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"I want to thank you for the opportunity and experience you provided Taiyo America with regards to your Growth Services program. Taiyo America come away from the seminar more energized, more driven, and certainly more focused with regards to innovation and product development. We also appreciated the input from MAP members and other outside parties in the idea mining sessions. You helped to “take the blinders off” and get us to take a look at opportunities outside of our comfort zone."

— Dave Rund, President, Taiyo America, Inc.

"Nevada Industry Excellence is a tremendous resource — especially for small companies that cannot afford a large technical staff. They saved us a huge amount of money. MAP’s Lean Manufacturing training was a catalyst for us. After attending the training we decided to make a commitment to this. Through Nevada Industry Excellence’s Lean Manufacturing principles Polymer was able to reduce its buildings from five to two, floor space was cut by more than 50 percent and profits more than tripled."

— Paul Gossi, Plant Manager Polymer Engineering Corporation’s

"Nevada Industry Excellence staff went out of their way to integrate themselves into our organization, made a logical assessment of our needs and assisted us every step of the way to implement the best ideas of Lean Manufacturing."

— Ron Wardle, Electronics Branch Manager, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO)

Meet Our Staff

Located in Northern Nevada

Sandy Haslem P.E.


Phone: (775) 784-1935

UNR Mail Stop 406
Reno, NV 89557

MS in Metallurgical Engineering; BS in Chemical Engineering; University of Nevada, Reno
Twenty-five years in a leadership role in the industrial sector of Nevada. Technical experience includes engineering, research and development, production and environmental compliance. Special expertise in chemistry, chemical processing, mineral processing unit operations, laboratory operations and quality control, extractive metallurgy, waste treatment and technical writing.

Rhonda Hohenstein

Financial Manager

Phone: (775) 784-1013

UNR Mail Stop 406
Reno NV 89557
MBA and BS in Business Administration, University of Nevada, Reno

With over ten years of office experience, including four years of accounting and bookkeeping experience in a CPA practice, Rhonda provides accounting expertise, performance metrics and documentation for grant support for the Nevada Industry Excellence program. Her business experience and background assists coordination of administration of management initiatives with the field activities.

Rhea Gustafson

Project Manager

Phone: (775) 682-6440
Fax: (775) 682-6430

18600 Wedge Parkway, UNR Mail Stop 600
Reno  NV  89511 
MBA in Business Administration, St. Louis University: BE in Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University

More than 20 years of marketing and management experience in commercial and industrial manufacturing. Former President of Astromec, Inc. (Carson City, NV) and former Director of Marketing and Planning for Emerson Electric (St. Louis, MO). One of the founding members of the Carson City Manufacturers forum. Experience in new Product Development, cost effective technical design, and Lean Process implementation. Special expertise in electrical design, manufacturing flow, cost management, engineering management, and technical product marketing.

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Martin Potnick

Project Manager

Phone: (775) 445-3328
Fax: (775) 445-4488

2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City NV 89703

Bachelor of Science, Agriculture / Horticulture-Food Processing / Department of Food Technology The Ohio State University
Over thirty years of experience in industrial sales and project management within the food manufacturing and processing industries representing leading suppliers such as Cargill, ConAgra, Tones/Burns Philp, Martin Bauer, and Fuchs North America/Baltimore Spice. Martin’s growth success with regional, national and international companies includes strategic sales development, supply chain and compliance management, and creative product applications within the food industry. Mr. Potnick uses innovative problem solving techniques to improve products, processes, and performance. Martin has a long standing association with The Institute of Food Technologists.

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Kathy Halbardier

Project Manager

Phone: (775) 856-5315
Fax: (775) 856-5320

475 Edison Way, Mail Stop 024
Reno NV 89502

MBA from University of Nevada, Reno; BS in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton
Kathy has over 18 years of experience in developing small business start-ups and expansions. Her areas of expertise are in business plan counseling, strategic planning, economic development and business education and training. She is a certified NxLeveL instructor and successfully ran her own business operation in the wine industry taking the product from dirt to bottle. Special expertise in business planning, growth and work out strategies, product development, technology research and innovation and diversification.

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Stacy Rutherford

Project Manager

Phone: (775) 682-5769
Fax: (775) 682-6430

18600 Wedge Parkway, UNR Mail Stop 600
Reno NV 89511

BS in Human Development, University of Nevada, Reno
Stacy is experienced in delivering employee and client solutions internally and externally with distinguished results. Her experience includes visual business operations and value stream mapping, management and leadership, audit and compliance practice, employee development and operational analysis. Stacy has special expertise in Lean Process Improvement.

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Located in Southern Nevada

Terry Culp

Deputy Director

Phone: (702) 895-2615
Fax: (702) 895-3000

4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 451076
Las Vegas  NV  89154-1076
BS in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University; Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honorary Society.
Terry previously owned and operated several manufacturing operations with a diverse client base of industrial, governmental and educational customers including the federal government, New York state, General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, International Paper and Cornell University. He is particularly adept in sales, production, purchasing and engineering design.

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Mary Arbutina

Project Manager

Phone: (702) 592-4569
Fax: (702) 522-7016

5550 W. Flamingo Rd, A-2
Las Vegas, NV 89103
BSE, Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University
Mary has over 20 years experience in manufacturing engineering, supplier quality engineering, and manufacturing management. She specializes in Lean Manufacturing, leading 5S programs and implementing Lean for the Office.  Mary is implementing Lean product development and growth innovation projects.

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Jeff Englehart

Project Manager

Phone: (702) 469-0835
Fax: (702) 522-7016

5550 W. Flamingo Rd, A-2
Las Vegas, NV 89103
BS in Chemistry, USAF Academy
MBA, University of Phoenix

Jeff has over 22 years of experience in manufacturing and industrial operations as a consultant, manager and leader. He was an officer in the USAF and supervised numerous large aircraft repair facilities. He directed numerous quality and process improvement initiatives in the USAF. As a manufacturing manager for concrete products he had P&L responsibilities and directed all manufacturing operations. He supported innovation of new concrete products and processes. He led dynamic process, quality and safety procedures that greatly improved profitability. As a Project Manager he has supported numerous manufacturing companies with implementation of lean manufacturing systems, quality management systems and various other training services. He has helped companies grow their business by opening up new markets by improving their innovation, sales, marketing and export initiatives.

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Lorraine O’Neill

Marketing Coordinator

Phone: (702) 895-4998

4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 451076
Las Vegas, NV 89154
Lorraine has worked in office administration for government and industry and specializes in office process automation. With years of experience, she provides marketing and administrative support and coordination for Nevada Industry Excellence projects and professionals in southern Nevada.

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Ed Sarmast

Project Manager

Cell: (702) 672-2957
Fax: (702) 895-5292

4505 Maryland Parkway, BOX 451076
Las Vegas, NV 89154-1076
BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska
Post Graduate Studies in Mechanical Engineering, University of New York, Rochester
HVAC engineering certificate, Michigan State University

Ed has over 30 years of technical experience in design engineering, research and development, and project management. Over the years he has been very active in facility organizations, equipment development and implementation. As a Project Manager with NVIE, his primary role has been to manage the Facility Operators Certification for Utility Systems (FOCUS) program. He provides technical/manufacturing resources to Southern Nevada manufacturing and to hotel/casino engineering.

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