To grow the local economy by helping local CNY manufacturers and technology companies drive operational excellence and cultural transformation to reach their full potential.
Who We Are
TDO is a not-for-profit consulting and training organization based in Syracuse, New York. Our team consists of experienced, senior-level professionals from diverse industries with a passion for helping companies increase revenue, reduce costs and increase productivity using their business, leadership, process improvement, and technical expertise.
We work hands-on with organizations to develop and implement strategies to meet their goals and solve problems. We accomplish this through initiatives in lean six sigma, workforce and leadership development, strategic planning, quality systems, marketing and sales strategies, the implementation of leading-edge technologies and more. For researchers and entrepreneurs, we help develop successful business strategies, assist in the transfer of university-developed technologies, and smooth the transition from start-ups to mature organizations.
1988: The Central New York Technology Development Organization (CNY TDO) was founded by local economic development officials to support CNY manufacturers and technology entrepreneurs. Contrary to its name, CNY TDO does not develop technology, we work to help companies understand and implement state-of-the-art technologies into their product lines and manufacturing facilities but more importantly, help them to improve their operations and grow through continuous advancement and engaging their workforces.
1992: CNY TDO was designated the New York State CNY Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center designation
2018: We rebranded to TDO to stand for Train, Develop, Optimize and more accurately reflect our mission and capabilities. We have a fresh face, new logo and are moving forward with as much determination and passion as ever.
MEP Center Director
James is a recognized leader with over two decades 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.
Senior Project Manager
Sarah brings over two decades 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.
Senior Project Manager
Scott brings over three decades 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.
Senior Project Manager
Shelby brings over a decade of experience in manufacturing to her role as a Senior Project Manager for TDO. Her experience spans several different roles within manufacturing leadership, including quality, safety and environmental, and operations management at PaperWorks Packaging Group.
Shelby’s career began as an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Manager. As an EHS Manager, Shelby honed her training and coaching skills and developed a leadership style focused on empowering the operations team. She then transitioned to an Operations role as a Value Stream Leader executing a multi-faceted Continuous Improvement initiative focused on utilizing the voice of the customer to improve quality. Later, as a Production Manager, Shelby’s passion for Continuous Improvement helped her lead her team through waste reduction and performance excellence initiatives driving achievement of established targets. In the final year of Shelby’s tenure with PaperWorks, she operated as a Project Manager for the onboarding of new strategic business accounts. This gave her a unique opportunity to continue to develop her skills related to product and specification development and customer-facing project management.
Shelby earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and a Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability and Health and Safety Management with a focus in Civil Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Senior Project Manager
Don brings over three decades of supply chain and manufacturing experience to his role as a Senior Project Manager for TDO.
His professional experience includes leadership roles in supply chain management, distribution, manufacturing, ERP systems, and program management in the automotive, coatings, and medical device industries. His areas of expertise include forecasting, value stream mapping, pull systems, visual management, production planning, purchasing, and project management.
In addition to his industry experience, Don teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Operations and Supply Chain Management at Le Moyne College and Syracuse University.
Don earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Alfred University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the State University of New York at Oswego. He is also certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM).
Business Development Manager
Mike comes to TDO with over 30 years of experience in education and training. He began his career as math faculty and then transitioned into administration serving as a department chair and then dean. In the early 2000’s his professional interests evolved, and his focus shifted to education for the purpose of workforce preparation.
He quickly came to appreciate that in order to best prepare students for long-term workplace success, he needed local industry not just at the table, but at the head of the table. Needing a strong framework to systematize the development of efficient and high-quality training with local industry-leading, he trained in the DACUM methodology. Using the principles he learned as the foundation, Mike has developed and overseen dozens of highly successful workforce programs in a wide array of industries. All programs were built from the ground up “by industry, for industry”. Over the last 18 years, his career has taken him from Arizona to New Jersey, and most recently New York where he has built innovative programs to support local employers’ workforce needs in manufacturing, healthcare, and food service.
