Ann Arbor

DISHER’s Ann Arbor office is strategically located in a research park near a major research university. Situated near Detroit and with an electronics lab fully stocked, this team serves a variety of clients with engineering, product design, and technical talent attraction services close to the pulse of the automotive and biomedical industry. This office is busting at the seams and plans are in place for a new space with increased capacity for a whiteboard room for ideation sessions, a project lab and model shop for product development, and conference rooms for customer meetings.



The Secret to Attracting Top Talent

The Secret to Attracting Top Talent

The Talent Problem Numbers do not lie. Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be posted. Two million of these jobs are expected to go unfilled due to a skills gap according to the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting. Similar scary numbers can be found across many other industries as well. No matter where you sit in your organization,… Read More

Authentic Motivation

Authentic Motivation

How to Bring Purpose, Passion, & Productivity to Any Project I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects in several different industries during my ten-years at DISHER. Some of them have been very rewarding while others have been a bit of a bear to get through. To better understand myself and gain more insight on effective… Read More

Design Leaders Consortium

Author: Ben Zuiderveen

Learning Through Community

Learning Through Community This past March, The Michigan Chapter of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA-MI) hosted a design consortium with leaders from Ford Motor Company, Whirlpool, Sunberg-Ferar, Kaleidoscope, Newell Brands, Eureka! Ranch, Shinola, and DISHER. The event was held in the College for Creative Studies – Taubman Center and sponsored by Design Core Detroit, the College for Creative Studies,… Read More

Research Can Redefine Innovation

Author: Alison Shields

Research Can Redefine Innovation

How do organizations effectively innovate to stay ahead of the competition? One significant way is through research, yet surprisingly companies often run ahead and skip this foundational step. Research has the ability to confidently move companies forward into new inventions, industries, and initiatives by translating raw data into strategic decisions. As a researcher at DISHER, I have seen firsthand the… Read More

Automation Is Not the End Goal— but Increased Productivity

Author: Joe Dyer

Automation Is Not the End Goal but Increased Productivity

I am passionate about manufacturing and helping my customers thrive. One pressing concern they all share is how to boost productivity with fewer workers. To stay competitive, they understand that improvements must be made to grow the bottom line. Manufacturing leaders are looking for fresh ideas and new perspectives, but often lack the time and resources to bring about change…. Read More

Hiring for Year One (Part 2)

Author: Christy Landrigan with Kristian Woods

Hiring for Year One Part 2

In part one of this series we described the need to shift the recruiting mindset from a hit-the-ground-running approach to a hiring-for-year-one strategy in order to better meet the challenges of today’s competitive hiring environment. In this entry, we will discuss how proactive recruiting and performance planning expands your talent pool and results in greater success. If you haven’t had… Read More

4 Keys to Accelerate Your Speed to Market

Author: Kristin Zietlow

4 Keys to Accelerate Your Speed to Market

4 Key Ways to Stay Ahead “Only the paranoid survive,” he spoke softly while everyone listened intently. Jerry was known in the company for pulling off miracle product launches and releasing game-changing products. While nervous laughter made its way around the room, Jerry’s face remained serious. He used the quote, originally said by Andy Grove of Intel, as a starting… Read More

Discovering Your Design Community

Author: Ben Zuiderveen

Discovering Your Design Community

  “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” – John Donne Imagine you are a designer who was marooned on a desert island for the last ten years. You are finally rescued this year and brought back to society. Because of the decade-long disconnect, you return to the mainland and are completely surprised… Read More

The Fundamentals of Feedback

Author: Phil Dirkse

The Fundamentals of Feedback

A Skill Worth Developing Giving and receiving feedback is a skill that pays big dividends for personal development. And like any skill it can be developed. At DISHER, when I am working on complex project teams with multiple parties, being able to communicate feedback often and effectively helps build trust among the team and enables the team to work at… Read More

