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Management Team

JVS has a long and successful history of providing the highest level of Quality, Delivery, Service and overall Value to our customers, globally, for the past 52 years. As a tribute to our longevity, JVS reached another milestone this year with the production of our 5 Millionth engine brake.

During this time we have developed unique processes in hydraulics, precision machining, motion, valve timing and electronics applied to engines and vehicles.  The foundation of our success is based on four Core Values that drive our business today and will continue into the future…

  • Build the Best Team
  • Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)
  • Creating An Environment That Rewards Innovation and Creativity
  • Providing Returns To Our Stakeholders That Outperform Relative to Our Competitors

As we continue our journey, increased demand for our products and technologies is coming from new geographies requiring us to evolve our portfolio and customer services to meet the high level of expectation from these markets.

We are excited to announce a new initiative at JVS which was developed to highlight our competencies and capabilities that have helped to drive our success over the years.  The result was JVS Engineering.  This is a group inside JVS that takes on engineering challenges not necessarily related to engine braking and is a means of starting conversations that will lead to relevant technology and manufacturing programs.  Take a moment to see what JVS Engineering is all about.

Our brand and reputation are important to us, so you can count on JVS to provide solutions based on proven technologies and demonstrated reliability.  We also strive to be good citizens and neighbors, so we develop our products and processes with consideration given to their impact on the environment and those we share it with.

On behalf of all of us at Jacobs, thank you for your support and interest in our company and our products.  Don’t hesitate to contact us in any way if we can be of assistance.

Sergio Sgarbi, President 
Jacobs Vehicle Systems


Our Team

Sergio Sgarbi President Jacobs Vehicle Systems

Sergio Sgarbi President

Sergio Sgarbi, President, joined Jacobs Vehicle Systems after 22 years at Navistar Inc. with increasing global responsibilities in operations, marketing and general management with a focus on engines and components.

Most recently, Sergio held the position of Vice President Global Engine and Marketing.  Before becoming Vice President, Global Engine and Marketing, Sergio held many positions within Navistar including Vice President and General Manager, North American Business Operations and General Manager, North American Navistar Business.  During his time at Navistar, Sergio’s responsibilities included leading the North American Engine Group’s strategy and operations for long term growth.    

Sergio received his degree in mechanical engineering from Faculdade de Engenharia Industrial and his MBA from the University of Sheffield.  He also attended the London Business School and The University of Chicago for Executive Education.   

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Joao 1

Joao (John) Cullen Vice President of Engineering

Joao Cullen, Vice President of Engineering, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado - FAAP, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and his Master’s degree in Naval Engineering at the University of Sao Paulo.

Joao's first job out of school was as a R&D Engineer for Metal Level, one of the world largest piston and bearings manufacturer at the time.

In 1989 he moved with his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to help Metal Level startup manufacturing plants and engineering centers in the US. Joao then moved on to positions of increased responsibilities at Cummins, Navistar and Ricardo. During his tenure at Navistar, he lived in Germany for a couple of years to lead the development of a new heavy-duty diesel engine for On-Highway truck applications in North America.

More recently, Joao accepted the position of Vice President of Engineering with Jacobs Vehicle Systems, Bloomfield, CT. Joao is the author of several technical papers and patents. He also served for several years as a member and instructor for the Society of Automotive Engineers. 


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Debbie 1

Debra LeMay Vice President, Manufacturing Support

Debra (Debbie) LeMay is the Vice President, Manufacturing Support. Debbie joined the Jacobs Team in 1977 and has held multiple positions, including Manufacturing Manager, KaizenCoordinator, Operations Manager and Director of Manufacturing.

Debbie was part of the Jacobs team during the acquisition by Danaher and was involved in the transition from batch manufacturing to JIT. As part of the team at Jacobs, she helped to start to integrate the Lean Manufacturing tools, which have now evolved into the Danaher Business System.
Debbie graduated from Tunxis Community College. She is also a certified DBS Black Belt in Standard Work and 5S.

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Steve Ernest Jacobs Vehicle Systems

Steve Ernest Vice President, Marketing and Business Development

Steve Ernest has been the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development since December, 2013.

Steve originally joined Jacobs in 1996 as a Development Engineer.  Since then, he has held roles of increasing responsibility with his last engineering assignment being the Director of Technology Development.    

Prior to joining Jacobs, he held various positions of increasing responsibility as part of the Cummins Engine Company.

Steve holds a B.S. from Southern Illinois University and an M.S. from Purdue University.


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Jacobs Vehicle Systems, Sarah Byrd-LoFrese

Sarah Byrd-LoFrese Director of Human Resources

Sarah Byrd-LoFrese joined Jacobs’ as Director Human Resources in January 2014.

Prior to JVS, Sarah held various positions of increasing responsibility in Human Resources with Danaher and Stryker.  Most recently, Sarah held the position of Senior HR Business Partner at ChemTreat, another Danaher company in the Environmental Water Quality Platform where she supported a large commercial team both domestically and internationally.  Prior to that role, she supported the operations side of the business at ChemTreat.

Prior to joining Danaher, Sarah worked in a Generalist capacity for Stryker Biotech, which had a manufacturing facility in New Hampshire.

Sarah holds an MBA from the Franklin Pierce University of New Hampshire and holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from the HRCI Institute.


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Our Team

Our Story

Although the Jacobs Engine Brake has been on the market since 1961, the need for it was terrifyingly demonstrated to its inventor Clessie L. Cummins, some thirty years earlier. In August of 1931, himself, Ford Moyer, and Dave Evans driving a Cummins diesel powered Indiana truck from New York to Los Angeles...

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