Robert Burke, CSSBB, CLS, CPIM, BSBA
Executive Director, VIP Group
Mr. Burke has over 25 years’ experience in many manufacturing environments, which include defense, automotive, pharmaceuticals, packaging goods, electronics, medical device, printed circuit boards, metal converting, railroad, and equipment manufacturers. Bob holds a B.S. in Business Administration, is a certified CPIM from the Association of Operations Excellence (APICS), a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Lean Sensei and holds an ISO 9000 Assessor certificate. He has held positions ranging from, Materials Director, to Production and Inventory Control Manager, to Master Planner to Machinist. Bob provides training and implementation methods in areas of Lean Manufacturing, Pharmacovigilance, Supply Chain Management, Kanban, MRPII, Work Cell Development, Synchronous Manufacturing, Flow Manufacturing, Kaizen, Vendor Managed Inventory, Logistics Planning, Supplier Certification, Theory of Constraints, and Quick Changeover (SMED). Mr. Burke has co-authored many of articles published in PharmaChem Magazine (An international Pharma Journal) on the subject of Lean operations and one article published in the AME's Target magazine. He has presented on many Lean topics to the IIE conferences since 2003, the AME national conference since 2002, the ASQ Quality Expo since 2004 and APICS since 2005.
Patrick Lucansky, CSSMBB, CLS, MBA, CMC, BBA
Executive Director, VIP Group
Mr. Patrick Lucansky is an Executive Director of Value Innovation Partners, Ltd. an operations improvement consulting firm specializing in the delivery of value through implementation of Lean Enterprise, Six Sigma Rescues and Supply Chain Management tools and techniques. Mr. Lucansky has held a variety of positions in the past including Production Manager and Director of Operations. Pat’s strengths are in Lean Enterprise, Lean Sigma, Six Sigma, Supply Chain Management, Out-Sourcing, Business Analysis, Process Mapping & Pharmacovigilance. He holds a BBA from the University of Iowa, an MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology, a CMC from Institute of Management Consultants and Teaches at the BA/MBA level in the Chicago area. He is a Certified Lean Sensei and a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Mr. Lucansky has co-authored dozens of articles published in PharmaChem Magazine (An international Pharma Journal) on the subject of Lean operations and one article published in the AME's Target magazine on supply chain redesign. He has presented on many Lean topics to the IIE conferences since 2001, the AME national conference since 2002, the ASQ Quality Expo since 2002, Lincoln Foundation, NAM since 2003, NIQC, IMC and over 1200 other times to firms like Pfizer, Bayer, Johnson and Johnson, Avery Dennison, Graphic Packaging Underwriters Lab, Medtronic and ICI-Dulux. He is a member of IIE, IMC, AMA and AME.
Larry A. Bauman, Ph.D., CMC, CLSFM, CLA
Senior Director Business Development
Dr. Bauman specializes in the service industries providing leadership development, change management, strategy definition, and training. He has over 32 years of experience in business serving as a corporate executive and consultant. He has worked with a diverse client base in both the domestic and international market. He currently serves on the Chicago IMC Board of Directors as President and holds the designation of CMC, Certified Management Consultant. He holds an AA from Oxford College, a BA from Emory University, a graduate certificate in Marketing from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. in the field of Behavioral Economics from Rushmore University. He has written numerous articles and four books on strategy and leadership. Dr Bauman is certified and licensed for the web-enabled planning diagnostic One Page Planning and Performance System™ and Behavioral Assessment Instruments from TTI, Inc. He serves as a visiting professor and teaches Strategic Business Management at several universities throughout the world. Larry serves as the Senior Director of Business Development and Special Advisor to Projects.