CES Sparks Electronics Innovations

Author: Tod Grams

CES Sparks Electronics Innovations

What’s in It for Me? Have you ever caught yourself asking the question, “What’s in it for me?” This question certainly has a negative connotation when used for personal gain. If you are expecting something in return, then you’re missing the point in asking this very powerful question. However, if you ask it in a way that challenges your intellect… Read More

The Heart of CES

Author: Joe Pighetti

The Heart of CES

Positive Change Led by Emerging Electronics The DISHER mission is ‘Making a Positive Difference’. The differences made by many of the companies I visited with were what really impacted me this year at CES. These companies were aligned on using electronics for the betterment of all. The first area I visited, and ended up spending a significant amount of time… Read More

CES 2018 – 8 Tech Trends to Watch

Author: Dayna Beal

CES 2018

My first impressions of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 did not disappoint. It was mind-boggling, fascinating, and overwhelming. Because the new technologies unveiled at CES are so important to DISHER and our customers, we had a team in attendance to soak it all in. Here are a few highlights and discoveries from this year’s show that you might like… Read More

Designing at the Seams

Author: Phil Dirkse

Designing at the Seams

The Value of Risk Mitigation As a Product Development Engineer engaged in the automotive industry pre- and post-launch, my daily activities often consist of addressing current production issues and identifying and mitigating future risks. The value of risk mitigation is what I’d like to focus on in this blog. Perhaps this topic won’t rack up thousands of page views in… Read More

How Will You Play Your Hand?

Author: Jeff Disher

Good Stewardship is a Win-Win

  Good Stewardship is a Win-Win A Core Culture Characteristic at DISHER December is our month for highlighting Stewardship at DISHER. It’s one of our 12 Culture Characteristics. Every December we talk about what it is, why we do it, and the many ways in which we can carry it out in our lives throughout the year. Our use of… Read More

Don’t Be Left Behind

Author: Laura Anthony

Don’t Be Left Behind

Innovation Workshops Move Companies Forward The old adage, “innovate or die”, is often true. Companies too slow to change like Blackberry, Blockbuster, and Xerox are sad reminders. Conversely, organizations like Amazon, Tesla, and Salesforce know how to stay relevant and ahead of the curve. Those who fail to adapt and give customers what they want at a cost-effective price are… Read More

Asking the Right Questions Always Leads to Improvement

Author: Joe Dyer

Asking the Right Questions Always Leads to Improvement

I am the proud father of two little boys, ages three and five. Among the busy days, messes, and laughter there is one other constant: questions. What are we doing tonight? How does a key work? Could you somehow get inside a leaf? Maybe you can relate to this line of questioning. Recently my son asked, “Dad, where do clouds… Read More

Are You the Best Leader You Can Be? (Part 2)

Author: Bob Soeters | Business Lead - Corporate Officer

Are You the Best Leader You Can Be Part 2

Part 2 – Treetop Time How do you grow as a leader? What character qualities do you hope to emulate? We all have the aspiration to improve but sometimes we struggle breaking it down into manageable steps towards real change. In my last blog I discussed the need to develop an organizational leadership model to give you and your team… Read More


Author: DJ Kellogg | Area Lead - Southeast Michigan Region


Helping Your Team Succeed! I love coaching teams, and I love being part of a team— and learning how to help them perform at a higher level! I’ve had the privilege of coaching a state-championship high school team, national club volleyball teams, and talented teams of professionals at DISHER. I enjoy each coaching opportunity immensely. While I do not claim… Read More

How Did I Get Here?

