Vice President of Process Automation
Siemens Digital Industries US
Laura Coates leads the Process Automation business unit within Digital Industries in the U.S. She is responsible for four business segments – Automation & Engineering, Process Instrumentation, Analytic Products & Solutions, and Digital Connectivity & Power – and three vertical markets (Chemical, Pharmaceuticals, and Oil & Gas).
Laura has global experience by managing strategic projects ranging from new product development to factory turnarounds across four continents. She was lead for strategy and business development for Siemens Process Industries and Drives, focusing on motors, drives, and process automation for industries such as oil & gas, chemical, and mining. She then served as Segment Head, Traction and Series Drives with responsibility for sales, manufacturing, and service of propulsion equipment used in rail vehicles, electric commercial vehicles, and mining.
Prior to Siemens, Laura worked for Standard & Poor’s and Harvard University in positions across marketing and communications, product development, and IT project development and implementation.
Laura earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia University. When she is not working, Laura loves to spend every minute of her free time with her young children.
Dr. Gad Allon
Professor & Director of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology
The Wharton School
Gad Allon is the Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor and Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, and the director of the Management and Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
He received his PhD in Management Science from Columbia Business School in New York and holds a Bachelor and Master degree from the Israeli Institute of Technology.
His research interests include operations management in general, and service operations and operations strategy in particular. Professor Allon has been studying models of information sharing among firms and customers both in service and retail settings, as well as competition models in the service industry. His articles have appeared in leading journals, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management and Operations Research. Professor Allon won the 2011 “Wickham Skinner Early-Career Research Award” of the Production and Operations Management Society. He is the Operations Management Department Editor of Management Science and serves on the editorial board of several journals.
Gad is an award-winning educator, teaching courses on scaling operations and operations strategy. He has also been an innovative leader in many educational technology initiatives. He is the co-founder of ForClass, a platform that enables professors to drive higher student engagement and accountability in their classrooms. Professor Allon regularly consults firms both on service strategy and operations strategy.
Director of Analytics and Consulting
Miller Resource Group
Alex Chausovsky is a highly experienced market researcher and analyst with more than twenty years of expertise across subjects including economics, industrial manufacturing, automation, and advanced technology trends.
For the last two decades, he has consulted and advised companies throughout the US and Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. Alex has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations and webinars to small businesses, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies across a spectrum of industries.
Alex is currently overseeing a suite of analytics products focused on talent. He is also consulting with companies to help them become better at attracting, hiring, and retaining the impact players in their industry.
Jared helps clients improve leadership, management and sales performance through evaluation, training, mentoring and coaching. The four areas of focus are selling skills, staffing, structure and strategy. Jared’s passion is changing client’s lives through close, ongoing personal development and professional coaching.
Early in his career, Jared found himself struggling to achieve his sales goals. Frustrated with not achieving the results he desired, he enrolled in Sander Training for help. Sandler Training taught Jared a process to understand his behavior and the buyer’s behavior in a selling situation. He learned how to have the right conversations, at the right time with the right people. It changed his beliefs about how he felt about himself and his outlook on professional sales. The results followed, proving to him that the Sandler Training approach creates real value and changes lives.
Today, Jared works with clients to rehearse and reinforce Sandler sales techniques and share best practices. He is also a chosen resource on sales, sales management, leadership, prospecting, growth strategies and business development.
Jennifer Curry is Vice Chair of Baker Donelson’s Labor and Employment Group and advises and defends employers on all manner of employment and compliance issues. Ms. Curry works closely with employers of all industries and sizes by advising and defending them against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims; coordinating crisis management responses; directing internal investigations involving sexual harassment, the False Claims Act and whistleblowing; and overseeing federal contractor obligations under the Service Contract and Davis Bacon Acts.
Terri Murphy Communications
Terri Murphy, is an Online Relationship Strategist. She helps associations, companies, corporations and industries to engage connection to their “communities”. Terri shows companies how develop their online “voice” that separates them from their competition by helping them to develop value propositions that helps attract, engage, connect and convert prospects, customers and clients to profits.
Terri works with international companies like Eastman Kodak, Great Harvest Bread Company, Muzak, Yellow Trucking, Embassy Suites and more. Her goal is to bridge the communication and connection gaps with strategies and resources to build communities that result in raving fans, repeat business and ultimately higher profitability.
