President & Chief Executive Officer
John Milton-Benoit is President and CEO of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM).
John 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, John was the Senior Director / Program Leader for the Advanced Manufacturing & Service Technologies Program Office at UTRC. John 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, John established UTC’s $75M Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, where he served as the Founding Director. John 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. Matt 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. Matt 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.
Matt 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
Tim 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.
Tim 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.
Director of Finance
Deborah previously worked as the Director of Finance for Kokua Support Services Corporation, a government contractor. In this role, she developed corporate budgets & forecasts, monthly and year-end financial statements, developed and implemented accounting policies for internal controls, developed cost proposals, and lead Department of Defense cost audits.
Deborah has vast knowledge of Federal, State and Government tax compliance regulations and reporting. As CFO for Logistics Management Resources Inc., Deborah led the corporate leadership team in performing risk management, lead the company’s internal and external audits (including ISO 9001:2008, 401k, and Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) compliance audits), and ensured compliance with federal and state requirements.
With Jacobs Technologies Inc., Deborah administered government contracts at the prime and subcontract levels to include generation of Request for Proposals, evaluation of contract terms and conditions for acceptability, liability, and compliance. She also developed indirect rates and labor category structures to support basis of estimate, proposal pricing, and negotiation.
Deborah is an Air Force Veteran and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Lorin S. Sodell
Director of Business Development and Advanced Manufacturing Education
Lorin Sodell is responsible for CCAM’s business development and is the Director of CCAM’s advanced manufacturing education program. Congruently, Mr. Lorin 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, Lorin established and operated two benchmark greenfield lean manufacturing facilities for strategic aero engine components
Lorin has an MBA from Lawrence Technological University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Director of Human Resources & Administration
As the Director 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 the Richmond Technology Council (RVATECH), Central Virginia’s premier technology association. While at there, she supported implementation of 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
Betsey Odell is charged with developing CCAM’s business development and advanced manufacturing education programs. Her duties span into grant writing, communications, and community & government outreach.
Odell raised over $3 million federal and state dollars for CCAM’s Advanced Manufacturing Education efforts, which has led to the formation of the Central Virginia FAME chapter of The Manufacturing Institute, and the GO TEC program in the Crater region.
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.