Joan Adams has been a Senior Consultant to manufacturing companies for over 30 years. She brings measurable and sustainable improvements in operations, quality, customer service and retention. Joan is a fully certified Lean trainer, implementer, and facilitator.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Joan consulted with the French National Utility – EdF, and ATKearney. She then started her own consultancy where she provides Lean expertise to manufacturing, administration, warehousing, and distribution. She strives to bring Lean principles and techniques to the strategy side of business as well, helping client companies fully leverage their operational excellence as a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Joan writes monthly business columns on Lean for two trade magazines. She is also a professor in operations two business schools in the NYC area. Joan received her BS in engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, her diplôme ingénierie from Ecole Centrale – Paris, her MS in engineering from MIT, and her MBA in operations from The Wharton School.
Dave Anderson is a co-founder of The ProAction Group. Dave specializes in supply chain operations, with an emphasis in sourcing, logistics, cost accounting, and process reengineering.
In this role, Dave has led clients through numerous engagements to assess operations, identify opportunities for improvement, and implement changes. Dave also served as the general manager for a client, responsible for strategy, sales, marketing, finance, and operations of an internet group purchasing organization. Dave helped create this business and led it to profitability. Dave has experience in manufacturing, distribution, and service industries.
Prior to forming The ProAction Group, Dave spent eight years in operational consulting, including developing Arthur Andersen’s methodology and software tools for activity based costing.
Dave is involved in a number of industry groups, and has spoken on supply chain management principles at the national conference level.
Dave has a BS in Business Administration and Accounting and an MBA from the University of Kansas.
Nikki has over 30 years’ experience helping individuals and organizations become more strategic, collaborative, and productive, through effective business analysis, process improvement, project management, leadership, and relationship building. She has assisted over 100 organizations across a spectrum of industries including manufacturing, insurance, finance, and biotech, in developing practical skills and enabling their enterprises to evolve the way they work and increase value delivered.
Nikki has a unique background with both business, IT System Analysis, Design and Development experience. She has guided large Fortune 100, to small MSP organizations, from first concept, to detailed data mapping and requirements writing, through implementation of new business and automated systems.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Nikki has worked with clients to coach, facilitate, lead, and mentor them to success and sustainability. Using a proven proprietary approach, customized for each client, Nikki has guided leaders to a values-based leadership presence, connecting purpose, process and people, to achieve unprecedented performance. She has facilitated Strategy Deployment, implemented Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, as well as other Lean Six Sigma tools allowing companies to stabilize processes, ensure production process consistency, build employee trust, sense of ownership, engagement, confidence, and performance improvements.
Nikki facilitated process mapping and SWOT analysis of all accounting processes for a large credit services company. Within a few weeks, one process improvement reduced monthly department effort by several hundred hours, and the prioritized process map was utilized by the 100+ member department for several years. As a Project Manager, Nikki ensured all project deliverables including project management, workflow analysis, and requirements documents met client’s needs and ISO 9000 standards.
Nikki has a BS in Business and Financial Management from Upper Iowa University. She is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP); a Certified MBTI Practitioner Step I & II and Optimizing Team Performance; and a PMI Disciplined Agile Lean Scrum Master (DALSM).
Frank has over thirty years of broad Supply Chain and Manufacturing Operational experience in Automotive, Capital Equipment, Electronics and Consumer Products. He has held a number of significant leadership roles at Honda, Case New Holland and Nortek.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Frank introduced and implemented S&OP to the Home Technology Division of Nortek, resulting in a 29% ($14 million) inventory reduction while maintaining a customer service level of 98.5%. In the Home Technology Division of Nortek, Frank enhanced the logistics model from a single site to a bi-modal distribution, resulting in reduced factory to customer cycle time by 30%, with half a month reduction in working capital ($7.8 million).
Frank holds a BA in Accounting and Economics, and a MBA, both from Saint Ambrose University.
Nate is a man of faith and family with a proven track record of delivering exceptional business results by fostering cultures of continuous improvement and operational excellence. Drawing from his 20+ years of consulting with companies around the globe, he knows that business truly is simple, but not easy. If teams think big, start now, and succeed daily, there’s no limit to what they can achieve together. Drawing upon that philosophy, Nate has transformed manufacturing operations and processes around the world into highly productive, profitable winners.
During his career, he has accrued many significant achievements while directing projects and consulting with clients. Utilizing Lean, Six Sigma, and Agile strategies and tools, combined with a kaizen leadership style Nate has been able to improve products, processes, productivity and services, reduce costs, and increase revenues for various companies. His expertise and leadership have provided a 3x–10x ROI for clients in diverse industries, including oil & gas, heavy manufacturing, software, chemicals, energy, carbon fiber, food and drugs, paper, and others.
Nate holds two engineering degrees from the University of Michigan (BSE Chemical Engineering and BSE Mechanical Engineering) and an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also a registered Professional Engineer and is a Transactional Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Greg Bashford, Vice President – Service Delivery, has over 25 years of Lean Manufacturing experience using the Toyota Production System in training, product development, just in time, standard work, Kanban and manufacturing.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Greg worked for Lexington Metal Systems as the General Manager. Greg’s responsibilities at Lexington Metals System were working with the Sales Department on forecasting and New Products and with Engineering on New Product launches. Also Greg worked with Manufacturing on producing product in a Just-In-Time environment using the Lean Manufacturing tools from the Toyota Production System and with Finance (Controller) on all plant budgets.
Greg also trained his staff at Lexington Metals on the Toyota Production System and managed continuous improvement throughout the system. Greg and his staff also moved 4 manufacturing locations into one location.
Greg has trained manufacturing facilities in Lean Manufacturing Process tools for continuous improvement like Delco Engine Re-Manufacturing, Morey’s Seafood, Ford and others. Some of the Lean tools he implemented were Kanban, 5 S, Quick Changeover, Block scheduling, Standard Work, One Part Flow, Error Proofing, and Sales and Operation Planning. Greg’s additional Lean Manufacturing experience comes from Metalforming Technologies Inc., Lean Manufacturing Consulting, RWD Technologies Inc., and Johnson Controls, Inc.
Gerald Batsford is a veteran executive with over 25 years of experience in supply chain, strategic planning, scheduling, demand forecasting, transportation, inventory management and optimization, systems design, warehousing, and implementation. He has broad industry experience in consumer goods, food, medical devices, industrials, and utilities.
While the early part of his career was in industry, Gerry has spent most of the last two decades as a consultant with GEMM Supply Chain Solutions, The ProAction Group, and AT Kearney, identifying and implementing supply chain initiatives for his clients. Most recently, Gerry led a ProAction team that helped a sign manufacturer increase EBITDA by 20% by modifying their approach to pricing and executing installation and service operations. While at GEMM, he was the Operations Team Lead for a $750M global medical device manufacturer, where he implemented the Hub and Spoke distribution model at 23 locations, developed a planning model to determine correct inventory levels for 100+ hospital consignment locations and 23 Hub delivery sites, and played an integral role in creating an annual capital spend plan which reduced their first year spend by $10M.