Mike came to TDO as a board member in 2016, serving as Chair from 2018 to 2020. From the outset, he was continually impressed with the TDO team. It was clear that there was a high level of passion, talent, and integrity, however where he felt kinship was in the team’s deep commitment to the mission. So, when the opportunity to join the team arose, he could not pass it up.
Mike trained initially as a computer engineer at Lehigh University where he interned with AT&T and Johnson & Johnson. Deciding in his senior year that teaching math was his calling, he went on to study education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and then mathematics at ASU on a graduate teaching fellowship. He is a certified facilitator in DACUM through Eastern Kentucky University, Conflict Resolution, and Relationship Management through the Arbinger Institute, as well as Compression Planning from the Compression Planning Institute, and most recently he completed his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt through TDO.
Senior Human Capital Manager
Meghan Durso is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of impactful experience in the realm of human resources. She brings a wealth of experience in fostering strategic HR and talent management practices that contribute to the growth and success of businesses in the region and has collaborated with over 300 NY manufacturers in various capacities. Meghan most recently served as the Senior Manager of Industry at CenterState CEO directly managing regional workforce strategies, and Director of Strategic HR at Employbridge NY, the largest manufacturing-focused talent firm in NYS. As a SHRM Senior Certified Professional and a people expert, her focus extends across various HR domains, including unlocking the power of your organization, talent strategies, leadership coaching, compensation and compliance strategy, and championing practices that include all at the table. A dedicated contributor to the HR community, Meghan serves on the board for CNY SHRM and other esteemed organizations, showcasing her commitment to advancing the field. Throughout her illustrious career, Meghan has left an indelible mark on the job market, having successfully hired over 1,000 individuals and meticulously reviewed more than 2,600 resumes. Meghan has a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Oswego in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Keuka College. Meghan has also received the USAA and SHRM Foundation Master for Veterans at Work Certification, which helps guide employers on how to create a truly welcoming and meaningful workplace for Veterans.
Senior Project Manager
Maria brings over 10 years of quality and manufacturing experience to her role as a Senior Project Manager for TDO.
Her professional experience includes leadership roles in quality and program management in the automotive industry. Her areas of expertise include project management, implementation, and management of quality systems, including automotive, aerospace, and medical standards, continuous improvement, and logistics.
Before working in the automotive industry, Maria served as an Officer in the US Army, working in medical and logistics leadership positions.
Maria earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Nichols College. She is also certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the Whitman School of Management.
Senior Project Manager
Bob brings extensive experience in manufacturing, operations, and quality, spanning over three decades, to his role as a Senior Project Manager for TDO.
His professional background includes engineering and management leadership in varied industries including aerospace, composite materials, defense electronics, and industrial fabricating and machining. Bob is happiest on the shop floor with direct production employees and engineers, and shifts easily into training and coaching, along with the ability to inform and advise senior managers.
Working in organizations ranging from a 15-person family business, to privately-held midsize manufacturers, to managing a plant for a Fortune 500 company, Bob understands management’s needs for problem-solving, process improvement, lead-time reduction, and employee development (among others).
Bob earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology. He has completed a variety of master ‘s-level course work in Engineering Management, Quality Systems, and Project Management at Syracuse University and Clarkson University.
Board of Directors
Airport Lighting Company
NYS Department of Economic Development
Chief Financial Officer
General Manager / Sales Manager
Darco Manufacturing, Inc.
Senior Quality Manager
Briggs & Stratton
SVP Member and Business Experience
President & CEO
President & CEO
Helping Fund Your Next Project
Finding the resources can sometimes be the biggest obstacle to pursuing your plans for operational excellence and the future growth for your company. TDO can help assist you through the process to secure funding for activities like: product development innovation, security, workforce development, global expansion, cybersecurity, revenue growth, quality systems, productivity, business transformation, capital equipment/expansion, and impact by foreign competition.Let TDO show you the way to grant funding for your project.