Grand Rapids Lean Summit

  • Friday, March 15, 2024
  • L.V. Eberhard Center (EC) 301 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
  • 0


Registration is closed

Unlock the future of efficient and responsible business practices at the 2024 Grand Rapids Lean Summit!

Join us for a transformative experience where the theme "Sustainable Lean: Less is More" takes center stage. This summit is a unique opportunity for professionals, leaders, and enthusiasts to dive deep into Lean Management and Lean Sustainability: exploring how organizations can thrive by doing more with less.

Discover innovative strategies to minimize waste, optimize processes, and enhance efficiency, all while prioritizing continued improvement and long-term sustainability. Our expert speakers will share real-world examples and success stories, offering actionable insights that you can apply directly to your organization. This conference is not just about theory – it's a practical guide for businesses and organizations looking to lead the way in the era of sustainable Lean management.

The Grand Rapids Lean Summit provides a platform for networking with industry leaders and learning from top-notch professionals!

Optional Gemba Tour at Alro's Metals Service Center (requires registration)

3:15 - 5:00pm | 1033 Freeman Ave SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Registrants of the GR Lean Summit are invited to this optional Gemba Tour of Alro. Join us for an overview of Alro, tour of facility, review plant changes and investments made in past couple years to improve productivity, safety, and customer service. 

The Metals Service Center was founded in 1948 by Al Glick. Started with one Garage and one truck in Jackson, MI and with Al’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to customer service, have expanded to over 80 locations in 16 states.

Host: Zac Huizing, General Manager

Zac has been with Alro nearly 17 years. A Grand Rapids native, he spent 12 years with Alro in Jackson, MI, and Toledo, OH facilities. Zac relocated back to Grand Rapids 5 years ago and currently live in Rockford, MI. He has two children, 7 and 5 years old who keep him extremely active when he's not at Alro.

Safety Equipment

All PPE will be provided (Hard Hat, Safety Glasses, Safety Vest)


Select a Lean Book at Check-in!

Registered Guests will select one book by our Featured Authors at check-in at the event! Select from:

Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap: 12 Questions to Understand What's Truly Underneath Your Culture by Patrick Adams


Improve LESS: The Focus and Align Framework for Sustainable Continuous Improvement by Chad Bareither.

Signatures from the authors will be available during the event!


Brian Calley
President & CEO, Small Business Association of Michigan

Brian Calley is a collaborative leader who combines the skills from an accomplished private sector career with an extensive record of public service and a reputation for getting things done. He is passionate about making the world work better for all people and uses an inclusive problem-solving approach to make a difference.

As President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Brian is able to put his passion for Michigan’s small businesses to work. He serves as a director of a publicly traded community bank, and as a Trustee of Oakland University. Additionally, he sits on various boards, including Special Olympics Michigan, Sparrow Health System, Disability Rights Michigan, and the Autism Alliance of Michigan.

Calley had the honor of serving as Michigan’s 63rd Lieutenant Governor from 2011-2018. Prior to that, Calley served two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives, two terms as an Ionia County commissioner and worked for over a decade in community banking. He holds a BA from Michigan State University, an MBA from Grand Valley State University and an MPA from Harvard University.

Calley is an avid runner, having completed more than a dozen full marathons and a capable piano player. He and his wife Julie live in Portland with their three children: Collin, Reagan and Karagan.

Breakout Presenters

Chad Bareither
Owner and Principal Consultant Bareither Group Consulting

Chad is the owner and principal consultant of Bareither Group Consulting. He partners with clients to implement a system for continuous improvement. One that can clarify and deploy their strategy, make process improvements to achieve those goals, and establish daily management of operations to stablilize. These three elements of The Focus and Align FrameworkTM are the subject of his book “Improve LESS”. Often we are doing too much. Without focus we waste money and potentially lose customers. Without Alignment we waste time and burn our people out.

Chad takes his 20 years of experience enabling change for large, fortune 500, organizations all the way through small business. He now focuses in bringing that capability to mid-market manufacturing and product development firms. 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.

Patrick Adams
CEO / Executive Lean Coach
Lean Solutions

Patrick Adams is the author of the best selling and Shingo-award winning book “Avoiding the Continuous Appearance Trap” and the host of The Lean Solutions Podcast. He is an international speaker, coach, and consultant. He is also a University Lecturer for the #1 Supply Chain Undergraduate Program at the University of Arkansas. Patrick has been delivering bottom-line results through specialized process improvement solutions for over 20 years. He's worked with all types of businesses from private, non-profits, government, and manufacturing ranging from small business to billion dollar corporations. Patrick is a proven leader and highly experienced consultant with specific niche focus on organizational strategy and leadership development which brings a unique human approach to sound team-building practices; creating consensus and enabling empowerment. He motivates, inspires, and drives the right results at all points in business processes.

Beth Crowley
VP of Operations, The Crowley Group

Beth Crowley is the VP of Operations at The Crowley Group, a part-time Faculty member at the Oakland University School of Business, and a Regular Contributor to the digital magazine Beth has a comprehensive, hands-on background in all aspects of executive coaching, change management, process re-engineering, value stream optimization and team leadership. She has extensive domestic and international industry and consulting experience in both manufacturing and corporate arenas, specializing in assessing operations and implementing strategies to eliminate waste and increase employee engagement and productivity. Beth has facilitated over 200 successful rapid improvement (kaizen) events using lean, six sigma and other quality tools.


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.


 8:00-8:30  Check-in and Light Breakfast
 8:30  Kick-off
 8:45  Session 1
 9:45  Keynote — Brian Calley
 11:00  Session 2
 11:50  Lunch (provided)
 12:45  Session 3
 2:00-2:30  Close-Out
 3:15-5:00  Gemba Tour of Alro Metal Service Center (requires registration)
 3:00-6:00  Social Hour! Appetizers Provided. Cash Bar.
Holiday Inn | 310 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids


Please park in the Fulton Lot as indicated by the map below:


View the Sponsorship Opportunities!

Hotel Block

Holiday Inn

Grand Rapids Downtown | 310 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Guestroom Type

Guestroom Rate

Two Standard Queen


Call 616-235-7611 to book a hotel room at the group rate. Mention Michigan Lean Consortium as the group! Book by February 27, 2024 for the group rate.

Hotel Cancellations

Individual room reservations are subject to the hotel's cancellation policy.

Summit Registration Cancellations

We understand that plans change. In the event you are unable to attend an event, refunds will be issued in full for cancellation refund requests received in writing via the email at least seven (7) days before the event. Refunds will not be issued when less than a seven (7) day notice is provided. After submitting your cancellation refund request via email, please allow up to ten (10) business days for your refund to be processed. If the event is rescheduled, all purchases will be honored for the rescheduled event date. If the event is cancelled, all purchases will be refunded in full.

New To The MLC?

At the MLC, we do our best to be inclusive at every level of experience, whether it’s a conference, Gemba walk or any other of our membership activities.

An individual or organizational membership gives you a year’s worth of great Lean learning and networking at low- or no-cost!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software