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FAME Educational Partnerships

Successful partnership with advanced manufacturing


FAME welcomes our regional educators to our organization. We have a special associate membership category that allows you access to our members, updates on workforce initiatives, and information on special student events. Click here for more information.


FAME Educator FACT Sheet



Each year FAME selects an individual to receive its honorary FAME STAR Award. The STAR Award recognizes Students, Teachers, and Advanced Manufacturing Relationships in pursuit of FAME’s goal to promote awareness of advanced manufacturing careers in the pipeline. These individuals have displayed leadership in developing innovative educational and training options and programs for advanced manufacturing and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.


We tip our hat to the following winners of FAME’s STAR Award!


2019 STAR Award Recipient: Jim VanKouwenberg of Optimax Systems, pictured below center with Dave Phillips (G.W. Lisk/FAME Chair) and Karen Springmeier (FLWIB Director). Jim is preparing the next generation workforce with natural skill. With more than 40 years of manufacturing experience, his passion for educating employees students, parents, teachers and the community at large about advanced manufacturing has not only transformed his career but so many beyond.  He is sought out as an industry expert, presents at schools each month, represents at career fairs, speaks on panels and is a driving member on the FAME Pipeline Committee.  Congratulations, Jim!



2018 STAR Award Recipient: Lynn Freid of WDI, pictured below with FAME Chair Dave Phillips of GW Lisk.  Lynn is currently the Workforce Development Institute’s Regional Director for the Genesee/Rochester region spanning 11 counties, and before her current role was the Director of Workforce Development at FLCC where she spearheaded development and delivery of several certificate training programs: Advanced Manufacturing Machinist (partnering with G.W. Lisk, and ITT Goulds Pumps Inc.), Mechatronics, and Clean-room Operator Training. Lynn’s ability to bring together businesses for assessing the training needs, organizing funding mechanisms, and placing graduates in well-paying jobs has been critical for the success of these programs. Thanks to Lynn’s efforts, the rest of the state is learning about FAME’s successful model collaboration between academia, industry, and government.



2017 STAR Award Recipient: Dan Gersbach of Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES.  Pictured below (center) with colleagues from Wayne FL BOCES, Dan has been a longtime supporter of FAME and its mission through his previous work with GW Lisk.  Dan is now taking that industry knowledge and passing it on to the next generation of AM workers in his position as a teacher at Wayne FL BOCES in the A.M.E. program.



2016 STAR Award Recipient: Jeanine Gallina of Monroe 2 BOCES. Pictured below with Jill Slavny (Monroe 2 BOCES) and Mike Mandina (FAME/Optimax Systems), Jeanine is a powerful advocate for advanced manufacturing and career education.  As a Workplace Coordinator for WEMOCO, she has worked with and setup many co-ops with companies across the region, and was the driving force behind the first SAME, Summer Advanced Manufacturing Experience, summer machining program for students in grades 10 and 11.  This program, and the awareness it created, helped boost the enrollment in WEMOCO’s Machining/Welding program to one of the strongest in NY State.


2015 STAR Award Recipient: Robert (Bob) Lasch of Monroe Community College, Program Coordinator of the Applied Technologies Center at MCC.


2014 STAR Award Recipient: Dr. Sam Samanta of Finger Lakes Community College, Victor Campus Center, Professor of Physics and Leader of FLCC’s IC Tech, or Instrumentation and Control Technologies, Program.




2013 STAR Award Recipient: Paul Conrow, East High School, Rochester City School District, Science teacher and implementer of an ophthalmic manufacturing lab at East.


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