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Broderick Named by Governor McDonnell to Business Partnership Board

John R. Broderick, the president of Old Dominion University, has been appointed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to the board that oversees the state's Manufacturing Extension Partnership - an initiative to help businesses and small industries stay technologically up-to-date and competitive in global commerce.

The initiative in Virginia has gone by the name of Virginia Philpott Manufacturing Extension Partnership (VPMEP). It is headquartered in Martinsville, within the district of the late A.L. Philpott, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for three decades and the House speaker from 1980 to 1991. As a legislator, he helped found the state program that evolved into the VPMEP.

The VPMEP, which began recently to trade as the Genedge Alliance, is part of the national MEP Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. The board of trustees for the VPMEP always includes the Virginia secretary of commerce and trade (currently ODU alumnus Jim Cheng) and the secretary of technology (currently Jim Duffey), as well as about 20 leaders in higher education and industry.

Broderick's term is for four years.

"I am pleased to have been given the opportunity by Gov. McDonnell to serve on the partnership's board of trustees," Broderick said. "Old Dominion, through its VATPDC (Virginia Applied Technology and Professional Development Center), has delivered services on behalf of the partnership for a number of years. Now the relationship will be even stronger."

Broderick also noted that the university recently established the ODU Business Gateway, an office designed to help private companies and entrepreneurs gain access to the intellectual capital, technologies and infrastructure of ODU. "It's a good fit, my joining the VPMEP board at the time of the Business Gateway startup," he said.

"The appointment definitely is a good thing for ODU," added Jerry Robertson, the ODU associate vice president who serves as executive director of Business Gateway. "It allows our president to keep his finger on the pulse of small and medium-sized manufacturers in the state, to learn what their problems and challenges are so we can know how best to serve them."

Companies can contract with VPMEP for the services of advisers trained to help enterprises achieve better productivity and profitability. These advisers teach operations-optimizing methods in the areas of Lean Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, Lean Supply Chain, innovation and business growth, quality management systems, and engineering and technical advancement.

Some of these advisers are provided by ODU's VATPDC, which is one of two Statewide Service Delivery Partners of VPMEP. The other is the Manufacturing Technology Center at Wytheville Community College.

This article was posted on: September 7, 2010

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