Leadership Team

Jose Rizo-Patron, Chief Executive Officer

Jose Rizo-Patron serves as Chief Executive Officer of Team Wendy, responsible for leading the company’s strategic direction, growth, culture and overall operations.  Jose works directly with Team Wendy’s management team to execute the company’s vision to deliver innovative, protective and best-in-class products to users across military, law enforcement and sporting markets. Prior to joining Team Wendy in 2011, Jose was the founder and managing director of an international business development and risk management services firm that focused on providing wide-ranging support to clients seeking to establish or grow their business in mature and developing markets. Jose holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BS in Marketing from Birmingham-Southern College.

Amy Carpenter, Director of Operations

Amy joined Team Wendy in 2005 as quality manager. In her current role of Director of Operations, Amy leads Team Wendy’s operations department, which includes managing new product launches, production and quality. Amy has more than 25 years of experience managing quality, engineering, and manufacturing teams in a variety of industries, and has obtained multiple professional certifications including CQE, CQA, and CQM. She has also completed specialized training in problem solving and product development.

Dan Gibbons, Director of Finance and Contract Administration

Dan Gibbons is Team Wendy’s Director of Finance and Contract Administration. In this role, he leads Team Wendy’s finance and accounting functions, providing leadership and support for the general ledger, credit/collections, budgeting, information technology, and all company contractual agreements. Dan has previously held various senior management positions as CFO, accounting manager and financial reporting manager with Cleveland-area companies. Dan has an MBA and a BS in Business Administration in Accounting.

Ron Szalkowski, Director, Product Development and Research Collaboration

Ron manages Team Wendy’s product development initiatives and builds partnerships with academic and government research groups. He has been the principal investigator for Team Wendy’s SBIR and BAA funded R&D initiatives, including the recent Natick BAA award “Polymer Structure Design Options for Improved Headborne Impact Protection,” which aims to develop and integrate new helmet liner technologies to protect the warfighter from traumatic brain injury. He has lead Team Wendy’s blast testing initiative to study the interactions of blast waves with helmets and the brain through live blast testing, and is an active member of ASTM F08.53 Committee on headgear and helmets.

Shelly Simpson, Director of Human Resources

As the Director of Human Resources for Team Wendy, Shelly Simpson is responsible for directing all facets of human resources including talent acquisition and development, benefits, compensation and payroll administration, safety and worker’s compensation, and employment law compliance. Prior to joining Team Wendy, Shelly held Human Resource leadership roles at various companies within Cleveland and Indianapolis. Shelly has an MBA from Tiffin University and a BS in Healthcare Administration from Ohio University.

Zeynep Ergungor, Senior Chemical Engineer

Zeynep Ergungor is Team Wendy’s Senior Chemical Engineer. She is responsible for novel polyurethane foam formulation development and scale-up for Team Wendy’s innovative product offerings. She also works to improve existing product properties along with processing efficiency. She brings her expertise in structure-property relationships of thermoplastics to implement a distinct approach to foam applications. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from Wayne State University.

Mike Romanchek, Sales Lead

Mike joined Team Wendy in 2014 with 10 years of sales and operations experience in the civilian sector. As Sales Lead, he heads up business development and sales efforts for Team Wendy. Mike received his commission in the United States Marine Corps in 2000 and served with the 1st Marine Division in Iraq. He holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace University. Mike has lived in the Cleveland area since 2004 where he enjoys spending time on Lake Erie with his family and racing his bike.

Lisa Ott, Manager, Marketing & Distributor Relations

Lisa came to Team Wendy in 2014 with over 15 years of sales and marketing experience from the consumer products industry. Her experience included working with retailers such as Wal-Mart, AAFES and Nexcom. In her role at Team Wendy, she is responsible for marketing Team Wendy products and programs throughout the military and law enforcement communities as well as managing and growing the base of distributors used to sell Team Wendy products world-wide. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the American Intercontinental University.