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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

Board meeting schedule, term expirations, etc...

John B. 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. 

Carl Livesay

Carl Livesay is the Vice President of Operations for Maryland Thermoform Corporation, an ISO 9001:2015 certified advanced manufacturer serving multiple industries from defense to consumer products.

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 MDMFG.org and the Maryland Manufacturers COOP. Carl is a passionate supporter of U.S. manufacturing and reshoring initiatives.

Dr. Minerva Devera

Dr. Minerva Devera has worked for over 30 years in

Quality Control/Quality Assurance and Operational Excellence at various companies in the Pharmaceutical Industry. She has been in leadership roles for over 25 years. She currently holds a position at Emergent BioSolutions as the Director of Operational Excellence (OE) and is a member of the global OE Leadership team implementing OE at multiple sites.

Dr. Devera has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology; a Master of Science in Quality Systems Management and a Doctorate degree in Business Administration focused in Quality Systems Management. She is a member of Parenteral Drug Association (PDA), Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), International Toastmasters Club and Maryland World Class Consortia.

She has been a member of MWCC since 2010. She is an active participant of the MWCC Lean Peer Group for over 4 years.  Dr. Devera is active in facilitating Lean Workshops, facility tours and speaks at seminars.

She is a proud mom of two boys, Ronald (Doctor of Medicine) and Joseph (Doctor of Physical Therapy student).

Lauri Shropshire

Lauri Shropshire is senior level leader with over 20 years of global experience in strategy, continuous improvement change management. She is currently the head of Change Management and Communications for Pearson in the Online and Blended Learning Division, where she is leading the company in developing the change management framework and strategic plan as they move into new operating models and systems for their business and schools.

As a business owner and management consultant for MLS Enterprises, she works with companies to identify complex issues and provide employees with the tools and strategies needed to adapt and solve problems at work and align teams to meet business goals. With her expertise with strategic planning, developing continuous improvement and project management infrastructures, she trains and mentors employees to become better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and fully engaged team members.

Lauri started as an MWCC member back in 2006 when she was the Operational Excellence Manager with Baxter Healthcare International in their BioScience Division. During her time leading the continuous improvement program, the plant’s overall performance turned around with significant improvements to their success rates, yields, cycle times and COGS. In addition, as a member of their Senior Leadership Team, she led the strategic planning process for the plant which led to improved business results, and established better alignment and communication of the goals to employees throughout the company.

In 2010 Lauri was selected to receive the MWCC “Volunteer of the Year” award. In addition, she served as the Associate Director for the MWCC from 2013-2016, where she supported member companies and served as a liaison to the MEP.

Lauri is a certified Lean practitioner, Six Sigma Green Belt, and Prosci Change Manager. She also has a B.S. in Communications from North Dakota State University.

Dr. Shawn Wolf, DSL

Shawn’s career as a leader has spanned more than 25 years with the earliest ten being in higher education followed by 16 leading a manufacturing company. In both industries, Shawn lead high levels of growth in sales, revenue, and people. A hallmark of his career has been creating high performing teams as a foundation to highly engaged cultures.

Now as the COO for Sonco Worldwide in Beltsville, MD, Shawn is responsible for the operational excellence and culture development for the group of companies owned by Sonco.

He has a BS Degree in Business Administration, an MS in Management from Eastern University, and both a Certificate for Advanced Graduate Studies in Leadership Coaching and a Doctorate Degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University.

Shawn consults, trains, and provides leadership-coaching services with an emphasis in leadership development.

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.

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