2019 Speakers, Presenters, and Panelists

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James Sternberg - CU-ICAR

James Sternberg is a member of the Transformative and Functional Materials and Manufacturing lab at the International Center of Automotive Research at Clemson University. James focuses on sustainable materials and polymers from biomass in his position as Assistant Researcher. A graduate of Furman University and the University of Florida with undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry, his work at the newly created Clemson Composites Center housed at CU-ICAR aims to re-imagine polyurethane foams through non-toxic and bio-based routes.

Dr. Greg Batt - Clemson University

Dr. Batt serves as an associate professor in the Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences Department at Clemson University and as the Director of the Clemson Transport Package Testing Laboratory. Dr. Batt has a BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, a MS degree in packaging science from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Clemson University. He has been teaching and conducting research in the area of packaging dynamics and distribution package design since 2004.

Dr. Batt is currently working on an NSF funded grant to develop a triboelectric energy harvester for packaging application capable of generating electricity from the motion of packaged products in transit. In addition, Dr. Batt is working on measurement techniques for capturing the multi-axis motion of transport vehicles for test method development, the characterization of compression performance of corrugated boxes as a function of board moisture content to inform box design, and the energy transmission through football facemasks to inform their design and selection.

Josh Galvarino - Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

Josh Galvarino currently works for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International as the Dangerous Goods Transportation Lead for North American parts distribution centers. He has six + years of experience in dangerous goods packaging engineering and transportation compliance. He is an active member of dangerous goods transportation committees including the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) as well the North American Automotive Hazmat Action Committee (NAAHAC).

Michael Ceritano - GSP North America

Michael has had an extensive career in the North American Aftermarket. Prior to coming to GSP he held several leadership roles within Dana Aftermarket, Dana Commercial Vehicle OEM as well as Mopar. He holds a BA in Finance from The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown an MBA from Drexel University and leadership certificates from ECornell. Currently, Michael is responsible for all commercial activities for GSP in North America.


Bob Furlo - Novares

Bob is a packaging professional who started his career with GM after graduating from Michigan State University’s packaging program in 2000.  He is now working for Novares, an automotive plastic parts manufacturer.  The global customer base that Novares supply parts allows Bob to be a part of the latest packaging automotive industry trends.

Adam Therrien - Honda

Adam is a passionate packaging professional who started with American Honda Motor as a Packaging Engineer developing solutions for automotive and motorcycle service parts.  After a period in Purchasing, he returned to the packaging team as the Export Parts Operations Manager. In this role he collaborates with an amazing engineering team to implement core strategies and tactics; ensuring the packaging meets the needs of the rapidly evolving global supply chain. He holds a degree in Packaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Christopher Braun - Honda

Chris is a senior engineer at American Honda Motor SPPC where he works with a great team of professionals to help ensure the best packaging solutions for service parts. After working as a Project Engineer for American Honda Motor, he began his journey in the packaging realm in 2009 and approaches packaging development with an enthusiasm for the artistic/technical challenges that each new packaging situation brings. Chris enjoys putting together the puzzle pieces of materials, cost, and time to develop the best packaging solutions for American Honda. Chris graduated from Wright State University with a BS in Human Factors Engineering.

Brad Meredith - BMW

Brad will be participating in the BMW panel in the Returnable Packaging afternoon session. He is the Packaging Planning Specialist at BMW where he has worked for 9 years. He has a BS from Clemson’s Mechanical Engineering program.


Ryan Macek - BMW

Ryan Macek is the Logistics Planning Lead for Body Shop at BMW Manufacturing.  He has 17 years of automotive logistics and packaging experience, both in the Assembly Shop and Body Shop.  He earned a B.S. degree in Packaging Science from Michigan State University in 2001.


Paras Gudka - BMW

Paras is currently working at BMW Manufacturing for the Packing Planning Department. He has 8+ years of experience in automotive packaging. His experience includes 5 years of work at an automotive packing supplier and 3+ years at BMW as a Packaging Engineer.


Larry Corbin - BMW

Larry is the Packaging Planner for Electrical and Electronic Parts. He has worked at BMW for 24 years. He has an extensive understanding of packaging on both the returnable and expendable packaging side through his long tenure with the company. Before his current position he worked in Assembly Production for 5 years before moving into Logistics. In addition, he was the first Line Side Planner at Plant Spartanburg and the first Material Flow Specialist at Plant Spartanburg.  

Drew Cockman - BMW

Drew became the Section Manager for Logistics Planning/Packaging in 2015. In his role, he is responsible for the concept development as well as procurement of packaging for new Vehicle Launches at BMW Spartanburg. He started his career with BMW Manufacturing in 2000 as an assembly Quality Planner for the Z3 Roadster.  


Darrin Lucas - Nissan

Darrin is the Senior Manager of Inbound Logistics at Nissan North America where he has worked for 14 years. He has a degree in Packaging Science from Clemson University and a Master’s in Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management from Middle Tennessee State University.


Patricia Franco - Nissan

Patricia has been working for Nissan Mexico for four years. She is responsible for New Projects management and launching based on supply chain optimization and packaging trends application for design and redesign improvements. Additionally, she is in charge of Nissan Packaging Test Lab development. Her Master’s Degree in Packaging Engineering and Design is from Universidad De La Salle in Mexico.

Francisco Huerta - Nissan

Francisco has been working for Nissan Mexico for four years. His responsibilities include managing the packaging team, the coordination of packaging requirements, and specifications for successful design packaging for New Projects launches, as well as packaging improvements for existing parts, packaging suppliers and Reverse Logistics Management Cross Functional teams. His Master’s Degree in Packaging Engineering and Design is from Universidad De La Salle in Mexico.

Rocky Robinson - Dana Automotive

Rocky is the Senior Engineer of Aftermarket Operations Packaging & Quality Engineer at Dana Automotive in Crossville, TN where he has worked for 12 years. Dana Automotive is both an OEM and Tier One Supplier that serves the industry with aftermarket products. He is a graduate of the Certificate of Packaging Science from the Packaging School.


Thomas Harthun - Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

Thomas is the Manager for Logistics Planning and Packaging at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. He has been working with Daimler AG for 28 years and holds an M.Sc. Eng from the University of Stuttgart and The George Washington University. He is finalizing his MBA from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Thomas holds a patent in adaptive body shop metal joining technologies and has been working in Assembly Planning, Project and Production functions until he came to Packaging 5 years ago. His focus is currently on innovations in the field of IoT, analytics and holistic supply chain approaches.

Ryan Newman - BMW

Ryan has a diverse background in the packaging industry having gotten his start as a designer and
independent consultant in retail packaging for several national and international brands. He has a
degree in architecture with a minor in packaging science from Clemson University. At the beginning of
2018, he joined BMW North America as the ConDc Packaging and Compliance Manager, where he is
responsible for the development of new packaging concepts and overseeing service packaging for
current and future launches.

Maxwell Fisher - BMW

Max graduated from Clemson University in 2017 with a packaging science degree. Since then, he has
been a packaging planner for BMW NAFTA sourced service parts. In this role, he is responsible for
coordinating packaging with suppliers for all past and future launches.