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The 2024 Power 100 List by Business North Carolina highlights the most influential private-sector leaders across the state. This annual list celebrates individuals who drive North Carolina’s economic growth and community development. The list is meticulously compiled based on nominations, extensive research and insights from various sources. It includes leaders from diverse sectors such as business, healthcare, education and nonprofits.
Phillip Mintz, the executive director of NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES), has been acknowledged as one of North Carolina’s most influential leaders in the manufacturing industry. His inclusion in the 2024 Power 100 List by Business North Carolina is a testament to his significant contributions and influence in the sector. Phil was surprised at the recognition, stating, “Since we work in manufacturing, being acknowledged as someone with influence in this field is quite enlightening. At the beginning of my career, I never imagined I would be where I am today. I have mostly followed the path that was right in front of me, making changes whenever opportunities arose. When I joined IES, I was introduced to manufacturing differently. I had a great time visiting companies, working with them and experiencing the joy of seeing what people were making. Helping them and finding satisfaction in working on projects and providing training was incredibly rewarding. People began asking me to take on leadership roles as I gained tenure.”
Before joining IES as an engineering extension specialist in 1997, Mintz served as an industrial and systems engineer and engineering cost analyst with the US Navy Procurement Office, Lockheed-Martin Engineering and Sciences Company at NASA Langley Research Center, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s Electronic Systems Division.
Mintz has always been an inquisitive person. Letting his curiosity guide him to learn about the intricate details of operations to map out the bigger picture. “After finishing grad school, I began working in aerospace manufacturing as an engineer, conducting time studies on the floor. However, I quickly transitioned to more business-oriented roles, such as cost estimating, to grasp a broader scope of the work. This curiosity and drive to understand the larger context helped me move into management positions focused on engineering oversight rather than just engineering itself,” Mintz expressed his interest in the grand scheme, financial aspects and cross-functional collaboration has allowed him to commit to various parts of the organizations he’s worked in, enriching his professional experience and impact.
As the director of IES and NCMEP, he leverages applied engineering solutions and industry best practices to help smaller North Carolina businesses and technical professionals compete globally through training and coaching. “I believe one of the factors that contributed to my inclusion on the NC Power 100 list is my consistent presence in discussions about manufacturing. It’s funny, I guess people might believe you have something to contribute when you’re always in the room,” stated Mintz. NCMEP and IES have been collaborating more with different groups and businesses and Mintz has always been heavily involved in their manufacturing-related activities. “My ongoing involvement with NCMEP has also played a role. The conversation often circles back to IES and NCMEP whenever manufacturing is discussed. As the Director, this has given me significant opportunities to share meaningfully within the manufacturing sector,” said Mintz.
Mintz’s expertise is well-founded with a B.S. in Engineering Operations from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. His distinguished career includes recognition as the NC State Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Distinguished Alumnus in 2022. “My degree is a subsidiary of industrial systems engineering. When I graduated from NC State some time ago, there was a degree called engineering operations, which combined industrial engineering with management. I am incredibly proud that my degree is considered part of NC State’s industrial engineering legacy and that I was recognized as one of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Distinguished Alumnus. Being associated with such a prestigious and renowned institution as the NC State University College of Engineering is one of the highlights of my career,” stated Mintz.
He is involved in various manufacturing and extension-related councils and boards, including the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence Board of Directors, Polymers Center of Excellence Board of Directors, NC Manufacturing Policy Roundtable, and the UNC System Economic Transformation Council. Mintz claimed, “Serving on various boards has given me an in-depth understanding of different groups. For example, I am on the Foundation of Manufacturing Excellence board, a national Education Advisory Board for all MEP states and centers. This role provides exposure to the strategies and leadership of other states’ MEP programs, which benefits our work here. Additionally, it connects me with people at the national program level and involves me in peer reviews and other key activities. This board experience has been incredibly valuable.”
Mintz says his future goals for IES and NCMEP are to help lead North Carolina manufacturers into the new age of manufacturing. “One of our major initiatives will be helping North Carolina manufacturers stay competitive globally, primarily by assisting smaller companies in understanding and adopting technology. We’re currently in a situation where there are more jobs than people willing to fill them, and companies cannot grow without a sufficient workforce or machines that can operate with fewer people. Manufacturers are struggling to establish the workforce levels needed, so we must focus on both people and technology. Robotics and automation are crucial, as they allow machines to handle more work, freeing people to perform other essential tasks or compensating for the shortage of available workers.”

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