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Upcoming Events:

Lean 103 on July 21 in East Lansing
An Inside Look at Truven Health on July 21 in Ann Arbor
2017 Annual Conference on August 2-4 in Traverse City
Lean Application on September 22 in East Lansing
Bronze Prep Exam on November 3 in East Lansing

Register now!
Say hello to our active learning session speakers! They can't wait to support you in the sessions at the conference. 
Kevin Britton

Kevin Britton is the LEAN Deployment Leader and a Six Sigma Black Belt for Hemlock Semiconductor Operations, LLC in Hemlock, MI.    He has over 20 years of experience in LEAN design and improvement implementation, program leadership, and change leadership, both professionally within design, manufacturing and IT, and through his volunteer work with community groups.  A native of the Upper Peninsula, he holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, an MS in Engineering from Purdue, and is an ASQ-Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. He resides in the Auburn area with his wife Jodi and their two daughters.
  • I’m a lifelong Cubs fan, so I’ve seen both highs and lows.    Last year’s World Series Win was definitely the high;  the low was being in the stands at Wrigley the night in 2003 when Sammy Sosa got caught with a corked bat.
  • I enjoy traveling, including internationally, but my favorite destination is Mackinac Island.   This year is our 12th consecutive year of vacationing there.
Laura Kempf

Fun Fact: This will be my fourth summer doing triathlons. Not good but very fun and its awesome to have your kids come root you on.

LEAN Champion for Watson Health with 20 years of experience.  After various roles in Finance, engineering and process improvement, LEAN evolved as the next natural path of my career. It has changed me as a person, and made me a better leader - a Servant Leader!

Areas of Expertise: Inspiring leaders and teams, Innovating change and break through thinking, Finessing the "hard stuff"

Interests: Triathlons, Yoga, Traveling, Teaching and Learning, Mentoring

Wade Lau
Sara Miller

Fun Fact: Narrowly avoided losing her hands while in Edinburgh Castle

Quick Bio: A nerdy lifelong learner, Sara Miller views Continuous Improvement opportunities as puzzles and Sara has never met a puzzle she couldn't solve. Sara has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 7.5 years, enjoying helping improve the lives of those who make the medicines our loved ones depend on. 
Darrell Rogers
Julie Potvin

Julie Potvin has worked at Britten for 13 years. She has held a variety of positions within the company and has been a member of the Continuous Improvement/ Quality Assurance team for a little over a year. Julie has completed the Lean Champion Program through Northwestern Michigan College and is working on her Lean Bronze Certification.
Fun Fact: I used a mountain bike during my first triathlon instead of a road bike. It was tough, but I finished!
Jaymie Riedel
Dan Rinehart

I have worked for Britten Studios for almost 10 years, working for the CI/QA (Continuous Improvement/Quality Assurance) team for a year and a half.

Fun Fact:  I have spent the last 10 years as a part-time Snowboard Instructor at Crystal Mountain, MI.

Laurie Stark

Fun Fact: Laurie attended elementary and middle school at a two-room school in Winona, MI.  Her 8th grade graduating class had 4 members.  At the time, the approximate total enrollment at the school was about 20-25 students.

Laurie Stark has a Master of Arts in Career and Technical Education and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Management. She is currently the Department Coordinator/Staff Development and Lean Initiatives Coordinator for the Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Technological University and is an adjunct faculty member for the International School of Business at Finlandia University. Laurie has completed Lean Facilitator training at her place of employment and is currently working on becoming Bronze certified through the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).   
Annelise Doll

Fun Fact: After countless attempts, Annelise has finally mastered the syncopated pull back in her tap class.

