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Our Leaders

Meet Cadence's Leadership Team

Rob Werge

President and CEO

I grew up and still live in rural, Northeastern Connecticut and am a lifelong New England sports fan.  I have been married to my wife, Dolores, for 33 years and we have three grown children.

I earned my BSME from UConn and later attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development. My professional experience includes having more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing processing and contract manufacturing industry with a focus on custom products in a business-to-business environment. 

I began my career at Nypro, a contract manufacturer of precision plastic products for health care and other industries.  I spent my early tenure there in operations and preproduction with a focus on automation, tooling, program management and lean manufacturing. I later moved into business development, becoming Global Business Unit manager for the consumer/industrial markets and then VP of Sales for the Americas region.  Most recently, I spent the past seven years as VP and General Manager at Phillips-Medisize leading the commercial business division.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, volunteering, skiing and hiking. 

Cadence CFO, Ken Cleveland.

Ken Cleveland

CFO

Born in Virginia, I grew up within 10 miles of our current Virginia facility. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1988 with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and was fortunate during my college days to spend a summer working for a one-machine, 3 person start-up called Specialty Blades. I caught the “fever” for small business that summer and probably learned as much in 3 months as I had the previous three years. After graduation, I was lured by the bright lights of “big company” life and went to work for Westinghouse in Aiken, SC. But the “fever” never went away and after going back to school and receiving an MBA from the University of South Carolina, I came to work for Specialty Blades (now Cadence) in 1996 as Controller and several years later became CFO.

My wife has endured my “noise” since 1990 (supposedly I’m so tight I squeak when I walk). We have been blessed with two wonderful kids, a son and daughter, and we think Joshua said it best - “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Something that not many people know about me…

  • Relaxing for me is flip flops, shorts, a camper, no cell service, no internet, and no TV…I call it Linked Out.
  • One college summer, I wrote a budget program in basic computer language on IBM’s first “laptop” (IBM’s Portable  Computer 5155) for my personal use…what a geek!  I guess it should have been a sign!

Cadence VP Ops, Chris McHugh.

Chris McHugh

VP, Operations

I was born in Detroit, Michigan. I am one of five siblings and grew up thinking I would spend a career in the U.S. automotive industry.  I earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Michigan Technological University, summa cum laude, and then attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where I earned a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. I completed my formal education at Columbia Business School several years later with an executive certification in International Finance and Business.

I started my career with General Motors as an Engineering intern while still in graduate school. I then held positions of increasing responsibility in operations management, quality, engineering, and general management in multiple companies, most notably Ford Motor Company. I studied Six Sigma at Ford and worked as one of Ford’s first Master Black Belts. Most recently, I led the global operations and supply chain for Bemis Healthcare Packaging, which served the world’s largest life science companies with sterile barrier packaging. I have led supply chains and operations all over the world, including Malaysia, China, the U.K., Ireland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the United States.

I joined Cadence in late 2019 and am excited to help the company grow in part through world-class operational excellence and collaborative leadership. 

I happily reside in Staunton, VA with my wife, Jody, and our six children. We are very active in our church and enjoy spending time with our friends, hiking, biking, or just being outside.

Something that most people don’t know about me…

  • I like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Cadence VP Sales, Jeff Kelly.

Jeff Kelly

VP and General Manager

I am originally from Denver but have lived in several places during my lifetime.  I studied finance and management at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and I received my MBA from the Fuqua School at Duke University in North Carolina. I have also lived in Washington DC and spent three years in the Netherlands for an ex-pat assignment, but Pittsburgh has been home to me and my family for the past fifteen years.

I was very fortunate to meet my wife during our first college class (Economics 101), and we are blessed with two great kids, a daughter and a son.

My career began in management consulting that included advising companies on how to adopt new technologies and channels to market, as well as conducting economic analysis for companies in a variety of industries.  In 2003, I made the transition from management consulting to healthcare with Medrad, a medical device company based in Pittsburgh.  Over the past fifteen years, the focus of my career has been to help healthcare organizations grow.  I have held global roles in business development, marketing, sales management and product development with MEDRAD, Bayer Healthcare, Quest Diagnostics and Immunetrics.  During this time, I have managed the launch of several medical device and diagnostic products in the U.S. and international markets.  I joined Cadence in 2015 and continue to enjoy working in healthcare, knowing that the work that we do, and the devices that we manufacture, have a very profound impact on people’s lives.

