WHO WE
ARE

With our industry, academic, philanthropic and public-sector partners we are focused every day on creating innovative strategies and programs that strengthen Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries.

OUR MISSION

Accelerate, promote, and grow Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics economy by leading innovative collaborations among industry, academic and public sector partners.

OUR VISION

Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics leadership is sustained for the next generations.

OUR CORE VALUES

OPTIMISTIC

We are hopeful and confident in our future.

STRATEGIC

We are innovative and impactful in our pursuits.

GRITTY

We are bold and tenacious in our work.

GENUINE

We are authentic and candid in our actions.

THOUGHTFUL

We are purposeful and deliberate in our thinking.

HISTORY OF INNOVATION

Conexus Website Timeline
Conexus Website Timeline

OUR SPONSORS

Our work is possible through the generous funding from our many industry, philanthropic and public-sector partners.

Our philanthropic funders include:

Indiana: A State that Works

Our corporate sponsors include:

Ivy Tech

OUR SPONSORS

Our work is possible through the generous funding from our many industry, philanthropic and public-sector partners.

Our philanthropic funders include:

Indiana: A State that Works

Our corporate sponsors include:

Ivy Tech

GET INVOLVED

Whether you are focused on developing next-generation talent or defining technology’s role in the future of manufacturing and logistics, connect with Conexus Indiana and join the hundreds of stakeholders in support of our work.

OUR TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Conexus Indiana has assembled a team with vast expertise and experience in advanced manufacturing and logistics.

Conexus Indiana is led by President and CEO J. Mark Howell who is supported by a team of professionals with the knowledge and vision to work for the future of Indiana’s logistics and advanced manufacturing industries.

J. Mark Howell
President and CEO

Mark Howell

“Advanced manufacturing and logistics are the backbone of Indiana.”

Bryce Carpenter
Vice President, Industry Engagement

Bryce Carpenter

“I hope to support industries that provide meaningful careers for Hoosiers.”

Elizabeth Hagerman, Ph.D.
Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer

Elizabeth Hagerman

“Through Industry 4.0 I hope we can make Indiana a place for innovation.”

Sarah Harrison
Director, Talent Programs

Sarah Harrison

“My goal is to positively impact Hoosiers’ economic mobility.”

Amy Horton
Vice President, Talent

Amy Horton

“It’s vital to highlight the future of advanced manufacturing and logistics.”

Page Jones
Communications Specialist

Page Jones

“I want to amplify the unnoticed of advanced manufacturing and logistics.”

Andrea Kirschling
Program Manager, Industry Engagement

Andrea Kirschling

“I want to bring industry leaders together to create sustainable solutions.”

Mitch Landess
Senior Director of Industry 4.0

Mitch Landess

“I want to secure Indiana’s status in the make-things, move-things economy.”

Jennifer Mann
Director of Communications

Jennifer Mann

“I want Indiana to value the impact of advanced manufacturing and logistics.”

Anna Meer
Manager, Talent Programs

Anna Meer

“I hope to raise Hoosier awareness of manufacturing and logistics careers.”

Brad Rhorer
Chief Talent Programs Officer

Brad Rhorer

“I hope to ignite the passion of learning to inspire the talent of tomorrow.”

Michael Schmierer
Director of Operations

Michael Schmier

“I want to improve the quality of life for Hoosiers by growing the economy.”

Matt Thomas
Coordinator, Talent

Matt Thomas

“My hope is that students learn a college education isn’t the only option.”

Wes Wood
Director, INvets

Wes Wood

“I hope to create a powerful program to connect veterans to opportunities.”

Jerry Young
Veteran Engagement Manager

Jerry Young

“My goal is to connect veterans with exceptional employers in Indiana.”


J. Mark Howell
President and CEO
Email: mhowell@conexusindiana.com

Advanced manufacturing and logistics are the socio-economic backbone of Indiana and it is my hope that Conexus creates the networked communities and facilitates the thought leadership necessary to sustain Indiana as the leader in making and moving incredible things that impact the world.

Mark is passionate about Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors and was one of the early architects of Conexus Indiana’s mission and vision when the organization was launched in 2007. Today, as President and CEO, he drives the organization’s mission to grow and promote Indiana’s position as a global leader in making and moving products that impact the world.

A long-time supply chain logistics and business leader in Indiana, Mark spent a combined 25 years with Brightpoint Americas and Angie’s List before joining Conexus Indiana.

At Angie’s List, Mark served for five years as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing daily operations at the Indianapolis-based company. His prior experience included various executive leadership roles with Brightpoint Inc. for nearly 20 years, during which time the company grew from a 25-employee operation to an international Fortune 500 company.

Mark serves as a board member of KAR Auction Services and as a board and executive committee member of Ascend Indiana. He serves as Chairman for the Host Committee of the 2022 College Football Championship Game to be held in Indianapolis, as well as a board member for Visit Indy.