Author: Robbie Sullivan | Project Engineer

How Did I Get Here

Jeff Disher counseled me “Go to a four-year college, get an internship, and learn to tear things apart and fix them.” And that’s what I did. How and why did I become a DISHER team member? Last Friday, I found myself in front of the entire company at a staff meeting— a generally uncomfortable place for an engineer to be…. Read More

Are You the Best Leader You Can Be? (Part 1)

Author: Bob Soeters | Business Lead - Corporate Officer

Are You The Best Leader You Can Be

Part 1 – Develop a Model for Your Team How do you grow your leadership abilities? How do you lead your team or  organization? If your library is like mine, you probably have a shelf full of best-sellers like: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, 21 Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, and Good to Great… Read More

I Love Being Right

Author: Kevin Pinner | Business Lead - DISHER Business Solutions & Manufacturing Tech Services

I Love Being Right

I love being right… and the importance of creating meaningful culture visuals is one of those times. Being right doesn’t happen as often as I think it should happen but when it does— it feels sweet. Yes, one of my many personality challenges is the internal conviction that when I have an idea, it is probably a good one. And… Read More

A Day in the Life of a Manufacturing Engineer

Author: Joe Dyer | Team Lead - Manufacturing Tech Services

A Day in the Life

Operators, Operations, & Opportunities There’s a Beatles song called “A Day in the Life” that closes the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. At the end of this song, an E chord is struck and held onto for 45-seconds or so giving the impression that the song never really ends. I love the finality yet continual nature of that… Read More

Design Thinking

Author: Todd Kauranen

Design Thinking

The Latest ID Label for the Same ID Story Some would say that making a product that looks good is the only duty of an Industrial Designer. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Fundamentally, the role of industrial design (ID), is to grasp the entire design process as it relates to the user and producer of a service or… Read More

5 Benchmarking Tips

Author: Ben Zuiderveen

5 Benchmarking Tips

For Product Design Inspiration Where does an idea come from? Do ideas spring into the mind fully formed? Of course not! Ideas rarely start out beautiful— they need to be collected, nurtured, and built upon. Ideas are inspired (stolen) from something else that we’ve seen, heard, or experienced. Even the man who invented the wheel probably saw a round object… Read More

NeoCon 2017

Author: Eric Otto

NeoCon 2017

From An Engineer’s Perspective For any engineer that works in and for the furniture industry, NeoCon is a must see. NeoCon is one of the largest trade shows featuring workplace furniture and the industries that support it such as seating, textiles, technology, and flooring to name just a few. A dozen folks from DISHER took a bus trip, organized by… Read More

Effective Prototype Development

Author: Martin Hewitt

Effective Prototype Development

Don’t Waste Precious Resources   During the space race of the 1960’s, as the legend goes, NASA engineers encountered a challenge. Astronauts needed to take notes in space but typical ballpoint pens did not function in a Zero-G environment. NASA funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into developing a pen that could write upside-down in space on either side of the… Read More

The SAE World Congress Experience

Author: James Szymanowski, Allison Ives, and Nathan Cummings

The SAE World Congress Experience

The annual SAE WCX17 event brings together industry experts who delve into the world of automotive technology. This year, over 11,000 attendees (primarily engineers) from all over the world met in Detroit from April 4-6 to discuss and explore the latest automotive engineering challenges, innovations, and futuristic ideas. Several DISHER team members attended and below are a few of their… Read More

Innovation Still Behind Old School Mastery

Author: Todd Kauranen

Innovation Still Behind Old School Mastery

The Human Element of Design “Old school” modeling methods are often thought to be obsolete when embracing innovation in product development, but this is not always the case. For 80 years, automotive design studios have used clay to create life-size models. It’s a process that has yet to be abandoned because technology is not able to duplicate the nuances and… Read More


Author: Kayla Curtis, Chad Barnes, Mu-Hua Cheng, and Matthew Reed

Teaching Students Team Work, Problem-Solving, & Engineering “On the yellow field we have team Invent-a-Tech 2.0,” states the announcer. Two student technicians fly to the playing field and nest their robot, Purple Monster, into the starting zone. “3…2…1…Lego!” Purple Monster delicately glides forward and drops off the shark tank with success. Like a pack of hungry wolves, the technicians grab… Read More