Something that not many people know about me…

  • I was born in Heidelberg, Germany (my father was in the military).
  • My time living in Europe gave me the travel bug, so I love to explore new countries and cities.
  • I enjoy watching football and college basketball when I am not playing sports (basketball and golf), or coaching or watching my kids (basketball, baseball and volleyball).

Cadence VP, Chip Harvill.

Chip Harvill

Vice President

I was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  I have been happily married for many years, have two grown sons, and three spoiled dogs. I graduated with honors from Virginia Tech in 1983 with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and received management certification from the Darden School of Business in Charlottesville.

I have significant experience in the Life Science market (focused on medical device and diagnostics), beginning work in 1986 as one of the first employees for a start-up company known as Specialty Blades. 

Following successful efforts in many evolving roles within a new and growing company (Manufacturing Engineering, Operations Management, and Sales and Marketing Management), I led the launch of a new division in 2005.  IncisionTech was focused on serving the growing medical device market in new and unique ways.  As the VP of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development, I was responsible for leading our company into many new areas of the medical device market.

In early 2011, Cadence Science, IncisionTech and Specialty Blades were combined to create a truly unique partner for the healthcare and life science markets...  This company now goes to market as Cadence, Inc. providing sketch-to-scale solutions for medical device and diagnostics companies.

Something that not many people know about me…

  • I have a passion for college football, especially when it relates to Saturdays in Blacksburg, VA watching the Hokies play.

Cadence VP HR, Keri Rankin.

Keri Rankin

VP, Human Resources

Another local here!  I grew up in the tiny town of New Hope, VA, just about 15 minutes from the Cadence headquarters.  I had big city dreams growing up, but now that I am mostly a grown up, I am happy to say that I still call the Shenandoah Valley my home.  I live a stones-throw away from the VA plant with my husband, our twins, and a bulldog mix who thinks she runs the house.

I am a proud alum of James Madison University (insert obligatory J-M-U Duuuuuuukes cheer here).  I started my college career in biology, and it was actually my mother who suggested that my social butterfly skills might be best put to use in the field of Human Resources…I still wonder if she was just trying to get out of paying for medical school.  Whatever her intention, I went on to receive a degree in Business Management and a Masters of Education in Human Resource Development, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Not long after finishing my undergrad degree, I started a career at a local company in Waynesboro, VA and discovered that I had a passion for manufacturing to go along with my passion for people.  I was blessed to find a home at Cadence in 2011, and I’ve had fun working with the Cadence team to grow and expand the Human Resources function ever since.

Something that not many people know about me…

  • My husband and I love spending Saturdays each fall throwing purple and gold streamers in support of our beloved Dukes while we cross our fingers for another NCAA Division I Football Championship title.  We also love reminiscing about that time JMU beat Virginia Tech.
  • My husband and I tagged along on our best friends’ honeymoon several years ago with a few other friends.  We call ourselves the “Honeymoon Eight” and we still get together every few years for a much-needed friendaversary trip.
  • I spent several years serving as a CASA volunteer advocating for abused and neglected children.  My husband and I now coordinate an annual event in our community called Operation Over the Rainbow where we collect new personal and comfort items to fill “journey bags” that are given to children as they enter the foster care system.

Cadence VP Mfg, Tom Nelli.

Tom Nelli

VP, Manufacturing (Virginia)

I was born and raised in Gastonia, NC where ACC basketball, NASCAR, and BBQ reigns.  It was once the textile capital of the world, but it is most notable for being the birthplace to the elixir of the gods – Sundrop! (I never leave home without it).  I graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology and my first job was with a small contract manufacturer… I’ve been a ‘plant rat’ ever since.  My career has taken me back and forth from Virginia to North Carolina several times, but the tug of a local girl kept pulling me back to Virginia.  I’ve been happily married and deeply planted in the Shenandoah Valley since 1995.

I’ve been fortunate in my career to experience diverse industries and career growth.  I’ve worked in electronics, textiles, automotive, and military aerospace; all with an underlying metal-trades component.  I’ve been an engineer, supervisor, manager, operator, truck driver, and chief bottle-washer… whatever it took to help the company succeed.  Most importantly, along the way I’ve become adept at implementing Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System in a multitude of business environments.  I’m truly privileged to join Cadence which has such a strong culture of entrepreneurial spirit, technology, continuous improvement, and great people.

