About OptiSource Solutions LLC
At OptiSource Solutions LLC, our mission is to create a tangible competitive advantage for our clients.
OptiSource Solutions LLC Values & Mission
To create a tangible competitive advantage for our clients.
Our Leadership Team
Partner, Private Equity & Strategy
Director, Logistics and Warehousing
Associate, Leadership & Organizational Development
Director, Data Analytics
Advisor, Leadership & Organizational Development
Niels R. Martin
Niels Martin has over 30 years of experience in Manufacturing, Procurement, Operations, Business Development and Quality in the Food and Beverage, Consumer Packaged Goods, Aerospace & Defense, Electronics, Heavy Manufacturing, Distribution and Logistics Industries. His unique blend of technical and commercial skills, experience as an entrepreneur and exposure to various industries and markets has him well-positioned to identify opportunities and create value across various business models. He has lived/worked in over a dozen countries (not counting his home country of Texas) and is multi-lingual and multi-cultural.
Prior to founding OptiSource Solutions, Mr. Martin was the Director of Technical Procurement at Nestlé and had responsibility for the procurement of technical goods and services across all North American facilities, with responsibility for several global categories, managing spend of over five hundred million dollars annually.
Mr. Martin was initially recruited by Nestlé to initiate the coordination of procurement of Capital Equipment across its North American operations, which also led to his involvement as a member of the design and construction team for Nestle’s state-of-the-art infant formula manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and for Nestle’s Stouffer’s frozen food manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas — where he also negotiated the design/build contract for this facility which was at the time Nestlé’s largest single investment to-date in a new facility. This facility provided unique technical and commercial challenges, incorporating a groundbreaking ammonia/CO2 cascade refrigeration system which has proved to be a model for subsequent installations.
Niels was subsequently asked to lead the Indirect Procurement organization at Nestlé Mexico in Mexico City where he championed the reorganization of both the Indirect and Direct Procurement organizations. He also transitioned all indirect spend from antiquated systems and processes to an integrated e-commerce based platform and kicked off a regional (North and South America) procurement strategy for several common spend categories that would later develop into global approaches.
Upon his return to the United States, Niels was chosen to lead a Shared Services project focusing on Technical and Logistics spend across North America, and to subsequently develop the processes, structure and organization that would result in a permanent Shared Services Organization. He conceived and led a company-wide effort towards common parts numbering and nomenclature to support optimization of technical inventories and improved maintenance practices as well as an approach towards systems and processes which would support those efforts. He also developed and led a global technical procurement effort that resulted in the establishment of global governance of several spend categories of several hundred million dollars annually under his direction.
Prior to his ten years with Nestlé, Mr. Martin’s career includes experience in large corporations and as an entrepreneur. He also spent two years (taking time off from his university studies) serving as a volunteer missionary in South Africa where he became responsible for all missionary efforts in the Orange Free State Province.
His professional career began with an assignment in France with Case-Poclain, the French construction equipment subsidiary of J.I. Case (now CNH Global N.V.), where, as an intern, he redesigned the end-of-line quality inspection process at the Crépy-en-Valois manufacturing facility, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. He later worked as a Procurement Engineer in the Aerospace / Defense Electronics industry with Texas Instruments Missile Systems Division (now Raytheon), focused on Supplier Development and development of second sources for critical sub-components and assemblies in support of the transition of development project towards low-scale and full-rate production.
Niels eventually left Texas Instruments to start Oregon Pacific Bottling Company — a water bottling business which he grew into a regional brand with international distribution which he operated until he was recruited by Nestlé.
Mr. Martin has extensive experience living and working overseas and is fluent in Afrikaans, French and Spanish. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University and is a Harvard Law Program on Negotiations – trained professional negotiator. Niels and his wife Julie live in Lantana, Texas (in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex). They have four grown children and are active in church and community activities.
In addition to his business activities, Mr. Martin enjoys restoring classic automobiles (primarily 1950s-era Ford Motor Company products), traveling with his wife and language study (he is currently learning Hawaiian). He is also a student pilot.
Brooks C. Shea
Brooks Shea is an experienced Management Consultant, Project Manager, and Account Director with over nine years of experience as an engagement leader working in North America (United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico), South America (Brazil, Chile and Argentina) and Africa (Angola), responsible for logistics, supply chain optimization, operations and sales in foreign markets.
He uses his business education, multicultural background and language skills to contribute to the success of team-based organizations. Throughout his career, he has consulted on engagements concerning logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, insurance and distribution. He has been involved in the implementation of management systems, organizational development methodologies and core operating processes for clients in the O&G sector, as well as manufacturing and maintenance projects. Furthermore, he led emergency response efforts, supply chain management, and reconstruction projects in Puerto Rico for pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturers following Hurricane Maria. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he supported clients in the food & beverage industry by leading an engagement to optimize supply chain, reduce spend, and prevent business interruption. More recently Brooks has managed the construction of a multi-phase 500,000 sq. ft. refrigerated pet food manufacturing facility acting as Owner’s Representative while concurrently managing construction of an 80,000 sq. ft. chicken processing facility.
