Matthew H. Caddell
Director of Programs
Matt Caddell is the Director of Programs for Aero Engine Controls based in Indianapolis, IN. Aero Engine Controls is a joint venture between Rolls- Royce and Goodrich Corporation. Matt spent the last 8 years with Rolls-Royce where he held a variety of positions in the areas of development engineering, cost reduction, operations improvement, and Program Management. Prior to Rolls-Royce, he worked at Honeywell Aircraft Landing Systems and CENTRA Technology, a consultant firm to DARPA for advanced air breathing propulsion. Matt holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Technology from Purdue University.
Richard J. Sepeta
Plant Manager & Operations Director
Richard J. Sepeta is an executive plant manager for Delphi Electronics & Safety and director of operations for global Powertrain, Thermal, and Delphi Product Services and Solutions electronics. He is located in McAllen, Texas.
Sepeta began his career with Delphi in 1985 as a manufacturing supervisor producing Metal Oxide Silicon integrated circuits in Kokomo, Indiana. He was in Finance as a project analyst from 1989 to 1992.
He was named manufacturing engineering manager in 1992 at the division’s Matamoros, Mexico facility. In 1993, he was named Operations Manager for Audio Products. In 1996, Sepeta was named quality manager for the Integrated Body Systems Business Unit including Instrument Clusters, Audio, and HVAC products, and relocated to Kokomo, Indiana. He was named Operations Manager for Kokomo Audio Products in 1998.
Sepeta was named plant operations manager in 1999 and moved to Milwaukee, WI to run powertrain electronics products. In 2004, Sepeta was named plant manager at the division’s Reynosa, Mexico site. He was named to his current position in 2009.
Sepeta earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Purdue University in 1984.
Vice President of Manufacturing for
Steve Blanco is Vice President of Manufacturing for Eaton’s Electrical Sector. Steve joined Eaton as Director of Operations Excellence in December 2006.
Prior to joining Eaton, Steve spent more than 18 years in the automotive industry working for Visteon Corporation and Ford Motor Company, where he held a number of leadership positions in manufacturing, engineering, and operations as well as professional level positions in product design, finance, manufacturing engineering, and operations.
He is also active in the community, being a past board chair for the United Way in Fayette County, Indiana and serving on various other non profit boards. He remains active in the United Way of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania.
He has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Greater Kokomo Economic Development
Jeb A. Conrad serves as President & CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, a not-for-profit comprehensive economic development organization responsible for managing the Kokomo and Howard County coordinated economic development activities. The Alliance is comprised of the Kokomo/Howard County Development Corporation, Kokomo Chamber of Commerce, Kokomo Downtown Association, Inventrek Technology Park and Urban Enterprise Association. In his role as President & CEO, Mr. Conrad leads a staff driving initiatives and new business expansion, retention and attraction efforts. In addition, The Alliance works in partnership with City of Kokomo, Howard County, the State of Indiana, The North Central Economic Development Partnership, as well as existing business leaders, to support quality job growth and capital investment in Howard County and strategies. The Alliance provides economic development information, incentive facilitation, member services and resource services to existing businesses and prospective businesses.
Conrad was named the first CEO of The Alliance in November 2008. Prior to taking on this position, Conrad served as the Executive Director of Indianapolis Economic Development, Inc. which completed over 400 successful deals, creating more than 30,000 new jobs and generating over $2.8 billion in new private capital investment under his leadership from 2001-2008. He also led the IED team to record accomplishments in 2006.
Conrad serves as a member of the Kokomo Revolving Loan Fund, Regional Leadership Institute, and Small Business Development Center, and has extensive state and local community service. Mr. Conrad is a native of Indiana graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business from Indiana University. He is a member of the Indiana Economic Development Association and holds his Indiana Real Estate license. He is also the son of the late Larry Conrad, former Indiana Secretary of State.
Business Relations Manager
Laura Sheets is the area manager for Duke Energy Indiana’s north area, which encompasses portions or all of Huntington, Wabash, Fulton, Miami, Grant, Cass, Howard, Kosciusko, Tipton and Whitley counties.
She joined Duke Energy in 1990 and has worked in account management, business relations, customer strategy, community relations and economic development. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She serves as a board member for the Greater Kokomo Economic Alliance, as well as the United Way for Howard County.
Her other community work includes serving on the board of directors of Saint Joseph Hospital, and Community Foundation of Howard County as well as a member of the Kokomo Noon Rotary Club. She is married to Brian Sheets and has three children
Executive Vice President
Tom joined Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA) in 1989 as Corporate Counsel, and has been promoted to various positions within SIA since that date. He currently serves as Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel; and as a Member of the Board of Directors of SIA. He is the first American to be appointed to the SIA Board of Directors.
Tom is active in organizations at the local, state and national levels, including service as a Director of the: SIA Foundation (President), Crossroads of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America (Senior Vice President), Indiana Chamber of Commerce (Executive Committee), Japan-America Society of Indiana (Executive Committee), Community Foundation of Boone County (Past President), National Association of Manufacturers, Lafayette Parks Foundation and Clarian Arnett Hospital.
Tom has served as a speaker at numerous conferences on legal, business and environmental matters. He was the recipient of the 2009 Purdue Excellence in Manufacturing Innovation Award. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University.