Joan Adams, BSE, DE, SM, MBA
Joan Adams has been in consulting for over 20 years. First, she headed DITT, the consulting arm of the French National Utility, Electricité de France. She has worked on projects for Outokumpu (the world's largest copper producer), USAR (a smart chip manufacturer), UNICEF, American Express, Textron, MasterCard and many mid-market firms. Joan is a fully certified National Institute of Standards and Testing Lean Trainer. She is expertly skilled in Introduction to Lean and Lean Thinking. 5S, Value Stream Mapping, TPM , Cellular Flow, Administrative Lean, Kanban techniques and SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die). Joan teaches business classes at Baruch and Mercy College, she writes a monthly column on small business for a trade magazine – The Supply House Times. She has engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures–Paris and MIT. She also has an MBA in finance and operations from the Wharton School.
Allyn Armstrong (Engagement Leader), BS Chemical Engineering, CQE, CSCP, MBA
Mr. Armstrong specializes in optimizing complex global supply chain environments, minimizing market and supply base risk, and reducing the overall total spend for the clients he serves. His professional expertise is in Supply Chain Management, Procurement, Warehousing, Distribution, and Transportation extending over 25 years. He developed and built the National Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Management practice for KPMG Peat Marwick leading engagement teams to elevated levels of performance. He recently spent over a year at GSA serving global DOD locations and CONUS Federal customers. He maintains reverse auction relationships with over 600,000 global suppliers.
He maintains extensive freight relationships with FTL, LTL, Intermodal, and Ocean transportation suppliers and has a vast network of Third-Party Logistics providers. Additionally, these relationships have fostered a large network of global Warehousing, Service Parts, and Order Fulfillment capability. His industry focus is in Federal and State Government Suppliers, Industrial Manufacturing, and Distribution companies. Currently he is working with 1st and 2nd tier Automotive suppliers to GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Most notably GMs 2020 Corvette Mid-engine and the Ford Mustang, F-150 Trucks, and Lincoln Star series Programs from design to PPAP to full production to distribution. PPAP is the Automotive Industry’s Design to Production Part Approval Process.
Sam Beaird, BEME, MSIA, CLE, CLA
Sam Beaird has over 35 years of line manufacturing management experience in a wide variety of products, processes, and environments. In industry Sam started his career on General Electric’s Manufacturing Management Program and subsequently advanced to increasingly responsible roles as materials manager, plant manager, general manager, and vice president of manufacturing with several progressive companies. He has served in management roles for such Fortune 500 companies as General Electric, Reliance Electric, and Dresser-Rand; small companies such as Lufkin Industries; and a European-owned company, S.E.W.-Eurodrive. As a consultant Sam has guided significant improvements in a variety of industries including rotating equipment repair and overhaul, aircraft manufacturing, sporting goods manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, pharmaceutical testing, construction, automotive, printing, and more. His areas of expertise include developing and effectively implementing sound manufacturing strategies that address competitive and global issues; transforming businesses to better provide value to customers according to the concepts and methodologies of the lean enterprise; designing or redesigning manufacturing operations that enable companies to be superior competitors; and applying advanced technologies to streamline businesses and achieve best-in-class performance. He has led successful strategic initiatives in lean manufacturing transformation, cycle time reduction, cellular manufacturing, focused factories, Total Quality Management, value stream management, sales & operations planning, large system changes, and high performance work systems. Sam brings a balance of technical acumen, manufacturing management expertise, and personal commitment to identifying opportunities for increasing market value and developing and implementing cost-effective solutions. Sam has a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Vanderbilt University and an M.S. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.
Andrew Berkley, BS, MBA, CSSBB, CLE, MTS
Andrew Berkley is a versatile, results-oriented professional with progressive experience in diverse industries. Proven record of accomplishment of success in Fortune 500, mid-size, and entrepreneurial environments. Recognized for strong interpersonal, communication, and negotiation skills used to build consensus on difficult business issues. Successful record of managing employees and operations in challenging and stressful environments, He has over 25 years of progressive purchasing, supply chain, operations, project management, and continuous improvement experience in diverse industries: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive & Trucking, Chemical, Consulting, Energy Equipment & Services, Forging & Stamping, Hazardous Waste, and Oil & Gas. He is skilled in relationship management with a focus on operations, strategic sourcing, supplier development, continuous improvement, new product development, project management, and change management. He has been recognized as a change agent, who utilizes a leadership approach and mentors team members to achieve a company’s goals. Andrew has a BS in Aeronautics, MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, Certified Six-Sigma Black Belt, and a Master Training Specialist, Chief of Naval Technical Training, United States Navy. He is an avid member of ASQ and a Navy Veteran.