Making a Positive Difference Through Electronics

Author: Tod Grams

Making a Positvie Difference Through Electronics

Q:  So, DISHER does electronics too? A:  “Absolutely, and our team is growing! Our specialists have a broad range of experience and educational backgrounds that enable us to provide a variety of tailored electronics solutions for our customers. From schematic capture and PCB layouts to embedded software and mobile apps, we have deep engineering talent ready to come alongside and provide… Read More

Michigan Biomedical Engineering Students Benefit from DISHER’s Whiteboard Wednesday™ Process

Author: Cynthia VanRenterghem

disher biomedical engineering wbw

Take a look at a few real-word biomedical problem statements University of Michigan students are currently wrestling with in their Biomedical Engineering Design class: Design a portable, disposable, sterile-water, heating-cooling device to facilitate heat transfer into blood during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation which provides cardiac and respiratory support for patients. Develop a portable, wearable scalp cooling device for patients with brain… Read More

DISHER Business Solutions

Author: Kevin Pinner

Disher Business Solutions

Employs Proven Techniques to Help Organizations Thrive For most of you CAD users out there, you probably can’t imagine designing and creating drawings on a drafting board with mechanical pencils, electric erasers(!), and vellum. Back in the early 80’s while a student at the University of Cincinnati, I worked for a small manufacturer in northern Kentucky in their engineering department…. Read More

DISHER Awarded 5th Best Small Workplace By Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE

Author: Brian LaFrence

5th Best Small Business 2016

DISHER was recently named the 5th Best Small Workplace in America by Great Place to Work (GPTW) and FORTUNE. For DISHER, the award is a wonderful byproduct of our intentional investment in culture as the foundation of our success as a business. I am confident that our Founder and President, Jeff Disher, could write a book about why DISHER grew… Read More

Talent Solutions at SPARK.Ed

Author: Allison Ives

Spark culture training

Ann Arbor SPARK, a business incubator in the heart of Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosts weekly workshops to help entrepreneurs build better businesses. SPARK invites industry experts to present useful tips, tools, and best practices on a host of relevant topics. DISHER was asked to lead a training session on recruiting in September. Keri McCarthy and I began our recruiting workshop… Read More

HydroBot Featured at Maker Faire Detroit

Author: Cynthia VanRenterghem


Described as a gathering of “unconventional ingenuity, unbridled creativity, and a whole lot of forward thinking,” the Maker Faire Detroit took place July 30 and 31 at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Matthew Reed, a DISHER Product Development Engineer, was among the hundreds of inventors who exhibited and demonstrated their ideas in this fantasyland of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Matthew featured… Read More

ON TARGET at the 2016 A2 Tech Trek

Author: Cynthia VanRenterghem

ON TARGET at the 2016 A2 Tech Trek

DISHER was delighted to be one of 60 participating companies in the 2016 A2 Tech Trek, a fun and educational afternoon in downtown Ann Arbor. Over 1300 people took part in this community-wide open house of local companies involved in forward-leaning technology. The primary focus of each hosting company was to create a unique experience that reflected their culture and demonstrated their product… Read More

The Top 10 Dimensions of a Thriving Culture

Jeff Disher Speaking

After being recognized in Fortune as the 21st Best Small Workplace in the United States by Great Place to Work®, Jeff Disher, Founder and President of Disher, was asked to speak on How to Build a Great Culture at the Michigan West Coast Chamber’s Early Bird Breakfast on June 14, 2016. Jeff has been very intentional about building a winning culture… Read More

Disher Attends 2016 Ann Arbor SPARK Annual Meeting

Author: Cynthia VanRenterghem and Dayna Beal


Business is strong in Ann Arbor thanks in large part to the Ann Arbor SPARK organization and partners like Disher who is a Funding Member. At the Annual Meeting on May 16, the Disher team was pleased to learn just how impressive SPARK’s economic-development impact is including: 30 company growth projects with $238 million in new investment commitments; 1,279 new… Read More

