The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Extension Partnership (PA MEP) is the "go-to" resource for Pennsylvania’s manufacturers ensuring that PA manufacturing is resilient and leads the nation in advanced manufacturing innovations.

On October 1, 2016 the PA MEP became the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program for Pennsylvania. The PA MEP facilitates the planning, collaboration and coordination of the MEP program among the seven regional Industrial Resource Center (IRC) partners as well as other state and national partners.


Jim Shillenn, Executive Director/CEO

Leading the PA MEP since its establishment in 2016 Jim brings over 18 years of experience as a Center Director with the MEP program as the Executive Director/ CEO of the Innovative Manufacturers Center. Previously, he had nearly 20 years of experience with the Pennsylvania State University to include 2 years as the Director of the Bioprocessing Resource Center (BRC) which served the biotechnology industry with product develop services.

During his career he has been active professionally holding leadership positions as Chair of the ASTM E-48 Committee on Biotechnology, a Member of the Board of Directors for the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM) and the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), Chair and Co-Founder of the Industrial Resource Center Network Inc., Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Directors of Life Sciences Pennsylvania (formerly PABIO) and a Corporate Advisory Board Member for the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

He is also active in the community and is currently the Vice-Chair of Hope Enterprises which serves both children and adults with cognitive disabilities. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and served in the U.S. Army both on active duty and reserve assignments.

Rikki Riegner, Financial and Compliance Manager

Rikki brings more than 18 years of financial, business and project management to the PA MEP where she is responsible for the financial operations of the organization. Rikki also manages federal government contracts, reporting, and compliance management.

Prior to joining the PA MEP, she held key management positions with other 501(c) (3) organizations to include Business Manager of the Innovative Manufacturers Center, and the Administrative Director of a human services organization.

Rikki’s community activities include being a current member of the Wolf Township Zoning Hearing Board, Treasurer of several community and youth organizations, and past president of the Ashkar Elementary School PTA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Cum Laude, in economics from Bucknell University.

Board of Directors

Bill Williams (Chair)
Vice President, HR (Retired)
WARD Manufacturing
Blossburg, PA

David Blain, CPA (Vice-Chair)
McKonly and Asbury, LLP
Camp Hill, PA

Denise Grady (Treasurer)
Berner International Corp.
New Castle, PA

Katie Bell (Secretary)
Director of Marketing and Communications
Lycoming Engines
Williamsport, PA 17701

Neil Fowler
Executive Director, Office of Technology & Innovation,
Center for Strategic Partnerships
PA Department of Community & Economic Development
Harrisburg, PA

Ronald Daniels
Astro Apparel Company
Scranton, PA

Ken Healy
Executive Vice President, Director of Engineering
PMF Industries
Williamsport, PA

Kenneth Kratz
Vice President
Bracalente Manufacturing Group
Trumbauersville, PA

Michael Lehman
Strategic Business Advantage, LLC
York, PA

Heidi McKenna
Fredericks Co.
Huntingdon Valley, PA

Pete Silvester
Vice President, (Retired)
PAC Strapping Products
Glenmoore, PA

Don Smith
Operations Officer
Franklin Industries
Franklin, PA

John Thigpen
ILSCO Extrusions
Greenville, PA

Ray Yeager
Ductmate Industries, Inc.
Monongahela, PA

Managed by the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center Foundation, the PA MEP is a public-private partnership sponsored by the National Institute of Stands and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP). The PA MEP program is also supported by Industrial Resource Centers through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and by the manufacturers who receive essential training and consulting services to increase competitiveness and grow their companies.

To serve the regional diversity of the state’s manufacturing base, PA MEP manages MEP federal funding and program outcomes through collaboration with a network of seven Industrial Resource Centers who are regional affiliates strategically focused on meeting the needs of both small and larger manufacturers of the geographic region. Affiliates include: Catalyst Connection (southwest); DVIRC (southeast); IMC (central); MANTEC (south central); MRC (Lehigh Valley); NEPIRC (northeast); and NWIRC. (northwest).