Willie L. Carter, CLS, CQM, CISOLA, MBA, BA
Willie L. Carter is an American Society of Quality (ASQ) Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence, a Certified ISO 9000 Lead Assessor, Certified Lean Sensei and has a certificate in process mapping/redesign from Motorola University. He currently serves on the boards of IMC-Chicago and the Northeastern Illinois Section of ASQ. Willie has an MBA from Roosevelt University and a BA in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University. Mr. Carter has generated millions of dollars of waste related savings for companies by reducing poor quality costs and improving business and manufacturing processes. Some areas of expertise, Quality Management Systems, Industrial Problem Solving, Process Mapping/Redesign, Advanced Quality Planning, Statistical Process Control, Integrated Process Management, Lean Enterprise. Memberships include: Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Association for Manufacturing Excellence, Senior Member of the American Society for Quality, Institute of Management Consultants, Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, and the Society for American Military Engineers.
Margaret Dospiljulian , BSCE, MSIE, CLE
Margaret Dospiljulian is a management consultant with 20 years of experience specializing in performance excellence and marketing. As an alumnus of Deloitte’s management consulting practice and Baxter’s Hospital Distribution Division, she’s managed teams of over 100 and grown a nine-figure marketing portfolio of products by 70% while maintaining an ROMC and gross profit margin well over 20%. Combining her consulting, line and P&L experiences, with the principles and values of Lean Enterprise (including Leadership and Lean Office), Baldrige Framework, and Change Management, Margaret uses “how” and “why” to coach clients toward positively impacting their performance. Sectors include: manufacturing, engineering, distribution, healthcare, education, government, travel and leisure, not-for-profit, and service. Her relentless engineering curiosity and Big4 focus on creating sustainable value are evident in all her work, whether facilitating strategic planning sessions, optimizing horizontal value streams, coaching supplier negotiation and management, or assisting with a corporate restructuring, start-up or marketing plan.
Margaret continues donating time to the field thru her selections to be: a Judge for ILPEx’ (Illinois’ state version of the USA’s National Malcolm Baldrige Enterprise Excellence program); a multi-year National Baldrige Award Senior Examiner; a multi-year member of the AME International Annual Conference Planning Committee; a Northwestern Alumni mentor for its engineering and Kellogg MBA students; and a member of Bradley University’s Executive Advisory Council assisting in brainstorming a sustainable engineering educational structure for the future of work and the 2022 workplace and beyond. Margaret earned her BS in Civil Engineering from Bradley University, and her MS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University (NU) while concurrently attending NU’s Kellogg MBA School.
Beth Keno, BA, CPBA, CPMA, CLA, CLE
Beth Keno is a results-oriented consultant, certified coach and trainer who partners with her clients to tailor programs to their specific learning and development goals. With 25 years of experience in entrepreneurial and business consulting, Beth Keno brings strategic and results-oriented solutions to her clients. She demonstrates expertise in strategic planning, business processes and personal and professional development. In addition to business operating processes, Beth works with individuals and teams to improve their personal effectiveness, team dynamics and leadership skills. She is trained in mediation at the Center for Conflict Resolution. As part of her training workshops and coaching, Beth often utilizes assessment instruments and is certified in Myers-Briggs® (MBTI) ,DiSC®, Energy Leadership Index, Motivator/Driving Forces and EQ. These tools help participants learn more about themselves and provide a better understanding of others. Beth has spoken at many professional organizations and conferences. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University. Beth is a Certified Corporate Coach through iPEC, Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst, Certified Professional Motivators Analyst and Certified EQ Analyst by Target Training International and an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner. She is an advisory board member for the Small Business Development Center of Lake County, Illinois, a volunteer mentor for Menttium 100°, a member of the Chicagoland Chapter of the Association for Talent Development and Past Director for the Institute of Management Consultants Chicagoland Chapter.
