Dr. Amish Patel has over 14 years of extensive global leadership, development, and manufacturing experience. He is responsible for developing oral delivery platforms for vaccines at PaxVax Inc. Dr Patel CMC experience ranges from pre-clinical to life cycle management. He has been an integral part of the QA, QC and GMP manufacturing teams. He has developed over 15 clinical products and trained the GMP staff on the production technology. Dr. Patel received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering with focus on Nanotechnology, from Louisiana Tech University, and, B.S. Chemical Engineering from University of Poona (India).
Director of Manufacturing, ATO
Ford Motor Company
Global Director of Technology
Benjamin Lavoie is the Global Head of Technology and Innovation for Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the world’s largest beverage company, where he is responsible for Digital Transformation of the Global Supply Organization which includes making a Supply Chain consisting of over 1,000 facilities across 126 countries real-time, connected and continuously optimizing. Ben is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Agile Scrum Master, Project Management Professional, Design Thinking Facilitator and Data Scientist. Prior to these roles Ben was Sr. Director for Operations in North America and also lead the Global Implementation of Lean Six Sigma for Anheuser-Busch Inbev. Ben has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, MBA in Operations Management and Finance from Boston University and an Executive MBA certificate from Washington University on Supply Chain Management.
Director of Lean Product Development
Eric Pope, Leadership Coach and Vice President of Operations at US Synthetic and the US Synthetic Consulting Group, is a frequent speaker at continuous improvement conferences. His topics include principles and processes associated with the deliberate creation of culture. Above all, Eric is a social scientist. He loves to design, experiment and learn what make high performance teams and organizations. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) both from Brigham Young University.
Dr. Jack Feng
VP of Operational Excellence and CVG Digital
Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc.
Dr. Jack Feng is the Vice President of Operational Excellence and CVG Digital at Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) reporting directly to the company President / CEO. CVG’s mission is to provide the commercial vehicle drivers with a comfortable and safe environment. In May 2018, Dr. Feng was elected as a Fellow of the IISE - Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers - in recognition of his life-long outstanding leadership and contributions in advancing the profession of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Prior to joining CVG in 2014, Jack held various senior leadership positions at Caterpillar in Lean Six Sigma, industrial engineering, and strategic human resources. He was a tenured Professor at Bradley University and a tenure track Assistant Professor at Penn State University with 100+ published peer reviewed papers, books and book chapters. He currently serves as the Associate Chair for the Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce, on the Council for Industrial and System Engineering (CISE), and on the Six Sigma Promotion Committee of China.
He and his consulting firm has provided consulting services to Boeing, Caterpillar, Cincinnati Milacron, Dana, Deere, Rockwell, Rubbermaid, SME, Tyco, University of Illinois College of Medicine, and the US State Department Fulbright Program. He is also a guest professor for a number of universities. He has been a keynote or guest speaker for a number of international conferences and other events, most recently at the American Manufacturing Strategy Summit, IMPACT Manufacturing Summit, North American Excellence Summit, and the IISE Annual Conference’s CISE Track. He was elected the Lean of of the Year in 2011 by China’s Annual Manufacturing Management Forum – China Lean Summit.
Dr. John H. Danley Jr.
President, North American Operations
Kenneth R. Banas
Vice President, Advanced Manufacturing and Corporate Excellence
Kenneth R. Banas is Vice President, Advanced Manufacturing and Corporate Excellence. He is responsible for overseeing USG’s Advanced Manufacturing initiative, Lean Six Sigma organization, Lean Management System, Enterprise Project Management Organization and Manufacturing Reliability.
Banas joined USG in 2004. He previously served as treasurer and was responsible for the leadership and direction of the treasury function, including all aspects of USG’s capital strategy and structure. He was also a key member of a team that completed the largest transformational joint venture in USG’s history, the creation of USG Boral Building Products, and divestiture of USG’s distribution business, L&W Supply.
Prior to serving as treasurer, Banas was responsible for enterprise program management and was the program manager for the company’s largest IT project. Banas is a member of Board for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. Banas holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in astronomy and physics and a master’s degree in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology.
The MAX Group
Mr. Mario Faria serves as Vice President of Operations for the US market for the MAX Group. Mario Faria has 17 years’ experience in the semiconductors industry with broad technical and operations background. Previously worked as a Project Manager for MAX working in NPI and Operational Efficiency projects for the Semiconductors, LEDs, and Solar industries.
Mario started his career as a Test Engineer for IBM Microelectronics in Burlington, VT. He has progressively increased his leadership with Texas Instruments and ITT Corporation where he shepherded products from design to production. Mario is now responsible for operations management and business development growth for the Americas region, including the US, Canada, and Latin America.
Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII)
Director of Logistics
Vice President, Global Operations
Data Sciences International
Peter Fritsche is Vice President, Global Operations at Data Sciences International (DSI). His responsibilities include: process engineering, supply chain leadership, manufacturing, logistics, client services, documentation, continuous improvement and technical support. Prior to DSI, Peter was Director of Global Quality at both Emerson and Honeywell. He has also worked at ADC and FSI International.