His core strengths are in client relationship and engagement management, organizational development, sales and marketing, and financial analysis and engagement viability.
James Hickey has over two decades of experience leading operations and supply chain functions and hands-on business experience. His focus has been on warehouse operations, transportation, domestic and global logistics as well as global strategic procurement for direct and indirect materials. James has worked across a variety of industries including retail, wholesale packaging, grocery distribution, and manufacturing. Additionally, James has consulting across similar industry functions for over 7 years, where he implemented business processes focused on cost management, operational performance, and working capital improvement, among others.
Prior to his consulting career, James led Global Strategic Procurement and Logistics functions for multi-national companies such as Tyco Flow Control and ITW/Signode. In these roles he led teams of category managers and was responsible for direct and indirect catgory rationalization and cost optimization. James also led Global Logistics in major spend categories including ground freight (LTL, TL, small parcel), international ocean freight (FCL, LCL) as well as heavy weight air freight. He simplified processes that allowed Business Units to utilize fewer core providers, controlling costs and establishing platforms to drive compliance with core and niche providers.
James’ global responsibilities have necessitated business travel to over 20 countries outside of North America, including Mexico, Brazil, various European countries, India, and China where he worked with company leaders and global suppliers to optimize operations.
During his first 13+ years in industry James focused on setting up warehouse and distribution operations and the technologies required to operate them efficiently. Most notably, he developed facilities from the ground up at Cornerstone Products and Rheem Manufacturing – each totalling nearly a million square feet. This work included site selection, lease negotiations for new regional distribution locations, working with local agencies to staff the facilities and implementing the required technology for daily operations.
James’ career successes are based on a foundation of working his way through college at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting, while simultaneously working as a manager at a leading sporting goods retailer.
When away from work, James enjoys hitting the gym during the week and taking runs or cycling on the weekends. He also enjoys attending live sporting events, especially NBA basketball. Finally, he enjoys travelling both domestically and internationally whether for work or for pleasure.
L. Ara Norwood
Ara Norwood is a professional speaker and seminar leader, a teacher, and a student of leadership. He has consulted with organizations and institutions of all sizes including firms as diverse as Bertelsmann AG, Los Angeles Times, Nestlé, Marriott, HealthNet, Pearson NCS, and Kinko’s.
Ara’s exposure to leadership theory began with his first job out of college when he was recruited by Stephen R. Covey, the author of the best-selling book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, to work in both sales, management, and training positions. He has trained thousands of sales professionals, managers, and executives in the sales process, critical thinking, innovation, strategy, and leadership.
Ara has been speaking professionally since 1987. A consummate professional with exacting standards, Ara believes that he owes it to his audiences to stay informed about the latest developments in field of leadership theory and practice, hence his habit of reading 3 to 4 books per month. Ara is also a writer and has had several essays published in scholarly/trade journals, and is currently an adjunct professor of management at College of the Canyons, where he is the highest rated professor on campus according to RateMyProfessors.com.
Ara is an active member of the National Speakers Association, and he holds degrees from Brigham Young University, where he studied music, and Claremont Graduate University where he studied management under the tutelage of the noted Peter F. Drucker.
Aboud Qudimat has over 12 years of consulting experience in functions such as strategic sourcing, procurement, operations, and spend analytics. He has successfully navigated key engagements in publicly traded and PE-backed manufacturing and healthcare entities, consistently delivering significant value to the P&L and Balance Sheet.
Mr. Qudimat’s expertise was honed through leadership in end-to-end strategic sourcing engagements and resolving complex, multi-subsidiary, and disparate purchasing teams into centralized, streamlined, and high-performing functions with 360o operational and analytical visibility. Leveraging his roles in both advisory and industry leadership, Aboud ensures clients benefit from heightened levels of sustainable and pragmatic value creation.
At OptiSource Solutions, Qudimat provides dedicated focus, leadership, and advisory on data analytics – leveraging tools including Alteryx and KNIME for rapid, automated data pipelines, Tableau and Power BI for business intelligence, and vendor EDI technologies for digital procurement.
When not working, Aboud enjoys spending time with his family, which includes a Siberian Husky. Together they enjoy finding new trails to camp and explore around Ontario, Canada.
Leah S. Martin, PhD
Dr. Leah Martin is the founder, co-owner and Operations Executive of A Brighter Community, LLC – a service provider for adults with developmental disabilities. Leah is an entrepreneur, having started several successful businesses in a variety of industries. After obtaining a BS in Cartography and an MS in Geography, Dr. Martin started her career in the Remote Sensing and Satellite Imagery industry, focusing on product quality and new product development. She earned a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University, giving her expertise in organizational leadership, strategy, culture and assessment processes. Dr. Martin is fluent in French, is a published author of the novel, Joshua’s Tree, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her home state of Colorado.