Key to the Designations
Beresford (Berry) Metzger, CLA, CLSFM, CLS, BS
Berry is a business professional with over 30 years of demonstrated accomplishments in operational and organizational effectiveness, best practices identification and implementation, process design and improvement, coaching and mentoring, training and development, systems of management implementation, and project management. Berry has designed and implemented procedures and systems to increase revenues, reduce costs, refine processes, strengthen controls, improve products and services, and stimulate business. Mr. Metzger holds BS in Industrial Management from the University of Connecticut with continued study at the University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
James Montemayor BA, MBA, CLE
James Montemayor has been specializing as a consultant in Lean Management Training and implementing Lean Methods and Process Improvement in various manufacturing and service industries on an international scope for the past 14 years. He has overseen and managed an internal Quality Control Lean Implementation program in the printing/publishing field for R.R. Donnelley and was instrumental in leading the company on its Lean Initiative and global Lean Manufacturing System in Latin America. He has designed and developed Lean Implementation operating systems/structures, plant layouts and start-ups, labor productivity & improvement metrics for cellular manufacturing and has personally led over 50 kaizen team events. He has been a Lean Project Director and has led highly successful Lean transformations for Lucent Technologies, Ingersoll Rand and International Paper for Lean cultural change and substantial process cost savings. More recently he has been offering bilingual (Spanish) Lean/Kaizen Training, consulting services, and Lean Shop-Floor Implementation to a variety of companies, including plastic injection molding operations, Tier 1 auto suppliers, foundry/casting operations, woodworking/cabinet assembly and food packaging. He has also worked with Freudenberg-NOK, Kennametal, Ingersoll Rand, Lear, Inc., Magna International, Delphi and United Technologies Automotive and other international clients. He has a B.A. degree from Northwestern University and a Masters Executive Program specialty in Operations Management from Texas A&M University.
Bill Pierrakeas, CLE, CLA, Certified Everything DiSC Trainer
Bill is a results-oriented industry advisor and LEAN consultant serving manufacturing, service, sales and academic institutions. He is a Certified LEAN Expert, Certified LEAN Analyst, Everything DiSC Authorized Partner and Certified Everything DiSC trainer. He is highly skilled in training executive and operations teams in problem solving methods rooted in LEAN tool sets. His methods include coaching, training, deploying continuous improvement cycles, data collection planning and implementation, root cause analysis, value stream mapping, responsibility charting (RACI), and Administrative LEAN to name a few. His skills at developing highly effective executive and operations teams at all stages of leadership, service and product realization processes has earned him an impeccable record of success.
He has extensive expertise & experience working with Fortune 1000 firms’ leadership and integration teams during acquisitions, divestitures and changes in ownership. Bill has a keen ability to bring diverse groups together in the formation of transformative strategies and then guiding teams toward their realization. Bill serves on several industry and professional associations’ director and advisory boards and is often called upon as a key note speaker and conference panel facilitator. Bill serves a Board Member of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence, Midwest Region.
Edward Pokropski, CSSMBB, CLE, CLA
A dynamic, team spirited and performance driven Operational Excellence Leader and experienced change agent with over 25 years experience in the manufacturing, filling, packaging, quality management and continuous improvement in Consumer Products, Food, Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. Exceptional blend of leadership, business and manufacturing knowledge combined with my “Hands On Management Style” (MBWA), that has been key in meeting and exceeding organizational goals and objectives in profitability, productivity, quality, cost control, safety, sanitation and customer service. Demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional teams, manage multiple projects simultaneously and deliver creative solutions to business challenges. Strong organizational skills and very effective in building and maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders, team members and customers. Lean Six Sigma Expert, Master Black Belt Certified, with numerous Lean Six Sigma initiatives completed, resulting in over $60 Million in costs savings to date.
