Mark Manuel was greatly influenced to go into engineering by his uncle, Dr. Don Gochenour, a Professor of Industrial Engineering at West Virginia University.  He was in EE for one day, but wasn’t excited about the work he would be doing after hearing their presentation to freshmen.  He switched to Industrial Engineering partly based on the presentation he heard and partly based upon his uncle.  He really liked the breadth of IE.

Mark did an internship with 3M Corporation and became exposed to the Toyota production system.  He enjoyed this experience, and when 3M made him a full-time job offer he decided to accept it.  While he was based in St. Paul Minnesota, Mark travelled the country as an internal consultant to various 3M plants.  “I got an opportunity that few young engineers will have in such a large company.  I was presenting the results of my work to corporate VPs.”

Mark eventually took a plant job within 3M.  This turned out to be a turning point in his career.  “I helped set up self-directed work teams.  This involved a lot of training, and I became interested in organization development.”

Mark had acquired experience in an area of interest to many organizations.  When 3M offered all employees a year’s salary as a buyout, he decided to accept it.  He took off a year from work to complete an MBA at the University of Kentucky.

While working on his MBA, Mark set up his own consulting company with a focus on training, organizational development, and some basic Industrial Engineering.  One of Mark’s clients was the one of the colleges that would merge to become Bluegrass Community and Technical College.  He had done joint projects with them.

He was approached by the people he worked with at Bluegrass to apply for a position of Vice President of Corporate and Community Development.  He decided to apply and was hired shortly afterward.  “I thought being part of the merger of the two colleges would be an interesting experience for a few years,” Mark says.  Mark continues to work at Bluegrass.  “My career has evolved at Bluegrass.  Every few years, Mark takes on a different responsibility.  At the time of this interview, Mark was VP for Advancement and Organization Development.

In his current role, Mark oversees fund raising.  The Director of their foundation reports to Mark.  He also oversees extended campuses, human resources, strategic communications, and works closely with the President of Bluegrass on organization structure issues.  “Every day is very different,” Mark says.  “I never really planned this for a career, but I’m very happy with what I’m doing.”


Mark is the Vice President for Advancement and Organizational Development for Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Advancement and Organizational Development is made up of Strategic Communications; Resource Development/BCTC Foundation; Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness; Regional Campuses; and Human Resources and Professional Development.

Mark’s experience includes process redesign, lean manufacturing implementation, organizational consulting, organizational redesign, strategic planning, and employee development in both the private and public sectors. He serves as a board member for the Business and Education Network (BEN), Scott County United, Leadership Central Kentucky, the Central Kentucky YMCA, and Opportunities for Work and Learning (OWL). He also is a former Regional Executive of the Central Kentucky Region of the Sports Car Club of America (CKRSCCA) and enjoys all levels of sports car and formula car racing.

Mark’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Kentucky.

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