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Press Release

CESMII and SME Announce the Formation of a Smart Manufacturing Executive Council to Accelerate the Adoption of Smart Manufacturing in the U.S.

John Dyck, CEO, CESMII

LOS ANGELES – Recognizing the urgent need to accelerate the adoption of Smart Manufacturing in the U.S., CESMII, (the Smart Manufacturing Institute) and SME (the Society of Manufacturing Engineers) are announcing the official launch of the Smart Manufacturing Executive Council (SMEC). Described as “a national think tank of smart manufacturing leaders,” the Smart Manufacturing Executive Council has been created to engage business and technology executives, thought leaders and visionaries advocating for the transformation of the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem.

“As we transition from one manufacturing era to another, it’s clear that legacy behaviors, business models and technology architectures must make way for new ones,” said CESMII CEO John Dyck. “It’s the charter of this Smart Manufacturing Executive Council to advocate for this transformation, and the practical steps, investments and policy recommendations that will help this ecosystem cross this digital divide.”

The Smart Manufacturing Executive Council will focus on these strategic initiatives:

Ecosystem: Collaborative strategies enabling plants connected to the enterprise and supply chains for real-time data-driven business orchestration. Goal: flexible and agile processes and supply chains easily reconfigured for changing market demands and empowering collaboration between OT and IT.

Technology: Accelerate evolution from proprietary, closed systems, enabling interoperability to eliminate data silos, stovepipe architectures and vendor lock-in. Goal: drive down costs, improve agility.

Workforce: Aligning education, training, and continuous improvement strategies to develop people with the skills needed to accelerate smart manufacturing and create data driven cultures. Goal: organizational structures and capabilities that align resources and people for SM success.

“The Smart Manufacturing Executive Council will act as ambassadors for the vision of Smart Manufacturing in the U.S., working to accelerate the transformation of the entire manufacturing ecosystem and to inspire a vision for the future of manufacturing,” said Dyck.


The Smart Manufacturing Executive Council includes these members representing a diverse array of companies and industries:

  • Antoine Dhennin, ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT)
  • Alpen Patel, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)
  • Venu Pillai, Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW)
  • Craig Sutton, Eaton (NYSE: ETN)
  • Scott King, Ford (NYSE: F)
  • Michael Bastian, Ford (NYSE: F)
  • Lisa Zasada, General Mills (NYSE: GIS)
  • Jeff Abell, General Motors (NYSE: G)
  • Ron Norris, Georgia-Pacific (NYSE: GPX)
  • Jon Hobgood, Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON)
  • Ken Creasy, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)
  • Audrey St. Onge, Lallemand Baking Solutions
  • Jesus Flores-Cerrillo, Linde (NYSE: LIN)
  • Don McCartney, OshKosh (NYSE: OSK)
  • Jeff Kent, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG)
  • Rick Van Dyke, PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP)
  • Kelly Dodds, Raytheon (NYSE: RTX)
  • Sudhi Bangalore, Stanley Black & Decker (retired)
  • Trever White, Toyota (OTCMKTS: TOYOF)
Robert Willig, Executive Director & CEO, SME

“Both CESMII and SME are laser-focused on accelerating the democratization of Smart Manufacturing,” said SME Executive Director and CEO Robert Willig. “SME and CESMII are excited to engage with this remarkable assembly of industry leaders to lift the entire ecosystem. From large organizations and their supply chains to small & mid-size organizations, they’re all essential to creating a more competitive manufacturing environment here in the U.S.”

The Smart Manufacturing Executive Council will convene for the inaugural SMEC Session in December 2022 to affirm the charter and set strategic priorities for 2023.


CESMII – the Smart Manufacturing Institute -- is a public/private partnership committed to transforming the U.S. manufacturing market. Its mission is to enhance U.S. manufacturing productivity, global competitiveness, and reinvestment by increasing energy productivity, improving economic performance and raising workforce capacity. For more information about CESMII, SME and the Smart Manufacturing Executive Council, visit