Jeffrey P. Ruby, BS, CLE, CLS
Mr. Ruby has over 16 years of industry and 15 years of consulting experience. He has extensive experience on a wide range of consulting disciplines including: Project Management, Lean Enterprise Techniques, Kaizen Events, Process Redesign, Supply Chain, and New Product Development & Introduction. He has worked on and managed numerous consulting engagements in the automotive, marine, food processing, medical contamination equipment, airline, and other diversified manufacturing and service industries throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Some of his selected accomplishments include: Marine Company – Instituted JIT manufacturing and reduced material inventories to one week on 80% of stock items. Raised efficiency by 30% from start up. Reduced supply cost by 20% through vender managed contracts. Helped plant win their parent companies’ safety award for maintaining exceptional accident reduction rate. Food Processing Company – Scheduling redesign. Automated scheduling network design and function to impact schedule compliance and attainment to achieve $50M in product delivery savings. Airline Company – Customer Service improvements to impact line queue time wait by 25% reduction and increase customer satisfaction 20% overall. Medical Contamination Supplies and Equipment Company – Consolidated three regional companies into a single manufacturing and distribution structure. Achieved $4.5M OD cost reductions. Seals and Bearings Company – Positively impacted operational expense reductions in excess of $13M. Jeff has trained and implemented “Lean Manufacturing Principals” with over 300 management and associate level positions and holds a Bachelor of Science from The Pennsylvania State University.
Michael Schaffner, BSEE, MSEM, PE, CLE, CLA
Mike has more than 35 years of manufacturing, consulting and construction experience in operations, engineering, supply chain, strategic and operational planning, maintenance and facilities, mergers and acquisitions, company consolidation and integration and the development and delivery of lean training programs. His strengths are in leadership, planning, multi-functional teams, new process and product implementation, and introduction of new business strategies. He has delivered lean, one-piece flow and material replenishment systems, integrated supply chain systems, product quality improvements, plant-wide productivity improvements, rationalization and consolidation of products, processes, facilities and distribution channels, and project management of facility construction, productivity improvements and new business integration's. He has built new manufacturing facilities and managed over a dozen facility relocation's. His career experience includes plant management, VP of lean implementation and Director of Engineering across diverse industries and business sizes including automotive suppliers, chemicals, electronics and electrical equipment, consumer goods, nuclear power equipment, HVACR equipment, oil and gas production, telecommunications equipment, and outdoor power equipment. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in engineering management both from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is a registered professional engineer and has advanced training in Demand Flow Technology, is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers where he was a member of the St. Louis Chapter’s advanced education subcommittee and has a published article in Assembly Magazine.
Michael Schickler, CSSBB, ASQ Quality Manager
Michael is an Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified ASQ Quality Manager and received his bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, Wisconsin. Michael has over twenty years of Pharmaceutical and Medical device operations experience, with a focus in operational excellence working with Quality, Regulatory, and Manufacturing units. Prior to joining VIPGroup, Michael was Director of Business Excellence at Abbott Molecular Diagnostics, where he led the implementation of continuous improvement methodologies.
Paul Silverman, CLE, CLA, BSME, BSC
Paul B. Silverman, manufacturing improvement specialist, has 25 years of experience in manufacturing engineering, quality assurance and consulting with manufacturing companies. Paul has delivered significant productivity, quality and lead-time solutions to all size companies in a wide variety of industries such as: fluid control, electromechanical, machined parts, semiconductor equipment, medical implantable devices and disposables. Paul's education consists of Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Biology from Northeastern University, Theory of Constraints training - Goldratt Institute and Accreditation from the American Consultants League. He is a regular member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, North Shore Chamber of Commerce and Society of Manufacturing Engineers and past Chairman of CASA New England SME Chapter 285.
