Noel is a leader in manufacturing with extensive factory startup and operating experience, as well as service as a military officer. With 25-years running manufacturing facilities for industrial companies, Vela is Noel’s sixth plant startup, fifth machining company, and fourth gear-making business. Noel served as the Director of Operations at Northstar Aerospace’s Chicago facility (www.nsaero.com), a Wynnchurch Capital portfolio company, from 2014-2015, manufacturing high quality gears and transmissions for Boeing’s military aircraft programs. Noel was instrumental increasing shipments 21% in 2014 from $84 to $107 million in revenue by improving operations in less than one year.
In 2007, Noel was Chief Operating Officer and one of four shareholders of Brad Foote Gear Works (http://www.bwen.com/BradFoote_8679.aspx), a hundred-year-old gear manufacturing company, where he added a new facility doubling sales within one year to $90 million making large gear products for Oil & Gas and Wind Energy, with customers such as SPM Weir Oil & Gas, and GE Wind, enabling company’s sale to a Hedge Fund for $165 million. His team took the company public as Broadwind Energy (NASDAQ: BWEN) in early-2008. Prior to that in 2005, Noel was Vice President of Operations and one of three management stakeholders of Fairfield Manufacturing (http://www.oerlikon.com/fairfield/en/home/) another hundred-year-old gear company, where he improved company’s performance and sales to customers like General Electric (locomotives) and Joy Global (mining) enabling sale of company to Oerlikon AG for $265 million.
A 1982 graduate of U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, earning B.S. in Systems Engineering, Noel served six years active duty as a weapon officer aboard nuclear-powered submarines, then a project manager for Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington DC. In 1990 Noel earned an MBA from Marymount University in Arlington VA. He continued his service in the reserves another eighteen years, in parallel to his career in the private sector running manufacturing companies. In 2003, he was recalled to active duty with rank of Commander, and deployed to the Middle East as an Intelligence officer for the Invasion of Iraq. Commander Davis was awarded the Defense Service Commendation Medal for service with the 9th Expeditionary Air Force in the Middle East, and retired in 2006. During Noel’s private sector career, he earned Lean Manufacturing certifications, including Six Sigma from the University of Tennessee.
Chuck is one of the top five American gearbox engineers in the world, and is regarded as an expert in the mechanical power transmission and gearbox industry. Over his 41-year career, he has designed or engineered over 500 custom gearboxes, supervised large industrial engineering departments, managed custom drive systems divisions, designed heat treat equipment and conducted field service operations. Vela Gear Systems will leverage Chuck’s extensive industry experience to gain customers and successfully lead Vela’s engineering functions.
Chuck is a registered professional engineer and long-standing member of the American Gear Manufacturing Association (AGMA). He’s published papers for leading industry publications and presented technical papers at annual AGMA Fall Technical Meetings. Chuck’s deep industry experience and extensive relationships are a wealth of resources for potential customers and future business.
Norm is a veteran metallurgist with 45 years of experience in the industry. He has held technical and leadership positions in companies specializing in manufacturing processes where heat treatment operations and advanced quality systems are a core part of the business. Norm has installed, audited, and led quality systems for manufacturing companies in aerospace, locomotive, mining, and power generation products, including wind turbine gears. Norm is also familiar with the latest heat treatment technological advances and is an expert in European heat treatment specifications.
Over his extensive manufacturing career, Norm has worked at General Electric, Northstar Aerospace, SAE, Electro-Motive Diesel, and other manufacturing companies in leadership roles providing quality and technical support to manufacturing businesses.
Norm started his career by serving in the US Army with the Army Security Agency, then earned degrees in Chemistry and Metallurgy from Purdue University Calumet in 1965 and a BS in Industrial Management from Purdue University in 1967.
Scott is one of our field techs in the Western part of the US prospecting business development opportunities. He is an experienced Project Engineer on various types of projects including cathode protection of pipelines, electrical grounding of field equipment, structural and mechanical inspections, construction coordination, and construction project management.
Scott has worked in a variety of sites and projects such as the rocket fuel production facility Cedar City Utah, Hazardous waste treatment facilities in Los Angeles, soil remediation of the Santa Fe Railroad site at Whittier California, the Port of Long Beach and LA Harbor in California, the Fort Irwin Naval Base in Barstow California, the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena California, CAL Park Industria in San Luis California, and Mexico Port of Long Beach California. Scott has hands-on training in many technical areas such as TOol and Die Apprenticeship in Buches Switzerland as well as many US programs in Engineering and Development, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Response, and Certified Contracting.
Derrick was the manager of a Lufkin Industries (Oil & Gas equipment) industrial gearbox repair facility for several years. He has been the primary interface with industrial customers and gear-manufacturing suppliers for gearbox repairs, quotations, and restoring said equipment to operating condition for Power Plants, Oil & Gas drilling operations, and similarly heavy industrial applications. Derrick brings such customers to VGS for all their repair needs.
Derrick has a Business degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, but more importantly has formal training from machine tool vendors in various CNC equipment, gage calibration and experience in the supervision of machinists. He is a skilled journeyman machinist capable of setting-up and operating advanced CNC machinery.