A nonprofit dedicated to helping manufacturers has hired Richard Hobbs as the new president and CEO.
The Manufacturers Resource Center, based in Upper Macungie Township, said Hobbs will take over for Jack Pfunder on July 15. Pfunder will retire after serving in that leadership role since 2005.
Pfunder said his last day would be Aug. 30 but will continue to help MRC by staying involved in workforce programs and will become an MRC board member once he moves into his retirement phase.
Pfunder, 71, lives in Perkasie and plans to remain in the region.
“This year is my 50th year in manufacturing,” Pfunder said. “I’ve been around a long time. I think we’ve done a good job in growing the manufacturing base.”
Pfunder said he has thoroughly enjoyed bringing awareness to manufacturing and will continue to support the “What’s So Cool about Manufacturing?” student video contest he helped inspire and that continues to expand throughout the state.
“It’s part of the solution to company’s problems,” Pfunder said.
MRC’s new CEO is an executive with a proven record of accomplishment with domestic and global multi-plant manufacturing operations, Pfunder said. He is a leader with an engineering foundation who successfully served in strategic roles in sales, new business and new product development, in addition to having experience in finance, human resources, strategic sourcing and materials management, he said.
Throughout his career, Hobbs served in a variety of senior leadership roles with manufacturers throughout Pennsylvania including as general manager of the Diamonex Products Division of Morgan Technical Ceramics in Upper Macungie Township from 2001 to 2009. He most recently served as senior director of U.S. operations and advanced materials in Alpharetta, Georgia.
MRC connects manufacturers to training opportunities, professional development programs and knowledge-sharing events and helps them navigate industry challenges.
The nonprofit, which focuses on small to mid-sized companies, also provides training on new food-safety regulations, offers a maintenance certification program and concentrates on areas of process improvement, workforce development, supervisor boot camps and the Manufacturing Leadership Institute.