd., where he sits on the executive leadership team, helps to drive value in LDI’s portfolio of manufacturing and logistics companies and serves in leadership roles in portfolio companies. While Ben began working at LDI in a pure strategy role shortly after earning a finance and political science degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s from the Georgia Institute of Technology, his leadership during the early days of the global pandemic led leadership to name him Chief Transformation Officer for OIA Global at the age of 25. His role was to design and lead a global transformation project for the billion-dollar company. Ben managed a dedicated team of 20+ individuals and helped the project exceed its financial goals by over 150%.
VP, Strategy & Operations
By the time he arrived at Rolls-Royce, fresh from earning his bachelor’s in supply chain management and accounting from IUPUI, Adam already had notched considerable experience in the logistics, pharmaceuticals and food industries. As part of Rolls-Royce’s graduate development team, he wasted no time making a difference, leading teams credited with saving the company millions of dollars, increasing productivity and scoring wins in other measurable ways. Currently responsible for scheduling $220M of Turbines machining output, he’s continually creating solutions to evolving problems, developing roadmaps for daily operational success, while strategically scheduling for the long-term health of the business. As strong as his technical skills are, he is most celebrated as a leader who gets teams aligned to make things happen. As one of his bosses put it, “Everything Adam touches turns into gold.”
Production Planning & Control Manager
Robert joined True Essence in its earliest days as part of the sales and marketing team for its SoChatti chocolate brand and quickly lined up partners ranging from farmer’s market vendors to national retailers such as Kroger. More recently, he has helped to launch True Essence Foods Flavor technology to the brewery world, securing a deal that will allow a local hops distributor to supply brewers across the nation who are interested in new food technology. Robert has thrived in a start-up environment, due in part to his desire to participate in every aspect of the business, from building the company’s initial sales strategy to helping source and make the products that he would eventually sell. A Butler University alum, Robert is said to “bleed innovation, team-work, resilience and a focus on bringing appropriate flavor to the world in a more sustainable fashion.”
Client Relationship Manager
True Essence Foods
A stint as a student researcher on a NASA-funded project at the Purdue University Horticulture College didn’t just expose Scott to hydroponic food production; it showed him his future. Since 2016, Scott has launched Heliponix, invented, patented and trademarked aeroponics technology, and designed the appliance that serves as his company’s centerpiece product, a consumer in-home gardening appliance productive enough to eliminate a user’s dependency on a grocery store produce with monthly recurring seed pod subscriptions known as ‘Keurig for plants’. The Purdue mechanical engineering grad has funded his venture through venture capital and grants that include one supporting the deployment of his low-cost hydroponic solutions in food-insecure regions of Africa. His goal? To curb hunger and distribute enough growing systems to become “the largest farm in the world without owning a single acre of land.”
Founder & CEO
Technically, Sam’s job is focused on the continuous improvement of processes at Cook Medical, and his bosses say the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology biomedical engineering grad has excelled in that role. He has played key roles in a number of different projects – one that resulted in a 30% increase in product output, and another where he trained over 200 Manufacturing and Quality Teammates and guided them through their own improvement projects, reducing manufacturing costs by $1.3 million. But Sam also has a passion for helping people experience continuous improvement, and his ambition is to grow into leadership positions that allow him to coach people through ongoing personal growth to “truly make a difference in the world.”
Continuous Improvement Engineer
Graduating from Purdue University with a degree in electrical engineering, Nathaniel joined THG Automation, an Indianapolis-based company that develops and markets robotic welding systems in 2020. He quickly distinguished himself by developing proprietary software and electrical components used in the company’s robotic welding and cutting systems being implemented at metal fabrication facilities across Indiana and the U.S. A hard worker who enjoys the hands-on experience he gets by working in software, hardware and customer relations, Nathaniel is praised by his bosses not only for his technical expertise and ability to lead, but also for his willingness to admit when he needs to learn more in order to anticipate problems and arrive at solutions. He says he is looking forward to continuing to grow with THG Automation as the company expands to further assist the industry’s automation needs.
Senior Software Engineer
Kendal’s bosses describe his contributions simply: “He was responsible for enabling Circle Beverage to become a contract manufacturer.” Previously focused on producing only its own canned drinks, Circle Beverage charged Kendal with preparing the company to attract outside business. Having started with the company hawking kombucha at farmer’s markets, Kendal spent a year developing required programs and procedures, got the team onboard, learned regulatory requirements and drummed up business. With an undergrad degree in civil engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a structural engineering master’s from Purdue University, Kendal expects to see Circle Beverage’s contract manufacturing continue to expand, one day becoming a 24/7 operation.
Manager of Quality and Batching
When Caroline finished her business degree at Butler University in 2018, she started her career in marketing. After watching her develop for a couple of years, though, her bosses at Arcamed shifted her to human resources, a move that Caroline says, “has been the joy of my career.” With certifications in HR and leadership, Caroline has made her mark at Arcamed by creating a culture that has attracted a diverse team with a range of talents. How did she do it? By launching a successful leadership podcast, supporting internal and external apprenticeship programs, strengthening relationships with high schools and colleges, and championing not just Arcamed but also Indiana’s advanced manufacturing opportunities.
Human Resources Manager
A few years ago, Kelsey Van Scyoc was a production control intern with Toyota; since then, she’s gone on to lead a procurement team responsible for more than $750 million in spend, relaunched a production model by coordinating more than 200 supplier supply chains to meet prototype, testing and initial stock delivery for new and existing parts, and established herself as an empathetic leader with an eye for talent. Oh, and along the way, she also juggled two pregnancies, motherhood and pursued an MBA. With a degree in supply chain management from Indiana State University, Kelsey is praised not only for her achievements, but also for always seeking the next challenge, lesson and success.
Kelsey Van Scyoc
Toyota Material Handling
Nicholas wants to make a difference in his community, and he believes one way to do that is to help people find work. As an Operations Coordination Leader with Veryable, he gets to do exactly that. In fact, his bosses say he has helped more than 15,000 Hoosiers connect with work in manufacturing and logistics through Veryable, which gives employers digital access to on-demand labor. Joining Veryable as an operations coordinator for Central Indiana immediately after getting his degree from the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, Nicholas showed a knack for the firm’s mission and quickly earned a promotion to his current role, in which he oversees nine markets and helps nine operations coordinators sharpen their abilities.
Operations Coordination Leader – Midwest Division
The Rising 30 awards program launched in 2021 with an inaugural class of honorees who set the stage for this year’s class.Past Recipients
Know a Rising Star?
Nominations for the Rising 30 Class of 2024 have concluded, we will be announcing the next group of honorees later in the spring!