Speaker Bios


John Widlund is the Executive Director for Career and Technical Education within the Office of Postsecondary Readiness, NYC Department of Education. John leads citywide efforts to strengthen and expand career and technical education with the goal of preparing CTE students for college and 21st-century careers. He brings over two decades of experience and expertise as a CTE educator and administrator. Most recently, John was CTE principal at the School of Cooperative Technical Education High School. He is a graduate of the Success Via Apprenticeship program, which is jointly managed by the DOE, UFT, and NYC College of Technology. Throughout his career and as a school leader, Widlund has emphasized collaborative professional development and sharing of strong practices, as well as services to meet students’ unique social-emotional needs.


Al Mangels is President of Lee Spring Company; a global manufacturer of mechanical springs and related products that has had its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York since 1918. During his 30+ years there he has worked in manufacturing engineering, design engineering and management system integration until ultimately becoming President in 1999. Since then, Al has become well-versed as a champion of continual improvement activities such as total quality management, lean manufacturing and business process re-engineering, and has seen the company grow to five facilities in the United States as well as having locations in Mexico, China, India, Germany and the United Kingdom.  Al has also worked closely with ITAC on continual improvement and workforce development projects for 15 years and has served as a member of the ITAC Board of Directors since 2009.

Nate Padgett is the Director of Community Engagement and Business Development at Techshop Brooklyn.  As the “community guy”, he is responsible for building relationships with and between members, and forging institutional partnerships that support open access manufacturing for all New Yorkers. He has run community and marketing operations for some of the most recognizable names in the NYC hardware startup community, most recently as Head of Community and Marketing for Shark Tank alumni Keen Home. Nate believes deeply in the importance of manufacturing and making as platforms for equitable growth in communities, and sees TechShop as a key enabler of both. When not building communities or growing TechShop's business, Nate is a graduate student at NYU's renowned Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts.


Brian Vallario is a designer focusing on the intersection of craftsmanship and technology. He founded Lowercase in 2015 with Gerard Masci to rethink the way American manufacturing can exist, and to create a design-driven brand committed to bringing quality and affordable eyewear back to New York. Before founding Lowercase, he practiced architecture at AA64 and Situ Studio/Fabrication and currently teaches a digital design studio at CUNY CityTech's department of Architectural Technology. Brian holds a Master of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute.


Scott Van Campen is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Staten Island MakerSpace. Hurricane Sandy flooded his architectural metal fabrication business, New York Custom Fabricators. In partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Scott was then able to bring his vision of a community-based workshop as a small business incubator to the North Shore of Staten Island. There, he has created, guided, and managed the development of industrial fabrication. This includes fully equipped metal, wood, and textile facilities. Since opening the MakerSpace in 2013, Scott has expanded digital fabrication by on boarding a full time technician, CNC router, laser cutting equipment and multiple 3D printers. In addition, Scott holds proficiencies in a myriad of extensive fabrication tools and techniques that cover the gamut of engineering and application in bringing true products to life. He has been a “maker” for over twenty-five years, creating sculptures, furniture, vehicles, and instruments. His 25 years of architectural metalwork experience can be seen in private residences, storefronts, museums, and restaurants all over New York City. Scott holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute, College of Art as well as an A.A.S. in Graphic Design.


Kate Daly is Senior Vice President of the Center for Urban Innovation at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She manages a team working across industry sectors to promote innovation and catalyze equitable, sustainable economic development. Industry portfolios include advanced manufacturing, fashion, media, healthcare, life sciences, and urban innovation and sustainability. Prior to joining EDC, Kate served as the Executive Director of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the largest municipal preservation agency in the United States. Kate earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Lisa Futterman is the Regional Director for New York City within the Workforce Development Institute. Lisa facilitates assistance for NYC manufacturers so that they can address workforce needs. She connects with a range of New York City businesses to provide help with training, improving business practices and when appropriate, automation of parts of their production to create inefficiencies and grow. With a focus on workforce impact, Lisa coordinates WDI's interactive grants program that can assist companies with a range of projects that help them grow their businesses, train workers and add jobs. Lisa also collaborates with NYC government, unions, colleges, high schools, elected officials and community-based organizations to address issues around skills shortages and training development.


Kinda Younes is ITAC’s Executive Director and brings to the organization over twenty years of experience in entrepreneurship, corporate development and operations management.  Prior to joining ITAC, she was Chief Operating Officer of RevolutionWear, a successful startup combining innovative design with technology to create superior products in the menswear/athletic field. She previously worked as a management consultant at a number of technology and Internet startups, focusing mostly on operations management.   Her prior experience includes working in PepsiCo’s Corporate Strategy department, and in Mergers and Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University (Canada) and an MBA from INSEAD (France).