Bert Eades

Business Service Director – Operations Support

A former manufacturing executive, Eades has led numerous large plant transformations, including performance turnarounds, rapid volume growth and product line changes.

He has extensive experience as a supervisor, engineer, production manager and operations manager. For over 15 years, he served as a plant manager for companies such as Blue Ridge Fireboard, IKEA Industry, Elkay Manufacturing, Mohawk Industries, and Armstrong Flooring.

Eades earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech. A resident of Danville, Va., he is an officer of the Pittsylvania County Public Library Foundation and served on the board of the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce for several years.

Andrae Kirkland

In his new as Manager of the GENEDGE Emerging Business Program, Andrae Kirkland will consult with small manufacturing companies with high growth potential to help them identify strategies for growth, guiding them through the program to achieve success.

Andrae Kirkland is an award-winning engineer and thought leader at the intersection of tech and lean business design who has led transformative initiatives for world-renowned organizations – NASA, Nike, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Twitter. Andrae has consistently earned recognition for the business impact of the solutions he’s delivered.

Andrae is a former Board of Directors member of the Reusable Packaging Association, who advocated for and led the development of sustainable global supply chain solutions. He currently sits as an Advisory Board Member for the CX Network, leading transformations across customer experiences in today’s digital-first economy. Andrae further demonstrates his expertise as an Advisory Board Member for the Process Excellence Network. Previously, he served as the Marketing Advisor and Executive Sponsor for Community Consulting Teams, a nonprofit providing management consulting services to other nonprofits.

Andrae’s work has been cited in prominent publications such as The New York Times, Business Insider, and The Wall Street Journal and he has authored editorials across multiple Lean Six Sigma platforms. Recognized as a voice of tech innovation, Andrae has been a featured speaker for global conferences on operational excellence and digital transformation such as the annual Lean & Six Sigma Conference hosted by the American Society for Quality, AfroTech Conference, and the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit.

Andrae is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt through the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Florida.

Read full press release Pilot Emerging Business Program

Joseph J. Stark III

Joseph J. Stark III is GENEDGE’s Business Services Director – Operations. In this role, his primary responsibilities are to craft and execute a solutions path to support manufacturers specific needs by consulting alongside GENEDGE Regional Growth Managers (RGMs) concerning value-added solutions to best address a prospective client’s situations, challenges, and needs.

Joe also has a supporting role as an expert for manufacturers and manufacturing. He strives to understand emerging trends, technologies, and challenges facing the client base/market in the GENEDGE service regions, leveraging Third-Party resources where applicable, and propose changes to GENEDGE’s strategy as appropriate.

He is a major influence in building GENEDGE’s Alliance Partner Network through staying knowledgeable of currently approved Third-Party resources of their service areas, expertise, capabilities, and previous project performance, while identifying resource gaps and provide this information to the appropriate manager to address. He provides support in the technical vetting of interested Third-Party resources and onboarding new Third Parties on how to deliver to GENEDGE technical standards/requirements.

Joe brings over 35 years of industrial experience in the operations and manufacturing environment. He has experience developing and leading teams in all functional areas of operations and production with a continuous improvement focus initiating and implementing a culture of change while building high performance teams. He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University with a focus in Operations Management.

Jeff Shook

Jeff Shook joined GENEDGE in 2017 as a Project Manager with primary responsibility serving clients and partners in the Shenandoah Valley. Today he is currently an Automation and Advanced Manufacturing Manager.

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in a variety of industries. His experience includes lean and six sigma, design for manufacturing, and new equipment and production startup. His specialty is manufacturing process development, incorporating new manufacturing methods and lean processes into manufacturing. Jeff has been responsible for over $7 million dollars in capital equipment sourcing in his manufacturing roles. Often designing entire manufacturing lines as diverse as high-volume consumer electronics, to large chiller HVAC manufacturing facilities, incorporating the latest manufacturing technologies. His background and training as a practitioner and master trainer in kaizen methodologies led his team to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 1st place award for Workforce Excellence in 1997. Jeff learned lean Toyota Production System firsthand in Kawagoe Japan working and training on Pioneer’s Lexus (Toyota) production lines.

Jeff earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. He has certifications including Six Sigma Black Belt, DFM, OSHA 10-hour, Kaizen master trainer, and CSCP (certified supply chain professional). His office is located at Blue Ridge Community College’s Weyers Cave campus.

Roy Luebke

Roy Luebke is a Strategy, Innovation and Growth Consultant with GENEDGE in Virginia. Throughout his 40-year career he has delivered dozens of successful technology-based product and service offerings in global markets for Fortune 50 as well as start-up companies in healthcare, enterprise software, and consumer markets. Roy uses creative yet structured innovation, strategy and portfolio processes and tools to work with CEO’s and C-Level executives to define business strategy, research and discover new customer needs, create and deliver new solutions, and commercialize offerings that increase business profitability.

