OMEP Hires New Staff; Opens Medford Office

Portland, Ore. – The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) announces the hiring of two new key consultants, Paola Castaldo and Jim Wehrs, in its Portland office.  In addition, as a testament to the important role of the manufacturing sector to the economy of southern Oregon, OMEP is opening an office in Medford. Long-time southern Oregon businessman Tim Root will lead the office and work primarily in Douglas, Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties.

OMEP provides consulting and support to manufacturing companies across all industries—assembly-type as well as process-type companies. While OMEP has had a long-term focus on helping companies launch and execute “lean” processes, the organization is increasingly focused on assisting with family business and business succession planning issues, new product development and research.  OMEP has worked with a number of clients in southern Oregon and this move is actually a re-opening of a Medford office that closed in 2008. This office will work closely with the economic development, education and non-profit partners in the area.

“We are pleased to add the talents of Paola Castaldo and Jim Wehrs to our main office in Portland,” said Chris Scherer, OMEP president. “Paola has a natural curiosity for people and processes, a systems view and a true commitment to bringing results to the bottom line.  Jim is particularly adept at helping companies with new product development and supply chain improvement.”

“We are also thrilled to re-establish OMEP’s presence in southern Oregon,” said Scherer. “We are a statewide organization, and we believe to truly help the significant manufacturing sector in and around Medford, we needed to hire someone with top-notch business acumen, which we have found in Tim.”

Castaldo brings more than 20 years of engineering, management and marketing experience to OMEP in a variety of manufacturing and business environments.  She has successfully helped companies re-engineer processes and bring on cultural change utilizing effective lean methodologies. She most recently served as operations manager for Progressive Concrete Solutions Inc. and senior applications engineer for Electroglas Inspection Products. Castaldo was also a senior industrial engineer and product marketing manager for Mitsubishi Silicon America.

Wehrs has more than 35 years of experience guiding companies in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. He has been involved with mergers and acquisition transactions both domestically and abroad. Having been involved with new product development and launches for most of his career, he brings a hands-on experience to the process, along with proven performance. Wehrs comes to OMEP from serving as president to Lone Wolf Knives, Inc., director of mergers and acquisitions for Fiskars Consumer Products and president of Gerber Legendary Blades.

Root, who will now head up OMEP’s Medford office, has more than 35 years experience managing food processing and other businesses. Root is past president of Pacific Pure-Aid Company; served as owner, president and managing partner of Myron Root & Company, Inc.; and general manager of Sabroso Company.  Root has specific experience in operations, new product development, business-to-business sales and marketing, human resources and finance.

About OMEP

OMEP is a not-for-profit team of business and manufacturing professionals – one of more than 60 Manufacturing Extension Partnership resource centers nationwide – that aims to make Oregon companies more competitive. OMEP provides Lean Enterprise training/implementation assistance and industry-driven best practices to a wide variety of industry sectors. A partner of choice for the economic development community, OMEP’s emphasis on strengthening and transforming companies creates a ripple effect of positive sustainable impact on the business, the workforce and the community. For more information about OMEP, please find us at

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