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Ron Lehman Named TMAC State Director

UTA announces the selection of Ron Lehman, TMAC Director of Business Development to TMAC Center Director for TMAC, a statewide program of extension centers. In this pivotal role, Ron will focus on identifying additional revenue opportunities, enhance TMAC’s image, develop partnerships and identify/implement strategic initiatives that lead to a stronger future for TMAC and a greater economic impact for the state of Texas. TMAC is the Texas affiliate of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Commerce. In partnership with its seven host institutions, TMAC provides management and technical consulting and support services to companies in the extended manufacturing enterprise across the entire state of Texas. Those partner institutions are the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of Texas-El Paso, the University of Texas-Pan Am, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, Texas A & M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), and Southwest Research Institute. In Texas, manufacturing contributes $158.8 billion dollars to the state economy and consistently positions Texas as the number one exporting state. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

“We are extremely pleased that Ron accepted the position of State Director,” said Drew Casani, TMAC Metroplex Director. His leadership, innovation, advocacy, and outstanding dedication to working with Texas business enterprises positions him perfectly to grow TMAC’s presence across the state. He will be a tremendous asset to our customers and our organization.”

As TMAC Business Development Director, Lehman played a key role in developing a partnership in 2010 known as TechComM, winning a competitive award from the Department of Commerce for Technology Acceleration. TechComM is an inter-agency coalition of U.S. federal agencies and their federal labs, working with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Center for Innovation. The goal is to both facilitate the transfer of federal patented technology to industries for commercial use and manufacturing, and facilitate cooperative research between federal labs with both universities and industry. The Center works primarily with and through its network of industry, university, corporate, and venture capital affiliate partners. It connects the affiliate partners to TechComM’s federal partner agencies and labs, thereby enabling technology transfer and commercialization.

Lehman began his career with IBM in 1967 as a member of the start-up team for two IBM plants in Austin, Texas. While with the organization, he’s held leadership and management positions in manufacturing, personnel, finance, engineering, customer engineering, management development, and technical education in Austin and New York. In 1983, he was appointed engineering and manufacturing technical education manager for IBM North America, responsible for the technical education for more than 70,000 engineers, managers, and manufacturing staff at thirty-one IBM plants and labs and customer and supplier locations. In 1989, as part of the IBM chairman’s reinventing education initiatives, Lehman became executive on-loan to the Austin community to help create a world-class education system. The role was expanded in 1995 to include workforce development. 

Lehman served a key role in state government as the Commissioner Representing Employers, retiring in 2008 from the Texas Workforce Commission. He was appointed by Governor George W. Bush in 1998 and re-appointed by Governor Ricki Perry in 2003. While at the Texas Workforce Commission, Lehman led the adoption of policies that elevated employers as primary customers of the state’s workforce system, meeting with over 8,000 employers annually to listen to their business and workforce challenges. He served as the executive sponsor for the implementation of the job matching system that now has over 260,000 employer subscribers, and has resulted in the hiring of over 1.5 million workers.

In 2003, Lehman was recognized by the National Federation of Independent Business for his advocacy and support to employers in Texas and was awarded the Manufacturing Mainspring Award for his support to the Texas manufacturing industry in 2006. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in management from St. Edward’s University, and is a graduate of The President’s Class-Advanced Business Institute, Harvard University and the Systems Approach to Education-Corporate Learning Institute, Vanderbilt University.

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