Management Team

Patrick J. "P.J." Gruetzmacher, Chief Executive Officer and President

Gruetzmacher was named Chief Executive Officer and President of LAI International in July 2012. He has more than 25 years of experience in aerospace, defense and electronics manufacturing industries, including businesses with a large, global reach in high-tech manufacturing. He has served in executive management, sales and marketing, program management, operations, engineering, product development and supply chain management roles, specializing in commercialization, continuous improvement and lean manufacturing. He has held executive management positions, including Vice President and General Manager of Pacific Scientific Energetics Materials Company, a subsidiary of Danaher Corp., and Vice President and General Manager at API. In addition, he has served in management positions at Honeywell and Hamilton Sundstrand. Gruetzmacher holds a bachelor's degree in operations from DeVry University, and an MBA in management from Western International University. He is a lifetime member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has earned the American Production and Inventory Control Society's Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation. 

Michael Koesling, Vice President of Engineering

Koesling was named Vice President of Engineering in October 2014. He brings to LAI more than 30 years of experience in aerospace, defense, industrial, electronics, and commercial industries. Mike has held positions of leadership at Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company as Senior Director of Programs and General Manager of Linear and Electronic Ordnance lines of business. Primary focus was developing new products via R&D and focus on gaining market share thru operations excellence for domestic and international customers. Prior to PSEMC, Mike had management roles at Boeing Huntington Beach from Leading Program lines of business for research and development programs for aircraft and space systems in excess of $900M over 3 years as well as production oversight as the Senior Operations Manager of the site supporting space launch vehicles, fighter jets, transport jets and commercial products. Koesling holds a MBA in Marketing from Capella University and a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from California Polytechnic University at Pomona. Mike is a member of AUSA, AFA, and SAFE organizations.


Ed Carey, Southwest Operations

Carey was named Site Leader of LAI International’s Tempe Operations in 2014. He brings more than 20 years of experience in aerospace, power generation, and RF manufacturing along with program management experience to his new position. He has held senior leadership positions, such as Division Leader for Myat Inc. Portland Maine and LAI Northeast Operations Manager and Deputy Site Leader. He served as the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Engineering and Diving Support Unit USNR Newport RI. His prestigious military career includes such accomplishments as Diving Salvage Warfare Specialist, Combatant Craft Coxswain, along with Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Sea Service Medals earned while mobilized from 2004 to 2005 in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. In 2006 he was named a member of the Deep Submergence Unit, Submarine Rescue community within the Navy Reserve, standing ready on short notice to rescue submariners of all nations when called upon. He holds a bachelor's degree from Southern New Hampshire University and is a graduate of Central Maine Community College with a degree in Machine Tool Technology. He has also served on the Advisory Boards of Central Maine Community College and Southern Maine Community College establishing partnerships as candidate/applicant source and providing input on curriculum and course content.

Nicole Ezzo, Northeast Operations

Ezzo joined the LAI team in 2007 and was promoted to Site Leader of LAI International’s Northeast Operations in 2015. She brings more than 10 years of experience in aerospace, power generation, and industrial manufacturing along with program management experience to her position. She has held senior leadership positions within LAI, such as LAI Strategic Project Engineer, LAI Northeast Integrated Product Team Leader, and Deputy Site Leader. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Maine and she is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional.


Michael Dagle, New York Operations

Dagle was named Site Leader of LAI International's New York Operations in 2014.  He brings more than 30 years of experience in Naval Nuclear, Power Generation, Oil & Gas, Specialty Metal and manufacturing along with program management experience to his new position.  He has held senior leadership positions, such as President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Sales, Sales Manager and Quality Assurance Manager at Zak Incorporated in Green Island, NY and as an Applications Engineering manager and Product Specialist for SPIROL International, located in Danielson, CT.  Michael started his engineering career upon graduation from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BSME degree in 1984 and working as a Manufacturing Equipment Engineer at United Nuclear Corporation, in Uncasville, CT.  He is a post graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Hartford Graduate Center where he received his MBA degree.  He contributed as an active Board member of Zak Incorporated, has volunteered his time on other organizational Boards and is presently an Executive Board Member of the SG&PC.  He is a participating member of Hudson Valley Community College's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program, establishing strategic partnerships to promote program growth and facilitate access to candidate Associates and applicant sources.

