David Forward | Vice President of Operations, Woodward Inc. and Co-Chair of the Rockford Area Aerospace Network
David Forward joined Woodward in 2018 as Vice President of Quality for the Aircraft Turbine Systems Group.
Prior to joining Woodward David worked at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford, CT as a Deputy Production Chief overseeing rate readiness for entry into service of the Geared Turbofan Engine models for Bombardier, Mitsubishi and Embraer.
David started his career in the USAF as a F-15E Crew Chief. After leaving the Air Force he joined Midway Airlines in Raleigh, NC where he performed flightline maintence on Boeing and Bombardier aircraft. He later joined GE Aviation as an Assembly and Test Technician where he worked on various commercial engine programs. David spent 11 years with GE and progressed through various roles and locations from A&T Technician to Materials Manager, GE90 Operations Manager, Quality Manager and Plant Manager. David earned his bachelor’s degree in Aircraft Systems Maintenance and his MBA with a concentration in finance from Campbell University. He also has an Airframe and Powerplant License from the FAA. David is married to his wife, Brandy, and has two children Weston (17) and Natalie (16). Outside of work David enjoys mountain biking, water skiing and reading.
Jimmy Rozinsky | Board Chair, Rockford Area Economic Development Council
Jimmy Rozinsky is the owner of Spectrum Insurance Agency, a full-lines, independent insurance brokerage providing protection to businesses and families throughout the region for over 40 years.
Mr. Rozinsky started with Spectrum in 2006 and quickly developed a strong affinity for working with business owners on risk mitigation and population health change management. In 2009, he was invited to take a board position with the Rock River Valley Tooling & Machining Association. His involvement with the RRVTMA ignited a passion for connecting local Rockford companies to share work and train employees through apprenticeship.
Jimmy is best known for his desire to be helpful to just about anyone and has claimed he “has an unhealthy need to be needed” as an unofficial trademark. He is constantly looking for ways to help better the Rockford community and serves as the most recent chair of the RAEDC Board, membership director for the RRVTMA, YMCA of Rock River Valley BOD, Greater Rockford Growth Partnership and probably others he can’t remember… He’s most proud of his 2nd marriage to his first wife, his amazing, Godly children, his wonderful team at Spectrum, and his journey in faith.
Frank Preli | Vice President Propulsion & Materials Technologies, Pratt & Whitney
Aircraft Engine Technology Development
Frank Preli is currently Vice President of Propulsion and Materials Technologies at Pratt & Whitney. He has spent over 40 years at United Technologies Corporation leading the development of technologies for aerospace and energy markets.
Preli joined UTC in 1978 as an assistant materials engineer at Pratt & Whitney. He held positions of increasing responsibility at Pratt, including manager of quality and business process effectiveness, manager of technology and production readiness, and manager of materials and mechanics engineering.
In 1998, Preli joined UTC Power Corporation, a world leader in fuel cell production and development for commercial, transportation, residential and space applications, where he was Vice President of Engineering until his return to Pratt & Whitney in 2008 as the Chief Engineer for Materials and Processes.
Preli earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Connecticut. He also earned an MBA at the university. Preli is an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Science.
Mike Stengel | Principal, Aerodynamic Advisory
Three Markets, Three Outlooks
Mike has held a life-long passion for aerospace, having starting flying lessons at the age of 12 and becoming a commercial pilot with an instrument rating by age 19 before beginning a career in consulting. Over the last 10 years, Mike has advised clients across the aerospace industry, having led or contributed to over 100 consulting engagements covering business strategy, market analysis, & transaction advisory subjects, and also oversees AeroDynamic Advisory’s aftermarket-related intellectual capital. He is a frequent guest speaker at industry conferences, universities, and company events, and resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his husband.
David Boulay | President, IMEC
Building the Workforce of Tomorrow – Today
With a Ph.D in Workforce Development and Education from Ohio State University, a Masters of Business Administration from Franklin University and a Bachelor of Science in Operations from Binghamton University, David’s leadership has developed from diverse setting that extend from a family-owned business, to manufacturing, universities and nonprofits, these various experiences help guide IMEC’s public–private partnerships strategic direction to serve as catalyst from small and mid-sized company competitiveness.
Renee Eveland | Technology Manager, NASA
NASA Technology for Manufacturers
Dr. Renee Eveland earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2000. She spent the next 22 years working for a specialty chemical company in Northeast Ohio. In April 2022, Renee joined NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) as a contract employee in the Technology Transfer Office. In March 2023, Renee became a civil servant for NASA and expanded her role in the Technology Transfer Office to include providing support for the Technology Transfer Expansion Program (also known as T2X). To support the Technology Transfer Office, Renee helps to manage the patent portfolio for GRC with a focus on the sensors and materials and coatings portfolios. Renee also evaluates license applications submitted by small companies, large companies and start-ups. More recently she has focused on understanding the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in and around Cleveland and is endeavoring to learn more about Illinois’ entrepreneurial ecosystem as well.
Alyson Grady | Deputy Director Regional Economic Development, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Funding Opportunities in the State of Illinois
Alyson Grady is the Deputy Director for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Regional Economic Development Team. With this position, Aly works with local governments, community partners, businesses, and other entities to serve the needs and promote economic development across the state of Illinois. Aly has been working in state government for over 20 years and brings her knowledge and experience into this role to further the mission of DCEO. That mission is to support and maintain a strong economic environment for those served – taxpayers, employers, workers, and communities – by actively recruiting and growing businesses, maintaining a 21st-century workforce, enhancing innovation, and brining jobs and investment to underserved communities throughout Illinois. Aly is a Central Illinois native having grown up in Mattoon and living for over 25 years in the Springfield area.