Bruce H Smith, MBA, BS, CSSMB, PE CLE
Extensive experiences in Manufacturing, Contract Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, and Continuous Improvement. Bruce worked in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing for over 35 years in a variety of technical, supervisory, project management and leadership positions. He provide consulting services largely focused on the pharmaceutical industry in the areas of Plant productivity improvement, Capacity and Sourcing Evaluation, Strategy Development and Deployment, Supply Chain optimization and New Product Launch, and Capital Project Management. Bruce has expertise in the areas of Project Management, New Product Introduction and Development, Policy Deployment, Strategy, Lean Six Sigma, Supply Chain and has Managed professional staffs in Supply Chain; Manufacturing Operations; Engineering; and Continuous Improvement. He has earned a MBA from Butler University in 1991, a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1981 from Trine University and is Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Certified Professional Engineer.
Tom Lawless, BSBA, MBA, MCE, PhD, LSSMBB
Proven leader, Lean Six Sigma enthusiast, and speaker, specializing in supply chain/supplier management, leadership, maintenance effectiveness, and changeover improvement. A trusted advisor to professionals from C-level executives to mid-level managers and hourly associates. Focuses on accountability through metrics allows the ability to focus closely on financial analysis and evaluation of product costing, value stream mapping and continuous improvement.
U.S. Army Reserves Retired (90A, Multi- functional logistics officer) – Major Corps Movement Control Operations Officer 2003 to March 2004 – Operation Iraqi Freedom, Rank – Major (Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge). He coaches using the Toyota Way methodology; and trains towards a deep understanding and application of the principles that drive everyone in the organization towards daily improvement to achieve the overall goal of the business.
Thomas Koons, ADME, BSME, CLSSBB, CLE
Thomas is an impact player with proven capabilities in medical, aerospace and commercial industries. Experience at the Director / Manager level in multi-site operations, manufacturing, engineering and Lean Six Sigma Leadership. Proven change agent and strategic thinker with a passion for continuous improvement, leading by example. Rigorous utilization of Lean to identify and eliminate waste from manufacturing and business processes/value streams to improve profitability and customer service levels. Exceptional skills in Cross-functional leadership, Lean Six Sigma, Change Management, Strategy Development, Process Optimization and Talent Development and Coaching. He entered the world of Lean & Six Sigma in 1985, learning and applying concepts in TRW/Argo-Tech’s first cellular manufacturing design. Achieved TPS Lean Black Belt Status and then Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with over 20 weeks of training. Conducted 25 Kaizen events, trained hundreds in the concepts -- almost 100 Green Belts, coached and mentored many Black Belts through the experience of delivering true results. Specialty areas include 5S and visual management, changeover reduction, standard work, material systems, planning and scheduling, Kanban’s, root cause analysis and problem solving and TPM. Experienced in ERP systems and Global SAP Rollouts.
In Memorial, Charles (Chuck) Bofinger, BS, MEd, PhD, CLE, CLA
On June 18, 2017 we lost Charles (Chuck) J. Bofinger to a drunk driver while on vacation in Florida. Chuck was a kind, respectful and respecting individual who was always willing to help anyone in need. He loved being from Pennsylvania and was a devoted son to his parents. He was an avid outdoors-man who enjoyed the water, kayaking and hiking. Chuck you are in our memories and our prayers.
Charles J. Bofinger was a seasoned consultant with more than 30+ years’ experience helping clients achieve significant increases in economic value in the health care, insurance, financial services, energy (oil & gas) , steel, automotive, railroad, and manufacturing industries. Chuck received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh with Organizational & Industrial Development as his core focus area; an MEd from Antioch University in Counseling & Psychological Testing; and a BA/BS from LaSalle University in Psychology & Business Administration.