Putting leadership in perspective, I have always been captured by the parable of the talents in the Bible. The talents entrusted to me—capital, time, the skills of our people… They are not mine to possess. Rather, I am to invest them according to our mission. Not bury them out of complacency, comfort or fear.
Clay T. Barnes has been with MPI Corporation full time since 1995 and as a board member since 1988. In his role as President & CEO, Clay is responsible for leading the organization, establishing and communicating vision, direction and broad based business strategy and serving those he has empowered to execute strategy by providing counsel, resources, encouragement and accountability. Clay has served in several capacities within MPI Corp ranging from leading mergers & acquisitions to running operating companies.
Prior to joining MPI Corp, Clay was President & CEO of Blocksom & Co., based in Michigan City, Indiana, after spending the early part of his career working for Fortune 500 companies, Baxter Healthcare Corporation and FMC Corporation, both in the Chicago area.
Clay T. Barnes
President & Chief Executive Officer
B.S. Mechanical Engineering | Northwestern University
M. Engineering Management | Northwestern University
M.B.A. | Northwestern University
Over my career I have learned that values, and the way in which they are shared in the enterprise, is what provides insight into the character of a company. This is where I belong. Among so many others that share the same commitment to the values of integrity, excellence, and service in all we do each and every day.
Robert M. Bierwagen joined MPI Corporation in 2010 after an extensive search for a CIO to revamp the corporation’s technology and information systems infrastructure, and to help prepare the organization for the strategic growth it was preparing to undertake. With the IT infrastructure work successfully completed, and an ERP conversion well underway – he continues to move IT staff and resources into a professional service oriented team focused on adding value to both the operating companies and enterprise – culminating in the scalable communications hub and operating platform needed for the entire organization to achieve its strategic objectives.
Robert has over 25 years of executive experience in the software and technology industry, in both manufacturing and software companies. His career includes executive leadership roles in product development, product management, marketing, operations, sales management, and technology. Additionally he has operated his own small business as a direct marketer and software reseller. This unique combination of background and experience provided the ideal qualifications for his role as VP & Chief Information Officer of MPI Corporation.
For nearly two decades Robert led the charge that developed Hagen Systems into the premier supplier of informations systems technology to Printing and Graphic Arts manufacturing operations. In his last role with Hagen as VP of Technology, he led the team that developed Hagen OA, the next generation software suite that still remains the gold standard for the industry today. Through a series of acquisitions beginning in 2000 and culminating with Kodak in 2005, Robert held senior management positions in each of the acquiring companies. His ongoing efforts were nationally recognized when he was named the 2004 Technical Leadership Award recipient by the National Association of Print Leadership. He left Kodak in 2006 and started his own successful small business.
Robert M. Bierwagen
Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Certified Financial Management Executive (CFME)
Day to day, do we have disagreements and debates? Sure. But when they occur among individuals who share the belief that our business is a means to serve people—and not the inverse of that—we work through those debates towards a common good without resentment.
Jason C. Brewer joined MPI Corporation in 2011 to serve each of the operating companies by refining their company strategies with a stronger attention to market segments and their respective positions, and linking that to sales & marketing to drive profitable growth. In addition to serving the operating companies as an advisor and added resource, he is charged with evaluating external investment opportunities for MPI Corporation.
Jason has over twenty-five years of experience in the automotive, manufacturing, and management consulting industries. He gained manufacturing engineering, product development, product planning, and program management experience while employed for General Motors and Ford Motor Company during and after engineering school. For nearly a decade as a management consultant with Plante Moran, Jason assisted manufacturers pursue profitable growth by assessing front office and plant floor operations, assessing the attractiveness of existing and potential markets, developing marketing strategies and plans, and facilitating the strategic planning process. Jason also assisted clients in various aspects of acquisition and divestiture through operations and strategic due diligence, target or buyer identification, and writing the offering memorandums. Jason published articles on the automotive industry and enterprise and marketing strategies in Automotive Industries and The Stamping Journal. He left consulting to apply these skills and experience as a business development director and a global product manager with Magna Powertrain, a global auto supplier, where he assisted the organization develop and transition to a product-oriented strategy.
Jason C. Brewer
Vice President, Strategy, Marketing & Revenue Development
B.S. Mechanical Engineering | Michigan Technological University
M.S.E. Industrial & Systems Engineering | University of Michigan
M.B.A. | University of Michigan–Dearborn
Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) | State of Michigan
Certified Strategic Management Professional (SMP) | Association for Strategic Planning
Doing the right thing, even when it’s not in our best interest… Would anyone expect a financial executive to offer that as his guiding principle? I don’t know. But, even by the cold standard of profitability, it proves itself to be a guide for success. By a human standard—our standard—there is no other way to succeed.
Tony Firmani started with MPI Corporation as the controller of Small Parts, Inc. in 2002. He advanced to V.P. General Manager of Small Parts in 2004 to gain first-hand experience of manufacturing operations before assuming his current role as CFO of MPI Corp in 2005. He and his team are responsible for all financial, treasury, risk management, capital, tax, compensation and benefits matters for MPI Corp and its operating companies. Tony is also Treasurer and lead trustee for the companies’ retirement plan.
