By Jennifer Erb
2016-08-252016-09-01https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Jeff Kenny knew he wanted to run a business, and determined that an engineering under-grad would provide a good technical foundation toward that goal. Unsure about what specific type of engineering degree to pursue, he found out about Industrial Engineering in a book in his high school guidance counselor’s office. IE seemed to be the best fit for him because of its business focus and the breadth of career possibilities it offered.
While Jeff was from Pittsburgh, he chose WVU because it was cheaper to attend than several in-state alternatives he considered. Financing his college education was tough. Jeff’s father died while he was in high school and Jeff needed to work during the summer and while he was in school to pay for college. Jeff worked for two summers in a steel mill in Pittsburgh, and this was also the location of his senior internship.
Jeff married his college sweetheart shortly after graduation from WVU, and started his career at the steel mill where he worked during school. He was disappointed with the company culture’s resistance to change and innovation. He had multiple offers to change jobs and chose a job where he could supervise the IE function and be the leader for change. Jeff attained his MBA a few years later while working, and raising two kids. “I rarely slept,” Jeff laughs, “but it was well worth the effort.”
Jeff was sought out by recruiters and took a job with a business that produced labeling and packaging materials that were used by virtually every business. His initial position was managing their financial planning division. This was a change in career direction for Jeff, but in hindsight it gave him the financial management insight that became critical for the rest of his career.
The threshold moment for Jeff’s career was when he was asked to be a plant manager of one of the company’s facilities. Jeff was in his early 30’s at the time. Under Jeff’s leadership, the facility made tremendous improvements. This brought a lot of recognition and Jeff was promoted to a general manager position (P/L responsibility) by his mid 30’s. In this position he had responsibility for multiple plants and over $600MM in revenue.
Jeff’s next move was to become the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a company that merged three companies into one. When Jeff took over the operations, the business was in trouble. In just two years, the company won the Eugene Singer Award as the best managed company of its size in the industry.
Jeff’s career has continued through a series of senior executive positions. He is currently the COO of General Data, a label and barcode solutions company.
Jeff advises students to get experience as an operations leader early in their career. “You need the hands-on experience, but you also need to do this early in your career while you have maximum flexibility.”
Jeff Kenny is an executive leader with over 20 years of diverse P&L experience and demonstrated success in improving profitability, cash flow, owner equity, customer relationships, strategic planning, sales, marketing, finance, operations, and new product development. He has proven ability to develop and execute strategy, increase revenue, improve profitability, improve quality and safety, reduce costs, lead contract negotiations, recruit and develop talent.
His Leadership Experience Includes:
General Data – Cincinnati, OH 2009 – Present
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Executive leader with P&L responsibility for $70 million label and barcode solutions company. Delivered revenue at 3x market growth rate through innovative sales channel initiatives, focus on cross-selling opportunities, and strategic private branding programs. Negotiated multi-year supply chain agreement for GDC’s primary raw materials, creating sustainable competitive advantage. Designed and conducted sales training, professional networking, prospecting tools, and channel partner webinars to increase effectiveness of sales organization. Coordinated targeted launch of proprietary high-yield products to increase market share and account penetration. Ensured effective coordination of inter-dependent multi-division executive leadership team.
Miami Systems/Bertek Systems – Cincinnati, OH 2005 – 2008
President of Bertek Systems, V.P. Sales/Marketing for Miami Systems
Served in dual executive roles for these sister companies within the Miami Systems family, one of the largest privately held printing and digital communication services providers in the U.S.
Standard Register – Dayton, OH 2001 – 2004
President, Document and Label Solutions SBU
Corporate Officer with P&L responsibility for $700 million Document and Label Solutions Strategic Business Unit, serving the Healthcare, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Logistics, and General Business markets. Responsible for 9 plants, 24 distribution centers, and 2800 employees.
WS Packaging – Cincinnati, OH 1996 – 2001
Chief Operating Officer
Corporate Officer with P&L responsibility for $200 million printing and packaging company with 19 locations and over 1500 employees. Responsible for the post-merger integration of Superior Label Systems, Wisconsin Label Group, and Label Art Corporation.
Fasson Roll Division of Avery Dennison – Painesville, OH 1987-1996
General Manager, Prime Label Business (1994–1996)
Plant Manager, Fort Wayne, IN (1990 – 1994)
Division Quality Manager (1988 – 1990)
Division Financial Planning Manager (1987 – 1988)
Baldwin Wallace College – Berea, OH
Masters, Business Administration GPA 3.6/4.0 Magna Cum Laude
West Virginia University – Morgantown, WV
Bachelors Degree, Industrial Engineering GPA 3.3/4.0 Cum Laude