The Georgia Centers of Innovation comprise six key industries in the state – Aerospace, Agribusiness, Energy Technology, IT, Logistics and Manufacturing. This post is the first of a monthly series showcasing the director for each Center and the role they play in expanding business in Georgia.
John Zegers has been the director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing since 2008. With 30 years of experience in the industry and an unparalleled sense of humor, he is a workhorse for Georgia’s manufacturers.
What drew you to your role with the Centers of Innovation?
I was drawn to the opportunity to shape the Center into what it should be to best serve Georgia manufacturers and industry.
What do you offer manufacturing companies in Georgia?
Decades of experience in manufacturing, including working with automotive, communications, heavy equipment and medical industries and their various supporting processes. I give Georgia manufacturers connections and resources to solve problems they may have difficulty solving in-house.
What is the best part about what you do?
I get to work with some of the smartest people in the world of manufacturing every day and help further their reach and impact on industry in Georgia.
Why is Georgia a great place for manufacturing?
Our business climate, workforce, infrastructure, supply chain, location and access to the country’s #1 industrial systems engineering program are second to none. Not to mention that it is the greatest state to live in with so many great and diverse options.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my friends and family, go to the beach, coach football, swim, jog and support my kids’ athletic teams. I also love going out and seeing live music, Atlanta has so many great venues and offers some of the best shows around.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I don’t always watch Netflix, but when I do I prefer…I’m told I never watch Netflix.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
The greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother.
What do you hope Georgia’s manufacturing industry looks like 5 years from now and how will your Center will be a part of it?
I hope to see it become leaner, larger and always growing. The COI for Manufacturing will continue to help push technology developed in our universities into Georgia’s industries, and we will continue to help Georgia manufacturers solve problems and grow by connecting them to the right resources.
For more information on the Center of Innovation for Manufacturing and how John and his team help manufacturing businesses in Georgia, click here.
Click here to view John’s outlook and predictions for manufacturing in 2015.