At AT Kearney, where Gerry was VP Supply Chain and IT, he implemented the Hub and Spoke distribution network design and managed the 3PL operations partners to support the $750M annual spend of MRO material at a Big 3 automotive manufacturing client. This work spanned 26 US plants and 800 point-of-use dispensing machines.
Prior to his consulting career, Gerry was Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Operations for the Bicycle Division of Brunswick Corporation, where he was in charge of global sourcing, purchasing, forecasting, inventory planning, and warehousing. He played a major role in consolidating warehouse operations from 9 facilities down to 2 distribution centers, reducing inventory by 50% thru improved forecasting and replenishment planning, all while improving order fill rates from 77% to 97%.
At Brunswick, Gerry was also a key executive of a team that accomplished a turnaround and business restructuring that eliminated all North American manufacturing and transitioned the company to importing all products from the Far East. This effort led the company to achieve U.S. market share leadership at $310 million in revenues while making a net profit for the first time in a decade.
Gerry did graduate work in Operations Management at Syracuse University and holds a BA from St. Lawrence University.
Steve Bentson is a hands-on, action-driven leader who excels in bringing about positive and sustainable change in improving the performance of a business. He has over 25 years of leadership experience and documented achievements as the CEO, President, COO, Vice President of Operations and Consultant of well recognized manufacturing companies with revenues of $10M – $500M – many of which were Private Equity-owned businesses.
Steve most recently completed an assignment for a growing manufacturing/construction company (> $100 M in revenue) where he worked with the Sr. Team for over a year to implement Lean principles throughout the organization. This task included developing short term and long-term goals, creating operating and strategic scorecards (KPIs), developing a joint “PSI” plan between Sales & Manufacturing to review capacity vs. demand and developing a process for creating work teams between Engineering, Sales and Manufacturing for improved management of the active client projects. Steve also worked directly with the Manufacturing team to implement lean principles thru VSM utilizing cross-functional work teams. When the Manufacturing Leader abruptly left the business, Steve stepped in to run the manufacturing operations for 6 months. Output was increased nearly 40% within the 1st 3 months and the employment level, including adding a 2nd shift, was significantly increased. Steve is now a Board Advisor to the current ownership.
Just prior to Steve’s assignment above, he held an interim Operations leadership position at Signature Systems Group (Linsalata Capital Partners). Signature is a $30M manufacturer of heavy-duty plastic flooring where he first established accountability and discipline in the operation functions & then implemented Lean teams that drove improvements in throughput, machine & labor utilization, scrap & quality. These improvements allowed the ownership to add equipment/capacity & sell the business shortly thereafter.
Prior to these consulting roles, Steve was President and CEO of Tri-Tec Seal, LLC, a $12M Edgewater Capital Partners portfolio company that makes Teflon seals. He brought a sense of urgency and leadership, professionalism, process focus, customer focus, metrics and accountability and financial reporting to the entire organization.
Prior to Tri-Tec, Steve was COO for Universal Trailer Corp, a $350M manufacturer of enclosed cargo and all-aluminum horse and stock trailers, VP/GM of Extruded Products for Werner Ladder Company, and Executive positions with several Pentair Companies, including VP-Ops of Porter-Cable Power Tools, President of Century Manufacturing and President of DeVilbiss Air Power.
Steve has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree from Duke University. He also has a MS in Material Science/Metallurgy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Doug Blanchard is an executive with over 40 years of experience that knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
As a Partner of The ProAction Group, Doug offers insightful strategic guidance and oversight to client projects, the recruiting and development of consultants, and institutionalizes our methodologies and processes. Additionally, Doug performs the Integrator role for ProAction as it manages the firm using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)
Doug’s insight is invaluable on numerous client engagements in all areas of business operations, including lean enterprise management, business and operations strategy, sales and operations planning, quality systems, new product development, cultural change, leadership coaching and organizational development. Additionally, Doug has been a leader in pre-close operational diligences and the execution of value creation strategies.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Doug worked for Lexington Home Brands as COO/Executive Vice President of Operations, where he was responsible for a $450 million division with 15 plant locations. Prior to that, Doug worked for Emerson Electric, where he had P&L responsibility for a $300 million division. Doug’s past experiences also include Darling Store Fixtures, Tenneco Automotive, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
Doug serves on the board of DeWayne’s Quality Metal Coatings and holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University of Akron.
Alice Bomar has over 40 years of experience in lean manufacturing, supplier development and management, and project development and management. She has coached and trained all levels (shop floor to owners/CEO) through the Toyota Production System (TPS) methodologies such as A3, 5S, Standardized Work, Andon, Production Leveling, Visual Management, Kaizens, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), Quick Change Over, Pull System, Takt Time, Error Proofing, Seven Waste.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Alice has performed various leadership roles at Whirlpool Corporation. As Senior Supplier Quality Engineer, she was responsible for all plastic components and +400 console models for all dryers in a mass production plant (+15,000 Dryers daily) and supported all new product launches and current model revisions. While managing 37 plastic and steel suppliers, Alice implemented and monitored key quality activities at the suppliers, such as APQP, supplier evaluation (audit), PPAP, problem-solving, 8D and corrective action. By applying World Class Manufacturing (WCM) methodology in the supplier base Whirlpool achieved 2 consecutive years with zero suppliers ranked as AA or A. As Senior Sourcing Specialist, Alice supported Whirlpool’s operations of 13 manufacturing plants in the United States and Mexico as well as their supply base of +1,300 suppliers in United States, Mexico, and Canada. Alice was responsible for delivering improvements in Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost throughout assembly operations, applying WTSP methodologies in workstation designs, low cost-no cost design, and standardized work.
Alice has supervised over 250 direct reports in various operational areas such as power & wet paint, cabinet stamping and hang, drum expanders and drum central areas and was responsible for 87 machine processes over three shifts in a union environment.
Alice has accredited certifications in Plastic Engineering Technology from The Behrend College and education from Marion Technical College.
Tony Chak has a reputation for identifying, cultivating, and securing lucrative business and product development opportunities across Asia and Europe. His 20 plus years of experience and expertise in product design, supply chain, contract negotiations, and logistics has been a critical link between global businesses and sourcing opportunities in low-cost markets.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Tony was the Operations Manager for Kyosay Global’s Asia Office where Kyosay’s clients benefited from a consistent track record with premium vendors in China, Thailand, Korea and other Asian countries. As COO of Wisdom Creative Ltd, he led a team with product design capabilities, sourcing & quality assurance, supply chain support, regulatory oversight and logistics services.
