The leadership team of GMI has guiding the business as a team for a long time. GMI has always prided itself as an organization that finds good people and keeps them on the team for long periods of time. Nearly half of the overall staff of GMI has been an associate for over 10 years – a milestone that is celebrated across the entire organization.
The stability of the GMI Executive Leadership Team is an integral part of the consistent strength and growth of GMI over its 30+ year existence. The leadership team members have an average tenure over 20 years.
Founder & CEO
Mr. Armbrust co-founded Softworks in November of 1983 with $600. The initial software they produced was a DOS shell for the Commodore 64 called ‘Softfiler’. In 1985, he dropped out of college to devote his full time efforts to the company.
In 1986 he helped to develop a line of personal computers called ‘Citus’, which was sold through a VAR network. The company was twice named to Inc 500 list (in 1990 & 1991 as #11 & #29 fastest growing private company in the United States).
In 1992 the company acquired an engineering firm, Micro Linear Controls, from Racine, Wisconsin. The team transformed the business to focus on OEM customers exclusively and rebranded itself as Granite Microsystems. As a result of a focus on OEM assemblies outside of computers, Granite Microsystems was then rebranded as GMI Solutions in 2015.
In 2005 he and the team set up an overseas WOFE in Shanghai China envisioning duplication of the successful Low Volume high Mix (LVHM) philosophy. The Asia division continues to be a successful part of the GMI Solutions strategy.
He continues to give overall direction to the company & team, sits on several boards and has received numerous industry awards and recognition. To help mentor other budding entrepreneurs he also co-founded and funded a successful top-15 startup accelerator gener8tor.
Michael Poehlmann joined GMI in 1999 as a Strategic Account Manager. While developing many of GMI’s existing and new large OEM accounts, Mr. Poehlmann eventually managed the inside sales team, was promoted to VP of Sales and Marketing and now serves as President of the company. In this role, Mr. Poehlmann is responsible for all aspects of GMI’s operations.
Mr. Poehlmann has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Iowa, and has a solid background in healthcare and bioscience, including work within laboratories, hospitals and medical sales representation.
In addition to the biology background, Mr. Poehlmann honed his technical aptitude while managing a repair center for power tools and equipment, and also working 5 years as a sales rep and department manager for Derco Aerospace – directly interfacing with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency on aftermarket military aircraft spares support and component repair.
Todd Sweet, GMI’s Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for overseeing the accounting, finance, and human resources functions for both the U.S. and China operations.
Mr. Sweet joined GMI (then Granite) in 1994 as Controller. Prior to joining GMI, Mr. Sweet spent 7 years as a public accountant working for Ernst & Young as an auditor and computer auditor as well as for a local firm as an audit supervisor and tax preparer.
Mr. Sweet is a Certified Public Accountant and received his Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and information systems from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
GM and Vice President of GMI, Shanghai
ST Choong joined the team in 2004 as the company was preparing to open a manufacturing location in China. First hired as General Manager of the Shanghai operations, he was promoted to Vice President in 2007.
Mr. Choong has played a very important role in the continued success of GMI’s Chinese operations. Prior to joining the team, Mr. Choong was the Senior Manager – Procurement and Supply Chain (North China) for Flextronics Technology (Shanghai).
Mr. Choong also has over five years of experience as a procurement engineer for Hewlett-Packard. Mr. Choong received his Bachelors of Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, with a focus on mechanical and production engineering.
Director of Sourcing
Micaela is CSCP Certified and a graduate of BBA, specializing in both Business Unit Management and Supply Chain and Operations Management. She is an experienced sourcing professional, proficient in driving process efficiencies and leads the sourcing team at GMI.
Micaela has managed various aspects of sourcing in several business-to-business markets since 2010 and brings an energy and creativity to GMI that directly effects the OEM customers in a very positive way. She has experience in several well-known brands and prior to GMI assisted Kohler company with ensuring new global product introductions were smooth and resulted in the highest levels of quality.
She is very savvy and explores ways to mitigate risk, improve logistics and still maintain very competitive supply side costs. Micaela manages all aspects of sourcing at GMI, and brings a passionate desire to help add value directly to customer programs.
Director of Sales
Jeff Holtebeck joined the team in 1997. Throughout his tenure Mr. Holtebeck has been focused on Sales and Marketing, holding positions ranging from Account Manager to Business Development Manager for GMI and its affiliate companies.
Mr. Holtebeck currently serves as the Director of Sales and has ultimate responsibility for managing and growing the existing account base – including order management, service processing, contract negotiation and management, forecasting, and strategic planning.
Mr. Holtebeck holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Keller Graduate School.
Director of Marketing
Hans Dittmar joined the company in 1994 as its sole purchasing agent, eventually getting promoted to Purchasing Manager.
Mr. Dittmar has been involved in various parts of the company with subsequent positions in manufacturing, operations and later in sales, where he focused on distribution and lead generation.
Since 2002, Mr. Dittmar has been in charge of GMI’s Marketing and Communications and is responsible for all marketing efforts including the Company’s website, proposal development, white papers, and various marketing materials. Mr. Dittmar is also involved in managing important manufacturing relationships, strategic planning, acting as a liaison with major suppliers, and the technological advances in root technologies. Mr. Dittmar completed coursework at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr. Dittmar has been actively involved with computers, specifically hardware and software applications since 1984.
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Don graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering and went on to earn a Masters in Engineering Management (MSEM) from MSOE in Milwaukee. His primary area of interest and focus at GMI is manufacturing, specifically lean work. He enjoys rolling up his sleeves and working on the manufacturing floor, directly interfacing with the operators who are affected by the work that he does.
Don’s goal has always been to be a high level operations manager, and his management position at GMI affords him the opportunity to make a real difference every day. The DFM (Design For Manufacturability) work Don oversees results in significant efficiency gains and extremely high quality outputs.
Don’s team creates fixtures and jigs, streamlines processes and helps implement the internally generated continuous improvement ideas. Many of these ideas flow directly from the folks who work on our OEM customers’ products on the manufacturing floor.
Don also loves interfacing directly with customers, building relationships and creating processes that accommodate each products’ unique requirements.
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