Roy created and leads the GENEDGE cyber offerings and is focused on helping Virginia Department of Defense suppliers in meeting cybersecurity compliance.

Mr. Luebke possesses a Masters in Design Methods from the Illinois Institute of Technology/Institute of Design, an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin.

Michael G. Levy

Mike Levy is GENEDGE’s Business Services Director – Growth. Since joining GENEDGE, he has achieved Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification; Innovation Engineering Black Belt certification; TDMI certification; Tech Scouting certification; Core Consulting Skills Certification; and PMP certification. Mike’s specialty is market planning.

Mike’s key delivery focus involves helping businesses develop strategic clarity and action-oriented growth roadmaps to meet their business objectives, then managing the creation and development of new ideas for business models, processes, products or services to help those businesses reach their strategic objectives. This includes access to capital, succession planning and business valuation services. Once strategic goals are identified, Mike and his team provide further growth assistance by identifying and resourcing the supply chain or subject matter expertise required to reach those goals.

To date, Mike has managed or co-managed strategic growth projects with over 70 industrial, scientific or manufacturing firms, facilitating the creation of hundreds of new growth ideas or projects. He has managed over 100 innovation concept sessions in varying degrees of complexity and size.

Mike uses his research background to integrate Voice of the Customer, market research or content analysis findings into a manageable “sandbox” of internal and external opportunities, from which businesses can begin, or continue, their process of strategic growth and change.

In 2010, he was an instrumental part of the team that helped launch an innovation grant program that generated nearly $750,000 in innovation investments across Virginia, and in 2011 he was part of a five-member MEP team that studied U.S. supply chain competitiveness and co-authored a key white paper explaining the competitive gaps.

In 2014, he was part of the core GENEDGE delivery team in the Virginia Domestic Markets Expansion Program (VA DMEP), a high impact program that assisted DoD supply chain companies in Virginia as they attempted to replace declining defense revenue streams through diversification of their products and services. In 2019, his DoD supplier work continued in GENEDGE’s Rural DoD Supplier program.

Mike continues his lead role in helping GENEDGE launch and manage statewide programs, such as Re-Tooling Virginia Manufacturers for Strategic Industries, which is focused on rapid commercialization planning for industrial firms who seek to re-shore critical industry services back to the U.S. and the Commonwealth.

Mike has an M.S. in Business and B.A. in English, both from VCU. He resides in Hanover County with his wife, two daughters, two dogs and one cat.

Steve Holcomb

Steve Holcomb is a GENEDGE Project Manager for projects with the USN, Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding and other manufacturing, industrial and technology companies in Virginia. He joined GENEDGE in 2018 as the Regional Growth Manager for Hampton Roads, where he supported development and success of these types of organizations in Hampton Roads.

Steve Holcomb has decades of experience as a Performance Excellence practitioner, consultant, facilitator, and coach. He holds a BS degree in Ocean Engineering for deep ocean systems from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and retired from the Coast Guard after 20 years of service. Steve is a PMP, a Jonah master facilitator, Theory of Constraints expert, TRIZ (innovation) engineer, and a former Baldrige Award examiner. He has helped many organizations meet their most challenging goals. His qualifications include expert level training and experience in project portfolio management, advanced process improvement, variation reduction, pattern recognition and prediction, measurement and data analysis for decision support, supply chain performance, organizational assessment, cash velocity improvement, critical thinking, and strategic plan development and deployment. Steve has helped clients reduce process variation, increase throughput, shorten cycle times, decrease costs, and increase capacity and profitability, all while honoring existing resource, policy, and regulatory constraints. These efforts have translated into tens of millions of dollars of bottom-line benefit. In the past, Steve has served as a performance excellence professional and consultant at Reed Integration, Inc. (Federal government consulting), the Old Dominion University Business Gateway (mid-size business consulting), Huntington Ingalls Industries (naval ship design, construction, and repair), Case New Holland (con/ag equipment design and manufacture), the American Supplier Institute (Taguchi and six-sigma consulting and training) and the U.S. Coast Guard. However, if you talk to Steve, he might tell you that he only knows how to do five things:

  • Identify the “wicked problems” limiting an organization’s performance,
  • Then helping them get control and make better decisions,
  • Enabling them to execute better, free up hidden capacity,
  • And “Do More Good, Without More Resources”,
  • To accomplish their most challenging goals and enjoy greater success.

Steve resides in Suffolk, Virginia where he enjoys spending time with family, including his five grandchildren and great grandson.