TCW Computer Systems Inc./Glick Audio and Video
Steve Walter and Phil Weaver purchased TCW Computer Systems and Glick Audio and Video in January 2016. Now president, Walter, a graduate of Goshen College, had been working at TCW for over 10 years as the service department manager.
The mission of TCW and GAV is “to be the best technology provider to businesses throughout central Pennsylvania when it comes to audio, video and computer networking solutions and services,” according to their website.
In July, TCW and GAV relocated their operations a few miles south and just off Route 283 to 1585 Commerce Drive, Lancaster. To accommodate growth, the move nearly doubled their office space.
Stephan Van Der Ploog
President and Chief Accountability Officer
Candoris, A CDI Company
Stephan Van Der Ploog, president and chief accountability officer of Candoris, started the company in 2011.
Candoris was created as a “different kind of digital solutions provider,” his LinkedIn page said. “Our dedicated pathfinders are committed to customer success and delivering solutions of lasting value to elevate security, supercharge productivity and modernize infrastructure. We empower organizations to embrace change with confidence as we guide them through digital transformation … . Missional at our core, Candoris has committed its resources to impacting children around the world and at home through medicine, education, and clean water initiatives.”
A Power List bio from last year said that Van Der Ploog’s role “is primarily focused on vision, culture and mission. As the company has grown, it becomes a daily focus to make sure its culture and its key values do not get diluted.”
He said he has a wonderful team that handles the day-to-day operations, which allows him to think strategically about company mission and vision.
Senior Operations Manager
“People first” is how Ken Strickhouser, Dentsply Sirona’s senior operations manager, describes his leadership style. “We measure ourselves through metrics of safety, quality, delivery and cost; however, the metric of our people is the most important … . Ensuring your employees are engaged, empowered, informed, included and safe fosters a culture of success. This approach has impacted our site through market growth, productivity, profitability, safety culture and customer satisfaction.”
His employment there started in 1990, after high school. “My history with the company goes back through generations of my family who have been employed with Dentsply Sirona since the mid-1920s. … Word of mouth and other references are what got me started with this industry. More important is what made me stay, and that would be the people and the products we manufacture. … The products we make … are life-changing, giving people better health, confidence and overall well-being.”
Outside of work, Strickhouser said, “I like to spend time with my wife and kids, making memories … . The location of York County puts us a few hours from … Baltimore, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and other areas rich in history and family activities.”
Michael F. Shirk
The High Cos.
Mike Shirk has been CEO of The High Cos. since January 2015, responsible for strengthening the family of 11 diverse companies and developing strategies and talent that will provide a bright future. He joined High from Armstrong World Industries Inc., where he was vice president of architectural specialties worldwide and directly responsible for managing sales, engineering and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
In a previous Power List profile, he had this advice for those looking to enter his field: “First, be highly coachable, with a genuine thirst for learning and constructive feedback to help you grow. Second, be willing to stretch yourself; investments early in your career can pay dividends later. Both of these will help you succeed.”
Shirk said he enjoys “pretty much any activity on the water … fishing, boating, crabbing, or just jumping in the waves with the kids.”
President and CEO
Nate Scott was named president of Cargas in 2015 and then president and CEO in 2017.
“I really try to empower the team to achieve their potential,” he explained. “I am passionate about creating an environment where people can be themselves, do their best work for each other and our customers, and have an opportunity to grow professionally and personally. I try to eliminate barriers to growth, encourage collaboration on our strategy and tactics, and continuously look for ways to improve as a team.”
Scott started in an operational role with a technology company that did contract work with the state. As that company grew, he moved into sales, led startup operations, and handled project management and consulting work. “When I came to Cargas in 2005, I joined in a sales role, (and) moved up the ranks into management and leadership positions. From there, I took on more corporate responsibility and worked with our founder and board of directors to incrementally take on president and CEO responsibilities.”
To relax, Scott fly fishes, hikes, and spends time with his wife and three daughters at their cabin in Pennsylvania’s state forest system. “I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen with my work at Cargas,” he said, “so it is great to enjoy different opportunities to explore and connect with nature.”
President and CEO
For 12 years, Brenda Ritter has been president and CEO of Info-Matrix Corp.
She said, “I am a very hands-on leader and believe in empowering teams at all levels to feel empowered within the organization. I try to make decisions taking into account the input of team members, regardless of their seniority or expertise. Mentorship is also a large part of my leadership style and I like to see my teams succeed.”
Ritter joined the information technology field right after college. She held progressively responsible positions within ExxonMobil Corp. for over 22 years, and also served as chief technology officer and then chief information officer for the commonwealth, “which was extremely rewarding.”
Outside the office, “I walk and hike a lot, ride bikes and golf,” Ritter said. “If I’m not doing that, I’m playing with my four German shepherds.”
CEO Matthew Ranauro started Benefix in 2015 as a side project when he found the process of finding benefits for his company to be a nightmare.
