On July 20th, Tom Bugnitz announced to the Manufacturer’s Edge Board of Directors that he would be retiring on October 15th of this year. Tom has been the CEO since August 6, 2012, and is only the second person to lead Manufacturer’s Edge. During his tenure as CEO, federal funding for the Colorado MEP Center increased from $660,000 to over $2,000,000, and since 2014, Manufacturer’s Edge was awarded two consecutive 5-year contracts to be the Colorado MEP Center through 2025.
“It has been an honor to serve as the CEO for this terrific Manufacturer’s Edge team and represent Colorado and the U.S. Department of Commerce NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) for the past 9 years,” Tom said in a recent discussion. “It has been the capstone of my professional career and an experience that I will never forget. I have had the best job in Colorado.”
“With the potential for significant increases in federal funding under the Biden Administration’s manufacturing policies and the opportunity to start new high-impact programs in Colorado, it is exactly the right time to turn over the reins to the next generation of leaders, people with the energy and imagination to build on our foundation. I am extremely proud of the team we have built. The leadership team, staff, and Board of Directors are some of the best in the nation and will carry our mission forward without missing a beat. With our strong financial position and well-respected brand, Manufacturer’s Edge is well-positioned to serve Colorado manufacturers in the coming years.”
“The Board of Manufacturer’s Edge wants to congratulate our longtime CEO, Tom Bugnitz, on his recent announcement that he will be retiring,” said our Board Chair, Shelli Brunswick, COO of the Space Foundation. “Tom has been a steadfast champion for manufacturers in the state of Colorado and a tireless advocate in Congress for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Network. Tom’s constant eye toward innovation and passionate advocacy for Colorado and the MEP Network have been invaluable to manufacturing in Colorado and across the country.”
While leading Manufacturer’s Edge, Tom was also deeply involved in building the MEP National Network, comprising the 51 MEP Centers in every state and Puerto Rico. “Tom has left a tremendous legacy through his work to reimagine the MEP National Network,” said Jim Watson, President and CEO of California Manufacturing Technology Consulting and Chair of the National Network Center Leadership Team. “When the network recognized that it needed a new vision for the future, Tom did not sit back, but rather was one of five Center Directors who volunteered to develop a national road map to enhance the future of MEP. Without his energy, vision, and tenacity to get things done, the MEP network would not be where it is today. We owe Tom a debt of gratitude.”
Tom will continue to support Manufacturer’s Edge as a member of the Board of Directors and will serve in an advisory role with the team as they transition to a new CEO. The Board of Directors has started the search process and interested parties can send resumes and letters of interest to Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org and COO Jennifer Hagan-Dier at email@example.com.