Tony joined MPI Corp upon a solid 14-year foundation of experience with two of the biggest names in accounting, Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. As a CPA, he developed a sharp taxation and tax planning acumen from serving middle market companies in various industries across the U.S.
J. Anthony “Tony” Firmani
Vice President, CFO & Treasurer
B.S. Accounting | Purdue University
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
I participate within a company, MPI Corp, that continually exhibits Enduring Care for its people, communities and stakeholders. It’s a true blessing to be part of such a unique organization that has a passion for enriching lives and purposeful mission of Doing the right things, in the right way and with the right attitude
Clay Jackson joined MPI Corp in 2005 as Small Parts, Incorporated Vice President of Operations. The following year Clay was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Small Parts, assuming responsibility for all company aspects. Clay has in excess of 30 years of operational leadership experience involving Supply Chain Organization, Sales, Engineering Systems Development and overall Operational Disciplines.
Prior to joining MPI Corp, Clay held management positions in sales and operational leadership with Thermax Energy, Federal Mogul, ELCO Industries, and Textron Automotive.
Clay E. Jackson C.O.O. & Metals Group President
B.S. Business: Ball State University
Being part of the MPI team allows me to combine my passion for working with family business owners, utilize my entrepreneurial experience and be part of a team that will continue to develop my skills…Ultimately, the greatest asset of any business is its employees and the MPI team understands enriching lives is one of the keys to growing any business.
Jeff Pratt joined MPI Corporation in 2016 to focus on expanding the company via acquisitions. Jeff is responsible for sourcing and evaluating existing businesses to expand MPI’s capabilities, employee skill set and to diversify its revenue sources. Much of his energies will be focused on manufacturing firms in the Midwest in markets where Jeff has previously served for over 25 years in banking, finance and investment banking.
Prior to joining MPI Corp, Jeff was a regional manager and team leader for JPMorganChase and his banking career allowed him to work in Detroit, Chicago, Dayton/Cincinnati before returning home to Indy. After his time at Chase, Jeff established the Indiana advisory office for Brady Ware Capital and was a Senior Commercial Banker for STAR Financial Bank. Jeff is also a shareholder of Midwest Parts Team, a family owned chain of NAPA Auto Parts stores and the founder of Creekview Capital, a merchant banking firm focused on secured investments to grow small businesses.
Jeffrey S. Pratt
Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions
B.S. Finance | Indiana University
M.B.A. | Xavier University
At MPI Corp we believe that people are our most valued asset. –It’s not just an expression. We believe that maximizing the value of our corporation is based upon realizing and releasing the value of our people.
Kent Snyder joined MPI Corporation in 2013 as the Vice President of Process Improvement and Enterprise Integration leading the development of a culture that leverages our greatest asset, our employees. Kent believes that the best way drive sustained improvement is to Engage, Equip, and Empower those doing the work.
As a corporate resource for process improvement, Kent serves the operating companies by providing tools, methods, and direction allowing them to discover how to do their job better, and deliver increased value to their internal and external customers. Kent is also responsible for managing integration across the enterprise to streamline cross-company and corporate processes.
Kent has 25+ years of experience helping companies realize productivity enhancement and process improvement. His journey includes serving as an industrial Engineer for General Motors, automating processes with General Electric, improving customer service and operational efficiency as a consultant with Pritsker Corporation, and automating back office workflows as a Principal consultant with Xerox Corporation. While at Xerox Kent became a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and led the “At the Customer for the Customer” Initiative. Prior to coming to MPI Kent served as the Director of Client Operations overseeing service operations at Eli Lilly and WellPoint, two of Xerox’s largest clients.
Vice President, Process Improvement & Enterprise Integration
B.S. Industrial Engineering | Purdue University
M.S. Industrial Engineering | Purdue University
Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
I get to work with people I care deeply about and to impact their lives in a positive way. I see it that simply. I’m blessed because I not only get to be part of an organization whose values align with my own, but also to live those values every day. … My work gives purpose to my life and the opportunity to leave a legacy that glorifies God and honors the people I work with.
Mike Winings began his career with MPI Corporation in one of the operating companies, Small Parts, Inc., in 1975. As Human Resources Manager, his responsibilities quickly grew to include HR duties for ABC Metals, Inc. and HTI. In December 1985, he was elected by the Board to Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Secretary. Throughout his career in HR, Mike has been responsible for all matters related to the people side of the business, from recruitment and retention to wage and benefit administration and from coaching and counseling to discipline.
Mike’s most recent election to the position of VP – Human Development came in December 2012 as the company heightened its focus on the longer term need to develop the people associated with the business. Mike’s long tenure, his technical familiarity with the nuts and bolts of our businesses and the people who make it happen, make him a perfect choice for the human development role. This responsibility includes professional skill development, leadership development, and the company’s “Work & Beyond” initiative that is designed to provide those associated with the company with skills that transcend all aspects of their lives. He continues to serve as the corporation Secretary.
Michael H. Winings
Vice President, Human Development & Secretary
B.S. Business | Indiana University