Tony was one of the founders of Daynice International Ltd., a Hong Kong-based gift and toy manufacturer. As Business Development Partner for Daynice, Tony co-led the creation, launch, marketing and licensing of the “Pork Chop & Friends” brand. Offering a full-range of products, Tony directed product development, marketing, contract negotiations, intellectual property, licensing, export trading, franchising and retail/wholesale channels. He and his team propelled this startup brand to distribution across 18 countries, 300 retail customers in Hong Kong and 13 corporate/franchised theme shops and department stores.
Tony completed his education at Bishop Hall Jubilee College in Hong Kong.
Sheldon has more than 25 years of experience in quality and lean manufacturing and has held leadership roles in many functional departments including Operations, Supply Chain, Engineering, Project Management, Quality, and Safety. His background includes both consulting and industry roles and his expertise spans several industries including semiconductor fabrication equipment, consumer appliances, and large electrical switchgear and generator enclosures.
Sheldon is passionate about building world-class quality systems to reduce defects, improve profitability, and improve customer satisfaction. He is a servant leader who believes in the team problem solving approach and has a bias for action.
Sheldon is an expert in leading and facilitating cross functional teams to develop a problem-solving culture and leverage team expertise.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Sheldon served in several key leadership roles. As Program Quality Manager at a large global appliance manufacturer, he led the transformation of the New Product Introduction (NPI) process within the Supply Chain by implementing lean methodologies in the supply base and qualifying suppliers to support all new appliance launches. This new strategy became the benchmark for the other divisions in the company.
Later, as Director of Quality at a conglomerate, Sheldon guided the deployment of Lean and Six Sigma initiatives across 3 separate company sites. Sheldon also led the implementation and certification of the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System. His efforts were instrumental in driving a corporate turnaround strategy.
Sheldon holds a MS in Management from Troy University and a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Florida. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor. Sheldon is also a former Air Force officer and decorated Gulf War veteran.
Kevin Desrosiers has over 40 years’ experience in maintenance, engineering, and operations. He has experience in strategic planning, benchmarking, budgeting, regulatory compliance, process reengineering, and recruiting and managing high performance teams. Kevin has implemented World Class Production and Maintenance strategies and KPIs, increasing equipment efficiency and reducing labor costs.
Prior to his work at ProAction, Kevin has worked at Anheuser-Busch Incorporated. He started as plant engineer and progressed to maintenance supervisor, maintenance superintendent, engineering manager, corporate support, and then manager overseeing operations in multiple plants. As Manager of Operations, he was responsible for budgets, throughput, KPI’s, and overseeing production and maintenance at 6 breweries. He established the maintenance template for their global roll out of SAP. As an Engineer, Kevin utilized Six Sigma principles to develop a detailed standardized preventive maintenance program for critical equipment which is used corporate wide. The implementation of this program and audit process reduced maintenance labor hours by 20% and unplanned work by 70%. Kevin served as corporate subject matter expert (SME) to resolve technical and operational issues for bottle fillers, crowners, cappers, and rinsers.
Kevin has developed and tracked yearly expenses and capital budgets, managed maintenance planning, and led the initial implementation of SAP PM. He has been in charge of the activities of 15 supervisors and 90 union employees, coordinating with Corporate Engineering and Operations on a warehouse modernization project which resulted in the brewery having the lowest cost warehouse in the system. Direct loading increased from 18% to over 50%, generating considerable labor savings. He has supervised union electricians and machinists in breakdown, preventive, and predictive maintenance of high speed packaging equipment and has been responsible for equipment modifications, and establishing spare part inventories.
Kevin has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri). He has been awarded Toastmasters International (Distinguished Toastmaster, Area Governor (2003 – 2004), Division Governor (2004 – 2005), Division Governor of the Year (2004 – 2005), Anheuser-Busch Toastmaster of the Year (2006), District 8 Toastmaster of the Year (2006 – 2007), District 8 Toastmasters Evaluation Champion (2008 and 2011).
Dean Foderaro has over 40 years of management experience in Manufacturing and as a multifunctional leader. His extensive background allows him to quickly analyze manufacturing facilities from production floor layouts, production line efficiencies, engineering print and work instruction analysis, as well as workforce effectiveness. Dean is adept at applying Lean-Six Sigma techniques as well as Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Failure Mode Analysis (PFMEA). Utilizing his expertise, Dean and his team increased enterprise value nearly 10-fold and doubled adjusted EBITDA in a period of less than 5-years. These significant improvements led to the successful sale of his previous company to a private equity backed strategic buyer.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Dean worked through the ranks at V&F Transformer Corp. from Line Leader to Supervisor to VP Operations Manager to CEO and he has experienced all facets of a manufacturing facility. While at V&F Transformer, Dean was responsible for building and running a facility in Mexico for over 7 years, as well as overseeing and acquiring V&F’s largest contract manufacturer in China. He managed initial start-up, production ramp up, and subsequent expansions to meet growing demand in Celina, TN which included being awarded an Economic Development grant allowing the facility to increase headcount from 35 to 100 within three calendar years. Dean has the ability to oversee new product development and help in reducing price per design by working with NPD teams using lean process tools.
Dean has a BS in Business Administration from University of Phoenix, attended DeVry University in Electronic Studies and is a Six Sigma Champion (Gold Belt Training).
Jennifer Frankenberg has over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, including pet food, and supplements. She has worked with, and for, food companies of all sizes, and brings to the table deep experience in food safety, regulatory compliance, food certifications, supply chain management, operations, and equipment design. She is adept at assessing risk, defining objectives, and optimizing business opportunities.
Her career began at The Kroger Co. in Cincinnati, OH and included regulatory, supply chain, and marketing roles. During her tenure there, she streamlined the company’s recall management system, managed a $700M portfolio of ingredients, negotiated strategic forward buy contracts, and conducted Kroger dairy plant audits.
After several years of private consulting, she moved into the due diligence space at an operations management firm. As a Vice President within the firm, she developed and managed a Food & Beverage Practice within the company, working with middle market private equity and portfolio companies conducting pre- and post-acquisition projects, and ultimately identifying more than $500M in collective operational savings. Most recently, she was the Vice President of Supply Chain for an emerging direct-to-consumer pet food company. Within the first 6 months with the firm, she lowered raw material spend by 8% through negotiated contracts.
Over the span of her career, Jennifer has performed over 100 diligences, including food safety inspections and operational assessments; documented and implemented various policies, procedures, and training programs; managed food-related crisis events; prepared companies for SQF and BRC certification audits; worked with professional and food industry trade associations; and facilitated an overhaul of an ANSI standard on hygienic bakery equipment design.
