Success Stories



Roberto Garza Lazo (2016)
Product Engineer, Spartan Light Metal Products
Roberto’s area of focus with Spartan Light Metal Products is to keep his assigned production lines running at optimum performance. Roberto hopes to become a working team leader within the engineering department at Spartan LMP in the next ten years. He hopes to achieve this through dedication, constantly learning, and relationship building throughout the manufacturing plant. When asked how he’s been able to use his LDP training in his career, Roberto responded:
The LDP taught me organizational and time management skills. I have applied these every day, and they have helped tremendously me thus far. Being organized allows you to work at a smooth pace rather than scrambling to find the necessary things to get the job done. As far as time management goes, knowing how to prioritize your day is a huge skill considering there is always something to do. At the end, getting the job done right the first time can definitely help with how much you can achieve.

Austin Caldwell (2016) – Design Engineer, American Buildings Company – Nucor, El Paso Illinois

Austin designs building systems to meet specific customer needs. In 10 years, Austin hopes to see himself in middle management within Nucor. He feels that every successful company needs leaders who care about their people. Austin enjoys building relationships, learning about others, and working in a high-performance team. When asked how he’s been able to use his LDP training in his career, Austin responded:
Public speaking is huge. I gave multiple presentations during my first year and LDP prepared me to do this effectively no matter who the crowd is. I have also been able to apply the soft skills when working with others. Getting to know the people you work with is key and the LDP prepared me to be proactive about developing these relationships. Also, learn how to sacrifice personal time for the success of your team. If you want to be the best, you have to work like it.


Austin Lewandowski has worked as a successful project manager in some of St Louis’ harshest heavy industrial work sites, and most recently transferred into an engineering design role.

“I attribute 90 percent of my successes in the real world to the lessons I learned while pushing my limits in the LDP safety net. As a graduate of the Leadership Development Program, I can tell you one thing for certain; this program will change your life and allow you to be as successful as you want to be. It enabled me to land multiple once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities through the development of my soft skills, and has allowed me to excel using the technical knowledge I gained, as well as a certain “grit” I developed while learning under Dr. DeRuntz.”


Logan McNear is the site manager for Advanced Technology Services’ (ATS) location at United States Gypsum’s (USG) paper mill in North Kansas City, MO and has been leading the local team since formation in August 2014. Logan graduated from SIUC with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and is an active member of the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals. His career with ATS has included managing multimillion-dollar contracts, presenting to the Board of Directors for ATS and USG, leading and sponsoring multiple SixSigma, 5s, and Kaizen events, exceeding $500k year-over-year annual cost savings, instituting world-class maintenance strategies in factory settings, and building teams of cross-functional professionals. Logan currently lives in Kansas City with his wife, Laura, and is working on a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

” My participation in LDP has prepared me to remain cutting edge in my field. The LDP can help you become who you want to be through hard work, vision, aggressive goal setting and having a go-getter attitude.”