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Our Staff

Joyce La Padula
Managing Director


Joyce La Padula first began working with the Maryland World Class Consortia (MWCC) in 1998, ultimately managing the operation as the Program Director when she departed in 2008. During her ten years with the MWCC, she worked closely with Maryland companies and consortia members in the pursuit of sustainable lean business practices. While with the MWCC, Joyce developed and leveraged relationships across the state and nationally.

For over 20 years, Ms. La Padula served with the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development (now Commerce) in areas that served to coordinate, support and collaborate with industry stakeholders, trade associations, and educational institutions as they related to the manufacturing industry. Additionally, her mission included facilitating the creation and growth of partnerships with industry-facing organizations and associations in Maryland. During this time, Joyce also served on the Board of Directors for the MWCC in addition to several manufacturing related advisory boards.

Joyce returned to the MWCC as Managing Director in 2018.

Dave Rizzardo
Associate Director


Dave Rizzardo received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982. He worked in industry for 17 years in various positions focusing on quality/productivity improvement and the application of Lean principles and techniques.

In 1999 Dave joined Mtech, a program within the University of Maryland in the Baltimore Office. As the Lean Services Manager for 15 years, his area of concentration was the development of Lean training and implementation services. He assisted a diverse range of organizations in applying Lean/Continuous Improvement principles to effectively address each company’s unique situation and challenges. In 2012, he was co developer of the Lean Peer Group program and has been facilitating multiple groups since that time. The focus of these groups is to help organizations develop a true Lean Culture of Continuous Improvement.

Dave has lectured at the University of Maryland, and as adjunct faculty member for the Community College of Baltimore County he has taught “Introduction to Lean” and “Advanced Lean” courses. In 2014, Dave joined the Maryland World Class Consortia (MWCC) and founded Lean Peer Groups & Consulting LLC. He continues facilitating the Lean Peer Groups and working directly with organizations in helping them on their Lean journeys.

Board of Directors

Thomas Dahbura


Thomas Dahbura is the President of Hub Labels, Inc., a Hagerstown, Maryland manufacturing company. Thomas is a second generation label converter, growing up amongst the ink, gears and grease of a narrow web operation his father founded in 1978 dating back earlier to El Salvador. Directly following his graduation from college, Thomas worked in Hub's customer service department and then moved on to operations, his area of true passion. Over the past 3 decades, Thomas' commitment to emerging production and application technologies has been instrumental in positioning Hub as a progressive and innovative prime label company in the North American marketplace.

Thomas graduated from Mount Saint Mary's College with a BS degree in Economics, Business and Finance. He serves on numerous boards, is a 30 year veteran of the national ski patrol and is an avid mountain biker. Thomas lives on a horse farm in Maryland with his wife and daughter just south of the Mason Dixon line.

Ryan Miller


Ryan Miller is the founder and principal of Critical Functions, an operational risk and resilience advisory firm that helps organizations protect their critical business functions from disruption and disaster and build their enterprise risk management program. Ryan previously served as the appointed Emergency Management Director for Howard County, MD.

During his tenure, Ryan managed numerous emergencies and disasters and was most recently responsible for response and recovery to the back-to-back disastrous flash floods in Ellicott City, Maryland. Committed to continuous quality improvement, Ryan and his entire team became certified to the green belt level in Lean Six Sigma - the only local emergency management office in Maryland to do so. The concepts were used extensively as the team systematically overhauled traditional and inefficient portions of their program from the layout of their Emergency Operations Center, to their post-disaster After Action Review (AAR) process.

Ryan is an Associate in Risk Management (ARM-E) and holds business continuity planning and audit certifications. He also teaches graduate-level disaster management courses at his alma mater The George Washington University and serves on the Governor of Maryland's Emergency Management Advisory Committee.

Carl Livesay

Carl Livesay is the General Manager for Mercury Plastics, a custom thermoformer of plastic components, parts, packaging for various industries including but not limited to Unmanned Vehicles, Aerospace, Defense, Industrial, Electronics, Medical, Food, Cosmetics, blister packaging, Heavy Gauge Thermoforming, Packaging, Light Gauge Thermoforming, Plastic Fabrication.

Carl is an advocate for operational excellence and a lean practitioner for nearly thirty years. In addition to his role as Treasurer for MWCC, Carl is appointed by Maryland’s Governor to the Governor's Workforce Development Board as an advisor to Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, he is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Maryland District Export Council and he serves on several advisory boards for training organizations across the State. Carl is one of the founders of and the Maryland Manufacturers COOP. Carl is a passionate supporter of U.S. manufacturing and reshoring initiatives.

Robert Barnes

Bob Barnes retired from Northrop Grumman after 41 years of service and was the Manager of Lean Initiatives and Best Manufacturing Practices for Northrop's Electronics Systems Sector. With over 30 years experience in the electronics industry, he has worked in numerous technical and managerial roles stressing innovation in manufacturing competitiveness.

Bob previously served as the Chairman of the Governor's Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness for the State of Maryland. The commission completed a detailed broad-based analysis of Maryland manufacturing and submitted its report including recommendations for the future.

Bob has served on the board of directors of Xetron Corporation, Norden Systems, the Baltimore Museum of Industry and is involved in many organizations benefiting Maryland's youth, such as Junior Achievement, and the engineering profession, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Bob is a Mechanical Engineering grad of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and completed the Executive Program at the Darden Business School of the University of Virginia. Bob is active in a number of local and national industry associations, which enable him to benchmark many facilities throughout the U.S. and other countries.

Bob Jirsa

Bob recently retired from RSM US LLP after 43 years serving closely-held and private equity owned portfolio companies. He counseled owners and management in the develop and implementation of operational, growth and succession strategies. He currently is a board member of several closely held companies and not-for-profit institutions.