Jennifer has spoken at various national food and private equity meetings, sat on panels, and conducted webinars for the food industry, covering food safety, regulatory compliance, and supply chain topics. In addition, she has been published in several food industry magazines.
Jennifer holds a BBA in Marketing and a Master of Business Administration from University of Cincinnati. She is a certified Six Sigma Lean Green Belt and holds several certifications in Microbiology and Food Safety. She is also a Certified Food Safety Manager in the foodservice industry.
Vince Gurzo is an experienced President/CEO/Board member of several mid-sized general manufacturing and chemical companies. In these and previous executive positions, he has created value for shareholders leading organizations of $20 million to $600 million through growth, restructurings, M&A, joint ventures and globalization.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Vince was Corporate VP at LaRoche Chemical where he shared COO responsibility and directly managed four divisions and two JVs. The teams he led revitalized two of those divisions, consistently improving financial and operating performance. Earlier at International Specialty Products he served in senior sales, marketing, and general management roles. At Union Carbide, now part of Dow Chemical, he was responsible for the U.S. and European manufacturing and R&D for a $100 million subsidiary after success in a series of sales and product management positions. He began his career at Merck & Co, Inc. as a manufacturing engineer.
In his current role as a consultant, private equity sponsors, sub-debt holders and Boards of Directors rely on him to provide “the real story” in under-performing businesses. As an interim operating executive or in a traditional consulting role, he assesses management capabilities, strategic direction and operating programs; providing leadership for corrective actions. He is also a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs at the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business.
Vince earned a degree in Chemical Engineering at Rutgers University, and an MBA from Pace University’s Executive Program, which was awarded With Distinction. He is a Certified Six Sigma Green belt and Lean Engineer. He is the named inventor on several patent applications and has received the Key to the City of Baton Rouge Louisiana for revitalizing the Alumina Division while at LaRoche Chemical.
Jeff Haagenstad has over 25 years’ experience in executive leadership, operations, project management, product development, negotiations, procurement, and new market development. He has worked with Private Equity companies on pre-acquisition due diligence and post-acquisition with the acquired companies to improve their operations. His negotiation experience has enabled companies to increase product development cadence and increase revenue. He has initiated and led New Product Development processes, re-factored organizations to become cross functional teams, and implemented and used metrics to guide strategy and tactics.
Prior to working with The ProAction Group, Jeff started up EXOGAL, LLC, a high-end audio systems manufacturer that sold in more than 30 countries around the world. He has lived through the operating and financial challenges a company experiences. He and his team pioneered the use of robotic metals manufacturing to reduce their chassis costs by 80% which created margin space that allowed electronic and software innovation, which in turn allowed favorable pricing for their customers. He has been in the trenches of developing Business Plans and executing them.
As Vice President of R&D and Operations, Jeff negotiated strategic sourcing and supply agreements with international vendors, contract manufacturers and strategic partners which shorted product development times by 50%. He negotiated stable pricing arrangements with suppliers when oil and commodity prices were rising rapidly. This kept unfavorable Purchase Price Variances to a minimum which protected margins in the challenging economic environment. He implemented a European warehouse for product sales, cutting delivery time to European customers by 75% (weeks to days), and was in charge of opening a Mexico production facility.
As General Manager at Wadia Digital, Jeff was assigned to integrate operations of Wadia into ARC (acquiree), revitalize the Wadia product line by building a new Minnesota-based Engineering team, and develop a new roadmap to replace its legacy product line. While at Hawk Institute for Space Sciences, Jeff was responsible for developing the platforms used in low-cost, rapid deployment of satellite and UAV missions in a one-year-old startup.
Jeff has a BA in Computer Science/Math from University of St. Thomas and also has 4 US Patents.
Carl has over 40 years of consulting and industry experience. His expertise is in global Manufacturing, Engineering, and Supply Chain and spans several industries including medical, optical, aerospace, semiconductor, construction, and transportation services. He has worked at several Fortune 500 enterprises (General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Arrow Electronics, Luxottica, Gulfstream Aerospace), driving LEAN Transformation and Operational Excellence.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Carl was Vice President for Luxottica, a global precision Rx optical company. By incorporating Lean methodologies throughout 4 facilities, Carl enabled the company to reduce lead-time from 3 weeks to 3 days while increasing a breakeven EBITA to 34% through the utilization of lean tools.
While Global Supply Chain Director for Hewlett Packard, Carl was able to reduce lead-time for finished goods delivery from Asia to the end US customer from 30 days to 36 hours while reducing costs by 18%.
As General Manager for Arrow Electronics, Carl was able to reduce lead-time for programming semiconductors from 3 days to less than 24 hours while increasing EBITA from negative to 19% with utilization of Lean tools.
Carl holds a BS in Business Management from San Jose State University and an MBA from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. Carl is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certified from Villanova and has training certifications in Production and Inventory Management from APICS.
Perry has more than twenty-five years’ experience in lean manufacturing working with clients and their endeavors to implement Lean Manufacturing. He has 12 years of Lean experience from Toyota Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky, managing production operations in the body weld department. He has developed extensive training materials and delivered the materials on the production floor through consulting and coaching companies such as SME, Caterpillar, GM Power train, Ford, Dana/Spicer Axel, Siegel – Robert, Intuitive Surgical, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Bose, Turner Power Systems, and the U.S. Air Force.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Perry became a program manager focusing on the Ford Production System, working with Ford Power train Lima Ohio and Cleveland Engine and the Shingo Prize effort. He was also a lean engineer for GM Power train, responsible for implementing lean in the 22 North America power train plants.
Perry is also a contributing author in Lean Manufacturing: A Plant Floor Guide published by SME.
As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Business Executive, Sheila has applied Lean Six Sigma principles to improve business processes in manufacturing, product development, engineering, Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), customer services, supply chain, distribution, logistics and “order-to-cash” environments. Sheila has been successful integrating customer requirements into the manufacturing and operational processes to improve customer satisfaction/retention and to generate business growth.
Prior to joining ProAction, Sheila has worked in various business units at Alcoa, Sonoco Products and AM International. She has managed various manufacturing, warehouse, distribution, engineering and customer services operations. Utilizing Lean principles, Six Sigma analytics and Continuous Improvement methodologies, Sheila has experience in Value Stream mapping, SMED, Kanban, 5S, and Standard Work.
She has successfully managed the relocation and consolidation of various facilities ensuring seamless customer transition and integrity of the supply chain. She developed and implemented various types of integration scenarios including domestic and international business units, acquisition of competitors, integration of product expansions, facility relocations and facility closures.
