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Project Leadership Services was founded in 1998 on three tenets that still guide the company today
A principal at Project Leadership Services, Toni Grabinger Nosbush combines vast expertise in project leadership with the ability to apply the project management process across a wide variety of industries, including medical devices, medical instrumentation, communications, high-tech, non-profit and business process development.
Drawing on over 20 years experience, she balances logic and intuition to achieve success at leading both small and large teams; developing products from conception through product phase-out; facilitating relationships between groups; organizational development; resource allocation; setting strategic direction; and risk management. She possesses a particularly strong track record in turning around troubled projects.
Toni brings to each project an exceptional array of skills, including the ability to communicate at all levels of an organization. She is also able to take a broad view of complex situations, articulate key points, and segment tasks into manageable pieces.
A Distinguished Engineering Alumna of Mankato State University Toni is also an alumna of, and mentor in, the Menttium program.
Nick Lanners' outstanding achievement in management and product development results from a powerful synergy of leadership acumen and initiative. With over 20 years experience leading organizations, he brings expertise across many engineering disciplines as well as manufacturing.
Complementing his skills with specialized knowledge in fields ranging from implantable medical devices to solid state electronics, Nick blends technical expertise with broad managerial capabilities and the ability to take decisive action. This combination of talents has yielded uniformly positive results. Whether managing multi-million dollar annual budgets for a major medical device manufacturer or managing product lines for a leading defense contractor, he has demonstrated the value of bringing project leadership to complex technical endeavors.
In addition to his formal responsibilities as a manager and consultant, Nick also has a strong interest in mentoring, as evidenced by his five years serving as a Menttium mentor. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Computer Science.
Pete Pfeiffer is an accomplished project leader who brings over 20 years experience and a broad set of business and leadership skills to challenging senior management positions and project leader consulting engagements.
As both a business executive and consultant, he has successfully led large and small cross-functional projects, including: strategic planning, cost improvement initiatives, technical infrastructure implementation, software selection/implementation, plant consolidations, customer/product rationalization, sales force automation, and project office implementations.
Pete is also a sought-after facilitator and coach/mentor, whose positive, performance-based approach integrates broad technical and functional knowledge with excellent interpersonal, communication, and team-building skills. Equally at home in an array of industries, Pete has led cultural, process and technical change projects for clients of all sizes.
A graduate of the Indiana University School of Business, where he earned both a BS- Accounting and MBA - Finance, Pete is also a mentor in the Menttium program and a member of the Project Management Institute.
Tom Waddell is an expert in technical project management, small company executive management, product development and process reengineering. In addition, he has proven expertise in project management, executive management, strategic and long-range planning, organizational development, product engineering, process design, and manufacturing engineering and management. Drawing on over 20 years of hands-on experience, Tom has managed product development and engineering projects for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial startups.
His expertise also extends across industries, including medical products, semiconductors, manufacturing, finance and government. Regardless of the sector, his skills of setting direction, problem solving and motivating teams have generated successful outcomes in project management, product development, operations, engineering and executive management. Moreover, Tom has a proven track record in strategic planning and working with teams to help them achieve organizational objectives.
An alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Electrical Engineering, Tom has held positions including Project Manager, President & CEO, VP Operations and Product Engineer.
Patrick Besanson has over 25 years of domestic and international experience managing the start-up and growth of medical and technology-based companies.
An expert in both product development and operations management, Pat is a focused team leader and successful problem solver. His unique skill set is further enhanced by strong analytical and creative abilities, along with a talent for integrating the human, technical and financial elements of a project.
Not surprisingly, some of the world's most demanding businesses have engaged Pat to manage key initiatives. In the initial stages of a product's life, Pat typically oversees product development, process validation, technology transfer and acquisition integration. As the project progresses, he shifts attention to production start-up, manufacturing expansion, site selection, facility planning and ISO / GMP Compliance.
Pat holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee as well as an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Mona Dahdah is a highly talented project leader who has excelled in the discipline from early on. She leads teams by setting high expectations and ensuring all members have the information and tools they need for success. She works very well with diverse teams by creating an environment that is challenging, inviting, and fun.
Mona has significant medical device experience in all aspects of the product life cycle from customer requirement development to full rate manufacturing. She has held positions in research and development and manufacturing process development and has been responsible for strategic and operational planning, clinical and regulatory strategy, and quality systems development and improvement. She has the ability to span from the details of process controls to big picture project strategy. Mona has launched many successful products. She has lead teams from early stage conceptualization through commercial release. She has also been called on to perform crisis intervention leadership for failing projects.
Mona is an alumna of the Menttium program and is trained in Six-Sigma and Lean tools and techniques. She graduated from the University of Saint Thomas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy.
An independent project management consultant in the not-for-profit sector, Shelly Franz specializes in translating ideas into projects by focusing the vision, formulating a plan, and identifying specific steps necessary for successful project completion.
Shelly has held leadership positions at not-for-profit organizations for over 24 years, including eight years with WomenVenture, a development agency that helps women achieve economic success. Her achievements extend from authoring and advancing legislation to improve women's financial status, to directing WomenVenture's Employment Program which trained and placed women in higher-paying non-traditional occupations. In the latter venture, she strengthened program components, improved outcomes and doubled the number of women served.
Shelly is a graduate of St. Olaf College and holds an Executive Master of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota. She has served on numerous boards, including: founding board member of Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry; president of The Uganda Project; founding board member of the Foundation for International Community Assistance Uganda, a village banking program for African women that has over 43,000 borrowers; Jobs Now Coalition; The Center for Economic Progress; Ramsey County Workforce Investment Board and the Minnesota Women's Consortium Steering Committee.
Julie Kaiser-Braden brings 21 years of experience to project management, product development, process transfer, manufacturing engineering, and quality systems. Her area of expertise is in project management, with emphasis on difficult-to-manage or troubled ventures. Recognized for her ability to step into projects in motion, she moves quickly to assess project status, prioritize needs, and ensure completion within established deadlines.
Julie's record of achievement extends across industries, including biomedical, automotive and hydraulic and automotive filtration. Working with large, small and startup companies, she has led projects ranging from medical device and quality systems development to technical services and the development and start-up of analytical services labs.
Complementing Julie's inherent leadership skills are her sense of urgency, decisiveness, analytical reasoning ability, and unwavering commitment to completion. She also brings to projects a goal-focused, global perspective that enables her to tackle complex endeavors by breaking them down into workable segments. The fact that she is a seasoned manager with the ability to communicate clearly at all levels within an organization makes her an even more effective leader.
Julie is an alumna of the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology.
Theresa Kimler is a dynamic and resourceful Project Manager with a passion for developing and bringing out team excellence. She looks at the big picture and bridges project management structure with lean and six-sigma tools to create the most effective approach to the unique project at hand.
Her field of experience is diverse, having worked in business and manufacturing process improvement, quality, building construction, mechanical design, fire protection, and loss control engineering. She has worked in the industries of software, medical device, data storage, and consumer products. Theresa is highly skilled in managing cross-functional projects and teams and leading them through all phases of a project.
Able to quickly get up-to-speed on project environments, new vernacular and team personalities, Theresa is able to translate complex problems into clearly understood and focused projects to get the team moving in a unified and productive direction.
Theresa is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and is trained in Six-Sigma and Lean tools and techniques. She graduated with distinction from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE).
David is a results driven project leader with more than twenty-five years of Operations experience in the medical device and health care products industries. He has held positions of responsibility and leadership for companies ranging from start-up to multi-billion dollar industry leaders.
Whether with a large organization or small, David understands the keys to successful goal setting, team management, timeline adherence, and budget performance. His strong belief in Continuous Improvement applications and the principles of Lean Manufacturing have provided a backdrop to successful project implementations ranging from new product introduction in high growth, high stress settings to cost cutting and retrenchment scenarios.
David’s understanding of a virtual manufacturing environment provides him with a unique point of view with regards to managing projects with independent resources and multiple priorities. Maintaining focus in a complex and diverse project setting is a strong suit. He also has extensive experience with facility selection, design and build-out, and operations relocation projects domestically and off-shore.
