Faces of SSP: Meet Joseph Henkel
Specialty Silicone Products (SSP) is pleased to announce that Joseph Henkel, a Six Sigma Black Belt, has joined the Ballston Spa, New York (USA) company as manager of quality and compliance. Joe’s diverse and distinguished career includes deep experience in engineering, product development, and quality. He’s also civically-minded and has displayed a strong commitment to his community.
Joe is a graduate of the University of Albany and holds a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry. He began his career at Albany International, an advanced textiles and material processing company. As a chemist there, he designed technical solutions for the papermaking industry. He also worked in other departments, had ISO responsibilities, and was eventually promoted to assistant plant manager.
GE Silicones, Joe’s next career stop, provided significant growth opportunities. As a global quality leader, he was responsible for all phases of product quality, including implementation of business-wide Total Quality Management (TQM) systems. In addition to managing Site Quality, Joe was responsible for business-wide ISO compliance and certification programs, both union and exempt personnel, Six Sigma programs and training, and Lean/Kaizen implementation throughout the business.
Racemark International, a leader in custom interiors for high-end automobiles, hired Joe as its Technical Director, leading the Engineering, Product Development, and Quality teams. He was instrumental in implementing TQM, leading to full ISO certification. During his tenure, Racemark opened two additional plants: one in Georgia and the other in Switzerland. Joe was responsible for transitioning technical efforts into both sites.
A significant life event would change his career path, and Joe entered the teaching profession. Graduating summa cum laude from the College of St. Rose, Joe taught Biology and Chemistry at an inner-city school. Some 38% of his students earned Mastery level on the standardized test and 98% passed – the highest in the district. He also coached the Varsity Baseball to five championships in his five-year tenure as a teacher.
During the summers while teaching, this New York State-certified coach and member of the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame started his own private consulting business. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hired Joe to do statistical modeling work and other technical projects. Chart Industries, a leader in cryogenic equipment and gas-to-liquid (GTL) systems, also hired Joe as a consultant to do process development and Six Sigma work.
Joe was offered a full-time position with Chart Industries, BioMedical Division, and continued his work in process control and compliance. After eight months, he joined senior management and led the Innovation, Compliance and Quality efforts. In 2017, Chart decided to consolidate all of its operations to its home base in Atlanta. Joe chose not to leave family and resigned from Chart.
Continuing to consult, Joe entered and completed an advanced business program accredited by the University at Albany School of Business. This broadened his business skills, leading to a return to a small business environment in the private sector. He is proud to join the SSP team as part of a family-oriented, growth-oriented business near his hometown.
At SSP, Joe will enhance the quality management system (QMS), manage the TQM system, and leverage ISO 9001:2015 as part of what he calls an “everyday responsibility to quality”. He’ll also explore ISO 13485 certification and perform a gap analysis for AS9100. “This business has always been posed for growth,” Joe says about SSP. “People here are customer-centric and a pleasure to work with”.