The leadership team of GMI has guiding the business as a team for a long time. GMI has always prided itself as an organization that finds good people and keeps them on the team for long periods of time. Nearly half of the overall staff of GMI has been an associate for over 10 years – a milestone that is celebrated across the entire organization.
The stability of the GMI Executive Leadership Team is an integral part of the consistent strength and growth of GMI over its 30+ year existence. The team members shown below have an average tenure over 20 years.
President & CEO
Mr. Armbrust co-founded Softworks in November of 1983 with $600. The initial software they produced was a DOS shell for the Commodore 64 called ‘Softfiler’. In 1985, he dropped out of college to devote his full time efforts to the company.
In 1986 he helped to develop a line of personal computers called ‘Citus’, which was sold through a VAR network. The company was twice named to Inc 500 list (in 1990 & 1991 as #11 & #29 fastest growing private company in the United States).
In 1992 the company acquired an engineering firm, Micro Linear Controls, from Racine, Wisconsin. The team transformed the business to focus on OEM customers exclusively and rebranded itself as Granite Microsystems. As a result of a focus on OEM assemblies outside of computers, Granite Microsystems was then rebranded as GMI Solutions in 2015.
In 2005 he and the team set up an overseas WOFE in Shanghai China envisioning duplication of the successful Low Volume high Mix (LVHM) philosophy. The Asia division continues to be a successful part of the GMI Solutions strategy.
He continues to give overall direction to the company & team, sits on several boards and has received numerous industry awards and recognition. To help mentor other budding entrepreneurs he also co-founded and funded a successful top-15 startup accelerator gener8tor.
VP of Finance
Todd Sweet, GMI’s Vice President of Finance and Administration, is responsible for overseeing the accounting, finance, and human resources functions for both the U.S. and China operations.
Mr. Sweet joined GMI (then Granite) in 1994 as Controller and was promoted to Vice President in 1999. Prior to joining GMI, Mr. Sweet spent 7 years as a public accountant working for Ernst & Young as an auditor and computer auditor as well as for a local firm as an audit supervisor and tax preparer.
Mr. Sweet is a Certified Public Accountant and received his Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and information systems from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
VP of Operations & Engineering
Clint Hanson joined the team in 1995 as a Design Engineer. He subsequently held numerous positions at GMI including Director of Hardware Engineering and Vice President of Engineering.
Since 2007, Mr. Hanson has served as Vice President of Operations and is responsible for overseeing the design engineering and software engineering groups, manufacturing operations, and the purchasing department.
Mr. Hanson was instrumental in implementing QRM (Quick Response Manufacturing) principles to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process.
Mr. Hanson received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville.
VP of Operations China
ST Choong joined the team in 2004 as the company was preparing to open a manufacturing location in China. First hired as General Manager of the Shanghai operations, he was promoted to Vice President in 2007.
Mr. Choong has played a very important role in the continued success of GMI’s Chinese operations. Prior to joining the team, Mr. Choong was the Senior Manager – Procurement and Supply Chain (North China) for Flextronics Technology (Shanghai).
Mr. Choong also has over five years of experience as a procurement engineer for Hewlett-Packard. Mr. Choong received his Bachelors of Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, with a focus on mechanical and production engineering.
Director of Business Development
Michael Poehlmann joined GMI in 1999 as a Strategic Account Manager. While developing many of GMI’s existing and new large OEM accounts, Mr. Poehlmann eventually managed the inside sales team, and is now the Director of New Business Development. As the Director of New Business Development, Mr. Poehlmann is responsible for all new business activity – leading the outside sales force and representative network in the pursuit of new OEM programs.
Mr. Poehlmann has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Iowa, and has a solid background in healthcare and bioscience, including work within laboratories, hospitals and medical sales representation.
In addition to the biology background, Mr. Poehlmann honed his technical aptitude while managing a repair center for power tools and equipment, and also working 5 years as a sales rep and department manager for Derco Aerospace – directly interfacing with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency on aftermarket military aircraft spares support and component repair.
Director of Marketing
Hans Dittmar joined the company in 1994 as its sole purchasing agent, eventually getting promoted to Purchasing Manager.
Mr. Dittmar has been involved in various parts of the company with subsequent positions in manufacturing and later in sales, where he focused on distribution and lead generation.
Since 2002, Mr. Dittmar has been in charge of GMI’s Marketing and Communications and is responsible for all marketing efforts including the Company’s website, proposal development, white papers, and various marketing materials. Mr. Dittmar is also involved in managing important manufacturing relationships, strategic planning, acting as a liaison with major suppliers, and the technological advances in root computing technologies. Mr. Dittmar completed coursework at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr. Dittmar has been actively involved with computers, specifically hardware and software applications since 1984.
Director of Program Management
Jeff Holtebeck joined the team in 1997. Throughout his tenure Mr. Holtebeck has been focused on Sales and Marketing, holding positions ranging from Account Manager to Business Development Manager, for GMI and its affiliate companies.
Mr. Holtebeck currently serves as the Director of Program Management and has ultimate responsibility for managing the existing account base – including order management, service processing, contract negotiation and management, forecasting, and strategic planning.
Mr. Holtebeck holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Keller Graduate School.