NAmTrans Advisory Board

The North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment is proud to be an industry-led initiative – receiving feedback and input from our NAmTrans Advisory Board.  

Our board is comprised of 13 leaders from the transportation equipment cluster, area educational institutions, and various regional economic development organizations.

The board provides planning guidance, feedback, and strategic advice on all NAmTrans activities. Board meetings are held quarterly and upcoming meetings can be found on the NAmTrans calendar

Read more about each of our board members below.

John Vermette
General Manager, SpencerARL
Chair of NAmTrans Advisory Board

John Vermette is the General Manager of SpencerARL in Plattsburgh, New York. John has over 35 years of experience in the manufacturing industry – from operations and production management, to customer relations and project development.

John played an integral role in the formation of NAmTrans, and currently serves as Chairman of the NAmTrans Board. John also previously served as Chairman of the North Country Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and still maintains an active role as past-chairman and board member.

Patrick Kay
GM of Operations, Nova Bus and Prevost – Plattsburgh Plant
Board Member

Patrick joined Nova Bus in January of 2018 as Manager of Quality Assurance for Nova Bus and Prevost in Plattsburgh, NY. In 2019 he moved to the Quality Assurance Director role responsible for all three assembly sites. In April 2021 Mr. Kay accepted the role of GM of Operations at the Plattsburgh site. Patrick joins the team with 25 years of experience in the Transit business originating from working for Mass Transit providers as well as other manufacturing businesses. He has experience in all aspects of the business including Quality, Projects, Operations, and Continuous Improvement.

Mr. Kay holds an AAS degree in Mechanical Engineering from SUNY Canton.

Steve Eaton
Vice President of Operations, Norsk Titanium
Board Member

Steve Eaton is Vice President of Operations at Norsk Titanium. His responsibilities include overseeing two advanced manufacturing facilities in Plattsburgh, NY and establishing a world-class supply chain focused on delivering additively produced parts for aerospace use.

Steve has over 20 years of experience in program management, operations and finance. He previously worked for Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Collins Aerospace.

He holds two degrees from Bentley University: an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Mimi Lane
President, General Composites, Inc.
Board Member

Mimi Lane is the President of General Composites, Inc. (GCi) in Willsboro, New York. As President, Mimi is responsible for oversight of all aspects at GCi. She develops the company’s strategic objectives and translates these objectives into action.

Prior to joining the GCi team in 2005, Mimi was a Biomedical Engineer with extensive experience in medical product and quality process development.

John Hroncich
Regional Sales Manager, BAE Systems – Power & Propulsion Solutions
Board Member

John Hroncich is a Regional Sales Manager for BAE Systems’ Power & Propulsion Solutions division. BAE Systems is the trans-Atlantic leader in electrified powertrains for heavy-duty transit buses.

John has spent 18 years successfully commercializing green transportation technologies for both BAE Systems and Corning Incorporated where he was a Product Line Manager for diesel engine filter substrates.

Prior to his private sector employment, John spent 7 years on active duty as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. John has an MBA from the University of Rhode Island and a BA from the University of Rochester and resides in Upstate NY.

Guy Joannette
Managing Director, AQ Wiring Systems NY
Board Member

Guy Joannette was recently appointed Managing Director for AQ Wiring Systems Canada and NY. He is a seasoned and fully bilingual executive with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of manufacturing, operations and business development within the aerospace, power sports and mining industries.

In the past, Guy worked for Bombardier, Mecachrome, Mesto, Soucy and Derichebourg serving customers such as Airbus, Boeing, Stelia and their supply chain. Holds a college degree in Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering.

He is a father of four children and in his spare time enjoys running, hiking, tennis, and golf.

Drago Repas
Director of Operations, IEC Holden Plattsburgh
Board Member

Drago Repas is the Director of Operations at IEC Holden’s Plattsburgh site. Drago has over 30 years of manufacturing experience, having served in various roles, with the last 15 years focused in locomotive and rail transportation.

Drago moved to Plattsburgh from London Ontario, Canada three and a half years ago with his wife and two children (son & daughter).

Matt Cherouny
Team Member, Beta Technologies
Board Member

Matt Cherouny has been in manufacturing his whole career with a focus on evolving businesses from R&D focused into manufacturing capable and eventually manufacturing giants. He is incredibly passionate about affecting climate change for the positive and has spent most of his career in sustainable and green transportation manufacturing.

In his free time you can find him hiking with his twin boys and wife, mountain biking, snowboarding and generally enjoying the outdoor activities the northeast has to offer.

Holly Black
HR Manager, Vapor Stone Rail Systems (a Wabtec Company)

Board Member

Holly Black is an HR professional with over seven years’ experience in the manufacturing realm. She is currently the Human Resources Manager at Vapor Stone Rail Systems, a Wabtec company, in Plattsburgh, NY.  Prior to Vapor Stone, she worked in Human Resources for Norsk Titanium, and also as the Talent Acquisition Lead and Client Relations Manager for Protech Business Solutions, where she serviced many of the local manufacturing companies in town.

Holly possesses two degrees in Psychology and Sociology; along with a Master’s Degree. As the founder for the Women in Manufacturing program, which she hopes to get back up and running this year (Covid permitting), she is very determined to bring diversity and equality into the workplace and into our community.

Steve Lockwood
Executive Director, CITEC Business Solutions
Board Member

Steve Lockwood serves as interim Executive Director of CITEC Business Solutions, the North Country’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center. The MEP connects small and medium manufacturers with the resources they need to innovate and grow.

Steve has served in numerous roles in manufacturing facilities across the region. His work at CITEC includes connecting North Country manufacturers with the broad range of resources and NYS assets available across the region.

Greg Hart
North Country Regional Director, Workforce Development Institute
Board Member

Greg Hart is the North Country Regional Director of the Workforce Development Institute. The Workforce Development Institute is a nonprofit focused on growing and retaining jobs in New York State through the development of a skilled workforce.

Greg has a 30-year background in advanced manufacturing, and has covered the seven northern-most counties from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain and into the Adirondack Mountains in his current role since 2008.

William Jemison
Dean of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson University
Board Member

William Jemison is the Dean of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson University. In addition to his duties as dean, Bill also represents Clarkson on several regional technology and economic development initiatives that address power, energy, cyber, and advanced manufacturing.

Bill received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University, M.S. in Engineering Science from Pennsylvania State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College.

Not pictured:

Plant Manager, Alstom Plattsburgh Facility
Board Member