A CPA and graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he is a member of the university’s Sorin Society.

Bryce Carpenter
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.

Elizabeth Hagerman
Elizabeth Hagerman, Ph.D.
Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer
Email: ehagerman@conexusindiana.com

Through our Industry 4.0 efforts I hope we can make Indiana a destination for advanced technology development and innovation.

As a global advanced manufacturing and logistics leader, Indiana is well positioned to be at the forefront of the next Industrial Revolution. As Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Elizabeth is leading Conexus Indiana’s strategy to support Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries’ integration of next-generation technologies, including automation, artificial intelligence, electrification and 3D printing, for increased productivity and business growth.

Elizabeth is experienced at leading through change. She served as Vice President for seven years at Rose-Hulman Ventures at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where she connected staff and students with technology-based companies to design prototypes, refine the design of existing products, and expand current engineering capabilities.

Prior to Rose-Hulman Ventures, Elizabeth spent five years with Baxter Healthcare working with physicians, medical affairs, research & development and marketing teams on new products in the regenerative medicine space.

Named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” class in 2018, Elizabeth holds a doctorate and master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Sarah Harrison
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 schools offering the Hire Tech curriculum, develops and supports strategic regional partnerships between industry, education and the public sector and promotes the Conexus Interns program and other talent initiatives.

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.

Amy Horton
Amy Horton
Vice President, Talent
Email: ahorton@conexusindiana.com

It’s important to promote teaching and learning and to highlight the future of work in the advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors – two industry sectors that are vital to Indiana’s economy.

Amy has spent her career helping to shape education policy and develop programming to prepare the next generation of talent to succeed in the nation’s workforce. As Vice President of Talent, Amy spearheads Conexus Indiana’s work to develop talent to succeed in the increasingly exciting and technology-focused advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors.

Amy has worked for more than a decade to impact K-12, career and technical education, higher education and adult education programs on the national and local levels. She started her career on Capitol Hill after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Denison University and her law degree from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington. She served as a member of the Indiana delegation on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and later transitioned to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.

After several years at USED, Amy was recruited to lead the Peace Corps’ K-12 and higher education programs and the agency’s career services and mentorship program. She was later tapped by the Peace Corps director to serve in the Senior Executive Service to lead the team responsible for training volunteers and staff in posts around the world.

Amy returned to her home state of Indiana to take an executive leadership role with a think tank focusing on education policy. Noting the state’s national leadership in K-12 education, she joined the policy team at the Indiana Department of Education to develop the most comprehensive package of education reforms in the country. Amy was later promoted to Assistant Superintendent for Student Achievement and Growth, where she led the department’s CTE programs and College and Career Readiness initiatives.

Amy joined Conexus Indiana from Project Lead The Way, the nation’s largest provider of K-12 STEM curricula, where she served as Policy and Research Director.

Page Jones
Page Jones
Communications Specialist
Email: pjones@conexusindiana.com

I want to give a voice to the unknown and underappreciated of the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries.

As Communications Specialist, Page is responsible for developing and executing communications across multiple platforms to drive engagement, participation, retention and positive brand appeal and recognition for Conexus Indiana.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Page was a Digital Media Specialist at Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing agency, where she engaged in innovative brand community building and storytelling and previously as a public relations professional for nonprofit, commercial and public affairs clients.

Page holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma.

Andrea Kirschling
Andrea Kirschling
Program Manager, Industry Engagement
Email: akirschling@conexusindiana.com

I want to bring industry leaders together to create sustainable solutions for Indiana residents to thrive in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries.

As Industry Engagement Program Manager, Andrea supports Conexus Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics councils through data and information collection and analysis, special event planning and grant reporting.

Andrea has served in various support and analytical roles. Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, she investigated cases of housing discrimination as Test Coordinator at the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. In this role she trained volunteers, coordinated investigations, and performed analyses of housing discrimination cases for potential litigation across Indiana.  Prior to her work in Fair Housing, Andrea joined Exodus Refugee as an intern within the Reception and Placement Department, coordinating the needs of refugees within their first 90-days of arrival to Indiana.

Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in Honors History and Religious Studies with minors in Jewish Studies and Islamic Studies from Purdue University.

Mitch Landess
Mitch Landess
Senior Director of Industry 4.0
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.

Jennifer Mann
Jennifer Mann
Director of Communications
Email: jmann@conexusindiana.com

I want all Hoosiers to appreciate the impact and opportunity offered by advanced manufacturing and logistics.

Jennifer wants everyone to appreciate the impact of the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries on Indiana’s economy and to recognize the exciting and rewarding career opportunities the industries provide. As Director of Communications, Jennifer has developed and is executing the strategic marketing and communications plans that will amplify the industries’ importance and Conexus Indiana’s role in strengthening the industry sectors.

