Nick is an experienced leader with a background in operations, manufacturing and engineering. Over his 27 year Milliken career he has worked in a number of businesses, learning something new at each step. Nick was part of Milliken’s initial foray into learning about systematic improvement methodologies, the first Milliken study trip to Japan and the team that designed the Milliken Performance System. He was given the opportunity to implement that methodology in two Milliken locations as the site manager and both site teams were recognized with JIPM Excellent Plant awards. He has significant practical experience.
In Performance Solutions Nick has learned effective strategies to help organizations build similar capabilities and processes that Milliken implemented. His clients have global footprints, and while the philosophy is the same regardless of the region the implementation can be adjusted to suit the local environment.
Nick has a degree in Chemical Engineering from UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) and is a certified JIPM TPM instructor.
Dede Ericson began her career in 1994 with American Bag Corporation, a Division of Milliken and Company. She spent 8 years in this division starting in a range of roles from Process Engineer to Production Manager and Process Improvement Leader. Prior to joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, Dede worked as a Sales Manager and North American Market Manager in our Chemical Division. Dede currently serves as Director of Client Engagement leading a team of Practitioners that assist clients in multiple markets.
Dede holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Phil’s career is steeped in thirty years’ worth of business leadership and manufacturing expertise. Phil has successfully worked with and led several business units within Milliken & Company to profitable growth and financial sustainability. Prior to his business leadership roles, Phil led the implementation of Milliken Performance System for the Performance Products Division and served as Director of Cost Improvement, where he was responsible for strategic cost reduction efforts.
Phil has also spent time as the Pursuit of Excellence Director responsible for integrating customer needs (and wants) with manufacturing and business capability. Early in his career, Phil worked in four different manufacturing locations, holding multiple positions ranging from quality to cost. Phil credits this early diversity in job responsibility and scope as the beginning of his in-depth knowledge of continuous improvement; his appreciation for sustainable, empowered safety processes and systems; and his understanding of the critical nature of establishing the right financial metrics to drive the right behavior.
Phil holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University.
Cara Thompson, Managing Director of Operations, has worked for Milliken for 20 years, starting as a Product/Process Improvement Engineer at our Dewey Chemical Plant in Inman, South Carolina. She quickly rose through the ranks as a Department Production Manager, a Senior Production Manager, a Process Improvement Leader at two different manufacturing sites and then as a Plant Leader, also for two sites. Before joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, she led the North American Plastics Additives Technical Service Group as a Development Manager. Cara has worked with clients around the world, representing multiple industries, helping all levels of an organization in areas of Engagement Design & Leadership, Instruction Design, Development & Delivery, Cost Management, Performance Facilitation, Leadership Coaching & Development, and Project & Change Management.
Cara has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.
Jordan Workman serves as Director of Client Development for Performance Solutions by Milliken. He works with multi-national manufacturing clients to help them assess their operational performance and create strategies to deliver on corporate performance expectations. Clients served span a variety of industries, including agriculture, automotive, pharma, chemical, food and beverage, mining and specialty plastics.
Prior to joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, Jordan was employed by Owens Corning for almost a decade, where he last served as Marketing Director for a global business unit and was responsible for creating and executing a go-to-market strategy that aligned commercial, supply chain, and operational capabilities. He also served as Business Development Leader for greater China based in Shanghai. He brings a wealth of knowledge on how to bridge cross-cultural differences and drive performance in the journey to business excellence.
Jordan holds a degree in Economics & Political Science from West Virginia University.
Nicole Yeske serves as Director of Marketing and joins the team to spearhead additional growth within the marketing division at Performance Solutions by Milliken. She brings to the team not only a strong marketing background, but also a strength in analytics and innovation. As Marketing Director, she is responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing marketing strategy and execution.
Prior to joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, Nicole held several progressive marketing roles at Gordian, the world’s leading construction cost data, software, and service provider, including Product Marketing and Digital and eCommerce management. Prior to Gordian, she began her career at Dell Computers as a Consumer Products Marketing Manager responsible for point of sale merchandising and large campaigns.
Nicole holds a B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University.