Peter is a hands-on leader, driven by a passion to create value-based improvements that result in higher customer loyalty and substantial savings for his company. Throughout his career, he has performed at a very high level in many technical and managerial functions including: design, manufacturing, quality, safety, supply chain and product management. By engaging team-members, utilizing appropriate improvement tools and implementing necessary system-level changes for continued success; Peter has established a strong history of permanently solving the “unsolvable” product performance and reliability issues while shortening lead-times, reducing cost-of-goods-sold (COGS) and improving other key balance sheet metrics.
Peter is a six-sigma black belt and an instructor at Manufacturers Alliance where he currently leads Six-sigma green belt certification classes. He achieved a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics from UW-Madison and earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
René Buck (1959) is president and CEO of BCI Global, a company he founded in April 1985. More than 33 years later BCI Global is one of the world’s leading independent manufacturing footprint optimization, location strategy/site selection and supply chain design consulting companies in the world. BCI Global has offices in the US (Atlanta, Bay Area, Los Angeles), Europe (Nijmegen & the Hague - the Netherlands; London - UK; Frankfurt - Germany; Paris – France) and Asia (Singapore, China). The firm employs 65 dedicated professionals.
The projects include location studies for production plants, distribution centers, R&D centers and support centers as well as developing and implementing manufacturing and supply chain optimization plans in all regions of the world. BCI Global provides independent, unbiased, tailor-made advise.
BCI Global works for a wide range of international companies in various industries: high tech; industrial equipment & products; automotive; medical technology; food & beverage; FMCG; chemicals; (bio)pharma; fashion & apparel; logistics. BCI assists more than 900 clients in 50 countries.
Simon Jacobson is a Vice President in Gartner's supply chain research organization and covers manufacturing operations. Mr. Jacobson advises clients responsible for manufacturing strategy and performance. His research helps clients develop transformational roadmaps for smart manufacturing and the role production plays in digital supply chains. This spans the foundational competencies of corporate production systems to the impacts of artificial intelligence, IoT, and advanced analytics on how factories can be managed in the future.
Competitive Solutions, Inc.
Shane A. Yount is a nationally recognized thought leader, author, and President of Competitive Solutions, Inc., an international Business Transformation consulting firm which pioneered the acclaimed organizational development system known as Process Based Leadership® - A business transformation methodology designed to create a sustainable culture of clarity, connectivity, and consistency through the use of Non-Negotiable Business Processes.
Shane began his career with Perdue Farms, Inc., the nation’s second largest poultry grower and processor. Having performed such roles as Front Line Supervisor, Site Operations Manager, Quality Manager, Director of Human Resources, and Corporate Continuous Improvement Champion, Shane brings extensive experience in every aspect of organizational dynamics and effectiveness. His “Real World” process driven approach to creating and sustaining high performance has led leaders across the country to embrace the Process Based Leadership® methodology as a core operating system in driving organizational focus, urgency, and accountability.
Since 1991 he has led the offices of Competitive Solutions, Inc. (CSI) in becoming one of the nations most recognized Business Transformation consulting firms, personally working with such organizations as Michelin, Genentech, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, the Department of Defense, and many others. Shane’s approach of challenging leaders to confront what truly “powers performance” within their organizations often allows leaders a unique glimpse into their personal leadership legacies. His impactful message and delivery has made him a coveted speaker at national conferences and tradeshows. His three books, “Buried Alive: Digging out of the Management Dumpster,” “Leaving Your Leadership Legacy” and “Leading Your Business Forward: Aligning Goals, People, and Systems for Sustainable Success” are required reading in many organizations.
Tandem Diabetes Care
As Chief Scientist, Tom is the most senior engineer at Tandem Diabetes Care, and his charter includes both (a) innovating Tandem’s technology, processes, and products, and (b) mentoring Tandem’s next generation of engineers and engineering managers. Tom earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering at UC Irvine, and has 34 years of experience developing (and helping others develop) real time embedded software for life critical mechanical systems for both the Aviation and Medical industries. After a decade as Tandem’s Senior Director of Software Engineering, Tom began a Ph.D. program in organizational leadership and expects to finish by Summer 2018.
Director of Manufacturing
Director, External Manufacturing
Vicky McMillan is Director of External Manufacturing at Starbucks. She joined Starbucks in 2001 and has held various positions in Information Technology, Commercialization, Engineering and Manufacturing. As the director of external manufacturing, Vicky leads all aspects of contract manufacturing operations, including improvement efforts in the areas of cost, safety and quality.
Prior to her current role, Vicky directed operations for two years at a US plant that produced coffee, tea and soluble coffee and as an interim plant director for a coffee production plant in Europe for six months. Vicky is engaging, performance-driven, collaborative leader who brings people together from multiple functions to optimize the manufacturing network to support business growth, create flexibility and ensure business continuity.
Vicky has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.