The EFI Team: Deep in Industry Experience
Our passion for solving industry’s toughest challenges stems naturally from our team members’ individual and collective industry expertise gained through decades of first-hand experience working within diverse manufacturing environments.
EFI Group’s administrative and CAD design resources are located in its Baltimore office. We are also aligned with a number of engineering and subject matter experts (SME) and partner with other engineering firms to support client projects as needed.
As founder and managing partner, Ken is the driving force behind EFI Group’s vision and mission to fill a critical gap within industry.
Specifically, to provide manufacturing enterprises with outside consultants who have worked on industry’s side of the equation and bring the deeper insight required to:
- See the client’s larger picture.
- Understand what is at stake for the organization.
- Accurately identify the issues.
- Develop effective solutions without requiring the client to define the path.
Ken personally brings 30+ years of industrial engineering experience to the EFI team and has previously held positions at several well-respected professional engineering consultancies and firms, including a mid-Atlantic A&E consultancy; a manufacturer of high-pressure and solid decorative products with worldwide distribution, where he served 12 years as an engineering and maintenance manager; and a manufacturer of dredging and mining machinery.
Ken earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and his M.S. from the University of Maryland. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in MD.
A Manufacturing & Technology professional, Jim has 30+ years of relevant experience in manufacturing systems; including automation, packaging and filling. Throughout his career, Jim has demonstrated the ability to solve problems with a rational toolset in order to achieve data driven solutions. Prior to joining EFI Group, Jim was Vice President of Engineering, Development & Sales at a manufacturer of performance packaging products where he helped develop and lead a customer-centric organization focused on solving customer problems related to product design, equipment design and selection, start up and troubleshooting. He also spent 10 years with a major material handling company, where he deepened his experience with overhead lifting, equipment and systems. Jim earned his MBA from Mount Saint Mary’s University and his BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from University of Pittsburgh. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in PA, MD, IN and CA, and is also a court-recognized Expert Witness in Accident Reconstruction.
Karl knows how to effectively drive projects from concept to implementation.
With 20+ years of manufacturing experience as a Process and Project Engineer, Karl has earned a stellar reputation for his excellent communication skills, ability to effectively work on the plant floor, hands-on problem solving and troubleshooting experience, as well as a keen attention to detail.
Karl’s industry experience is broad and includes special expertise in sugar manufacturing, alumina smelting, food processing and brick manufacturing. Additionally, he is extremely fluent in bulk material handling systems.
Prior to joining EFI Group, Karl held positions in high pressure laminate manufacturing; textile manufacturing and in food packaging.
Karl earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Scott’s 20+ years of diverse industry experience has made him a much-valued asset to EFI Group and its clients.
At EFI Group, Scott has led multiple process and equipment improvement projects for firms in the aerospace, primary aluminum and paper industries. Prior to joining the firm, Scott managed the engineering and maintenance departments for a paper converting and printing company, and also held a variety of engineering positions at both large and small companies specializing in the building products, furniture and machine tool industries.
Scott earned his Masters of Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
With more than twenty-five years of experience in inorganic and electrolytic chemical production, food additives, pharmaceutical excipients and wastewater treatment processes, Scott brings exceptional expertise to EFI Group.
However, his extensive process and operational leadership background is only one reason he’s such a good fit for our team.
Scott’s ability to see and assess the big picture, combined with his penchant for asking probing and challenging questions, are naturally aligned with EFI Group’s philosophy of approaching projects from an owner’s point of view and stimulating fresh thinking.
Prior to joining EFI Group, Scott spent 10 years at W.R. Grace & Co., where he most recently held the position of Quality and Materials Operations Manager. Before that, Scott worked at several other respected companies including Erachem-Comilog, Inc., Westinghouse Electronic Systems and Merck & Co., Inc.
Scott is the recipient of numerous awards for both his work and published papers, and is trained in Design for Six Sigma Manufacturability, Taguchi Methods and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Chris is a cement industry specialist and seasoned project leader with a passion for ensuring our clients achieve the highest levels of safety, efficiency and profitability. His innovative problem solving ability has resulted in numerous processes and equipment that help manufacturers turn waste materials into profit, and he is working with EFI Group to commercialize several authored patents related to removing mercury from industrial gas streams and byproducts.
