Leo Ruhlman is the Director of Operations for KCMN member, Iron Mountain/ITRenew’s Olathe, KS plant. Leo began his manufacturing career as a Cost Accountant for Colgate Palmolive in Kansas City, KS. Since that time, Leo has filled additional roles for a variety of manufacturers in Quality, Transportation, Materials Management, Subcontract Management, Project Management and Operations Management. He has worked in facilities in California, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and New York City.
Leo discovered early in his career that he was different than many cost accountants because he worked closely with production and wasn’t afraid to “get his hands dirty” to understand and prevent future issues. It was at that time he understood that working with people, solving problems and improving business operations was more fun to him than “counting beans” and his passion for helping people and businesses succeed was born.
Leo’s greatest strength is his people skills. He believes people are the greatest asset for a business. Listening and communicating well with your employees and showing that you care about what they say and need are essential to everyone’s success. He is also a strong believer in accountability which builds credibility and creates a culture where employees understand they will be treated equitably when they do all they can to meet expectations.
As a child, Leo dreamed of being a professional athlete either in baseball or football. A native Kansas Citian, he was sure when watching and attending Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Athletics’ events that he would one day become one of them. He believed all the time spent playing street ball with his three brothers was grooming his skills for that future.
Personally, he is most proud of his family—his fantastic wife of 39 years, three children and five wonderful grandchildren. He also enjoys spending time with his extended family. He can often be found travelling with his wife and doing things for his kids and grandkids. In great KC tradition, Leo enjoys smoking meats. (We will keep this in mind as a resource for future KMCN events!)
Professionally, Leo is most proud of the multiple roles with increasing responsibility he has enjoyed through his career. He believes he has treated people fairly by focusing on “treating them the way he wants to be treated.” He brings an upbeat sense of humor to his interactions which helps create strong connections.
Leo is an active member of KCMN and believes the organization is a great way to meet other manufacturers in the Kansas City area to gain knowledge and share ideas. Networking has also been a valuable part of his career journey. Leo holds a BSBA in Accounting from Rockhurst College (now Rockhurst University).
Clarissa Murray, Employee Relations Manager with Fike Corporation was one of the featured presenters at KCMN’s March meeting. Clarissa handled tough questions on an emotionally charged topic with tremendous skill. Her continued pursuit of accurate, up-to-date information provided great value to our members.
Clarissa was drawn to the manufacturing sector because most manufacturing businesses are necessary and, therefore, recession-proof. She has filled many HR roles in her career from HR Generalist, Senior HR Generalist and HR Business Partner to her current role as Employees Relations Manager. She uses her ability to align strategies that address any situation to contribute to the companies and employees she represents. She enjoys the diversity of the human resources arena where no two days are the same.
In addition to her contributions at Fike Corporation, Clarissa consistently shares her extensive knowledge and experience with other Kansas City manufacturers as part of KCMN’s HR Subgroup. She is also involved in the Society for Human Resource Management and the HR Certification Institute. Clarissa invests in Kansas City as a Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce Board member and an Eastern Jackson County Workforce Development Board, Full Employment Council Board member.
Clarissa is most proud of obtaining her college degrees. She believes, “Knowledge, once obtained, is yours forever!” She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance/Economics from Rockhurst University and Master’s Degree in Management from Rockhurst University.
Ranoaldo Davis is Product Manager with Knit-Rite, LLC in Kansas City, KS. In addition to his current position, Ranoaldo’s contributions to Knit-Rite and the manufacturing community in KC have included roles in Warehouse Operations, Returns Management, various Marketing Roles, Quality, R & D and Process Improvement.
Ranoaldo came from a sales and business management background and began his career in manufacturing following the Great Recession of 2008. He seized the opportunity to get in on the ground floor at Knit-Rite and expand his work experience. He has continued to broaden his expertise through many growth and advancement opportunities with Knit-Rite.
His firm belief in “Do to others as you would have them do to you” a.k.a., The Golden Rule,” has helped him become a captain of virtually every team he has been on. He is one of the last recipients of the distinguished “Employee of the Year” award at Knit-Rite which is nominated by and voted on by peers.