Bio: Annelise Doll received a Master of Science in Information and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She is the Scholarly Communications and Repositories Librarian at the Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Technological University. Annelise completed her Lean Facilitator training at Michigan Tech in 2016.
Anthony DeCaria

"As an improvement strategist, hack psychologist and fun enthusiast, Anthony DeCaria is always looking for unique ways to inspire lean thinking.  He's helped DTE Energy and other organizations work toward creating a flourishing culture of seeing and solving problems by working with all employees, from front lines to founders.  He has advised Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and non-profits in the food, finance, and energy sectors on developing lean strategy, building operating systems, and sparking entrepreneurial behavior.  Anthony lives with his wife, two kids, massive cat, and secret punk-rocker status in Milford, Michigan.  He's released four albums and won an international songwriting competition."
Matt Albin
  • I have lived in 4 countries outside of the USA
  • I came face to face with a black mama bear and her cubs and lived to tell about it
  • I once went for 30 days without taking a shower
Matt is focused on helping Amway reduce product development time by 50%, include insightful innovation in their products and make product development ‘fun’ again.  His passion is helping others develop Lean thinking and behaviors to improve their work satisfaction and results. 
Annie Mabry

Annie is a certified Human Centered Design Instructor and holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering.  She has worked for Amway for 5 years as a Nutrition Project Manager.  Prior to Amway, Annie worked in the aerospace industry.  She started her career as an officer in the Air Force supporting a DOD satellite communication constellation.  Fun Fact …  Annie marched in the Macy’s Day parade in 2000.
Jeff Downs

Jeffery J. Downs is a thought leader and practitioner of business execution.  He is expert in designing execution systems that allow frontline teams to translate strategy into the fewest number of executable targets.  He also provides a framework for continuous improvement to consistently point at the highest company priorities.
Fun Fact: I have 7 children.
Mark Krebs

Mark Krebs, ASQCSSBB, is an ASQ Certified Lean Black Belt practitioner that has been transforming business processes and implementing software solutions for over 25 years. As Chemical Engineering graduate from Michigan State University, Mark began his career in 1990 as a manufacturing process engineer.  Since moving over to the Service sector in 1995, Mark has led numerous process improvement and IT systems implementations and has facilitated over 500 hours of rapid improvement events and has trained over 300 people on practical applications of process improvement techniques.  

Have only lost the ‘guess my age’ game once at an amusement park!  Usually a sure winner of a stuffed animal. 
Anne Engler

I received my degree in Mechanical Engineering from U of M which is where I developed a passion for problem-solving. Since then, I have worked in automotive manufacturing, Oil and Gas manufacturing, Aerospace distribution and now Automotive finance. My husband and I moved back to metro Detroit to set in roots and be close to all of our family. We enjoy staying active especially in places like Traverse City where we golf, play tennis, bike, and even climb the dunes.
Fun fact: I have over 50 relatives that live in my city Huntington Woods, that is only 1 square mile.
Patricia Malone

Short Bio:  Patricia has passionately pursued Lean for the past 15 years where she has been a SR. Director of business excellence for several Organizations.  She is presently the CFO/COO of Armor Express, a body armor manufacturer located in Central Lake, MI.  Patricia also holds a Doctorate in Business from Lawrence Technological University. 
Fun Fact:  My most interesting job was selling books door to door in Mississippi one summer to earn money for college.
Amy Sequeira

Fun fact – I’m pretty sure I like Legos more than my 8-year-old son
Bio – After 20 years of working in healthcare, going to practice continuous improvement in manufacturing sounded like fun. The good news is, manufacturing is indeed fun. Mostly because I enjoy people and have been able to get to know a lot of wonderful folks who have shared their experience and subject matter expertise with me!
Trina Poston

After spending 20 years in Healthcare and Hospitality industries, Trina is a Senior Continuous Improvement Consultant at Haworth, Inc.   She is a 'Community Catalyst' and advocate for Women's Health and Wellness. In her spare time, she enjoys repurposing dated furniture.
Larry Frydrych

"Larry is an avid fisherman and has set a personal goal to achieve 5 Michigan Master Angler awards for 5 different native species. He has successfully garnered 4 to date: Musky, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill & Sunfish and has come close on several occasions for that 5th".
Art Hoekstra

Art has been employed at Steelcase for 31 years and served in numerous organizational development roles. Last May, Art graduated from Gonzaga University with a master’s degree in organizational leadership. During his senior year in college (many years ago and many pounds lighter!) Art rode his bicycle from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans.
Amy Long