Jennifer is a seasoned communicator and researcher with a focus on education. Prior to joining Conexus, Jennifer was a fellow at the Urban Leaders Fellowship in Indianapolis where she provided policy research and recommendations for the School Board of Indianapolis Public Schools. Previously, she conducted research for the city of Flint, Michigan’s Charter Review Commission.

Jennifer started her career at the strategic communications firm Weber Shandwick, where she spent eight years as a group manager. Her responsibilities included strategic guidance and project management for a variety of clients, including Colorado Community College Online.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science from Indiana University and a Master of Public Administration from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Anna Meer
Anna Meer
Manager, Talent Programs
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.

Brad Rhorer
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.

Michael Schmier
Michael Schmierer
Director of Operations
Email: mschmierer@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, Michael is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Conexus Indiana and manages the organization’s performance, productivity, efficiency and processes.

Before joining Conexus Indiana, Michael was a Legislative Assistant for the Indiana House of Representatives where he assisted in policy research regarding various state issues, tracked and analyzed bills through the legislative process, and organized and scheduled events for legislators.  Prior to his position as Legislative Assistant, Michael worked as an intern in the Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Purdue University.

Matt Thomas
Matt Thomas
Coordinator, Talent
Email: mthomas@conexusindiana.com

My hope is that students learn that a college education isn’t the only viable option for them after high school, and that a career in advanced manufacturing and logistics is a great path to consider.

Matt may be early in his career, but he’s never strayed from his focus on education. He served as a middle school student teacher and proctor at Franklin College before joining Conexus Indiana as Coordinator of Talent. In this role, Matt provides support for Conexus Indiana’s programs, including the high school Hire Tech curriculum. Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Matt completed his spring 2019 student teaching experience at Shelbyville Middle School in Shelbyville, Ind., where he taught Pre-Algebra and honors Algebra to 7th and 8th grade students. He also worked as a proctor in the Math Study Center at Franklin College, where he provided tutoring and support to students in various levels of math classes. Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts in secondary math education and pure mathematics from Franklin College.

Wes Wood
Wes Wood
Director, INvets
Email: wwood@conexusindiana.com

I hope to create an innovative and effective program that connects veterans and veterans’ families to amazing opportunities they may have never considered.

An Army veteran, Wes knows what it’s like to search for employment after serving in the military. Based on his experience, he envisioned the INvets program and, as Director, he is creating a program that helps veterans and their families make the transition from military to civilian life and find employment in Indiana.

Wes received an honorable discharge from the United States Army, serving from 2010-2015 at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.  As a Section Leader at Fort Campbell, he maintained accountability and maintenance of highly sensitive equipment, negotiated vendor pricing, developed and implemented training programs, and advised leaders on a project-to-project basis.  As a Team Leader in Afghanistan, he led a team in a remote region, presented briefs highlighting capabilities and limitations and how best to utilize assets, and led training for personnel from multiple organizations.  Wes graduated from the Army’s Sniper and the Air Assault and Airborne school.

Wes joined Conexus Indiana as a Workforce Development Manager, focusing on promoting workforce initiatives in Indiana’s southeast region. Wes helped ensure that high schools, career centers, and adult education programs in the region had high-quality implementation of Conexus Indiana’s Hire Tech curriculum and that companies were firmly connected to schools in their communities.

He later developed the INvets program and has been working to connect statewide stakeholders to create a sustainable veteran recruitment platform for the State of Indiana.

Prior to joining Conexus, Wes worked at Premier Funeral Management as an accountant where he performed annual analyses on company locations to identify areas for process and policy improvement, prepared monthly financial statements, and supervised the handling of accounts receivable for all company locations.

Wes holds a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Southern Indiana.

Jerry Young
Jerry Young
Veteran Engagement Manager
Email: jyoung@conexusindiana.com

My goal is to recruit, employ and retain veterans and their spouses by connecting them with exceptional employers and job opportunities in Indiana.

Jerry retired at the rank of sergeant first class from the Indiana Army National Guard after more than 20 years of combined service as a recruiter and Infantryman with the Army and a Munitions System Technician with the United States Air Force. In 2009, Jerry deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom where he served as quick reaction force squad leader and sergeant of the guard.

As Veteran Engagement Manager, Jerry now supports veterans through the INvets initiative, educating veterans and their families about the opportunities available for them in Indiana.

Prior to joining Conexus Indiana, Jerry worked as an outreach coordinator for the Indiana National Guard where he assisted soldiers and veterans on a variety of issues. Jerry is an AMVETS lifetime member and is a board member for the Indiana Military Alumni Association.

Jerry has completed the Infantry Maneuver Senior Leaders Course and the Munitions Handler Advanced Leaders Course. He has also worked in multiple manufacturing environments, including automotive seating, commercial truck steering components, and food production and packaging. Jerry is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Project Management from Colorado Technical University.

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