Mike DeLong has nearly 20 years of engineering and project management experience, having managed dozens of projects on 3 continents for multiple industries, ranging up to $350M USD in value. Mike is the Founding Principal of Projex Consulting, LLC, which he founded in 2022.
Hi, I’m Mike. While I attended engineering school, I never imagined French Fries as a career. I was studying engineering precisely to avoid making fries for life. Now 20 yrs later, my expertise is French Fries. Actually, my expertise is helping potato processors plan and execute complex capital projects.
As a young Mechanical Engineer, fresh out of university, I performed plumbing and HVAC design work at a small consulting firm. That evolved into a project engineer assignment on location in India, supporting the development of a new potato processing plant for McCain Foods. I spent eighteen months working across time zones, learning the culture, the processes, and equipment, and truly flexing my resourcefulness muscles.
Shortly after India, I traveled to South Africa for a similar assignment. I had more scope, more flexing, and we had better results. I became trusted to manage larger projects at other manufacturing facilities as well, gaining different technical perspectives, and crucial communication and management skills.
Eventually, a call came from McCain Foods, and I joined them full-time planning and managing potato processing projects across North America. Over eight years, my work included developing countless projects, managing engineering and maintenance teams, and leading projects to build two of the largest French fry factories in the world. Those were challenging projects for many reasons: regulatory approvals, tight budgets, aggressive schedules, competing priorities, large & distributed teams, and supply chain disruptions. Despite the challenges, the projects successfully added substantial capacity and revenue while achieving world-class safety performance.
My experience at McCain equipped me with the expertise and confidence to service the growing global industry. I started Projex Consultants to relieve corporate fatigue, spend more time with my family, and broaden my impact by helping other processors accelerate their growth. I now find myself in a unique position with a wide perspective of the entire industry rather than the boundaries of a major single player. This equips me with valuable insights that directly contribute to better outcomes for my clients.
Whether you are a fledgling potato processor or already well-established, or a vendor serving the industry, there’s a good chance I can help improve your performance. I always enjoy talking to others in the industry, so don’t hesitate to reach out.