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Plant Manager Engineer

Grand Rapids, MI
September 28, 2020

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L.E. (Gene) Dura, P.E.

**** **** **** ***** ****

Elizabethtown, IN 47232



Proven operations leader with significant experience in operations management with 24 years at the Plant Manager or General Manager level. New site location, acquisition, site start up and site consolidation experience. P&L responsibility since 1996. Experienced in TPS/“Lean” manufacturing deployment techniques, TPM, design for manufacturing, OSHA regulations, contract negotiations, QS and ISO certification. Operations experience augmented with Maintenance Manager experience at the site and corporate level. Holds several patents.

Areas of expertise



Lean Manufacturing

Maintenance / TPM

Plant Location / Start Up

Union / Non-Union Management

BSME - Purdue University MBA - Western Michigan University Registered Professional Engineer


NTN Driveshaft-NDI Corp. Columbus IN location

Plant Manager 2014- present

Recruited to “tune up” the largest plant of the largest site of the company.

At the onset, the site was being run as a “cost center”. Shortly after arriving, we began the process of changing the site to a “profit center”. This involved changing all aspects of the facility from a cost center basis to one run on a budget basis. This effort has required the complete transition of all aspects of the business from what it was to what it is now. This required an extensive knowledge of virtually all aspects of a business from basic results reporting to the creation of small group activities and employee involvement groups. So far we have:

Created and instituted plant, area, and department budgets.

Informed, trained, and involved 810 associates in this process.

Created a profit center that has been profitable at the plant and site level for the last 22 months.

Reduced safety issues, reduced customer quality claims, improved production results and implemented numerous capital improvements.

Trained the three most recent people promoted to Plant Manager in the company.

Fram Filtration-Div. of Rank Inc. Greenville, Ohio

Plant Manager

2012- 2014

Recruited to manage the completion of the consolidation of the equipment and processes of two manufacturing sites into the Greenville location. The combination of a strong engineering, manufacturing and operations background combined with extensive union experience was required.

Directed all aspects of safety, quality, delivery and cost for a work force of 350 including both hourly and salaried personnel.

Completed the consolidation of equipment, processes and new product lines to the Greenville site.

Rebuilt the team in order to achieve the required manufacturing goals for on time delivery and profitability.

Negotiated the 1st “managed/ mandatory” overtime agreement in the site’s 61-year history along with a

new 3-yr. collective bargaining agreement.

Prototyped and implemented the FMS operations system- patterned after the TPS.

L.E. (Gene) Dura, P.E. Page Two


Operations Manager 2011 – 2012

Recruited to improve the overall profitability of the corporation utilizing managerial experience, lean manufacturing, team building, manufacturing and engineering experience as well as overall interpersonal skills.

Directed all aspects of safety, quality, delivery and cost for a work force of 277 including both hourly and salaried personnel.

Implemented lean initiatives resulting in reduction of inventory and improvements to both cash flow and profitability.

Led team to the successful completion of a $14.5M project, resulting in significant capital improvements scheduled for 2012.


General Manager 2007 – 2011

Recruited to manage the start-up of a new manufacturing site. Researched the business case for a new manufacturing location.

Searched out and reviewed 62 brown field sites.

Led the search for a green field site. 19 green field sites reviewed before deciding on green field site.

Managed activities as plant manager, project manager, and director.

Plant Manager Highlights

Managed the acquisition of Benson International in Cadiz, Kentucky, an aluminum flat trailer business.

Led the due diligence team for project and led the group in the re-establishment (start-up) of this business.

Wrote and managed the project to consolidate three operations into one location, resulting in

Transportation and delivery expenses reduced by $1M per year.

Through enhanced plant layout and flow the original operations footprint reduced from 180,000 sq. ft. to 90.000 sq. ft. making room for the other product line.

The 2 plants no longer running have been remediated and sold.

Project Manager Highlights

Led the market study for, business case of, and design and manufacturing of the first 2 Wabash National windmill blade trailers.

Director Highlights

Directed the Transportation Equipment Purchasing Consortium, which is a progressive industry leading business strategy for the trailering industry. The TEPC team is a multi-disciplined group that both explores new potential members and negotiates industry leading pricing agreements.

Directed overall savings between 4% and 13%.

Negotiated agreements to be long term and incorporate year over year price improvements. Agreements incorporate volume incentive rebates.


Site Maintenance Manager 2005 – 2007

Recruited to bring a passion for operations into the trades organizations and improve the overall profitability of the corporation utilizing managerial experience, lean manufacturing / TPM, engineering expertise and overall interpersonal skills. The responsibility of this role was to concurrently refine the TPM program at 3 of the corporation’s main facilities while streamlining the trades organizations as well. The combined trades personnel amounted to 400 hourly and 42 salaried.

Refined the actual PM tasks to make them and their frequency relevant.

L.E. (Gene) Dura, P.E. Page Three

Reduced overtime costs by instituting PM checks and repairs into the normal 5-day workweek.

Decentralized skilled trades and integrated them into the manufacturing departments.

Absorbed 6 skilled trades retirements without replacement for a year over year savings of $600K.

Demonstrated a 15 to 25% increase in machine uptime. Reduced overtime costs by over 10% (approximately $2M).

Instituted basic TPM training, establishing a system of PM that included shift, daily, weekly, and monthly checks.


VP and General Manager 2003 – 2005

P&L responsibility for the operations of 3 (Detroit, Saginaw, Cleveland) automotive tooling plants. Three facilities totaled over 150,000 sq. ft., 300 employees, and $40M in revenue. Implemented corporate health and safety programs. Responsible for the certification of all facilities to a global ISO 9001:2000 level.

Introduced and implemented Lean manufacturing concepts altering business from traditional “batch” operations to one-piece flow. Improvements reduced manufacturing costs on average of 15%.

Established consignment inventory program allowing the customers to reduce cash held as inventory.

Six month stay on bonus provided by EnPro as one of 4 key executives to transition the business.


Formative years at GM and then Delphi. Multiple locations inside of Michigan as well as Georgia. The assignments included engineering, maintenance, and operations at the beginning, intermediate and senior levels culminating with my 1st plant manager role in 1996.


MBA, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

BSME, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

National PEL Program


Professional Engineer - State of Michigan #35489

Member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Dale Carnegie graduate


U.S. Patent #5,642,694 – Cold forming process

U.S. Patent #5,706,773 – Design of 12mm – mini- lash lifter

U.S. Patent #4,807,575 – Roller lifter product design

2nd Degree Black Belt – July, 1994 – taught 6 years

Eagle Scout

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