Saba T. Jaffery | Executive Director of Power & Control Supply Chain, Collins Aerospace
Saba T. Jaffery is the Executive Director of Power & Controls Supply Chain at Collins Aerospace, a division of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX). In this role, Saba is responsible for leading the Power & Controls Supply Chain organization including performance of the supply base, procurement execution, commodity management, new product sourcing, out of production sourcing, and execution of the overall supply chain strategy to ensure achievement of performance and cost objectives. Most recently, Saba was Senior Director of Global Strategic Sourcing for Castings | Forgings | Machining across the Collins Aerospace enterprise. Her prior roles include assignments in: supply chain management, program and general management, business development, quality and supplier quality, operations, factory transfers and continuous improvement. Saba holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences (IEMS) and a Master of Engineering Management (MEM), both from Northwestern University. In her spare time, Saba serves on the Northwestern University IEMS and MEM advisory boards. She is a chair for the Rockford, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce’s Lead 360 organization. Saba is an executive sponsor for the Collins Aerospace Women In Aerospace Rockford chapter and additionally serves on the board of the Northwestern Illinois chapter of the YWCA.
Ted Frericks | Director of Global Supply Chain accountable for Global Category Management, Woodward
Mr. Ted Frericks is the Director of Global Supply Chain accountable for Global Category Management. A Woodward member for 19 years, Ted has been leading category teams at Woodward for several years ranging from machined components, castings, special processes, mechanical engineered products, electronics, and electro-mechanical products.
Prior to his work as a team leader, he worked as a Global Supplier Manager in Supplier Engineered Components located at Woodward’s Rockford, Illinois and Fort Collins, Colorado campuses. Ted has a total of 26 years supply chain management experience beginning with the specialty metals industry and with AGCO Corporation where he was a member of the Global Sourcing team responsible for enterprise level categories.
An Illinois native, Mr. Frericks earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University. Ted and his wife Kristen live in Fort Collins, Colorado and have 3 sons: Jakob (26), Theo (18), and Charlie (14). In his spare time, Ted is an amateur bicycle builder, avid cyclist on mountain and trail, and a struggling musician who still hasn’t mastered guitar after playing for 37 years.
Breakout Session A
Todd Spierling | Principal Technical Fellow, Collins Aerospace
Net Zero by 2050 – The Contribution of Electrification to Aviation Sustainability
Todd Spierling is a Principal Technical Fellow for Systems Engineering with a focus in Electrification. He is a part of the Power & Controls Engineering organization located in Rockford, Illinois.
In his current role, Todd provides technical leadership in all elements of aircraft electrification, including Electric Propulsion, More Electric secondary systems, and Propulsion, Power & Thermal Management Systems. He supports customer technology engagements, new business pursuits, and company and corporate level strategic technology planning.
He has previously led product groups for generators, motors, power electronics and emergency power systems, as well as corporate and business level advanced projects and research organizations. He joined Raytheon (Sundstrand) in 1986.
Todd has been awarded 43 US and foreign patents and has authored multiple conference papers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech, an MBA from Columbia College, and is currently pursuing his systems engineering PhD at Colorado State.
Brian Steele | Nexus Program Director, Textron e-Aviation
Brian Steele is a native of Wichita, KS and enjoys calling the “Air Capital of the World” home. He earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University and began his career at Cessna Aircraft Company in 1992. Throughout his 31-year career at Textron, Brian has held multiple leadership positions and has enjoyed exploring numerous opportunities throughout the company, including becoming a pilot. He has supported the jet, turboprop, and piston product lines, in addition to McCauley propellers and Special Mission programs. Brian is currently the Program Director for the Nexus eVTOL project at Textron eAviation, Textron’s newest business unit, dedicated to innovation and the electrification of a full product line of aircraft.
Breakout Session B
Ken Wunderlich | Technical Specialist, IMEC
Business Preparation Steps before Automation
I believe that everyone has a toolbox of skills, and it’s these abilities that make people successful. As a
Technical Specialist at IMEC, I strive to create or expand the toolboxes of Illinois manufacturers and the Leadership Team. By expanding their toolbox with new skills and systems I intend to positively influence their future achievements.
I work alongside various companies in Illinois, providing technical assistance to manufacturers and service-oriented firms through consulting and training. I also implement solutions to help companies improve their organization overall. Utilizing my experience in various fields, including medical device, automotive, and consumer manufacturers, I can objectively review and assist clients with continuous improvement efforts related to quality management systems and process. This allows me to facilitate improvement in heavily regulated environments.
With more than 22 years of experience in both manufacturing and product design, I have acquired a diverse set of skills in various manufacturing arenas. My experience ranges from medical devices, automotive products, food packaging, consumer products, maintaining ISO 9001, AS9100, IATF 16949, ISO 13485, and 21CFR regulations, certifications for medical devices, and more. My primary skill set lies within process development, improvement, and organization. I have seen a variety of processes from the perspective of both supplier and customer, which has provided a unique addition to my toolbox – diplomacy. Finding a solution is my goal. Let me find your solution.
Angelika Nowosadko | Technical Specialist, IMEC
Generation Gap to Generation Bridge: Mapping the Employee Journey Across Generation
As an immigrant child raised by parents working in manufacturing, Angelika has a deep appreciation for the blue-collar employee experience. She has coupled her continued education in Industrial and Organizational psychology with her Human Resources experience in distribution and manufacturing, to provide workforce support. She is experienced in benefits management, problem solving, change management initiatives, associate relations, the onboarding experience, and employee feedback and engagement tools. Based in Chicago, IMEC allows her the opportunity to assist manufacturers in their onboarding procedures, employee journey mapping consultation, formal and informal employee feedback and engagement tools, and employee training. Partnered, Angelika will bring your workforce to the next level.