A League of Extraordinary Legomen

Author: Kyle McLellan

In September of 2015, six novice robotics engineers came together for the first time at their secret laboratory within the walls of Disher’s Ann Arbor office.  They united in a spirit of teamwork to accept the challenge of building a superior garbage-busting robot and to devise an innovative solution to control the waste from used whiteboard markers. Geared up for… Read More

Engineers On a Roll Exhibit Upgrade

Author: Kyle McLellan

Disher recently had the opportunity to redesign an exhibit for the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum. Located only five miles from the Disher Ann Arbor office, it was the perfect community outreach service project for our team. This children’s museum offers kids of all ages the opportunity to learn about science and engineering through a series of interactive exhibits. As you… Read More



Good design has the power to organize cultural complexities and yield clarity. Alison applies this philosophy through various market research and graphic design projects with Disher’s Discovery team. As a Hope College alumna, she is naturally fond of Lake Michigan, trail running, tulips, and Captain Sundae.

Alison Shields

Market Researcher & Visual Communications Designer

Allison is a graduate from Grand Valley State University, with studies in Public Administration, Business, and Public Relations & Advertising. She began with DISHER as an intern, and now recruits for internal and external positions as a part of the Talent Attraction Team. Allison also loves continuing to learn through her passions in painting, playing music, and traveling.

Allison Ives

Talent Engineer

Andrew has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and a wide range of experience involving mechanical design, basic electronics, high-volume manufacturing, and program launches.  He enjoys doing various DIY house projects, woodworking, tinkering with classic cars, and the outdoors.

Andrew Westrick

Product Development Engineer

Bob Soeters possesses over 30 years of industry experience, working in a variety of roles ranging from manufacturing supervision to strategic planning. He leads several of Disher’s multi-disciplined engineering teams and is also responsible for the financial, accounting, and human resource areas. Bob has been influential in DISHER’s healthy growth, responsible for transformative increases in the organization’s capacity and capabilities.

Bob Soeters

Business Lead - Corporate Officer

Chad has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho and an A.S. in Automotive Technology from Brigham Young University Idaho. As a Product Development Engineer he provides a unique perspective and understanding to the design and development of products. Outside of work he spends his time enjoying his young family, serving in the community, working on home improvement projects, and when time permits engaging in outdoor recreational activities.

Chad Barnes

Team Lead - Product Development

Connor graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Engineering Management Technology and a Math Minor. He also brings his Six Sigma Green Belt Certification to DISHER. While at WMU, Connor was the captain of an award-winning concrete canoe team—he still mentors for this program. Connor enjoys basketball, flag football, snowboarding, guitar, and video games. Elon Musk is his hero.

Connor Tierney

Product Development Engineer

Dan is experienced in multiple facets of product development including aesthetic design, concept development, modeling, prototyping, testing, and FEA. He’s trained in user-centered design, design thinking, and design for manufacturing/assembly. He has a BS in Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering from Grand Valley State University.

Dan Parker

Conceptual Engineer

Dayna is a strategic growth guy with a BA from Hope and an MBA in corporate strategy from Northwestern. He is a Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni and Bill Hybels fan. Dayna helps organizations with vision mapping, branding, developing their people and more. He is a soccer coach, youth group leader and an energetic family man.

Dayna Beal

Business Lead - Discovery | Marketing

DJ brings over 25 years of engineering experience primarily related to the automotive industry. He has a BSME from GMI Engineering & Management Institute, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and enthusiastically leads the Ann Arbor team. DJ is active with family, church, sports, and coaching volleyball. His team won the MHSAA Class D state championship in 2016.

DJ Kellogg

Area Lead – Southeast Michigan Region

Frank brings decades of electronics, design, and engineering experience mainly in automotive. Frank enjoys cycling, cars, and building challenging outdoor equipment for his 2 kids. An avid reader of adventure stories, Frank’s hero is Ernest Shackleton an explorer with amazing inner strength and loyalty. Frank received an HND Computing Technology degree from Teesside University and an OND Engineering degree from Mid-Warwickshire College in the UK.

