Karl Wadensten has been appointed by Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Board of Directors. The appointments are subject to review and consent of the Rhode Island State Senate. Wadensten is the President of VIBCO Vibrators in Wyoming, RI and the host of The Lean Nation radio show airing daily from 4-5pm on WPRV 790AM Talk and Business in Providence, RI.
"I'm honored to be selected for this important role," says Karl Wadensten. "Rhode Island's economy is at a pivotal point and I want to bring Lean to the forefront of the conversation. I hope that my participation on the board means that the RI EDC will spend more time visiting actual places where work gets done. We have big challenges in Rhode Island, but there are thousands and thousands of great, creative minds in this state. We have the potential to do something really special here."
Under legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Carcieri in 2009, the EDC board was expanded from nine members to thirteen members, and includes one member representative of higher education. Under the legislation, the Governor will continue to serve as chair of the board and shall appoint the remaining members.
"The appointment of this board marks the final piece in our year long effort to revitalize the Economic Development Corporation. With an expanded and more focused board, a seasoned economic development professional leading the agency, and a clear strategic plan to move our economic development efforts forward, the tools are in place to improve the EDC, be more responsive to our existing businesses, support the growth of new industries, and improve our economic climate."
Appointees serving a four-year term, to expire on February 1, 2014, include Alfred J. Verrecchia, chairman of the board of directors of Hasbro, Inc.; Steven Lane, co-founder and CEO of Ximedica; and Karl Wadensten, president of VIBCO.
Appointees serving a three year term, to expire on February 1, 2013, include J.L. “Lynn” Singleton, president of the Providence Performing Arts Center; Dr. David Dooley, president of the University of Rhode Island; and Cheryl Watkins Snead, president and CEO of Banneker Industries.
Appointees serving a two-year term, to expire on February 1, 2012, include George Nee, president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO; Dr. Tim Babineau, president and CEO of Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital; and Dan Sullivan, Jr., president and CEO of Collette Vacations, Inc.
Appointees to serve a one-year term, to expire on February 1, 2011, include Shivan Subramaniam, chairman and CEO of FM Global; Paul Choquette, Jr., vice chairman of Gilbane, Inc.; and Donna Cupelo, region president New England of Verizon Communications.
"My appointments to the EDC board include highly successful business owners, young entrepreneurs, and representatives from higher education. They represent small, medium and large businesses across different industry sectors, including healthcare and life sciences, communications, infrastructure, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, and financial services and insurance," continued Carcieri. "The common thread they share is their belief in the potential for this state to be great and their commitment to improve our economic climate. The breadth of experience and know-how to be successful will serve the EDC and the state very well, and I am confident that their participation in the EDC will result in positive change for our business community."
"Job creation, and the related growth of our state economy, has become the single most important issue in Rhode Island. A critical first step is to change and improve the way economic development is managed and executed by the RIEDC," said Keith Stokes, incoming Executive Director of the RI EDC. "The new board leadership will bring an unprecedented level of business leadership and expertise to lead this important first step in rebuilding the Rhode Island economy."
Karl Wadensten Biography
Karl Wadensten is a passionate, memorable, funny personality with big ideas, big success stories and a take-no-prisoners attitude. He is the President of VIBCO Vibrators in Wyoming, RI and the host of a daily talk radio show The Lean Nation on 790AM-WPRV in Providence, RI. Karl has a terrific sense of humor and his passion for lean and for life is contagious. He is a firm believer in the power of Lean to transform.
Put simply, Lean is based on a sincere respect for people and a commitment to unlock the genius in each employee. It engages their minds to innovate solutions to eliminate waste. It is about continuous improvement and working smarter - always to the pull of the customer. Lean is based on the Toyota Production System developed by Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno. Karl's company, VIBCO Vibrators, has embraced Lean and has realized unbelievable gains as a result. Dramatic inventory reductions, shortened lead times, and a focus on the whole end-to-end customer experience are just a few of these.
For the past several years, Karl has hosted Lean President's Events at VIBCO to share his Lean philosophy and inspire other leaders to implement Lean in their organizations. The events are offered at no charge and include a plant tour where VIBCO employees speak directly to the visiting leaders to share their experience and demonstrate their own improvements. Once a President has attended an event, he or she is invited to send any of their employees to train at VIBCO, again at no charge. To date, more than 220 presidents and greater than 2000 of their employees have benefitted from this program.
VIBCO is committed to producing a complete product portfolio that is 100% Made in the USA. Under Karl's leadership, VIBCO has won numerous awards including Best Places to Work in Rhode Island by the Providence Business News and Best Companies, the Progressive Manufacturing PM100 Award, and is a past winner of a Providence Business News Business Excellence Award. The company is also the feature of a lean training video, "Vibration Nation: Learning to See" produced and marketed by GBMP (Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership).
About VIBCO Vibrators
Founded in 1962, VIBCO Vibrators (vibco.com) designs, manufactures and markets a comprehensive range of electric, pneumatic and hydraulic vibrators for construction and industrial use. VIBCO Vibrators also designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of vibratory plate compactors and rollers. All standard VIBCO products are available from stock same or next day and the company is committed to quality, throughput and innovation. VIBCO is headquartered in Wyoming, RI, USA and all VIBCO products are made in the USA.
VIBCO is committed to producing a complete product portfolio that is 100% Made in the USA. VIBCO is a winner of the Best Places to Work in Rhode Island by the Providence Business News and Best Companies, the Progressive Manufacturing PM100 Award, and is a past winner of a Providence Business News Business Excellence Award. The company is also the feature of a lean training video, "Vibration Nation: Learning to See" produced and marketed by GBMP (Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership).