2023 Michigan Lean Consortium Annual Conference Presenters and Sessions

Thank you to our Sponsors!



Keynote Speakers

Steven Haedrich
The W. Edward Deming Institute Board Of Directors

Steven Haedrich Steven joined the Board of Directors of The W. Edward Deming Institute in 2015. He is the Owner of New York Label & Box Works (NYLB), a packaging printer that has been in continuous operation since 1878, with clients in the vitamin, cosmetic and food industries.

Steven became involved with Dr. Deming’s philosophy and earnestly adopted it shortly after taking over operations in 1996, when NYLB’s largest customer demanded improved quality from all its vendors. That began Steven’s and NYLB’s “Deming journey.” Over the past twenty years, NYLB has studied and implemented the Deming philosophy, advancing their systems, efficiency, and quality rating. Their focus on R & D has given them a competitive advantage, with innovative packaging such as re-sealable labels, UV inks on clear films, and folding carton packaging. NYLB recently has been recognized as a leader in brand protection and anti-counterfeiting technology for high value products. Worker turnover is virtually zero and the management team has been intact for over 20 years. NYLB continues to aspire to be a model Deming Company to validate Dr. Deming’s theories and support his philosophy.

Beth Carrington
Kata Master Coach, LEI Kata Instructor, University of Michigan Instructor

Beth is an Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata Master Coach, and also the Improvement Kata/Coaching Kata Instructor and Program Developer at Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). A Michigander, she spent a part of her career teaching at the University of Michigan.

Since 2009, Beth has coached individuals and organizations through their practice of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata. aiding them in the application of Hoshin Kanri/Policy Deployment, Value Stream Mapping and Daily Management.

Carrington Consulting Inc was established in 1999 as a Lean Transformation Consulting Firm, transitioning away from a focus on the “Tools of Lean” model in 2009, with the publication of Toyota Kata by Mike Rother. Toyota Kata introduced us to the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata routines which, through practice, can enhance the skill of scientific thinking and the ability to coach and teach that skill to others.

Beth has presented and Keynoted for a multitude of organizations and events, such as AME Annual Conference, LEI Summits in USA and their Lean Global Network Partners, KataCon USA and Europe, Lean Construction Institute’s Annual Lean Construction Conference, and others.

Book Club Q&A with Mark Graban

Mark Graban
Lean Health Care, KaiNexus, Value Capture LLC, Author

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, published author, professional speaker, blogger, podcaster, and entrepreneur.

He builds upon a deep education in engineering and management with practical experience working with executives and frontline employees in multiple industries. He synthesizes and practices approaches, including Lean management, continuous improvement, statistical methods, and people-centered leadership to cultivate psychological safety and employee engagement.

Mark helps others learn how to improve and sustain performance. In his healthcare work, this means improving the quality of care and patient safety while reducing cost and improving the workplace experience. Across multiple sectors, goals also include improving the customer (or patient) experience, helping develop leaders and employees, and building more robust, adaptive organizations for the long term.

He has learned, practiced, and taught these methodologies in settings including manufacturing, healthcare, and technology startups, working independently since 2010. Mark often works in partnership with other consulting groups on larger engagements. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology and software company KaiNexus and has a small equity stake.

Active Learning Session Leaders

Chad Bareither
Owner and Principal Consultant, Bareither Group Consulting

From an early career as a Quality Engineer, Chad Bareither quickly found his niche and passion in Continuous Improvement. Now, with years of experience as an internal change agent for larger organizations, including three Fortune 500 companies, he takes that operational excellence mindset beyond the “shop floor”.

As the owner and principal consultant of Bareither Group Consulting, he enables continuous improvement through the application of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. Chad partners with his clients to clarify and deploy their strategy, make process improvements to achieve those goals, and establish a system for daily management of the business. These three elements of a Business Management System are the foundation of sustainable gains and the subject of a forth coming book to help even more organizations and leaders get their time back … and improve performance.

Chad is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University as well as master’s degrees in both Industrial & Systems Engineering and Applied Statistics from Rutgers University.

Chad and his wife reside in Southwest Michigan with their three children. They support their kids competitive sports schedules and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and travelling.

Toni Benner
Chief Difference Maker in Pursuit of Transformational Thinking and Doing, Racco + Associates Inc.

Toni Benner is an accomplished integrated scholar-practitioner with decades of experience in speaking, facilitating, training, team development, and strategy deployment, across various industries including non-profit, automotive, healthcare, and military. Her expertise in automotive engineering, Lean systems, and human development enables her to support individuals and organizations in enhancing engagement, learning, teaming, coaching, leadership, and productivity across complex socio-technical systems.

Toni designs and delivers dynamic customized leadership retreats, design workshops, and training programs aimed at enhancing well-being and igniting growth within individuals, organizations, and communities. She also teaches at the University of Michigan and Syracuse University.

Dale Gregory
Continuous Improvement (CI) Lead, ADM

Dale Gregory is a CI Lead at ADM. He joined the company in 2022 where he’s taken on a Curriculum Architect role in the execution of global Continuous Improvement learning.

Dale’s educational background is in the Behavioral Sciences with an emphasis in Continuous Improvement in the workplace. He has a Masters in Industrial Organizational Behavior Management and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University. He has been applying Continuous Improvement for over five years while also developing and implementing his skillsets in Instructional Design, Learning and Development, and Agile.

Dave Kippen
Continuous Improvement (CI) Manager, ADM

For the past 15+ years, Dave Kippen has served as a business leader, Lean leader, change agent, coach, teacher and mentor. Dave’s passion is to aid in the development of leaders all levels of the organization. Daves ultimate goal is to help end workplace suffering by making the workplace a little more engaging, fun, and meaningful for employees at all levels. During this time, Dave has successfully coached hundreds of people through Lean 101, 102 and 103 classes, Coached dozens of leaders through strategic and “Learn To See” methodologies, and facilitated hundreds of Kaizen events throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, Dave is Bronze certified through the SME/AME/Shingo Prize/ASQ Partnership.

Kevin Olds
Director, Northern Lower Region

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree – Business Administration, Florida Institute of Technology
  • Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt – Commander Naval Air Forces (NAVAIR)
  • Former Board of Directors, Michigan Lean Consortium
  • Board of Directors, Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council
  • 10 years of manufacturing experience, primarily aerospace, including:
  • Production Management
  • International Project Management
  • Development of Lean manufacturing maturity models for production environments
  • 10 years of military experience (US Navy)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Management
  • Lean Six Sigma Pioneer

Lyn Dolson Pugh
Change Management Center, Munson Healthcare

Lyn has enjoyed leading operational excellence for over 20 years, initially as a Master Black Belt, then as a consultant, enabling a wide variety of businesses and industries to improve their processes, products, and services while developing the skills of their employees in Lean and change management. Her work has spanned manufacturing, government, national retail chains, human services, and higher education.

Her training in behavior analysis led Lyn to strategically integrate change management in all of her work—because whether the improvement was a breakthrough innovation or an incremental improvement, the behavior of people must change in order for the improvement to be effective, and more importantly, sustained.

Lyn was raised in Detroit with an engineer father, who made sure she knew the name Deming as a child. She has a Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, and certification in Change Management from Prosci, Inc. Whenever she can, she sails in northern Lake Michigan.

Melissa Sherman
Lean Coach, Consumers Energy

Melissa has a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering and has been working in the utility sector for most of her career. She is passionate about continuous improvement in not only her personal life, but also in her career. With a background in change management and continuous improvement it is her mission to bring her co-workers along on the journey and show them what is in it for them so that they incorporate CI into their roles and not look at it as an added task. She loves to use the analogy of “I go home from work, and I am a mom/wife, and sink is plugged. UGH now I must fix that to. No, it is part of ‘life’ and we fix it. We don’t think of it as added on to my ‘day’ job.”

Dustin Thomas
Senior Quality Analyst, Consumers Energy

Dustin Thomas is as ardent Lean Practitioner and Problem Solver. In his capacity as Sr. Quality Analyst at Consumers Energy in Michigan, he practices daily visual management. Dustin Thomas spent 10 years in various forms rolling Lean out within manufacturing and now for the past 4 years have been assisting in the Lean rollout for Consumers Energy as a Lean coach.

Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP, CVP

Joyce specializes in Kicking Conflict to the Curb™: Get the RESPECT You Deserve!

She is a communication coach and Queen of Conflict Resolution. And works with Hr Professionals and growth-minded individuals tired of feeling invisible and ready to confidently use their voice – without losing their cool. The result is that their input is recognized and respected.

They transform from not knowing how to start a tough conversation to feeling heard and respected. They no longer dread difficult conversations.

  • Received Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Oakland University in Rochester MI
  • Selected as the Official World of Business and Executive Coach Summit Curator in Conflict Resolution.
  • Authored three books: Take the Ride of Your Life, Full Speed Ahead, and Kick Conflict to the Curb.
  • Awarded International Designation as a Certified Speaking Professional from the National Speaker’s Association and The International Federation for Professional
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