Ranoaldo is most proud of his professional upward trajectory within the Knit-Rite organization which is a true success story. Chris Vering, Knit-Rite CEO adds, “Ranoaldo has continuously grown in his level of responsibility, taking on additional challenges and always being open to new ideas. He is very well respected by his fellow employees at all levels of the organization, from warehouse and production staff to marketing and R&D. This respect has recently further been extended to our new French parent company in his interactions with various European team members and the representation of Knit-Rite at the corporate level.”
Personally, Ranoaldo is most proud of his family which includes wife, Kelly; son Rook and pups Maizey and Meadow.
Ranoaldo is active in KCMN’s CI/Lean Subgroup which support the continuous improvement journey of our manufacturing through mini-kaizens, discussions and best practice sharing. He is also an alum of all three tiers of our Emerging Leaders Leadership Development Program.
Like many, Ranoaldo had dreams of being a professional athlete but also knew at a very young age he wanted to create things and help others. His discipline and dedication allowed him to play NCAA football.
One of his greatest strengths is his creativity. He is known for providing relatable, original ideas and content. Whether managing five parent brands’ email marketing campaigns, designing patterns for gradient compression socks or thinking of NEW ways to utilize OLD resources, he thinks outside of the box. He is as life-long learner who never misses an opportunity to learn something new or share what he knows to be true.
Ranoaldo holds an Associate’s Degree from Butler College and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with an emphasis in Marketing from Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He also holds a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt, KCMN Emerging Leaders Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 Leadership Certificates and is a member of the Unconventional Business Network.
Ranoaldo invests in the next generation of Kansas Citians. Currently on hiatus from coaching youth football, he continues officiating youth basketball and baseball.
Vernon Williams is the Chief People Officer for KCMN member manufacturer, Dimensional Innovations. Vernon’s contributions to manufacturing are in finding and retaining great talent and helping create a positive culture for the employees his team serves.
Vernon was drawn to Dimensional Innovations because he believes in their purpose, “To liberate people from mediocre experiences.” This purpose aligns with his personal brand statement, “To lead and serve with integrity” which is an intentional pursuit he chooses each day. Vernon recognizes that many times, his ability to show up and enact that intention isn’t just for him, it’s for the people he does his best to represent. This allows Vernon to represent his team and organization during the tough conversations and bring perspectives that need to be brought into the room. He finds the pursuit of “what if” and “what could be” exciting, a valuable mindset for anyone in the design+build sector.
Vernon is most proud of seeing people he has had the privilege of leading and coaching move up to do great things.
One of his favorite quotes is from Black American educator, author and advisor to several presidents of the United States, Booker T. Washington, who said, “Character is power.” Vernon adds, “Character is something you own and whose value can rise and fall based on your own actions. It reflects your true self and only YOU are in total control of it!
Vernon is active in KCMN’s HR/Workforce subgroup with shares bests practices with other HR professionals across manufacturing companies in the greater KC area.
As a child, Vernon grew up around people who were in the court system and thought he wanted to be an attorney. This led to an undergraduate degree in Business and Political Science from Washburn University. Everything changed when a college advisor told him he needed to start preparing for the LSAT and asked why he wanted to be an attorney. He realized he had no clear purpose in that career choice and learned the value of being more purposeful when making career decisions in order to have fulfillment. Though Vernon had progressive roles in advertising and marketing, it was taking hours toward a Master’s Degree in Hospital Services Administration where he discovered his initial interest in HR.
He also invests in the Kansas City community through his service on several area Boards. These boards demonstrate his passion for empowering people and giving back to the community.
- He is completing his sixth year on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities-KC, a cause personally close to his heart.
- Vernon is a new Board of Trustees member for William Jewell College because of their mission to cultivate the next generation of critical thinkers with the hope that those thinkers will plant and bloom right here in Kansas City.
- He is also member of the Advisory Board of TeamKC whose focus is exposing the secrets behind the vibrancy of KC to attract and retain talent as we continue to evolve how this community meets the needs and challenges of a progressive city.
- He also serves on the board of the Kansas City Chapter of The BrandLab whose mission is to change the face and voice of the marketing industry.