Marlon Johnson, East Operations

Johnson was named Site Leader of LAI International's East Operations in 2015. He brings more than 15 years of experience in Aerospace, Steel, and Aviation Maintenance Operations servicing domestic and international markets. He has served as a Plant Manager, Operations & Product Manager, Senior Foreman, and Process Engineer spear heading innovation, growth, product development, and supply chain management opportunities using continuous improvement and lean manufacturing skills. He has satisfied customers through these managerial roles with Mittal Steel, Silverstal Inc., Alcore Inc., and National Gypsum with commitment and dedication to exceptional Quality standards and driving Operations with low cost initiatives. Johnson served in the United States Marine Corps and was active in two Operations exercising Superior leadership receiving 2 Naval Achievement Medals and a Naval Commendation Medal. Johnson holds a Degree in Industrial Engineering, Business & Supply Chain Management from University of Maryland University College.


Gary Thornton, Vice President of Human Resources

Thornton was named Vice President of Human Resources for LAI International in 2012. He has held human resources leadership roles with for-profit and not-for-profit companies for more than 30 years. Prior to joining LAI, he was the Principal and Managing Partner of Thornton & Associates, a human resource management consulting firm, serving clients throughout the Northeast. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Husson College, Bangor, Maine, and an MBA from the College of St. Rose, Albany, N.Y. He is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School of Business as a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist, Group Benefits Associate and as a Retirement Plan Associate. Thornton served as a Special Expertise Panel Member, Total Rewards-Compensation and Benefits, for the Society for Human Resource Management, apanel of senior H.R. professionals. Thornton served SHRM and its 240,000 members, identifying emerging trends in total rewards, compensation and employee benefits, providing expert advice on matters of professional significance and providing guidance on matters of public policy. He is an instructor at the University of Southern Maine, preparing candidates for professional certification in Human Resources and Compensation and Employee Benefits. His volunteer and community involvement includes leadership roles in the SHRM and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, as well as many civic and professional boards.

Michelle Lowrimore, Continuous Improvement Leader

Lowrimore is LAI’s Continuous Improvement Leader. She has more than 25 years of experience in leading continuous improvement in commercial aviation, aerospace and defense and assembly line manufacturing environments. Prior to joining LAI, she served in the USAF where she obtained her electrical/electronics background and later was apprenticed as a journeyman electrician. She held several roles while at United Airlines Maintenance Operations Center ranging from Industrial Electrician, Facilities Maintenance Manager, Business Services Coordinator and Lead Program Manager in charge of several long terms repair agreements with leading OEM’s and PMA suppliers. She then went to Pacific Scientific Energetics Materials Corporation as the Danaher Business Systems Leader where she facilitated the continuous improvement initiatives’ that resulted year over year double-digit growth.  She graduated from Notre Dame De Namur University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and possess several Master Black Belt certificates that focus on both operations and administrative disciplines.


Joe Beauchemin, Director of Quality

Beauchemin joined LAI in 2012 and was promoted to Director of Quality in 2013.  He has more than 25 years of experience in leading Lean/Six Sigma in aerospace, automotive, electronics, contract manufacturing, and consumer products. He has held the positions of Director of Quality for Celestica International and Egenera. He is a Master Black Belt, and has attained ASQ Black Belt and Quality Engineer certification, SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer, RAB Lead Auditor, Design for Six Sigma, and Project Management Certification. He is a Lean Six Sigma leader with core competencies in eliminating waste, extensive use of DOEs (Design of Experiments), designing information systems, statistical tools, and data mining. He uses a data driven approach and lean methodologies to solve systemic problems. He holds an Executive MBA from Suffolk University, and a BS in Industrial Technology from the University of Maine.

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Rici Smentek, Interim CFO

Smentek was named Interim CFO in late 2017. In her 18 years at LAI she’s held positions including HR Manager, General Accounting Manager and Treasurer. She has a degree in Accounting and resides at the Minneapolis Business Service Center.