Driving Operational Excellence,
Innovation & Growth Through People

John Nanno
John Nanno
Center Director

John has been in the technology industry for over 25 years, having responsibility as the worldwide leader of sales and operations, supporting organizations at many levels of maturity; including angle funded, private equity, venture capital and fortune 100 companies. John is skilled in sales management and corporate operations, including the establishment of strategic alliances and M&A, integrations, with a track record of bringing innovative solutions to market and growing new businesses, across multiple channels. John focuses on helping small to mid-sized manufacturers rebuild topline growth. Prior to founding PeakMarket Consulting, John most recently served as Senior Vice President of a private equity owned company, and was responsible for the company’s global go to market strategy and sales operations. John holds a MBA from Syracuse Universities Whitman School, and is certified as a professor of practice.   

Sarah Burlingame
Sarah Burlingame
Senior Project Manager

Sarah brings 18 years of experience in quality systems, continuous improvement and workforce engagement to TDO clients. Her leadership roles included Quality Assurance Manager, Plant Safety Manager and other management positions in the Operations, Training and Logistics Departments at Anheuser-Busch. Sarah specializes in the application of Lean Manufacturing techniques and successfully led her Baldwinsville Brewery Team to 100% achievement of their top KPIs in 2016.

Sarah has a strong passion for workplace organization and efficiencies and believes in utilizing employee engagement and knowledge to reach and surpass any set goals. Her motivational techniques and ability to coach others is highly effective at driving cultural evolution in a workplace. Sarah has led many continuous improvement (CI) initiatives over the years and offers an enthusiastic approach to improving a business through the inclusion and education of all employees in a workplace.

Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University at Buffalo.

James D’Agostino
James D’Agostino
Senior Project Manager

James is a recognized leader with over 17 years of diverse manufacturing experience. Throughout his career, he has established a distinguished track record for engineering management, quality assurance, staff development, manufacturing and operations excellence, and change management.

James combines his leadership and technical background to deliver innovative solutions to business opportunities involving lean six sigma (LSS), training and development, quality management, continuous improvement (CI), technical problem solving, and ISO9001/TS16949 standards implementation and compliance.

James is an experienced project leader and trainer. He has led a multitude of LSS and CI initiatives, including 5S, Value Stream Mapping, and Process Improvement Kaizen Events that have returned significant savings. James also drove the successful implementation of ISO9001 registration at one of his employers.

James’ previous positions include Plant Manager, Engineering Manager, Quality Manager, and various other operational roles. James has worked in both union and non-union settings, and his experience covers a wide array of industries including precision machining, furniture manufacturing and assembly, automotive machining and assembly, paper manufacturing, compression spring manufacturing, and water pump assembly. James has worked for companies such as Magna Powertrain / New Process Gear, Interface Solutions, Associated Spring, and Xylem. He is a Certified Technical Problem Solutions "Journeyman", as well as an ISO9001 internal auditor.

James holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and was a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society (Excellence in Business Administration). He also holds a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics.

Scott Laundry
Scott Laundry
Senior Project Manager, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Scott brings over 25 years of experience with manufacturing to his role as a Senior Project Manager for TDO. He combines a strong engineering and management background with extensive practical experience applying Lean Six Sigma (LSS).

His career has encompassed a wide swath of the value stream. As an Applications & Sales Engineer he gained a deep appreciation of the voice of the customer and value delivery. Later he spent more than 21 years with Albany International in various roles including Plant Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Global Raw Materials Manager and LSS Black Belt. During that time he gained experience with almost every aspect of manufacturing. This included roles in key initiatives such as ISO 9001 certification, TQA, Lean, TPM, and the implementation of TWI programs. Scott developed a passion for continuous improvement during his 5 years as a full time LSS Black Belt and 3 years as a Global Raw Materials Manager. Working for the world’s largest manufacturer of paper machine clothing, he was able to teach and apply LSS concepts to a supply chain spanning 16 manufacturing plants in 6 countries.

Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lowell and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Syracuse University. He is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a TWI Institute certified trainer in TWI Job Methods, Job Relations, Job Instruction and Job Safety.