Frank White

Electronics Engineer

Gerry has worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years, owned an electronic design business, and worked as a consultant prior to DISHER.  He also contributed to Apollo lunar landing project. Gerry has a BS in Aerospace Engineering and a MS in Controls Engineering from the University of Michigan.  He also has an MBA from Michigan State University.  Gerry and his wife have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

Gerry Sivulka

Product | Business Development

Jacquelyn has a BS in Integrated Leadership Studies/ Enterprise Leadership from Central Michigan University. She is originally from Alabama’s gulf coast region and enjoys indulging in southern cuisine regularly (any cuisine really). She enjoys watching sports and getting on the tennis court as often as possible.

Jacquelyn Pogue

Talent Engineer

“For the longest time I wanted to become a doctor to help people. As I grew older, I found that I loved building things. When I discovered biomedical engineering, I found the perfect fit!” Kayla has a BSE in Biomedical Engineering, an MSE in Biomechanical Engineering, and an International Minor for Engineers from University of Michigan. Kayla loves art and dabbles in drawing, painting, pottery, and crafts.

Kayla Curtis

Product Development Engineer

Keri is an expert in staffing management with over 21 years of experience in talent attraction, retention, branding, implementation, problem solving, and reorganization. Keri has worked in a variety of industries assisting companies in acquiring top talent as well as developing a solid culture and infrastructure. She is also the instigator of DISHER nerf wars!


Keri McCarthy

Business Lead - Talent Solutions

Kyle likes to design complex systems at the intersection where hardware, firmware, mechanics, and optics meet. Kyle has a BS in EE from Hope College, certifications in Altium Designer and LabVIEW, and is a certified Functional Safety Automotive Engineer. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and dog, and volunteering with youth robotics programs.

Kyle McLellan

Product Development Engineer

Larry brings his customers over a decade of design engineering experience. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Wayne State University. Larry enjoys fitness, movies, and is an enthusiastic Pistons and basketball fan.

Larry Rhodes

Product Design / Industrial Design

Marty has a B.A. from Indiana University in general studies and joins the DISHER team as a Product Designer. He has 30 years of automotive experience including establishing design teams in Mexico and India. Marty’s role at DISHER is component and assembly design across various applications and industries. He enjoys bowling, golfing, jogging, and playing Euchre with family and friends.


Marty Boike

Product Designer

Matt brings over a decade of experience in Project Engineering and Program Management in the aerospace and consumer fitness industries. He is a travel enthusiast and a fan of both Michigan and Alabama college sports. Matt enjoys living in Ann Arbor with his wife and dog Bear. His current hero is Elon Musk because of his resolve to change our planet and humanity. Matt holds a BSME from the University of Michigan.

Matt Kramer

Project Manager

Matthew received his BS in Computer Engineering from Cedarville University in Ohio. He is using his automotive product development background as an Electronics Engineer at DISHER. Matthew’s interests range from gardening and mountain biking to cooking, woodworking, coffee, and photography. When asked what motivates him to work hard, Matthew replied, “helping other people”.

Matthew Reed

Product Development Engineer

Tod has a BS degree in Electronics Engineering and an MS degree in Engineering Management with over 19 years of Electronics industry experience. He volunteers as President of the Greater Holland Bowling Association and loves competitive bowling.

Tod Grams

Team Lead - Electronics

Todd’s sweet spot is working on the conceptual, fuzzy, front-end of world-class products. With over 33 years of product development experience, Todd’s a wonderful resource. Todd studied clay modeling & drafting at Walpro Technical and has a BFA in Industrial Design from The College for Creative Studies. Camping with family in his vintage Airstream trailer is Todd’s favorite pastime along with building custom furniture, sculpture, and cooking.

Todd Kauranen

Industrial Designer