She implemented Lean Daily Management and Visual Management to Customer order flows, resulting in the reduction of expedited orders, improved operating efficiencies and reduced freight expenses. She designed and implemented a “Rapid Response” process to address customer emergency demand requirements and production planning with monitoring of the results in meeting customer expectations. She has implemented inventory optimization reviews, cycle counting processes and product rationalization programs. She has managed vendor supply bases and implemented performance monitoring programs. She has used value stream mapping events to collaborate with teams to identify and realize opportunities to reduce costs, quality issues and cycle times. Utilizing Kaizen techniques to resolve problems impacting both customers and operations, she was able to reduce overall customer credits by 18%.
Sheila had international roles in Puerto Rico, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Singapore, and Malaysia. She has a Masters of Business Operational Excellence (MBOE) & a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from The Ohio State University and a B.A. Spanish/Certificate of International Business from the University of Cincinnati.
Carolyn Henson is an accomplished professional focusing on standard of work documentation, value stream mapping, and conducting inventory and operational analysis for clients. She has experience conducting and analyzing benchmark reports and guiding companies through the request for proposal process.
Carolyn has worked closely with several companies in the health and medical industry and other sectors streamlining and documenting the procedures necessary to complete day-to-day work. Her detailed and organized approach to documenting standard work has helped streamline processes of billing, customer service, shipping, maintenance, and other departments. These clients have seen an increase in efficiencies, a decrease in errors, and possess detailed training materials.
Her role in value stream mapping events has allowed companies to better understand their processes, visualize their goals, and create detailed plans towards a tangible future state. These events have resulted in clients reducing their non-value added time and increasing productivity on the floor and in the office. Carolyn’s attention to detail and ability to dissect data has been instrumental when conducting inventory and customer segmentations.
Carolyn has a BS in Communication Studies with Magna Cum Laude honors from Illinois State University. She is certified in Business and Administrative Communication and Human Resource Management.
Larry Hirschfield is an Operations executive with over 40 years of global business experience, where he has successfully led the start up of new facilities (including in China and Korea), been a champion of continuous improvement initiatives, and driven operational improvements that freed up assets, reduced fixed costs, and increased net income. He has been instrumental in Lean transformations and new plant layouts/expansion planning.
Prior to working with The ProAction Group, Larry held senior management positions in several automotive companies, most recently with GT Technologies, where he was Sr. VP of Operations and had responsibility for 6 global manufacturing facilities. His action-oriented approach quickly improved the profitability of the largest plant by over 20% and reduced quality issues by 25%.
Prior to GTT, Larry was the Executive Director of Global Operational Quality for Joyson Safety Systems after being promoted from Executive Director of Quality for the Americas. He was also with Dana Corporation, first as the VP of Powertrain Innovations where he was responsible for the development and commercialization of disruptive CVT transmission technology and then was promoted to VP of Global Manufacturing Engineering, where he developed and implemented best practices across their 93 manufacturing facilities.
Larry began his career with 29 years at BorgWarner, where he started as a manufacturing engineer and held positions of increasing responsibility across a number of disciplines, including Engineering, Quality, and Production. He ultimately was VP of Global Operations and he directed over $30M of capital projects, implemented significant fixed cost structure reductions, reduced variable costs through lean manufacturing initiatives, and reduced inventory/increased turns.
Larry lives in Brighton, MI and earned an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Ferris State University.
Jay, a supply chain and logistics consultant for ProAction, leads clients through complex distribution network design, transportation and warehouse improvement projects. As part of this, Jay has also served as an expert witness in legal cases surrounding the transportation industry. Jay has been involved in the transportation and logistics industry continuously since 1974, having held positions in Operations, Marketing, Sales, Pricing, Regional, District, Division, National and International Executive levels as Trainee, Operations Officer, Sales Representative; Pricing General Manager, General Manager, Vice President, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President for rail, third and fourth party logistics organizations (including the management of over 4M square feet of distribution facilities in 6 countries), and transcontinental motor carriers.
Since 1999, when he joined Ernst & Young LLP as a Director of their Global Supply Chain practice, Jay has been involved in research and analysis of the logistics industry. Over the past 15 years, he has performed assignments and engagements with nearly 50 clients in areas including distribution network and facility design, inventory and private fleet rationalization, transportation and warehouse negotiations and distribution planning for The ProAction Group.
Jay holds a Master Degree in Psychology from San Jose State University with an additional Transportation Post Graduate Certification from Northwestern University.
Kevin Hofert, Vice President, Business Development and Sales Management, has over 28 years of business management, engineering, and leadership experience. He has a proven background in operations management, design engineering, training teams, and overall P&L leadership. Kevin has evaluated and corrected issues in troubled business areas such as operations, margin erosion, estimating effectiveness, staff turn-over, and warranty expense. Kevin provides a unique perspective that comes from his operating experience, leadership roles, engineering mindset and the combination of a law degree and MBA.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Kevin was CEO for a sign manufacturer. He established performance metrics, revenue projections, operational improvements, and identified and integrated add-on business acquisitions. He collaborated with ownership and financial institutions to expand operations to 2 additional states, taking the business from $29M in 2016 to $56M in 2019. As Vice-President, Sales Support & Corporate Counsel, Kevin retooled the Estimating Department, achieving improved estimate accuracy while dramatically reducing turn-around. He successfully managed processes and performance of the Account Management Team through approximately 100% revenue growth over a roughly 3 year span. Kevin has developed production/project schedules, assessed compliance to specific project financial requirements, as well as coordinated designs of custom products for major accounts while supplying legal advice in key areas.
Earlier in his career, Kevin was the VP of Engineering, a Chief Engineer, and construction field manager.
Kevin has a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan, and Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois-Chicago Law School.
Christopher Jackson is an experienced operations professional with over 30 year experience turning around underperforming business units, consistently optimizing operational efficiency and making significant contributions to immediate and long-term business profitability. Chris has extensive experience in Lean operations, environmental health and safety, Six Sigma program development, Project and Program management, union negotiations, team leadership, and business development.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Chris was Vice President, Manufacturing and Lean Operations, for a major Furniture Manufacturer, where he developed and executed operations excellence and leader standard work using DMAIC methods throughout their North American manufacturing operations, improving productivity 20% with an 85% reduction in past dues/backlog. As Director of Engineering and Reliability at Alcoa, Chris implemented standard practices such as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) which improved rolling mill availability and productivity, optimized preventative maintenance compliance, and established critical spares management practices.
Chris has also implemented Lean manufacturing methods, Value Stream Mapping, Six-Sigma strategies, and implemented systems while at Alcoa, RR Donnelley, Chromalox, Inc, Coors Brewing Co., and Corning, Inc..
Chris served in the U.S. Army as an Officer and Captain. He graduated from Concord Law School, has a Masters of Science in Finance & Operations Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Bachelors of Science, Mechanical Engineering from West Point.