Something that not many people know about me…

  • I was foolish enough to play rugby in college; tackling with no helmets… which probably explains a lot.
  • I’ve been an Assistant Scoutmaster for over 26 years.  Volunteering in Scouting is a great community service and quite rewarding in the development of the leadership skills of our youth, but it’s really just an excuse to go camping every month.

Cadence VP Mfg, Brian Plummer.

Brian Plummer

VP, Manufacturing (Rhode Island & Connecticut)

I was born in Massachusetts and have lived here all my life but for one year skiing the mountains of Vermont disguised as a college freshman. I’ve been married for 25 years and have 4 children who keep my wife Martha and me very busy. I graduated from the University of Lowell with a BSEE degree in 1987 and from Northeastern University with an MBA in 1993.

I’ve worked in a variety of industries including semiconductors, lasers, electronics, life sciences, and plastics prior to joining Cadence. I also moonlight part-time as adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts in the Charlton College of Business teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in operations management and am a member of both the UMASS  Business Advisory Board and Business Innovation and Research Center. 

Since joining Cadence in 2009, I’ve found my career here highly rewarding…we have a good team and you tend to feel really good about what you do for a living based on the impact it has on people’s well being.

Something that not many people know about me…

  • My wife and I met studying for a calculus final at the library in college – hopeless romantics, both of us.
  • I’ve succumbed to the gravitational pull of the ocean. Each time I move it’s further east…another couple hundred yards, a little global warming and I’ll be under water.
  • If it floats and has engines or sails, I’m available this weekend.

Cadence VP Mfg, Sandy Sekadlo.

Sandy Sekadlo

VP, Manufacturing (Wisconsin)

I was born and raised in Wisconsin’s beautiful Door County, also referred to as the Cape Cod of the Midwest.  Being a Wisconsin girl, it is safe to say that that I am a die-hard Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Badgers fan.  Oh, and I do love my cheese, so I guess I can technically be classified as a “cheese head”!

Thirty-five years ago I was fortunate enough to be standing up in a wedding and was paired up with this really cute guy.  What can I say, the rest is history and today he (Jay) is still standing by my side.  Our family grew from two to five as we added three beautiful daughters to our family that are the highlight of our lives.

Over the past thirty years, I have been working in the metal stamping industry, servicing diverse markets that include medical, automotive, and industrial products.  I have held positions in a variety of roles including customer service, scheduling, human resources, and operations management, to today serving as VP of Manufacturing for our Sturgeon Bay, WI plant.  When I walk through the facility and hear the presses running, it is like music to my ears!  I am passionate about keeping both our internal and external customers satisfied and am pleased to say that due to trusting relationships that have been fostered over the years, our company has many long-term employees and customers.

I joined the Cadence team in August of 2014 when they acquired the Wisconsin stamping operation that I manage.  I am proud to be part of an organization that represents a business culture that supports principles such innovation, employee involvement, continuous improvement, and a philosophy of “doing the right thing”.

Something that not many people know about me…

  • I am an avid antique collector.  My husband and I enjoy going on antique “hunts,” looking for our next treasure, which might be lighting, artwork, or furniture.  We have done our fair share of restoring many pieces of furniture to its original beautiful condition.
  • A few years ago we purchased a 100+-year-old house that we have spent restoring over the last few summers.
  • My summer ride is a Ford Thunderbird convertible.

Mark Carper

Director of Operations (Pennsylvania)

I’m from central Pennsylvania originally, but I’ve lived in several different states during my life.  I met my wife when we both undergrads at Penn State University and we’ve spent 25 wonderful years together.  We have one son who is both our pride and joy, as well as our greatest achievement.

I have a B.S. in Ceramic Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MBA in Supply Chain Management from Marquette University.  I’ve worked in manufacturing and engineering environments for over 25 years in various industries (healthcare products, electrical distribution products, semiconductor manufacturing, and electrical component fabrication). I joined Cadence in 2017 to return to the healthcare manufacturing industry.  I have a passion for building and improving manufacturing systems and facilities, which I’m using to advance the capabilities here at Cadence.

Outside of work, most of my time is currently spent at my son’s activities (high school swim team, water polo, Boy Scouts).  When I have free time I enjoy my home improvement projects, reading, and traveling.

Some things that not many people know about me…

  • I grew up on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania.
  • I like to brew (and consume) my own beer.
  • My son and I enjoy hiking and just recently completed a 70 mile, 10 day hike at the Philmont Boy Scout ranch near Cimarron, NM.

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