CEG welcomes our new Senior Vice President, Business Growth Solutions and Center Director for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Don Wiesenforth.


Don Wiesenforth, Senior Vice President, Business Growth Solutions and Center Director for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

Don is a seasoned leader with over twenty-six years of diverse professional experience including as owner and president of a local manufacturing company, founder and partner of an exhibition management company, leading a lean transformation in healthcare, as well as a strategic business advisor to manufacturing and technology companies.

Throughout his career, Don has been successful using the servant leader mindset to drive staff engagement, operations excellence, and change management. Don is a certified TWI (Training within Industry) Job Instruction, Job Relations and Job Method Improvement Instructor, a certified Innovation Engineering blackbelt through the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and a highly experienced lean leader/practitioner. Don holds a Master of Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany and a Bachelor of Science from Bentley College with a major in Marketing Management.


How can the Business Growth Solutions Team help you?

CEG’s Business Growth Solutions platform enables small to medium manufacturing and technology companies located in New York’s Capital Region to become more productive and create sustainable growth, resulting in production savings and additional commercial opportunities. We do this by matching our group of subject matter experts with top processes and learning methodologies to customer needs, aligning potential financial resources, and delivering on measurable goals and solutions in a timely manner. As the Capital Region’s State and Federally designated Manufacturing Extension Partnership, we seek and match grant funds to most project opportunities, resulting in a less than market fee.


Let us reintroduce the Business Growth Solutions Team at CEG!

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Carlos Flores, Vice President of Business Development

Subject Matter Expertise 

  • Sales and Strategy
  • Six Sigma
  • Value Proposition
  • Marketing Strategies






Carlos Flores is CEG’s Vice President of Business Development joining the team in January of 2022. Carlos began his career at General Electric in their Plastics division as a Customer Service Manager and got involved in value creation initiatives, system/process improvements, talent development and training. After a couple of years collaborating at the Customer Service Center in Pittsfield, MA, he joined the commercial force holding positions of increasing responsibility supporting a multitude of customers across industrial applications and manufacturing processes. Carlos was promoted to the newly created GE Water & Process Technologies as District Sales Manager and Regional Sales Manager; he drove the commercial efforts and go-to-market strategy for the equipment solutions team in Mexico. He obtained his first P&L role as the Country Manager for GE Advanced Materials-Silicones (now Momentive Performance Materials) where he was tasked with developing the local infrastructure to serve the customer base after the spun off. Following GE Advanced -Materials Silicones, Carlos joined Davis-Standard LLC, as Vice President of Global Marketing where he led the marketing strategy driving transformational efforts to position the company as a multinational player. He was recruited by Cyanco International, a leader in re-agents and technologies for the precious metals mining industry as VP of Latam & VP of Sales & Marketing for the Solids BU, to define and implement the growth strategy. He holds a Diploma in Executive Top Management from IPADE Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Skidmore College, a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and has completed the Six Sigma Black Belt Train the Trainers course, and 20 additional leadership, technical and development seminars.


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Tom Bell, Director of Technology Services

Subject Matter Expertise

  • Lean Operations
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Automation






Tom serves as Project Director for Technology Services with The Center for Economic Growth.  After completing studies in mechanical engineering technology, Tom began his manufacturing career in 1973 at the Watervliet Arsenal.  Over the following twenty-six-year period, he served in various technical and management positions at the arsenal including leading the production planning, quality, and design business units.  He also applied five years in the aerospace composite structures industry as the manager of manufacturing support and continuous improvement at Vermont Composites Inc. in Bennington, VT.  Since joining the CEG, Tom has focused on the advancement of small to mid-size Capital Region manufacturing companies in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership, workforce training, and process optimization resources and initiatives.


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Christine McLear, Director of Workforce Development

Subject Matter Expertise 

  • New York State Registered Apprenticeship
  • Educational Programming in the Capital Region
  • Training Programs
  • Workforce Development Strategies






Christine joined the CEG team in 2021. She is the Workforce Development Director overseeing workforce programs and partnerships. She manages CEG’s group sponsor program for NYS Registered Apprentice Program, which focuses on manufacturing and IT trades. Outside of apprenticeship, Christine works closely with the Capital Region Workforce Development Board as the One Stop Operator for the system and oversees the Upper Hudson Workforce Development Fund. Christine works on talent attraction initiatives like the summer intern program and the regional ambassadors program, the CapNY Connectors.


Mikala Conway, Manager, Grants and Contracts

Subject Matter Expertise 

  • Federal, State, Private Grant Development, Compliance & Reporting
  • Systems Management & Data Governance
  • Project Planning & Leadership

Mikala Conway serves as the Grants and Contracts Manager for the Business Growth Solutions Team, where she is responsible for overseeing financial and qualitative reporting to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and NYSTAR on behalf of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Mikala manages CEG’s grant program services for Federal, State and Private Awards. She supervises across the lifecycle of the grant; processing applications, ensuring compliance and reporting guidelines are met while coordinating successful completion project deliverables for Capital Region-based manufacturing companies.






Funding Partners