“Make the impossible possible,” he said. “Bringing sea change to an industry like health insurance and employee benefits isn’t for everyone – just saying it feels impossible to achieve. I try – and sometimes succeed – at clearing a path for our team in whatever way I can to make their effort and passion materialize into purpose-driven impact.”
Ranauro continued, “Do you know anyone – on earth – who says, ‘I love my health insurance so much’? Of course not. But it is fundamentally critical for all, it truly can mean life or death. Living that problem personally and seeing others deal with the pains of health insurance ignited my passion – hopefully, one day, making health care more caring.”
Away from work, he said he loves spending time with family and friends. Also, “I love playing music. And I am always game for hitting up a great restaurant.”
Robert “Bob” Pyle
President and CEO
Bob Pyle became president and CEO of Graham Packaging in August 2021.
He said his leadership style “is collaborative and people focused. I place a very high emphasis on integrity, transparency and creating teamwork … . Over the last year, we have made organizational changes to put a stronger focus on our customers, our people and our operations. We developed and rolled out a refreshed corporate strategy and are developing a three-year strategic plan … . We have invested in creating a constructive culture of accountability, delivering value for our customers, employees and shareholders.”
Prior to Graham, Pyle worked 30-plus years in the global automotive industry, starting as a financial analyst at Ford Motor Co., working at several tier 1 automotive suppliers, and spending almost 10 years living and working in China. “My entire career has been spent working in and around capital intensive, global manufacturing companies with large, demanding customers.”
To relax, Pyle likes spending time with his wife and two daughters. “My hobbies include playing tennis, pickleball and golf. I also enjoy giving back to the community and currently serve on the board of directors of Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, an inspiring nonprofit choral organization in Florida.”
Pierson Computing Connection Inc.
President of Pierson Computing Connection, Deb Pierson founded the business in 1993 when she was just 25.
“I hope I’m seen as a collaborative leader,” she said when asked about her leadership style. “I work hard to get opinions and gain consensus on a decision, but I’m also not afraid to make decisions that are unpopular if I feel like they are the best ones for the company and the people involved.”
Pierson said she got started in technology in high school, during the early 1980s. “My uncle worked for IBM and convinced my parents to buy an IBM personal computer for their construction business. I was tasked with helping set it up and entering general ledger accounts and accounting data into the system. From then on, I was hooked.”
When she’s not working, Pierson enjoys spending time with family, reading, and being in nature.
President and CEO
Primitives by Kathy
Primitives by Kathy is a home décor and gift business founded by CEO Kathy Phillips in 1997. The first primitive candle box was handmade by Phillips. Then, to meet increasing demand, she partnered with Goodwill Services.
“The desire to provide opportunity occupationally to those with disabilities has been a part of who we are ever since,” according to the company’s website.
“True success for Phillips is giving back and remembering the organizations and individuals who supported her in the beginning,” said a previous Power List bio. “She has made giving part of the corporate strategy, creating products for her Benefit Collection that not only look good, but do good.”
President and CEO
Bruce Newell has been president and CEO of Mantec since December 2020.
“My leadership style is collaborative and with an emphasis on team,” he explained. “I see my role as planting the flag of where we want to go, making sure that flag is in line with the mission and moves the organization forward, supporting team members with time and resources, and then get the heck out of their way! Mantec has an amazing team of smart, talented and driven individuals. The more of that collective horsepower that can be harnessed and focused, the better we perform.”
Newell grew up in a family machine shop, spending summers sweeping floors, cleaning parts, and eventually running computer numerical control machines. “After college, I worked for Deloitte and realized I missed the manufacturing environment,” he said. “I started an assembly business. Later that business spun off into another venture doing integrated work. Thirty years later, I was looking for a new challenge … and Mantec has provided that challenge.”
Outside of work, “I like to travel, hike, boat, scuba dive, snorkel, spearfish, snow ski, wakeboard, read, and spend time with friends and family,” Newell said. “As empty nesters, we’re traveling more to see kids and we’ve started to travel for unique events. This year we’ve gone to Tampa and Red Rocks to see concerts and Baton Rouge to see my Tennessee Volunteers play LSU.”
Phoenix Contact USA
As president for the past 21 years, Jack Nehlig leads the U.S. operations of Phoenix Contact.
He described his leadership style as positive, caring and strategic. “I believe in caring for your customers, your people and your mission, in being authentic, compassionate and transparent. I believe great leaders work with their team to develop solid strategies and plans. My impact on our organization is not mine to judge, but I believe our constant sales growth and local employment are positive for our owners and the community.”
Nehlig began his career out of college in industrial automation and control. “My technical degree led me to this industry, and it has been a perfect fit for my skills and interests,” he said. “My first job was technical sales, and then I had a series of diverse management positions, preparing me for and leading me to general management.”
“I have always been active outdoors and in sports,” Nehlig said when asked what he does to relax. “I am a golfer and water sports lover. We enjoy the Finger Lakes region of New York and have a classic wooden boat. I also own a few snowmobiles to enjoy the outdoors in the winter. We have three sons and two grandsons and spend as much time with them as possible.”