Vice President and General Manager
Since 2015, Melissa Blashka has been Vice President / General Manager at Barksdale, Inc (a Crane Co. subsidiary) responsible for the global strategy, growth and profitability overseeing Product Management, Sales, Customer Care and Applications Engineering.
For over 70 years, Barksdale has been designing and manufacturing instrumentation and controls including pressure, temperature, level and valves for Industrial, Oil & Gas and Transportation markets. Barksdale has a global reach, with manufacturing in North America, Europe and China.
Prior to this role, Melissa served as Director, Global Supply Chain, Crane Co, providing leadership for Crane’s international procurement team in North America, China, India, and Mexico, where she established a new regional sourcing team.
Prior to joining Crane, Melissa was Procurement Director, Meggitt Equipment Group a $600M multi-national segment of Meggitt PLC. Melissa was responsible for leading the Global Sourcing activities of the business, including integration of Meggitt’s acquisition of Danaher’s Pacific Scientific Aerospace & Defense division. Prior to Meggitt, Melissa held roles of increasing global responsibility at Danaher Corporation with her most recent role as Supply Chain Director, Pacific Scientific Group. Melissa is also a graduate of Eaton Corporation’s Leadership Development Program where she held assignments in Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management/ERP integration, Business Development, and Operations Management.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University and an MBA from New York University.
Vector Controls and Automation Group
Jared Boudreaux is the President of Vector Controls and Automation Group in Houston, TX. Over the past twenty-five years, he has been recognized for outstanding leadership and held several Board positions in a variety of organizations. Most recently, Jared was included in Marquis Who’s Who and a named a finalist in Houston Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO for 2020. Mr. Boudreaux received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing degree from Lamar University.
Tim Gowan is the Vice president and General Manager of Heartland Controls, a manufacturer’s representative firm in the Midwest specializing in industrial flow, temperature, and pressure measurements and instrumentation, as well as process, lab, and environmental analyzers. He has been active in the process instrumentation industry for more than 20 years. Mr. Gowen earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Kentucky Wesleyan College.
JMS Southeast, Inc.
Mitch Johnson is the President of JMS Southeast Inc. Mitch has been active in the industry for 15 years and recognized for Excellence in Technical Presentation by the ISA and Control Engineering Leader under 40 (sadly aged out since) by Control Engineering Magazine. He serves as the Chair of the ASME 19.3 committee (including the 19.3TW standard on thermowell design), as a member of the ASTM E20 Temperature Measurement group and Task Group leader for temperature measurement for both the ASME BPE and API 551 standards. He also serves as an IEC SC65B WG temperature Measurement US Delegate. Among other publications, Mitch co-authored the ISA second edition of Practical Thermocouple Thermometry, the Thermowell Chapter of Bela Liptak’s Instrument Engineer’s Handbook and the EPRI book on Thermowell & Radiographic Testing Plug Design Recommendations. Mr. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and law school degree from UNC Chapel Hill.
General Manager and VP of Sales
NSI Neal Systems Inc.
Shane Filer is the general manager for Neal Systems Inc (NSI) near Philadelphia, PA – a hybrid representative / solutions company that provides technical sales of instrumentation and automation related products to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Shane has been in this industry since 1995, and has enjoyed engineering, marketing, sales, and management positions with Leeds & Northrup, Honeywell, and Neal Systems over that time. He has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Grove City College, and is also well-trained in telling awful Dad-jokes. He has served as moderator, speaker, and leader for various industry councils and organizations, including the ISA (former President of the Lehigh Valley ISA). Hobbies include weightlifting, volleyball, piano, spending time with his family, leading groups at his church, and dumping funds into the money-pit house he bought in 2020.
President and Principal
With a reputation as an accurate, straightforward economist, Alan has been delivering award-winning workshops and economic analysis seminars in countries across the world to thousands of business owners and executives for the last 30 years. He is co-author of Prosperity in the Age of Decline, a powerful look at how to make the most of the US and global trends over the next 20 years. Alan also coauthored Make Your Move, a practical and insightful guide on increasing profits through business cycle changes, and noted by one reviewer as “simple, yet awesome.”
As the chief economist for numerous US and international trade associations, it has been remarked that Alan’s “insight into our business, a track record of accurate forecasting, and unparalleled knowledge of global markets has earned him the respect and appreciation of key business leaders in our industry.”
Pronouncements from ITR Economics™ and/or Alan have appeared in/on: the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Knight Ridder News Services, Business Week, Associated Press, The Washington Times, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, and numerous other outlets.