Mark Anderson has been named director of Nevada Industry Excellence. The former general manager, human resources and general affairs, for Panasonic Energy of North America, sees this as the right time and NVIE as the right place to continue his career passion: building business and industry by focusing on employees and their personal and professional development.
"A lot of the reason I came back to Nevada was to help strengthen Nevada's manufacturing economy," said Anderson, a graduate of Carson High School in Carson City, Nev. "When I had the opportunity to join NVIE, I felt it was an opportunity to help Nevada companies become more competitive regionally and nationally."
Anderson holds a bachelor's degree in Japanese from Brigham Young University and an MBA with emphasis in human resources management from Indiana University. His business experience and strong, spoken Japanese language and culture skills led him to management roles with the U.S. operations, based in Indiana, of Tsuchiya North America.
In 2015 Anderson returned to Nevada to become the first U.S. employee of Panasonic Energy, a partner in the Tesla Gigafactory. In this role he built and led the team that developed the human-resources program designed to recruit and train 2,800 employees by the end of 2017. He also served as a liaison for the Japanese expatriates and technical advisors associated with the project, and was integral to community- and government-relations efforts on the state and local level.
The experience left Anderson all-the-more convinced that Nevada can "be recognized as the best in the country in advanced manufacturing."
NVIE is a statewide resource for small and medium-sized companies in some of Nevada's most important industries: manufacturing, mining and construction. Part of a national network of Manufacturing Extension Partnerships through the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, NVIE engages with companies ranging from startups to mature organizations. Through fee-for-service, on-site consulting and implementation assistance, NVIE helps businesses improve productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
NVIE is hosted through the University of Nevada, Reno and supported by a number of education- and industry-partner organizations from across the state. NVIE provides services throughout the state and has offices in Reno and Las Vegas.
"NVIE is a critical component of the University's and Nevada's entrepreneurial ecosystem and I look forward to working with Mark and his team to enhance manufacturing in the state," said Ellen Purpus, assistant vice president for enterprise and innovation. "I am delighted that Mark has joined NVIE."
Anderson's appointment as NVIE director follows the retirement of Sandy Haslem who joined NVIE as a project manager in 2000. Haslem was named NVIE director in 2006 and, under her leadership, the organization achieved success and was called up by other states' programs as a model to follow. NVIE Deputy Director Terry Culp served as interim director in November and December 2017.
The NVIE team's recent success includes two significant, competitive grants awarded through the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2017. A $3.78 million grant over five years is supporting continued business and technical consulting for industry statewide, and a $1 million award - one of only two awarded in the western U.S. - is supporting a pilot project to further develop NVIE staff to help Nevada's manufacturers become even more globally competitive. NVIE was recognized as the 2016 Community Partner at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada's 5th Annual Industry Awards.