Amy has a heart for all things Lean and has applied lean thinking and tools in manufacturing, health care, and financial services. She enjoys training, mentoring and coaching all things lean and particularly loves witnessing that ‘a-ha’ moment.  Her journey began in 2003 with the Dow Chemical Company as a black belt and she has never looked back!
Christine Muscat

Christine Muscat has worked in continuous improvement for 6 years in many different sectors: hazardous waste, trucking, automotive industry and mortgage.  She attended the University of Michigan and loves being a team leader at Title Source.   

She got married in January on a Farm!
Jaime Portillo 
Ruth Archer

Fun Fact: I was a Master Technician in the Air Force; I repaired B-52 bombers and KC-135 tankers.

Bio: Ruth Archer is the Director of Continuous Improvement at Michigan Technological University, where she manages the continuous improvement activities for the university, trains people on Lean thinking and practices, and integrates continuous improvement into the day-to-day activities of students, faculty, and staff. She also teaches courses on Lean principles, teamwork, and communication. Ruth has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech, an MBA from St. Mary's University, and a PhD in organizational psychology from Northcentral University. 
Dennis Sergent
Which Active Learning Session did you sign up for?

Active Learning Session Options #1 

1. Enabling Organizational Improvement Through Effective Change Management - Kevin Britton
2. They Call it Facilitation, but I Call it Fun! - Laura Kempf FULL 
3. Rapid Lasting Change Begins with Strong Leaders - Sara Miller
4. Linking Your Vision, Plan and People - Darrell Rogers
5. Roadmap to True North Case Study - Laurie Stark and Annelise Doll
6. Lean for Sale - Tony DeCaria

Active Learning Sessions Options #2 

1. Lean Product Development - Matt Albin
2. Continuous Improvement Through Transformation Goal Alignment - Jeff Downs FULL
3. Business Engag. in Lean Fac. Through Participation Centered Learning - Anne Engler & Mark Krebs
4. Creating New Business Processes - Patricia Malone
5. Is Your Compass Broken? - Amy Sequeira and Trina Poston

Active Learning Sessions Options #3 

1. True North Secret Sauce - Larry Frydrych
2. A Journey into the Inward Life - Art Hoekstra
3. Kaizen 101 - Amy Long and Christine Muscat
4. Building a Knowledge Org. through TWI and Lean - Jaime Portillo

Optional Workshop on Friday

1. A System of Leadership - Dennis Sergent and Rob Pease
2. The 7 Quality Tools for Steering to True North - Ruth Archer

Reply to this email and send Lauren your favorite songs that have to do with lean, a journey, maps, navigation, etc. that would fit in with the conference theme! Let's have some fun!
The Leadership Track at this year’s conference is a new learning opportunity for attendees wanting to be the most effective lean leader they can be! It promises to be very productive and helpful as you continue to evolve as a leader. We will start with identifying your current condition then will develop your target condition and also identify experiments to move from current to target. The final workshop on Friday will tie it all together in your Personal Leadership Plan.

Here’s more about the Leadership Track:
Purpose: Drive personal transformation into the most effective lean leader you can be.

•       Develop a personal leadership plan (PLP)
•       Explain and demonstrate  the leadership style necessary in a lean culture
•       Learn methods to change your behaviors
•       Explain how a lean leadership style is different from other styles
Required reading: The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership (included in the fee)
Please see the process HERE along with the general flow of the track. There is an additional fee of $250 for this track.
Click the picture above to email Lauren for more information if you're interested in being a guest on The Leaning Edge!
Debra Levantrosser spoke with Author, Keynote Speaker, Lean and Creativity Coach and Consultant, Karyn Ross who is the Principal, Karyn Ross Consulting, co-author, "The Toyota Way to Service Excellence". They discuss why your manufacturing company needs lean in services.

Check out some of our other past guests here and listen to past episodes!

Do you want to be a guest? Respond to this email!
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