During his career, and among many other achievements, Chris developed six patents related to mercury removal and ash beneficiation, received the Blue Circle Cement North America Achievement Award and the International Concrete Repair Industry Award of Excellence and was 1st Runner-Up in the Consulting Engineers Council of Louisiana’s Engineering Excellence Competition. He is also an author and international speaker on topics related to mercury capture and innovative grinding.
Prior to joining EFI Group, Chris held leadership positions at a number of high-profile companies including SCB International Materials where he served as Vice President of Mercury Capture Systems and Lafarge North America where he was Plant Manager at the Richmond BC and Sparrows Point locations.
Chris earned his BEng in Engineering Management & MS in Civil Engineering Construction Management from Stevens Institute of Technology and also completed the Ashridge Emerging Managers Program and the Duke Executive Development Program, INSEAD.
Kyle Chaires brings the curiosity, determination and fresh perspective required to bring innovative, forward-thinking manufacturing solutions to the table.
In fact, nothing inspires Kyle more than taking on the type of tough engineering problems that allow him to apply his love of math and his understanding of how things work in order to develop effective solutions for clients.
Prior to joining EFI Group, Kyle worked for Dixon Valve where he participated in all aspects of product development from conception and design to manufacturing.
Kyle earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delaware in Newark with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering and minors in Mathematics and Material Science. He also received his Certificate in Project Management from the University of Delaware in Wilmington.
Tom’s commitment to bringing new approaches and developing creative yet practical solutions with safety and long-term viability in mind make him a valued member of EFI Group’s team. His experience enables him to assist our team of engineering consultants and our clients to maximize manufacturing processes in order to achieve optimum uptime and efficiency.
Before joining EFI Group, Tom worked in various engineering roles for Isola Group, a global manufacturer of raw materials for printed circuit boards where he gained vital experience in collaboration and project management.
Tom received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina and an AS in Mechanical Engineering from Trident Technical College
With 40+ years of experience in industrial design, David brings a depth of productivity and process improvement expertise to EFI Group, along with the ability to visualize 3-D solutions in a way that adds clarity during the project planning stage, making him a true asset to the team and our clients.
Prior to joining EFI Group, David worked for a number of high-profile companies including BGE and Domino Sugar and was instrumental in developing a corporate standard for “3D design, utilizing AutoCAD Plant 3d, Coade CadWorx” along with Cad Standards.
David attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute where he studied drafting and design engineering technologies and also earned his AS from Catonsville Community College in Architectural Engineering.
As a key person responsible for 3D modeling for equipment arrangements and fabrication drawings at EFI Group, nothing is more important to Phil than clarity.
Whether it’s creating plans and drawings to help our clients perfectly understand the solutions we’re proposing or making sure a fabricator can replicate our plans without any disparities, Phil is always working to reduce project risk through accuracy.
Phil’s ability to see the big picture and incorporate that larger knowledge into each design, as well as to offer new perspectives, make him an essential asset to our team and clients.
What he enjoys most about working for EFI Group is the opportunity to develop solutions for such a wide range of manufacturing challenges that require both his strategic and artistic talent.
Prior to joining EFI Group, Phil was an AutoCAD operator and field technician working on environmental protection solutions, manufactured custom-designed orthotics and medical braces for patients, physicians and NFL teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, and designed office spaces to align with corporate culture and comply with ergonomic, visual and economic specifications.
In addition to being an integral member of the EFI Group team, Phil is currently pursing a bachelor’s degree in physics to complement his existing skill set so that he can continue to increase the value he brings to the projects we undertake.
As Office Manager, Beth’s role is to make certain that everything at EFI Group runs smoothly and efficiently so that our engineers can put 100% of their attention on addressing our clients’ needs.
In fact, nothing is more important to Beth than ensuring our clients have a consistently seamless and positive experience.
Whether she’s finding ways to build greater transparency and confidentiality into how we work with our clients or simply providing a fast response to a client’s question, everything Beth does is focused on delivering one thing: exceptional service.
Additionally, Beth is in charge of all of EFI Group’s administrative activities and is the guiding force behind streamlining our internal processes, including bringing new tools and technologies that enable us to continuously improve how we operate.
Quite simply, we rely on Beth to do far more than “run the office.” She is that vital problem solver that every team needs to be able to concentrate on their core competencies, knowing that any challenge that arises will be adeptly and quickly handled before it becomes a disruption.
EFI Group is a manufacturing engineering firm practicing process engineering, process design, design engineering, manufacturing technology and engineering services. EFI Group is based in Baltimore, Maryland (MD) and serves clients throughout North America.