Our Team

Jennifer Crean, Co-Founder, CEO/CFO

Mrs. Jennifer Crean is an aerospace executive with decades of experience supporting the growth and development of companies ranging from Fortune 100 to aerospace start-ups. She co-founded Crean & Associates in 2002 after nearly two decades of financial, operational, and program office experience in aerospace and other industries. Her program office experience includes programs such as the NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System which provides high bandwidth data, voice, and video communication to the International Space Station. She also provided Program Office project planning & management support to the GOES N,O,P weather satellite system.

Throughout her career, Mrs. Crean helped large and small companies strategically to create integrated technology development and management plans for both large scale government and a wide range of commercial systems. She also has extensive experience in new business development, proposal creation, and project scheduling and financial planning. Her extensive aerospace experience includes work for Hughes Space & Communications, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, AMPAC, and providing leading roles in financial management and execution to small businesses seeking to grow and expand their markets.  Jennifer Crean is a graduate from Brock University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  She is married with 3 children.

James Crean, Co-Founder, President / CTO

Mr. James Crean is an aerospace innovator with a passion for driving the implementation of smart factory technologies & methods in the United States.  He spent the first half of his career at Hughes Space & Communications and Boeing where as a systems engineer he and a small team developed the first DirecTV satellite system, as well as other novel mobile communication systems for commercial companies as well as to support vital US government missions. He put this wide-ranging experience to use in developing leading edge large-scale deployable antenna systems for satellite applications, performing launch simulation vibration and acoustics testing of  full-up satellite systems, and systems engineering the world’s most advanced global weather satellite systems. His diverse background also includes developing key aspects of the company’s enterprise wide asset tracking system application as well as a variety of engineering analysis applications.  He stood up the Supplier Program Manager role for Boeing satellite propulsion group, working with suppliers to qualify their systems and deliver faster and cheaper.  He was a program manager for the NASA Tracking & Data Relay Satellite System, was deputy business unit leader, and formed the company’s Lean Six Sigma group.

After founding CREAN Inc., Mr. Crean’s Lean Six Sigma experience developed into a focus on integrating smart factory technologies with LSS methods to develop real-time optimization methodologies coupled with embedded and integrated systems to maximize the efficiency and responsiveness of production environments, which he dubbed the Smart Flow Operating System™.  He has been integrally involved in over 100 Smart Factory / LSS engagements that have progressively produced more and more astounding efficiency & effectiveness results, including in some of the most well run and complex operations in the country.  Although CREAN Inc. supports some of the largest Fortune 100 companies in the world, his greatest pleasure comes from working with entrepreneurs in engineering new innovative systems and then producing them faster and more efficiently than any competitor could imagine.

Mr. Crean has an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Engineering. He is married with 3 children, and yes, before you ask, quite enjoys working with his wife.

Gary Gawlas
EVP, Engineering Solutions

Parker Counts
Director, Southern Region

Steve Burdette
VP, Engineering Support

Franco van Heijningen
VP, Strategic Operations

Pete Woll
VP, Business Development

Ashley Armenta
Operations

Carlos Chavez
Director of Smart Factory Transformations

Dave Sherry
Director of Engineering Services and Government Business Development

Shelly Tufts
Finance & HR Assistant

Jessie Vaca
Smart Factory Operations Specialist

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