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About the MEP Advisory Board
MEP Advisory Board Members
Dennis Dotson is a third generation foundryman serving as Chairman of Dotson Iron Castings in Mankato, Minnesota. The company is in the top tier of foundry suppliers and has been acknowledged by the industry’s society as the “Metalcaster of the Year” out of 2,000 North American facilities. Denny has been very active in the industry serving on various boards, past president of the Ductile Iron Society and is the current president of the American Foundry Society. He is also chairman of People Driven Performance, a startup company focused on internal communications. Dennis has a strong commitment to education and is a trustee emeritus of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the governing board for the 35 post-secondary state institutions. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1967 BBA) and the University of Chicago (1968 MBA). He currently serves on the board of Enterprise Minnesota (a NIST MEP affiliate). The constant in his career has been the involvement in many new community, educational and business startups.
Vickie Wessel is the founder and President of Spirit Electronics, Inc. She has more than 30 years of experience in the electronics industry, including sales, marketing, procurement, operations, contracts, finance and quality systems management. Since its founding in 1979, Spirit has grown to support broad line electronic component distribution, supply chain solutions, and component value-added services. Her commitment to continuous improvement is evidenced by Spirit’s ISO9002 and AS9000 certifications and her on-going participation in lean manufacturing and process improvement activities. Vickie’s passion for improving the contracting environment for the benefit of small businesses throughout the nation has led to her active affiliation with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Grand Canyon Minority Supplier Development Council, the Aerospace Industries Association Supplier Management Council (SMC), the Arizona Minority Business Enterprise Center, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. In 2005, she received AIA’s “Amelia Earhart Award”, recognizing women who achieve excellence in the aerospace and defense industry.
Carolyn Cason Carolyn L. Cason, PhD, RN, joined The University of Texas at Arlington in January, 1997 as Professor and Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing. She has over 35 years of teaching experience in schools of nursing and has taught in undergraduate and graduate programs. Throughout her career she has worked to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce. She is co-founder of the Smart HospitalTM, a physical virtual hospital, which serves as a teaching and research and development facility. She created the Genomics Translational Research Laboratory within the College of Nursing and in collaboration with colleagues in the College of Engineering, developed Smart Care (a center dedicated to developing technology to enhance independent living).
Dr. Cason earned her BSN in nursing from UT Medical Branch in 1967, her MSN in Nursing from UT System School of Nursing in 1972, and her PhD in Educational Psychology in 1972. In November, 2011 she became Interim Vice President for Research at UT Arlington and in November 2012, she became Vice President for Research at UT Arlington. She has been inducted into the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers and has received numerous awards and recognition for her research.
Mr. Lee moved with his family from Birmingham to Foley in 1968 and has called South Alabama home for 45 years. He graduated from Foley High School in 1974 and received his B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University in 1978. He and his wife, Sandra, live in Gulf Shores and together they have 3 children: David 30, Anna 27 and Marcus 22.
Mr. Lee has been active in the community since graduating from college. He is a former Chairman of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and a past winner of the Walton M. Vines Free Enterprise Person of the Year. He was a member of Class XVIII of Leadership Alabama and has been president of several civic, local school and professional organizations. Currently he serves as the 2nd Vice Chair of the Business Council of Alabama.
Mr. Shorma serves as a member of several Boards of Directors, including the South Dakota Junior Achievement, the Sioux Corporation, MMI in Montgomery AL, and the South Dakota Youth Business Adventure Camp. He is also a Board Member and Past State Chair of the South Dakota State Chamber of Commerce. He was named South Dakota Businessman of the Year by the University of South Dakota School of Business. Mr. Shorma earned his degree at the North Dakota State College of Science.
Jeffrey J. Wilcox is the Vice President for Engineering at the Lockheed Martin Corporation, responsible for leading the development and execution of engineering strategy for the Lockheed Martin Engineering Enterprise and its 60,000 engineers, scientists, and technologists. Throughout his career, Mr. Wilcox has led several critical initiatives for the Lockheed Martin Corporation, including Engineering for Affordability, the Systems and Software Initiative, the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, and the Energy Solutions Center launch. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Wilcox served as Senior Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Virginia. Mr. Wilcox graduated from Drexel University with a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He serves on the Drexel University Leadership Council, the Stevens Institute of Technology School of Systems and Enterprises Advisory Board, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Technical Operations Council, the MIT Open CourseWare Next Decade Alliance Advisory Council, and the US Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative (USMCI) Steering Committee. Mr. Wilcox is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellow and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Former Advisory Board Members