In addition to our staff, we are supported by our Executive and Technical Advisory boards, which advise and help guide the activities of the Institute. Our Executive Advisory Board (EAB) assists in framing our research priorities. Strategic Partners have a position on both the EAB and the Technical Advisory Board (TAB).
Executive Director, The Axia Institute
Katherine A. Franz is the Executive Director of the Axia Institute. She is a proven industry executive with extensive global experience in operations, engineering, quality and multi-operational assignments. She has, in her prior work at various Fortune 10 companies, including GM, Ford and GE, led billion dollar global operations through start-up, turnaround and growth modes to achieve world-class levels of performance.
She has lived in many locations and traveled extensively throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, and North and South America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University and an MSA in business administration from Central Michigan University.
Chief Commercial Officer, The Dow Chemical Company
Dan Futter is the chief commercial officer for Dow. Through his leadership on Customer Experience and Marketing/Sales disciplines, Dow is on track to become the most customer-centric material science company in the world. Prior to this role, Dan led the commercial organization for Consumer Solutions, where he was responsible for the integration of Dow Corning’s commercial activities into Dow.
Dan joined Dow Corning in Belgium in 1994, after six years in the plastics industry, with a focus on technology and business development. In 2013, Dan was named vice president of Customer Innovation and Experience, and Commercial vice-president in 2015, just prior to the acquisition. Dan holds a B Sc Hons in Biochemistry with Biotechnology from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He resides in Midland, Michigan, is active in the community, and serves on several boards.
Dean, The Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
Sanjay Gupta is the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business. As associate dean, Gupta instituted curricular innovations, such as BroadWeeks, in the Full-Time MBA program, led a task force to evaluate the Weekend MBA program, and facilitated the launch of new master’s programs in business analytics and management, strategy, and leadership. Based on downloads and citations of his research, he ranks in the top two percent of all authors in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). He is currently an expert witness for a state department of revenue.
He serves on the University of Notre Dame Accounting Advisory Board and the MSU-CIBER Advisory Board. He has also served various business schools as part of their AACSB Accreditation Review Teams. Gupta received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University, a Master of Accountancy from Bowling Green State University, a Bachelor of Laws from Calcutta University in India, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Mumbai. He holds non-practicing certifications as a CPA and a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
Dean, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Michigan State University
As Dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Ron Hendrick has focused on increasing state support for food and agriculture. He has also led the college’s entire leadership team in a sustained effort to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the college. His research has focused on forest ecosystem productivity and element cycling, especially below ground, and various aspects of ecosystem restoration and reclamation. His teaching experience includes leading a number of education abroad programs in the South Pacific, including New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Antarctica.
Hendrick earned his bachelor and doctoral degrees from MSU in forestry and forest ecology, in 1986 and 1992, respectively. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks from 1992 to 1993.
Corporate Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain, The Dow Chemical Company
Greg Jozwiak is Corporate Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain for Dow. During his 31-year career with Dow, Greg has business experience in the packaging, automotive and building & construction industries with product and application knowledge across plastics, elastomers, adhesives and insulation materials. He also has functional experience in supply chain, purchasing, shared services, and customer service. Greg has a passion for creating an inclusive & diverse workplace across his global organization, finding more sustainable solutions based on optimizing supply chains and modernizing the customer and employee experience through digitalization.
He serves on the national board of directors and executive committee for Keep America Beautiful in addition to several company initiatives that support STEM education and community welfare. Greg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University and certification of executive global leadership from the American Graduate School of International Management. Greg is married with two children and his spare time is spent enjoying family, fitness, sports, outdoors, travel, and cars.
Dean, College of Engineering, Michigan State University
Leo Kempel’s current research interests are conformal antennas, engineered materials for microwave applications, and computational electromagnetics. Kempel is a Member of Tau Beta Pi, Beta Kappa Nu, and Commission B of the International Scientific Radio Union (URSI). He received the MSU College of Engineering’s Withrow Distinguished Scholar (Junior Faculty) Award in 2001, the MSU Teacher-Scholar award in 2002, and a CAREER award by the National Science Foundation in 2002.
Dr. Kempel earned both his Ph.D. and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, in 1994 and 1990, respectively. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, 1989.
Retired Vice Chairman, Dow Corning Corporation, and Executive-in-Residence, The Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
Sheets joined Dow Corning in 1982 and held a variety of professional roles in accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Through a series of commercial management positions in Dow Corning’s electronics business, Sheets helped improve customer relationships and channel effectiveness while leading the commercialization of innovative new products. He was named vice president and chief financial officer in 2003. Sheets was vice chairman of Dow Corning as it became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company in 2016. After helping the company through the transition into Dow, he retired on Feb. 1, 2017.
Sheets serves as a trustee for Albion College, and as a director at Midland Center for the Arts, The Axia Institute, Wolverine Bank, Tri-Star Trust Bank, and MidMichigan Health System.