He was RSM’s Mid-Atlantic Consumer and Industrial Products Sector services practice leader, serving manufacturing, wholesale and commercial distribution, transportation and logistics and services industries with multi-state and international operations. He served on RSM’s National Steering Committee for Manufacturing and Distribution and the AICPA’s Global Manufacturing Conference Steering Committee.

In 2012, seeking to help a client reignite their Lean journey, he worked with Dave Rizzardo to establish the Lean Peer Group program and engaged his client companies as first program participants. Over the years, Bob has been involved with the World Trade Center Institute, Association for Corporate Growth, Regional Manufacturing Institute, Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesale-Distributors, Maryland Distribution Council, Greater Baltimore Committee, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants.

His volunteer board experiences include Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business Board of Sponsors, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Bob graduated with a BA in Accounting from Loyola University Maryland and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Adarsh Karki

Adarsh Karki is the Continuous Improvement Manager at Intralox, Equipment platform. In this role, he spearheads efforts to enhance productivity across the entire operation while instilling a Lean and data-driven culture throughout the organization. Adarsh holds a master's degree in engineering management from Louisiana Tech and a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi.

With a wealth of experience in manufacturing operations, supply chain management, and quality control, Adarsh has made significant contributions to diverse industries such as building architecture, shipbuilding, and conveyor belt and equipment manufacturing. His primary focus lies in developing individuals to reach their utmost potential and cultivating environments where motivated teams can thrive and succeed. As Adarsh aptly puts it, "The rest of the improvements are byproducts of people development."

Adarsh is a strong advocate for collaborative efforts in Lean methodologies, technology adoption, and data analytics, consistently driving businesses towards innovation and excellence.

John King

John King is the Continuous Improvement Manager for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, responsible for training continuous improvement techniques including LEAN and 6 Sigma processes, and for implementation of large scale improvement projects.  

John graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and from Loyola University of Maryland with an Executive MBA.  Mr. King is a 6 Sigma Master Black Belt and a licensed Professional Engineer. 

Mr. King is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in manufacturing, operations, supply chain, and quality management in a number of industries including consumer products, automobiles, aerospace, communications, and capital equipment manufacturing.  Much of this experience has been in the areas of cost reduction and process improvement.  John has made several presentations of the results of his work in process improvement and lead time management at both regional and national conferences. 

Haresh Raithatha

Haresh Raithatha is the Chief Operations Officer for Strouse Corporation, a premier converter of flexible adhesive material providing unsurpassed design and manufacture of innovative, engineered adhesive solutions for sophisticated, design-focused customers globally.

Haresh has been in manufacturing for close to 25 years and has been leading operations for more than 10 years. He is a passionate supporter of efforts to prepare the workforce to meet the requirements of future manufacturing. He supports these efforts by being a member of the advisory board of Carroll County Workforce development and Carroll Community College - Design and Digital Fabrication (DFAB) Advisory Board. Haresh is a strong advocate of U.S. manufacturing and reshoring initiatives.

Haresh earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aurangabad University, India in 1998 and received a master's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University. Haresh is learning and practicing operational excellence for most of his professional life and applying lean principles but strongly believes in the power of the data and the need to adopt automation and quickly evolving modern manufacturing technologies to be important principles to exercise while applying lean principles in any manufacturing.

Sarah Sedlak

Sarah Sedlak is the Vice President of Business Development at SC&H Group, a CPA and management consulting firm based in the Mid-Atlantic, providing accounting, technology and business advisory services to primarily middle market companies.  Sarah is responsible for the business development strategy and execution at the firm.  Her goal is to ensure SC&H can meet clients’ evolving needs in core industry verticals including manufacturing, biotech/lifesciences, technology, professional services and nonprofit. 

Sarah is very active in the regional business community and has been a member of the MWCC for years.  She has participated in several of the Lean Peer Groups.  Over the years, Sarah has worked with various business groups including the Regional Manufacturing Institute, the Maryland Technology Council, and TEDCO.  She is also an avid participant of the region’s entrepreneurial eco-system, supporting various incubators and accelerators including Johns Hopkins Fast Forward, BWTech at UMBC and Betamore. 

Sarah graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree.  She has served on numerous boards, including as a Founder of Business Volunteers Maryland’s GIVE Program.  She takes a LEAN approach to continuous improvement in golfing and piano and lives in Baltimore City with her husband and young daughter.

Philip Tulkoff

Philip Tulkoff is the President of Tulkoff Food Products. He joined the family business in January 2005 as President/CEO. He is the third generation to run the business started by his grandparents in the 1930’s. Phil brings project and business management skills to the firm as well as an extensive knowledge of computer systems and manufacturer technology.

He earned his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University in 1983 and was employed by NASA and later a NASA contractor for the following eleven years. Phil worked as a thermal engineer designing temperature control systems for space shuttle payloads and satellites for the first five years and then transitioned into project and business management roles.

He earned his Masters in Business Administration at Loyola College in Baltimore in 1990 and co founded a computer consulting firm a short time later. Specializing in computer networking and custom database development, the firm provided services to small to medium sized businesses throughout the Baltimore Washington area. In early 2000, the firm was merged with a large accounting firm where his role as a partner was to provide enterprise software solutions to the non-profit industry.

Tulkoff Food Products has strong local name recognition for its horseradish and horseradish products because of their 85 year history in Baltimore. The company’s business is in the food service sector where they sell to all the major distributors who in turn sell to restaurants, hotels and caterers. The product breadth includes horseradish, garlic items, cocktail sauce, pesto, chipotle aioli, garlic spreads and a host of other items. Tulkoff also copacks for numerous national brands in the retail marketplace.

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