David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and a Master of Science in Management from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Henry Pak is a seasoned leader and management consultant whose experiences range from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial start-ups in the life sciences arena. Within the life sciences arena, Henry's areas of focus include new product development, project management, process improvement, and product and technology strategic planning. Prior to starting at PLS, Henry was a Director of Product Development at a division of a major Fortune 500 medical device company where he was involved in coordinating new product and technology strategic planning, improving the overall new product development process and managing the Program Management Office (PMO).
With a blend of expertise in both technical as well as business disciplines, Henry has been successful in leading and managing a variety of endeavors from new product development projects (medical devices, biopharma), process improvement initiatives (medical devices, biopharma, healthcare provider networks) and new product and technology strategic planning (medical devices, biopharma). His complement of skills in the technical, business and leadership realm have allowed his clients to recognize the true value that PLS can bring to complex endeavors.
Henry holds a Masters in Engineering Management (MEM) and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) along with a Master of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois. Henry is also certified as New Product Development Professional (NPDP), Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB), Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) and a Certified Manager – Organizational Excellence (CM-OE). In addition to his formal responsibilities as a leader and consultant, Henry also participates in the community as a Cub Scout den leader, boy's soccer coach and thru a variety of other volunteer activities.
Dale is an innovative and strategically focused project manager, skilled at navigating complex situations and delivering results. He has a unique blend of technical, operations, global business understanding and strategic acumen. His experience includes medical device/diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, biotech, food and other industries with a Fortune 100 company.
As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Dale is an accomplished leader with experience in manufacturing and outsourcing/contract manufacturing, Design for Reliability and Manufacturability, product development, quality improvement and a strong business and technical aptitude. He has extensive project management experience as demonstrated by the over 30 successful programs he has led over the past 20 years.
Dale is process oriented and brings the ability to establish, lead and motivate high performing cross-functional teams. He has an approachable, collaborative style of management and thrives on problem solving, navigating complex situations, and data driven decisions. Additionally, his experiences include business/P&L management, source of supply selection, negotiating mergers and acquisitions, integrations, due diligence, finance, strategic planning, technology transfer and streamlining operations, The diverse and global nature of his roles across multiple businesses provide him with the opportunity to successfully develop business and project plans, coach and lead multi-cultural teams to achieve excellent results.
As a graduate Michigan Technological University, Dale holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Economics.
A seasoned leader who has managed projects for a range of Fortune 500 companies, Tina Uphoff specializes in project management, process improvement and marketing execution. Before joining PLS, she served as Director of Corporate Development and Marketing for a major integrated marketing agency, and both created and executed national promotions for some of America's best-known consumer brands.
In addition to her expertise in marketing, account management and operations, Tina has a strong track record in leading teams through major changes, including ISO9000 registration and company-wide business improvement initiatives. Among her achievements: Leading cross-functional teams; rescuing failing projects through rapid assessment and implementation of solutions; evaluating job roles/responsibilities; implementing project management systems; and coaching/mentoring staffs in project management principles.
Tina holds an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from St. Cloud State University and a BA in Management from the College of St. Benedict. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and member of the Project Management Institute, she is also a certified ISO9000 lead auditor, member of the Minnesota Council of Quality, and a past evaluator for the Minnesota Quality Award, which is based on the Malcolm Baldrige criteria.
John Vasicek brings hands-on energy, the diverse experience to "speak the language" across multi-functional teams, a knack for facilitating a "What if" approach to problem solving to lead and focus teams to creating momentum for success. With 25 years of experience, John leverages a proven track record to deliver results for clients.
With diversity not only in industry but in disciplines, John brings an understanding of Operations and Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering, Quality Management, Supply Chain, Product Development, Technology/Design/Product Transfer in industries including the Medical Device Industry, Plastics- including composites, injection molding and thermoforming, Rubber molding, Precision Machining/Fabrication and Precision Mechanical Assembly.
John's prescription for delivering a successful project outcome:
John's career focus has been technical, hands on in nature, achieving recognition from professional organizations as a certified Quality Engineer, Certified Manufacturing Engineer, and APICS certification. In 1992 a BA in Management and Administration was added from Metropolitan State University, followed by a Masters of Science Degree in Manufacturing Systems from the University of St. Thomas in 2000. In 1995, he launched Vasicek Consulting; he began working with PLS in 2005, creating an alliance that focuses on Technical Leadership.