Max Krug is an operations focused professional with over 38 years of experience providing operational excellence expertise to organizations with the primary objective of achieving breakthrough financial and operational performance. Max’s range of expertise and experience includes manufacturing operations, distribution, and project management.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Max has assisted organizations in achieving Operational Excellence by utilizing Theory of Constraints, Lean Manufacturing, and Total Quality Management principles. He has worked with organizations to develop corporate strategy along with hands-on implementation, coaching, and mentoring support of the actions required to create a high performing organization. Results included improved profitability, reliable delivery performance, reduced lead-times, improved cash flow, improved quality, and improved customer satisfaction.
Max is certified in Theory of Constraints as a Supply Chain & Production Logistic Application Expert, a Lean Manufacturing Facilitator & Trainer, a Six Sigma Green Belt, and is a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001, IATF 16949, and AS9100. In addition, Max holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Alfred University and an MBA from St. Bonaventure University.
Michael Lemon is an experienced professional with a focused background on profitability improvement and global competitiveness. His background includes over 30 years of experience in the areas of International sourcing and manufacturing management for Fortune 500 corporations.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Mike was responsible for growing the offshore sourcing environment at Lexington Furniture Industries from $15mm/year to $50mm/year while favorably restructuring offshore financial agreements with the supply base. As a plant Manager with Henredon Furniture Mike played a leadership role in successfully increasing production by 57% while reducing staff levels by 23% without layoff. Inventories were reduced by 35% in the same time frame. While Director of Materials and Manufacturing Systems at Pitney Bowes Mike led the effort for his division to become the only recognized “Class A MRP11” division in the corporation.
Mike has aided ProAction with several projects both in Mexico and the United States. These included KanBan development and implementation, Manufacturing efficiencies, and international logistics projects.
Mike is degreed in communications from the University of Bridgeport. He also studied International Business at Norwalk Community College and Physics at NY Institute of Technology. He has published 13 papers on various management subjects and was nominated for the Shingo award of Excellence in 1995. Mike also taught Capacity Planning at Catawba Community College and Just In Time Manufacturing at the American Production and Inventory Control Society headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Curt Lenoard has over 30 years of supply chain experience in leadership and consulting roles. He has extensive knowledge in operations, logistics, procurement, supply chain strategy, information technology, sourcing, analytics, inventory management, warehousing, and financial analysis. Curt has been successful driving out costs and managing change within multi-site companies focusing on each of these areas.
Prior to his work at ProAction, Curt held a number of leadership roles and has completed dozens of consulting engagements. A few examples follow:
As the General Manager, Curt had direct responsibility for constructing the supply chain of a $500M “greenfield” steel pipe manufacturing plant. He worked in areas such as materials planning, inbound and outbound freight management (barge, rail, truck), site selection, transportation infrastructure implementation, inventory planning, raw material sourcing, and customer order fulfillment. Additionally, he worked with state and local governments and Class 1 rail carriers to re-establish railroad service into the facility.
Curt led the first centralized logistics group for a $1.8B Oil and Gas manufacturing company, where he was responsible for $70M in inbound and outbound transportation spend, developing a corporate transportation strategy for managing inbound and outbound rail, barge, and truck transportation for 6 business units, and reducing the truckload carrier base from over 2,000 to less than 150, generating over $2M in annual savings.
Other accomplishments Curt has led include:
- Generating $1.7M in annual savings on $7M in spend (24% reduction) on in-office supplies, shipping, telecommunications, computers, etc. for a group of 19 national accounting firms
- Evaluated procurement strategy and category competitiveness identifying over $18M in annual savings
- Analyzed energy hedging strategy for New England industrial natural gas and electricity buying for global chemical manufacturer
- Generating over $650k in savings while leading 5 concurrent sourcing initiatives in industrial Bearings, Electric Motors, Pipe/Valves, Safety Supplies, and Packaging
- Establishing rail and barge transload facilities serving a multitude of businesses including operating projects such as shrink-wrapping rail cars, rail load impact testing, and procuring rail car fleets
- Designing and implementing operating analytics programs focused on demand planning, supplier fragmentation, and optimizing organizational spending
Curt has a BS from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN in Business / Finance.
Eric MacDonald has had 30 years’ experience in senior positions in the manufacturing sector including: electronics, medical, beverages, construction, consumer goods, and plastics. Eric has held positions as Plant Manager, Director of Operations, Project Manager and Manufacturing Engineer that required an experienced lean transformation leader with a broad cross-functional background, that demonstrated success in driving improvements across transactional business processes.
He has worked and consulted with over 700 different manufacturing and service companies over his impressive career as a Lean Practitioner. Some of the industries he has experience in, include Medical Devices, Consumer Goods, Industrial Products, Steel Fabrication, Electrical Components / Power Distribution. He is accomplished in problem solving, lean principles, productivity, and standardizing processes. His expertise in these areas has been a welcome addition to the team.
Eric has a B.S. in Industrial Technology from California University of Pennsylvania and holds his MBA from Waynesburg University. Additionally, Eric holds certificates in Practical Problem Solving, Value Stream Mapping and Lean Kaizen event facilitation, Master Kata Coach, and Lean Tool Implementations.
Paul Manring’s career spans 25 years in mid to upper management roles and across the entire supply chain. Industries Paul has thrived in are food, coatings, small assembly, electronics, plastics, CPG, CNC machining and others. He utilizes data and Lean tools to transform processing plants, applies business intelligence tools with Lean and 6-sigma methods to operations, delivering substantial performance improvements. Many of the transformations are propelled by the DMAIC model with business intelligence tools managing and directing the way.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Paul has worked with various companies to drive quick transformations, has conducted due diligence studies, and performed interim management roles. He has reduced labor expenses, wasteful inventory levels, and other wastes tied to the two. Managerially, Paul has created budgets, project plans, business process maps, safety and quality structures and SIOP processes. He has reduced business risk through Quick Response Manufacturing and Fail-Safe Leadership processes.
Paul holds a BA in General Business Pre-Law from Michigan State University and an MBA in accounting from Wayne State University. He is 6-Sigma Greenbelt and 6-Sigma Champion certified, as well as HACCP certified. Paul possesses advanced competencies in business intelligence software and the DAX language, relational databases, project management tools and diagraming software.
Trained in LEAN, Inventory and Production Management, Leadership, Project Management, Thermal Processing, Red/Green, Dale Carnegie and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM).
Tim is a Partner of The ProAction Group, an operational consulting firm which he co-founded in 1995. Tim has 30+ years of experience helping middle market companies identify, quantify and mine latent value. He is widely recognized for his expertise in supply chain functions as the author a book (Implementing Supplier Partnerships), presenting at national and local conferences, and creating numerous articles on value creation, sourcing and logistics. In addition, he created the firm’s proprietary 9-Box Inventory and Pricing tool which has helped countless companies optimize their inventory levels and improve their pricing practices.
