Board of Director's Bios

The Michigan Lean Consortium is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors that believes Lean principles and tools can help organizations of all kinds thrive and turn around the state of Michigan's economy.

Holly Plaga

Holly has a background in Industrial Engineering and Project Management. She has spent over 25 years fostering organizational change to strategically deploy methods of process improvement in both the manufacturing and transactional environments. She enjoys working together with organizations to develop collaborative teams and implementing systems to facilitate process excellence sustaining positive change.

Born and raised in Michigan, Holly has her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Michigan State University and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Lawrence Technological University. Holly has also been an active member of the Michigan Lean Consortium since 2010. Outside of work Holly and her husband, Ken enjoy spending time with their children and two dogs. She looks forward to any activity out of doors, especially gardening and fishing. She also samples as much chocolate as humanly possible.

Robert Sturza

Performance Improvement Professional at Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw, MI.

Bob has over 25 years experience in plant, field service operations, government and healthcare (inpatient and outpatient). He is proficient in quality engineering techniques including internal and external auditing, Six Sigma, Lean and supplier development. Bob has served as the President for The Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality and a subject matter volunteer for the Michigan Lean Consortium. He is a graduate of Cleary University, a current student at the University of St. Francis and holds numerous professional certifications. In his spare time Bob enjoys referring soccer and spending time with his three grand-kids.

Pamala Burgress

Events Lead

Pamala is a lifelong resident of Michigan and is married with two adult daughters. She began working for the State of Michigan in 2015 and is currently a Lean Technology Process Improvement Consultant for the Office of Continuous Improvement. Before working for the State, she spent ten years as a facilities manager in the financial sector, with an emphasis on continuous improvement.

Pamela attended Davenport University, she has a Master of Management degree and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She is certified in the State of Michigan’s Lean Process Improvement facilitation program and has earned a Six Sigma Lean Black Belt in Government certification from the Management & Strategy Institute. She also has training and experience in Project Management, Change Management, Contract Management and Emergency Management.

Joe Pesz
External Training and Education Lead

Joe came to Lean in 2005, as a result of some problems his company was having with safety issues specifically related to gaps in training. Learning and implementing 5S, Standard work and Value Streams mapping were his introduction, and those core tenets helped him transition over the last 16 years, from a Construction industry background into Manufacturing and Distribution, Supply Chain and most recently Healthcare.

Currently working as a Lean Coach/Consultant for his company JMPesz Design. Part time musician. Married with two kids, and five granddaughters.

Jayne Overbeck
Small Events Lead

Jayne Overbeck is a Senior Strategy Manager at Dart Container where she manages high-level program initiatives and helps to foster strong cross-functional collaboration. She is responsible for continuously improving the Strategy Department’s processes and methodologies to drive value and support better business outcomes. In addition, she leads kaizen events, teaches courses on Lean principles, and mentors team members.

Jayne started practicing Lean over 25 years ago. She attended the General Motors Quality Institute where she had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Deming. Her Lean journey received inspiration after observing the red bead experiment.

Prior to joining Dart, Jayne gained project management, Lean and consulting experience working in multiple industries including manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and technology. She has led continuous improvement projects in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Jayne has a bachelor's degree in Scientific and Technical Communications from Michigan Technological University. Jayne is an avid reader, she loves spending time her fur-baby Casey, and (of course) her wonderful husband Jim.

Melissa Sherman

Melissa has worked in the utility industry for over 27 years, both for an Investor Owned and Cooperative, gaining experience in Electric and Gas Distribution Engineering, Business Support for Pumped Storage, River Hydro and Renewable Generation, Online Scheduling for Fossil Generation, and Enterprise Change.

Throughout her career, Melissa has instituted lean methodology while embedding change management methodology.  From scheduling to warehouse redesigns, to value stream analysis. Melissa analyzes and measures the effectiveness of existing business processes and develops sustainable, repeatable, and quantifiable business process improvements. She analyzes data to drive problem solving, root cause analysis and functional area process improvement. Responsible for delivering significant results in Company Breakthrough Objectives.

She is passionate about leading others on their continuous improvement/lean and change management journey.  She enjoys being able to share her love for teaching/coaching others and seeing the “ah ha” moments when someone truly understands the methodologies. It is through breaking down those methodologies in terms they understand that they can then tackle those big problems.

Melissa has also taught higher education since 2008 both in-seat and on-line in management, entrepreneurship and engineering disciplines, relating a lot of her teaching to the utility industry. 

Melissa holds a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering Technology, a Master’s in Leadership Studies from Baker College, along with a Graduate Certificate in Leadership Strategies from Davenport University.  She also holds an Associates Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University and is certified in Change Management through Acuity Institute.

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