Jon Sillerud is unifying several group functions to build a “world-class manufacturing company” with his promotion to the newly created role of vice president of operations at Apple Valley-based Uponor North America.
Sillerud oversees manufacturing, maintenance, quality, process engineering, real estate, security and safety for Uponor North America, part of Uponor, a global supplier of plumbing and indoor climate systems based in Finland.
“This is a new role within the organization to continue us on our lean journey,” said Sillerud, whose experience includes more than two decades in lean manufacturing and operations management. “It makes it easier to be a change agent to drive change when the organization is open for change.”
Sillerud, who joined Uponor in September 2015 and most recently was senior director of operations, said his focus in operations is on safety, quality, on-time delivery, cost and continuous improvement.
Sillerud served for 13 years in the U.S. Army reserves as an officer and was an honor graduate from the Army Flight School. He flew AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and commanded an aviation unit based in downtown St. Paul.
He has a certificate in contract management from the University of St. Thomas and a degree in industrial technology from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Q: What is operations’ role in the Phyn project, Uponor’s “intelligent water” joint venture with Belkin International?
A: We were instrumental in building all of the prototype units that are now in field test. That was quite a challenge that we undertook, a pipe company making electronic assemblies. We completed it ahead of schedule and we had exceptional, high quality on it. Our mode going forward is going to be more around distribution of the product.
Q: What prompted you to join the military and how has that experience contributed to your business career?
A: I joined as way to serve my country. It brought a lot of leadership skills and decisionmaking abilities that I’ve been able to leverage throughout my career. It also emphasized the need for leadership and teamwork that also has been very key to … my business career.
Q: What challenges does operations face?
A: We’ve been experiencing great double-digit growth. Being able to continue to support that level of growth takes a lot of investment, a lot of planning and execution. There in lie some of the challenges that we deal with. The focus that I have on the people side is key to our success so that we have high employee engagement and high employee satisfaction to help us in retention and in recruiting to continue to support the growth of the business.