Tim’s primary focus is on serving Private Equity clients and their portfolio companies. He has particular experience in manufacturing and distribution businesses and has a unique ability to assess operational issues and symptoms and translate them into actionable solutions that management and ownership alike can understand and measure.
Prior to forming The ProAction Group, Tim worked in operational consulting at Arthur Andersen and a boutique supply chain consulting firm.
Tim serves on the boards of ACME Metal Coatings, Automated Business Machines and DeWayne’s Quality Metal Coatings.
Tim has a BS in Accounting from Marquette University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Juan-Luis has 25+ years of experience starting up and leading multi-plant and multi-country business units in diverse industrial sectors (automotive, aerospace, electromechanical and consumer products) with high concentration in Latin America. He is an entrepreneurial mind set professional with a unique combination of supply chain, global manufacturing operations, M&A integration and business development that has allowed companies to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. Juan-Luis has significant experience in restructuring undervalued and underperforming businesses through footprint and product portfolio optimization, low-cost procurement, low-cost manufacturing, innovation, and speed to market strategies. He is a pioneer in TPS Lean Manufacturing, Operational Excellence, Hoshin Planning, 6 Sigma, TOC, QFD, DOE Taguchi, Shainin, Shingo, K&T, 8D, SPC, PFMEA, APQP, DFM and many other manufacturing technologies and improvement initiatives.
Juan-Luis is very well versed in all the development phases of international new green field manufacturing operations, and he has led the development and execution of business plans for new markets from the site selection, staffing, start up, ramp up and all the way through the optimization and stabilization stages, with high concentration in Latin America, including border operations (maquiladoras). He is fully bilingual English-Spanish, and his peers characterized him as a decisive and assertive servant leader at all organizational levels from the C-Suite/Board to the front line personnel, very energetic with outstanding cross-cultural communication and excellent motivator with top notch coaching and training skills.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Juan-Luis held multiple management positions such as QA Manager, Corporate 6Sigma Master Black Belt, Director of Quality, Director of Engineering, General Manager and VP/GM of a business unit with revenue exceeding $1B. Most recently as an EVP/Executive Director for an Industrial/Oil & Gas electronics and valve manufacturer Juan-Luis successfully integrated high mix, vertically integrated electronic and mechatronic business units into the business portfolio as well as led the acquisition of 2 companies, adding $20M in revenue to the business.
As VP/GM for a consumer products conglomerate, Juan-Luis was responsible to start up and grow Latin American operations, including 3 US-MX Maquiladoras. He successfully started the first manufacturing plant in the US-MX border in nine months, with no legal or operational issues. He negotiated a favorable union bargain agreement with the local union and implemented several management processes that became company best practices. Juan-Luis has led several plant relocations, decommissions and turnarounds in the last 15 years and was key contributor in the development of a successful sales strategy for emerging channels of distribution in México and the Dominican Republic.
During his career Juan-Luis has performed multiple successful operational excellence transformation projects for several manufacturing companies achieving cumulatively more than $35M in savings and cost avoidance as well as several ISO/QS/TS16949 certifications.
Juan-Luis holds a BS in Industrial Physical Engineering, MBA in Global Leadership and MSE in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from I.T.E.S.M/EGADE Business School. He has several certifications such as Toyota Production System, Lean 6Sigma Master Black Belt, QS9000 Lead Auditor, Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Total Quality Control. His team was awarded with the Maximum Excellence Award of Nissan in 1996 and Presidential Award in 2006.
Audie Penn has 38 years’ experience across many manufacturing environments. His background includes both consulting and industry roles and his experience spans a variety of industries including furniture, food, heavy equipment, municipal functions, energy, and building materials.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Audie was managing partner for a consulting firm focused on operational excellence. By incorporating Lean methodologies throughout multiple facilities for a client, Audie enabled the company to increase EBITDA by 90% year 1, 75% year 2, and 55% year 3.
As Group Manager for a global heavy equipment manufacturer, Audie assisted a billion-dollar division to surpass expected performance and reduced variable costs by 20% in the first five months of his tenure. He then went on to manage the supply chain function for this global organization before he was moved to a role in the global production system, deploying lean around the globe where performance improvement was imperative.
Audie holds degrees in accounting and business management with an MBA from St. Ambrose University. He is Master Black Belt Certified and is certified at the Gold, Silver, and Bronze level through the Lean Certification Alliance where he is currently chair of the SME Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee.
Skip is an experienced kaizen leader and lean implementer. He has led improvement efforts for Eaton, Cutler Hammer, Snap On and Copper Tools. He has led events at 40 different Danaher plants as well as more than 200 additional facilities, leading over 1350 Kaizen efforts to date. He has helped companies such as Copeland Corporation triple their output.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Skip received extensive Kaizen training under the direction of Dr. Shigeo Shingo at Utica Tool from 1982 – 1987. He received additional Kaizen training from Shingijutsu’s Masters, Chihiro Nakao from 1985 – 1992. While at Danaher and Copeland he developed a corporate SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) and TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) training program. He has also developed and implemented TPM and Machine Lubrication programs at several plant sites.
Skip is also affiliated with the following Colleges and State Universities: North Carolina State University, The University of Dayton, Saint Vincent College, The University of Alabama in Huntsville and Haywood Vocation Opportunities.
Skip Quinlivan attended Genessee Community College in Batavia, New York and Orangeburg Community College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He has 36 years of experience as an engineer as well as being a tool and die designer at Utica Tool and Danaher Tool Group.
Mark has more than 20 years of experience in leading Quality and Lean improvement initiatives and implementing quality management systems within manufacturing organizations. As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and expert in Quality Improvement who utilizes Lean, Six Sigma, and other Continuous Improvement methodologies, Mark has successfully led, taught, and mentored project teams for multiple companies to achieve desired quality improvement, productivity improvement, and cost-savings goals. Mark has also guided companies in creating and implementing quality management systems compliant to ISO 9001, IATF 16949, and AS9100, and environmental management systems compliant to ISO 14001.
Before joining The ProAction Group, Mark has defined and led numerous process improvement projects and has performed Lean training. Utilizing tools such as DOE, VSM, TOC, and advanced statistical analysis, effective action plans were developed and implemented to improve yield, reduce material usage and reduced waste that included inspection and rework activities. Mark has also led Lean initiatives including Kaizen events, Quick Changeovers, Cellular Manufacturing, Standard Work, and Downtime Reduction to improve overall productivity and yield.
Mark’s prior career experience includes positions in Quality Management and Engineering (Supplier, Process and/or Customer), and as a Six Sigma Black Belt, in Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies in the automotive industry, including ARC Automotive, Lear Corporation, and Matsushita Electronics Corporation (Panasonic). Mark has also performed key roles in the start-up of multiple facilities, validating new processes and products, negotiating customer agreements and obtaining customer approvals prior to product launch.
