Despres’ background includes deep experience in electronics and electro-mechanical manufacturing in Telecommunications, Networking and Data Storage. He has led global teams in Operations, Supply Chain and Manufacturing for more than 25 years. Building on his Operations tenure, he also has VP experience in Global Account Management for accounts totaling close to $500M at the second largest Contract Manufacturing company in the world. He’s been an entrepreneur, a leadership trainer and an author.
Despres’ career evolved through progressively responsible roles up to and including Senior Vice President of Operations and President/General Manager of a Controlled Foreign Corporation, owning P/Ls ranging in size from $1M to $1B. He has ten years of international experience in Latin America including assignments in Mexico and Puerto Rico. During this time, he was a key driver for production transfers, Greenfield projects, Contract Manufacturing, “turn‐arounds”, start-ups and major growth while finding ways to exceed customer expectations through a focus on both process and winning cultures. His approach has always been to find a balance between results and fostering the environment it takes to achieve those results long term.
While on assignment in Puerto Rico with StorageTek, his team received the highly-coveted award of “Top Ten Best Plants” in North America in 2005, an honor as recognized by Industry Week Magazine. For his efforts there and for the success in entirety, he was recognized as the Manufacturing Executive of the Year by the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Association.
Leveraging his ten-year stint in Latin America and his passion for cross-cultural learning, Despres authored a book entitled “The Cultural Connection: An Expatriate in Latin America” to serve as a cultural guide for leaders working across borders between US and Latin America. Tom is a Certified Coach Practitioner through the International Coaching Federation and is currently a Partner and Advisor for new technology start-ups with Academic Technology Ventures.
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