Clara Scherfner
Clara Scherfner
Finance Administrator

Clara has thirty years of Accounting experience; fourteen of which are in the non-profit sector. Clara joined CNYTDO in September of 1991 and is responsible for handling all of CNYTDO's finances and reporting. Clara manages our client contracts, tracking & invoicing and monitors CNYTDO's goals, participates in Board Meetings and is responsible for our yearly audit in conjunction with our auditors. Prior to joining TDO Clara spent 10 years raising her family and held many volunteer positions in the School District that her children attended. Clara is still an active community member in her school district and church. Clara is also a Notary Public.

Marcie Sonneborn, MBA, MPA
Marcie Sonneborn, MBA, MPA
SBIR & Innovation Specialist

Marcene S. Sonneborn is a Regional Innovation and SBIR Specialist for the Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO). The TDO's SBIR/STTR program has supported small companies for over 20 years in a multi-region area to generate over $200 million in R&D awards.

In this capacity, Marcie conducts workshops around New York State for companies interested in federal technology programs including SBIR, Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR), NIST Programs, and others. She also provides one-on-one assistance to companies and entrepreneurs to help them to coordinate the proposal preparation process. She reviews proposals for her clients prior to submission, and assists them when they are preparing their SBIR/STTR project budgets. She also uses the NYS Empire State Development network of resources to provide expertise to clients from across New York if capabilities are not available within the client's region.

Marcie also provides technical and business development assistance to TDO clients, principally in the areas of research and development, technology transfer and commercialization, intellectual property protection and licensing agreements, technology-business organizational planning, management team development, and strategic planning and marketing. She coaches clients to make presentations to venture capitalists and to participate in venture capital forums.

Marcie's specialty is marketing and strategic planning for technology-based and emerging growth companies. She has her MBA from the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management and received her degree in the Innovation Management Program, with emphasis in marketing and finance. Marcie is a Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship at the SU School of Information Studies. She was formerly an adjunct faculty for the Whitman School of Management Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises Program, teaching courses in entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.

Marcie is a recipient of the Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This award is given for economic impact of technological innovation, business achievement and effective collaborations, and effective state and regional impact and support.

Marcie also has published articles on technology management, wrote an assessment workbook for "Taking Your Business Online," and a chapter on the marketing of financial services for a textbook which was published in Eastern Europe. She has participated as the marketing representative on a management team for management training programs in Eastern Europe. She also has worked in marketing research and survey design, including participation on a subcontract to a Fortune 50 company designing and developing technology products for ten plus years into the future.

Sue (Kuhns) Wisniewski
Sue (Kuhns) Wisniewski
Director of Marketing & Communications

Sue brings over 30 years of multi-disciplinary experience in Global Marketing, Strategic Planning, Sales Management, Product Development, Continuous Improvement, Team Building, and Event Management to TDO and our client organizations.

At TDO, Sue has driven initiatives to help clients develop and expand international markets, managed an annual manufacturing and technology conference, facilitated strategic planning, produced promotional and educational videos, and developed web sites. She consults with clients on diverse topics in industrial marketing.

Sue's career experiences with General Electric and Inficon spanned diverse industries including semiconductor, electronics, heat treating, instrumentation, optics, and thin films. She successfully marketed products worldwide and has direct experience with sales networks in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

In various marketing management positions, Sue led strategic initiatives that addressed declining sales, price erosion, quality problems, and increasing competition. In addition, she created financial plans, worldwide pricing strategies, competitive analyses, forecasting systems, and sales and promotional tools. Sue played a critical role in the selection, development and introduction of several new products. She is versed in Stage-gate and lean product development systems. Sue was intimately involved in Quality Management Systems and has extensive training and experience in Team Building, Problem Solving, Facilitation, Conflict Resolution and Organizational Dynamics.

As a principal consultant with the Directions Group she worked with businesses in Central New York on numerous projects including development of marketing plans, business acquisition planning, assessment of business processes, customer satisfaction surveys, creation of marketing and sales tools and the launch of a Continuous Improvement Program.

Sue has a BS in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University and has performed graduate studies in the MBA program at Syracuse University with a concentration in Marketing. She is a graduate of the General Electric Technical Marketing Program (TMP) and is a MEP certified Growth Coach.