Stepping into a Niagara Research role focused on advanced manufacturing has felt like coming home for Gordon Koslowski.
The newest project manager with the research and innovation division of Niagara College is no stranger to advanced manufacturing, having worked at Research in Motion and most recently at Niagara-based CWD Limited, specializing in the field of product management and development.
While at RIM, Koslowski worked with internal cross-functional teams to identify the wants and needs of mobile device customers and developed unique product offerings to match. Digging through market research, analyzing data, and synthesizing offerings with comprehensive business plans was at the heart of his role. He took this experience and continued in the world of product management with Niagara’s own CWD Limited.
It was here where he managed a portfolio of Electrohome, Magnasonic, and private-label branded clock radios, karaoke systems, jukeboxes, and turntables. He led his team to push the envelope and create value-driven products that were both innovative in design and operation. No stranger to Asia – having lived there to teach English for nearly a year – he visited multiple factories and oversaw the manufacturing of his products from raw materials through to packaging.
“Many years ago, I remember working as a labourer in a factory setting grinding welding splatter from shipping racks and buffing sharp edges from glass panes,” he says. “When working at the floor level, oftentimes one encounters ways to improve efficiencies and the person to make those changes is ultimately a few hierarchal levels above you.”
With this in mind, while working at CWD Limited, it was imperative that he oversaw the factory manufacturing processes at the ground level, and built strong relationships with their owners and operators. “This led to identifying and improving weaknesses in processes and ultimately creating better and more sustainable products,” he explains.
Originally from southwestern Ontario, Koslowski has lived in eastern Ontario on the west coast of Canada, and in China and Korea, but has been living in Niagara for nearly two years. He has a BSc (Hon) in Biochemistry from Queen’s University, and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. He also has a certificate from the Canadian Marketing Association in Customer Insight through Research and Analytics, and has been a member of the Project Management Institute.
“Since moving here, I’ve really come to enjoy the region,” he says. “Beyond it’s phenomenal agricultural setting, there are some great local restaurants, cafes, and prime cycling and hiking trails.”
An avid crossfitter, cyclist and squash player, he spends his time outside of the office keeping active, and volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls.
As project manager for advanced manufacturing, Koslowski will concentrate on project partnerships with Niagara’s small- and medium-sized businesses interested in assistance with their manufacturing needs.
For more information on the projects in his portfolio, click here.