Mark has an MBA from The University of Tennessee, a B.S. in Business and has completed doctoral studies in Resource Economics.
Danny Segev is an experienced consultant in the areas of M&A and operational improvements with over 19 years of relevant experience. He is responsible for delivery of client projects.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Danny worked for Life Technologies Corporation as a Director of Corporate M&A, executing more than 15 deals and as a Director of Process Improvement, implementing Lean Six Sigma across 20 manufacturing plants. Danny also served in various leadership roles with Tefen Management Consulting and Tunnell Consulting, conducting bottom line performance improvement studies of corporate operations and hands-on implementation achieving productivity gains, lower costs and improved service level.
Danny has an extensive experience modeling and analyzing manufacturing capacity for numerous global companies in various industries such as: microelectronics, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment, and food processing.
Danny has a BS in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
Anil Shah is a seasoned manufacturing operations executive, focusing on developing strategies and leading initiatives that consistently improve productivity and profits. Anil is a change agent skilled in integrating businesses, cultures and people. He excels in aligning goals, groups and operational resources, and in building disciplined teams focused on the continuous improvement of operational processes, productivity, cost, and quality.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, Anil was an Executive Vice President of Operations for NextLife LLC, where he was responsible for manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain processes. Anil opened a new production facility, collaborated with customers in development of material blends, managed FDA certification requirements, and developed a manufacturing partnership in Asia.
He was also Vice President of Operations for Wilkinson Industries where he headed the manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain functions and was instrumental in contributing to increased cash flow and over $3.7 million in cost savings and operational efficiencies in less than two years. As Executive VP of Operations for Solo Cup, Anil led the operations team in achieving more than $45 million in operations synergies, and helped drive revenue growth from $550 million in 1999 to more than $2.4 billion. Prior to Solo Cup, Anil worked his way to become Area Manufacturing Manager for Continental Can and had responsibility for the $350 million Closure division.
Anil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics and Mathematics from Gujarat University, and pursued continuing studies toward an MS Operations degree at Chicago’s Roosevelt University.
David Shiplett is a Corporate and Plant Lean Leader with over 35 years’ experience in leading, coaching and managing all phases of plant and enterprise Lean/Six Sigma deployment. He has helped 4 global manufacturing companies strategically transform from a traditional manufacturing posture to a flexible, responsive and customer-centered organization. His experience spans the nuclear, chemical, commercial / home appliance and home furnishings industries.
In these transformations, David used the normal Lean toolkit (5S, Visual Factory, VSM, SMED, Standard Work, 3P, TPM, Kanban, PDCA, Line Balancing, and One-Piece Flow) as well as some more advanced applications such as 3P, TRIZ, PFEP, and Extended Supply Chain Fulfillment. These improvements were implemented using events such as Kaizen, workout sessions, and DMAIC.
Prior to joining The ProAction Group, David was the North America Lean Leader for a major appliance company, responsible for implementing lean manufacturing principles in 9 plants, in 3 countries. He provided leadership, coaching, assessment and corrective action to improve production performance and achieve cost savings, stability, and sustainable profitability. His expertise and training allowed the company to see inventory reductions, increased throughput and YoY cost savings.
As the Corporate Lean Leader for a global chemical company, David analyzed a $12M demurrage problem that had been plaguing the company for years. Through a four-month series of scheduling and capacity events, he was able to identify and eliminate 96% of the annual waste and posted a $11.7M savings.
David has a BA in International Business Studies from University of South Carolina and a masters in Adult Learning Theory from Gordon-Conwell / Boston University. He has certifications in Toyota Production Systems training, Lean Enterprise Practitioner and Six Sigma Master Black Belt from the University of Missouri – Rolla and Project Management (PMI Body of Knowledge) from the US Army.
Gary Spoerre, Director – Sales Enablement, has over 29 years’ experience in process engineering and management. He has worked with manufacturing, software, education, and aerospace sectors managing, documenting procedures, and training personnel. His ability to work with teams, create standards and train employees has led companies to meet production goals, reduce defects, and improve safety.
During his time at General Dynamics, Gary managed the SuccessFactors Learning Management System (SAP) and the Percipio (Skillsoft) Learning Experience Platform for training of 400+ site personnel. He trained new employees on product orientation and emergency response, designed the interim Training Verification System for transition to a fully digital system, and created production documentation for medium and large caliber ammunition products. His documentation and training allowed employees to work in a safe environment and improve quality.
Gary has spent time in the educational field where he coordinated multiple projects for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) students, managed employees and customer-facing teams, and developed procedures to ensure consistent and measurable customer satisfaction.
While at Whirlpool/Maytag, Gary trained and counseled employees on product quality improvement, assembly process technique, and maintaining personal safety margins, managed a 120-operator production crew and met production goals with a 98% success rate, created and maintained work standards for 160 workstations on three assembly lines, and lead numerous LEAN-SIGMA events for production, quality, and safety improvement. He redesigned the production training program, resulting in a rework reduction, a lowering of injury risk, and an increase in employee cross-training.
Gary has MS in Education from Southern Illinois University, Associate in Applied Science in Construction Management, and a BS in Industrial Engineering. He was a Petty Officer, 2nd Class (E-5) for the U.S. Navy and Sergeant (E-5), USARNG. He holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, certifications in Society for HR Management, Foundations of Project Management, Strategies for Effective Leadership, and Lean Systems Design.
Martin Staples is a senior Operations leader and change facilitator with over 27 years of global business experience (14 years working/living internationally). He has been successful in planning and leading change, developing management teams, designing organizations and executing global operational and facility strategies. He has led organizations in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Prior to working with The ProAction Group, Martin had a very successful career with Emerson Electric. He was consistently promoted throughout his tenure there and worked in many of their divisions, where he served in roles such as Vice President of Operations, VP of Shared Services, VP of Operational Development and VP of Manufacturing. He had 6 years of P&L responsibility and over 12 years designing and running multi plant location operations.
Known as a “fix it” guy within Emerson, Martin was frequently called in to help underperforming operations improve and is adept at assessing underlying factors and turning performance around. A strength is his people focus – he is able to quickly gain people’s confidence and get the most out of his teams. He uses process, structure and organization skills to drive results and is a student of continuous improvement, lean manufacturing and Gemba training.
Martin has an MBA from Washington University (St. Louis) a Master of Science from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and a Bachelor of Science from University of Missouri-Rolla. In addition, he has numerous continuing education credits from both Emerson (who is renowned for their CE Curriculum) and other organizations, including the Toyota Master Class and Gemba Training with Lean Institute.