One World, One Industry: New Thought Leaders Program Brings Industry Insight

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As the electronics industry undergoes dramatic change, it is essential for IPC to obtain advice and counsel from experts throughout the industry that help us navigate these changes. To this end, IPC created the Thought Leaders Program (TLP), a select group of experts who will generate ideas and insights in five areas:

  • Education and workforce
  • Technology and innovation
  • The economy
  • Key markets
  • Environment, health, and safety

These experts will assist IPC on key issues, offering valuable insights to IPC members and key external stakeholders. The knowledge gained from Thought Leaders will allow IPC to be aware of a range of change drivers and how they are interconnected. IPC will leverage these experts’ insights to lead and influence change that will benefit members and the larger worldwide electronics industry.

The Thought Leaders’ responsibilities will include providing publishable material in their subject areas, flagging opportunities for IPC engagement, and participating in quarterly roundtable discussions. Each expert is expected to fulfill at least one 12-month term, during which quarterly contributions will be expected.

One of the program’s first projects will be a report on the U.S. Defense Department’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), an ambitious effort to better protect the cybersecurity of the defense industrial base. The electronics industry supports this initiative but has concerns about its ongoing implementation.


IPC’s Thought Leaders Program will be chaired by Mike Carano, VP of technology and business development at RBP Chemical Technology and a member of IPC’s Hall of Fame. He will lead a diverse group of individuals, namely:

  • Olivier Coulon, consultant, Decision Etudes & Conseil
  • Payman Dehghanian, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, The George Washington University
  • Bryan Erwin, managing partner, BlueWave Merchant Partners
  • Denny Fritz, consultant
  • Savita Ganjigatti, VP of engineering, Sienna ECAD Technologies
  • Carol Handwerker, professor of materials engineering, Purdue University
  • Matt Holzmann, president, CGI Americas
  • Meredith LaBeau, director of process engineering, Calumet Electronics
  • Joe O’Neil, CEO, Green Circuits
  • Leslie Weinstein, founder/CEO, CMMC Consulting

Follow this link for an IPC staff interview with Mike Carano, who provides an overview of the TLP program, how it supports industry’s migration to factory of the future, and plans for the future projects.

More information about the IPC Thought Leaders Program, including a dedicated webpage, will be available soon. Please direct any questions regarding the program to Chris Mitchell, IPC vice president of global government relations at

This column originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of PCB007 Magazine.


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