President & Chief Executive Officer
John Milton-Benoit is President and CEO of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM).
Milton-Benoit has a rich portfolio of leadership in operations and research and innovation at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), United Technologies Corporation’s (UTC) central research organization.
Until 2020, Milton-Benoit was the Senior Director / Program Leader for the Advanced Manufacturing & Service Technologies Program Office at UTRC. Milton-Benoit was responsible for UTRC’s strategic technology development in additive manufacturing, robotics, autonomous manufacturing, human-machine interface, data analytics, machine learning and cyber physical security, as well as expanding UTRC’s manufacturing and service impact on UTC business units.
In this role, Milton-Benoit established UTC’s $75M Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, where he served as the Founding Director. Milton-Benoit additionally served as Acting Program Leader for the United Technologies Aerospace Systems Program Office for the year leading up to UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins.
In 2010, he was the Founding General Manager of UTC’s European hub for research, starting up United Technologies Research Centre Ireland. Working with the Irish government and universities, he started a national sustainable energy testbed as part of the strategy to develop a European energy and security innovation ecosystem. He then expanded the research application scope of this innovation hub, setting strategic direction for a Cyber Physical Systems Center of Excellence for aerospace systems. Milton-Benoit holds more than two dozen U.S. patents and has contributed to several publications, including peer-reviewed journals.
Director of Research
Matt Stremler spent many years at CCAM as a Research Manager; leading research in Automation. Now he holds the title, Director of Research where he is meeting the needs of CCAM’s advanced manufacturing members. Mr. Stremler is an experienced research manager for manufacturing processes across many technical areas, including automation, coatings application and surface preparation, computer vision & measurement development, process improvement, etc.
He has extensive technical experience in design, specification, repair, quality inspection, and production process improvement for polymeric coatings. He is a subject matter expert in aqueous corrosion control for marine and power/propulsion applications. Mr. Stremler is an experienced team leader for quality & process engineering, research & development, and process improvement
During his 16 years at Newport News Shipbuilding as a Mechanical and Materials Process Engineer, he became a Team Lead for company-wide Coatings Global Processes improvement initiatives.
He holds a M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Virginia; and a B.S.in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Director of Operations
Mr. Ward joined CCAM in January 2016 to support strategic development of research initiatives pertaining to manufacturing systems, industrial automation, and “smart automated factory” design. He also provides collaborative project leadership for initiatives with existing industry and university members.
Mr. Ward has over 20 years of experience in the industrial, electronic, and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries. He began his career as a member of the Ingersoll Rand Manufacturing Management Program where he implemented lean manufacturing principles, Kanban inventory systems, point-of-use storage, and visual management methods. He then gained valuable Six Sigma experience while working as a Manufacturing Process Engineer and Quality Engineer with GE Intelligent Platforms before transitioning to the pharmaceutical (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) industry with Boehringer Ingelheim. While there, he served in long-range strategic planning and value chain management.
He has a B.S. Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Kettering University.
Rob is a strategic financial and operational manager adept at solving problems and identifying opportunities for operational and financial improvement. He also is skilled in developing policies, procedures, and programs to improve organizational effectiveness. His expertise includes financial analysis and reporting, financial systems, strategic leadership, and staff recruitment and training. He brings a metrics-based approach to financial analysis and reporting to increase operational efficiencies for private and nonprofit organizations.
Prior to joining CCAM, Rob held several executive positions including CFO of a reverse mortgage lender and the 6th largest issuer of HMBS, HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) Mortgage-Backed Securities in the country, successfully directing the accounting, financial reporting, FP&A, tax and audit functions of the firm. During his more than 30-year career, Rob founded two asset management firms serving institutional and individual clients managing accounting, performance tracking and reporting, business development, investor relations and compliance functions. He has led an effort to modernize the accounting and finance functions for a $5 million nonprofit, updated financial reporting systems to ensure GAAP compliance. He is experienced in establishing accounting functions, implementing new systems, and revamping and streamlining budget processes.
Lorin S. Sodell
Director of Business Development and Advanced Manufacturing Education
Mr. Sodell is responsible for CCAM’s business development and is the Director of CCAM’s advanced manufacturing education program. Congruently, Mr. Sodell serves as the Director of External and Industry Engagement for the College of Engineering and Technology at Virginia State University (VSU).
Former SVP Operations and Manufacturing Executive for Rolls-Royce Crosspointe LLC, established and operated two benchmark greenfield lean manufacturing facilities for strategic aero engine components
MBA, Lawrence Technological University; BS, Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Senior Manager of Human Resources & Administration
As the Senior Manager of Human Resources and Administration for CCAM, Alicia Durham is responsible for developing and maintaining HR policies, systems, and processes; managing the talent acquisition process, including recruiting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding; managing benefits and payroll; and supporting event planning, website maintenance, and member relationships.
Before joining CCAM, Alicia served as assistant executive director for RichTech, Central Virginia’s premier technology association. While at RichTech, she implemented a new strategic plan, and new brand and membership structure, and led marketing, event management and communications, as well as budget management.
Alicia has a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina.
Director of Development: Programs and Communications
Betsey Odell is charged with developing CCAM’s non-research related activities, such as CCAM’s business development, Advanced Manufacturing Education programs, and their communications strategy. Her duties span into brand marketing, grant writing, and community & government outreach.
Odell raised over $1.5 million federal and state dollars for CCAM’s Advanced Manufacturing Education efforts, which has led to the formation of the Central Virginia FAME chapter (www.CentralVaFAME.com) of The Manufacturing Institute. The work/study program trains advanced manufacturing technicians, where she now serves as program manager. The American Society for Engineering Education published her robotics and automation curriculum with Old Dominion University and the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute.
Prior to working for CCAM, Betsey Odell was the Vice President and interim Executive Director of a $26 Million-dollar nonprofit in New York City. Raising $6 Million in funds per year for Alzheimer’s Research, Odell managed 40 direct reports, consultants, and vendors. She worked with local, state, and federal government to run Alzheimer’s programs. She garnered support, solicited funds, developed, and evaluated each program as both advisor and executive. Odell worked side by side with world class researchers, PhD’s, and notable Nobel Laureate’s to design a comprehensive communications platform. In this capacity, she assembled celebrity participation form Penny Marshall, Diane Keaton, Coach Pat Summitt, Jim Nantz, and more. Odell was responsible for the foundation’s website, newsletter, social media, and virtual & print campaigns.