Collins McNicholas


This position will be responsible for the operation of a new manufacturing facility located in Castlebar, Ireland.  This facility is being brought online to expand Meissner’s manufacturing footprint into Europe to both augment our capacity as well as better serve our existing European customer base. 

The Site Lead – Castlebar will be responsible for coordinating all efforts at the Castlebar facility, inclusive of but not limited to manufacturing, engineering, quality, customer service, human resources, facilities and accounting.    

The first twelve months of this leadership position have been outlined in the following sections to clarify direction and intention of this role at Meissner Filtration Products.

First 3 Months

Organizational Orientation

The Site Lead will spend a reasonable amount of time during the first three months post hire at Meissner’s HQ. During the period spent in Camarillo at the Site Lead will:

  • Gain a clear understanding of our culture such that this can be reinforced at the Castlebar facility.
  • Learn how our products, with an emphasis on single-use systems, are used by our client base.
  • Gain an understanding of our core value generating processes.
  • Obtain a base familiarization with our MRP/MES systems.
  • Spend time in single-use systems manufacturing.

Castlebar HR Planning

  • Review initial staffing plans and adjust/augment as warranted based on coordination with HQ based staff.

Facility Construction Monitoring

  • Monitor construction of cleanrooms, warehouse and office fit out.
  • Ensure progress according to plan.
  • Routinely check in with HQ to ensure facility fitness for purpose.

3-6 Months

Additional Organizational Familiarization

Additional travel to Meissner HQ will be part of this period with the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate understanding of single-use systems manufacturing. Although the Site Lead will not directly be manufacturing these, they will be responsible for said products.
  • Obtain additional MES/MRP familiarization.
  • Gain an in depth understanding of Meissner’s cGMP SOPs and document control.

Communication Planning

  • Establish a communication plan to ensure that the Castlebar facility meets our goals of effectively functioning as an extension of our existing operations.

Initial Staffing

  • Assist HQ based HR staff with execution of staffing plan.
  • Develop plan, objectives and schedule for bringing other key staff to HQ.

Operationalization Plan

  • Review master plan and schedule for operationalization of Castlebar facility.
  • Augment/amend the above as warranted.
  • Supplement the above with additional detailed plans for specific attributes where required.

Facility Qualification

  • Participate in the definition of the site master validation plan.
  • Define execution strategy and scheduling for approved master validation plan.

6-12 Months

Equipment Installation

  • Oversee and coordinate the installation of production equipment.


  • Oversee execution of the site master validation plan.
  • Oversee and facilitate the cleanroom and other critical utility validation plans.
  • Assist with equipment and process validation activities.

Client Orientation Visits and Audits

  • Assist with scheduling and facilitation of client technical visits and audits.
  • The Site Lead will be expected to be a primary resource during these activities.

Operational Effectiveness Monitoring

The quality of our products comes first.  As such carefully monitoring and modulation of the throughput of the Castlebar facility during its initial operations will be required to ensure that this progresses at a measured and steady pace which does not impact quality. 

  • Assess, monitor and enhance throughput capability with the aforementioned caveat that throughput cannot negatively impact quality.
  • Ensure local suppliers of e.g. packaging material and sterilization services are meeting required performance standards.
  • Regularly interface with both Castlebar and HQ based quality staff to review any challenges, questions, etc. to ensure these are addressed before products ship to our clients.

Growth Planning  

  • Determine capacity needs based on projected growth. Rationalize this with local growth capability in terms of workforce onboarding, local supply chain, etc.  
  • Work with both Meissner HQ based resources as well as local contractors and officials to develop expansion plans.

Travel and Interface

As noted herein, during the first year a reasonable amount of time, surmised to be on the order of two (2) to three (3) months will be spent at HQ.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

These include the following, others may be assigned. 

Site Operations

  • Plan and monitor daily operations.
  • Coordinate all site activities to ensure progress against established goals.
  • Monitor KPIs, assist in planning and execution of action plans to achieve improvement there against.
  • Evaluate overall site performance by gathering, analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Oversee staff from all departments represented at Castlebar facility and ensure coordination with associated departments at HQ.
  • Review financial performance of Castlebar operation to promote profitability.
  • Ensure that operation adheres to all applicable local laws and regulations.

Client Support

  • Assist, or lead as warranted, client technical visits and audits.
  • Ensure customers satisfaction with all facets of the business from order processing to lead times to billing.


  • Maintain excellent communications with Meissner HQ.
  • Ensure all staff do the same with their respective superior, many of whom will be based at HQ.
  • Ensure that best practices from Castlebar are communicated back to HQ and vice versa to facilitate consistent operations globally.

Managed Growth

  • Liaise with HQ based staff (where required) to provide effective and timely performance reviews.
  • Evaluate capacity of all operational areas, create plans to address bottlenecks as warranted.
  • Coordinate with executive team to plan and implement endeavors which support strategic organizational objectives.


The Site Lead is a senior leadership position within Meissner. Excellent organizational and leadership abilities are required to effectively fill this roll.  Additionally, outstanding communication and people skills are necessary.

Education and/or Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Business, Finance or other related field is required.
  • A Masters degree in Business Administration or other related field is preferred although applicable experience is also highly valued.
  • Experience working in a highly regulated industry is very beneficial.
  • Minimum 5 years of management experience.
  • Minimum 5 years in manufacturing field.
  • Demonstrated critical and effective decision making skills.
  • In depth knowledge of diverse business functions (e.g. production, customer service, quality, supply chain, etc).
  • Must be proficient with MS Office software including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel.
  • Must have strong English Language written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents.


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