Mitch Free is a serial entrepreneur and manufacturing industry maverick. He currently serves as the founder and CEO of ZYCI. Mitch also founded Fast Radius (NASDAQ FSRD) in 2014, MFG.com (global manufacturing marketplace) in 2000 and 3DATUM (CAD/CAM software and 3D printers) in 1998. Mitch began his career as a CNC machinist and worked in the aerospace and automotive tooling sectors producing some of the most complex parts and assemblies. After working in job shops for 7 years, Northwest Airlines recruited him to develop methods to rapidly reverse engineer and produce aircraft parts when they could not be quickly obtained from the OEM or surplus market. While at the airline, he was awarded multiple patents (5,167,720 and 5,162,659) for technologies he created for inspection and repair of jet engine components. Mitch Free’s “owner mentality”, a track record of innovation, a penchant for results and leadership quickly led to senior management positions where he oversaw aircraft acquisition, refurbishment and fleet modernization projects worldwide.
Mitch left the airline business to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams and founded 3Datum, a company focused on providing product designers and manufacturers with 3-D CAD, CAM and 3-D printing systems. 3Datum was acquired after 3 years and Mitch subsequently founded MFG.com. Mitch built MFG.com into the largest global marketplace for the manufacturing industry serving customers in 50 countries and 11 languages with regional offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Paris, France and Shanghai, China. MFG.com’s success attracted high profile investors including Jeff Bezos and Fidelity Ventures. Mitch ran MFG.com as Chairman and CEO for 13 years.
In 2013, Mitch’s passion for manufacturing and building companies that delight customers led him to found ZYCI in 2013. Mitch has a very hands on management style is intimately involved in the day-to-day operations and leadership.
Mitch writes for Forbes about manufacturing as it related to aerospace and defense. He is a dynamic and sought-after presenter, Mitch has spoken at Northwestern University, Georgia Tech, Harvard Business School, Wharton, Fudan University in China, numerous industry conferences and appears regularly on various media outlets including CNBC and Fox Business.
Mitch is a previous winner of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and has been featured in Start Up Playbook and Makers, the New Industrial Revolution. Mitch co-authored THE GREAT DISRUPTION: COMPETING AND SURVIVING IN THE SECOND WAVE OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION about the supply disruption that lies ahead as a result of direct digital manufacturing.
Mitch serves on several boards, is a member of YPO, an aviation enthusiast, and private pilot.
Shirene Free is originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has lived in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai before settling down in the United States.
Shirene began her career in Singapore as a production planner in the injection molding industry for one of the largest plastic molders in Asia. She advanced to positions of increasing responsibility giving her significant first-hand experience with machining, tool development, molding and the global manufacturing industry. Subsequently, Shirene was recruited to lead procurement and logistics by a leading supplier of polyethylene products for the food and beverage industry and relocated to Hong Kong. Shirene is a member of Women in Manufacturing
Prior to moving the United States, Shirene lived in Shanghai, China and ran sales, marketing and customer service for MFG.com for southeast Asia. Shirene has a tremendous reputation for her work ethic, manufacturing expertise, attention to detail and obsession with exceeding customer expectations.
Shirene enjoys staying fit, spending time with her family and co-piloting small airplanes with her husband. She cares deeply about social causes and helping the less fortunate. She was featured in the book Belly Art Project by Sara Blakely to support the Every Mother Counts Foundation.
Brian joined ZYCI in February of 2020, bringing nearly 10 years of aviation industry experience, overseeing piston & turbine aircraft piloting, instructing and managing various airframes. Since joining ZYCI, Brian has been focused on continuously improving ZYCI’s AS9100:ISO9001 Quality Management System.
At ZYCI, Brian spends his time monitoring key performance indicators and working with aerospace customers, suppliers, and department managers to identify and execute process improvements as well as verify internal training and QMS procedural adherence.
Brian is an Eagle Scout and a graduate of Auburn University, where he studied Supply Chain Management, Aviation Management and Professional Flight. He spends his personal time volunteering with Angel Flight Soars and as a founding team member of Operation AirDrop disaster relief, led South Florida operations in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and currently serves as an operations consultant.
Elizabeth is a proud Knoxville, Tennessee native currently residing in Atlanta, GA. . She attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with B.S. Business Administration.
Elizabeth currently serves as an Aerospace and Defense Project Manager at ZYCI. Known for attention to detail and excellent communications skills, she manages complex projects from some of the most demanding and influential customers.
Elizabeth is an avid reader, reading approximately 180 books per year. She is a lover of college basketball, dark roast coffee, and spending time with her husband and their two dogs - Darcy and Charlie.
Anne graduated from Georgia Tech in 2019 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She joined ZYCI as an engineer and helped develop strategies to machine complex, high precision parts. She designed tooling and developed repeatable process to maintain quality and consistency during the manufacturing process. In March 2021, Anne was promoted to Program Manager, Aerospace and Defense where she interfaces with customers to collaborate on projects, develop quotations and project manage orders to ensure the meet the required specifications and are delivered on-time.