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2018-2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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.


Melissa Castro

Volunteer Coordinator & Conference Team

Melissa is the Division Director of the Reinventing Performance in Michigan (RPM) Lean Projects and Training Division in the State of Michigan’s Office of Performance and Transformation. The division includes a team of professional process improvement facilitators that work on lean projects for all State agencies. Under Melissa’s leadership, the division is highly focused on leveraging state employee’s knowledge and expertise to improve the services provided to taxpayers.

The division is also responsible for training and mentoring all state employees on lean tools and methods. The division has trained over 1600 State employees and

has a goal to increase that number by 50% in Fiscal Year 2019.

Melissa has 15 years of leadership experience in state government. She led the first dedicated process improvement division in the Department of Treasury before

joining the RPM team. Melissa also served for more than 10 years as a leader in the State’s central procurement office, where she first encountered lean concepts and began her lean journey.

Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Master’s degree from Central Michigan University.


Mike Wiersma

Vice Chair

Mike is married with 3 girls (13,11,2) with a 4th girl coming in November!

He enjoys beaches, golf, travel and family time!

Mike has worked 2 years at whirlpool and am now currently the global CI leader and coach for our legal team.

Mike has over 14 years of experience in leading cultural transformations in both manufacturing and service organizations across the globe. Proven track record in engineering, operations management and continuous improvement. Drives results with practical hands-on experience and effective leadership coaching. Passionate about helping people and organizations build systems and structure that achieve best in class performance.

► CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT LEADERSHIP: Expertise in lean sigma tools, systems, behaviors, and principles. Trained, coached and mentored transformation in more than 10 organizational cultures. Strong quality, safety, and customer focus.

► OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT: Led a highly regulated pharmaceutical plant of 200+ associates and 7 exempt leaders in exceeding organizational goals in quality, safety, productivity, morale, customer service and cost annually. Managed a highly seasonal, high mix/high volume environment with over $300 million in sales.

► ENGINEERING: Hired, managed and led a team of engineers across multiple manufacturing plants. Prioritized >$10 million capital and >$15 million annual expense budgets. Responsible for executing new product launches, approving engineering changes, and long-range capacity planning. Hands-on implementation of lean sigma methods resulting in significant productivity gains.

Top Competencies:

✔ Process Improvement

✔ Problem Solving

✔ Strategic Thinking

✔ Coaching/Mentoring

✔ Performance Management

✔ Building Trust and Respect

✔ Strength of Character

✔ Drive for Results

Specialties:

GMP | Hoshin Kanri Strategy Deployment | Lean Sigma Black Belt | TPS | Project Management | CFR 211 | Gemba Walks | FDA Quality Systems | A3 Thinking | 5S | 5 Why | Standard Work | Kanban | Total Productive Maintenance | Shingo model | Toyota Kata | Visual Management | Succession Planning | MDI


Ruth Archer


Betsy Williams

Conference Team

Training Services at Northwestern Michigan College

Term expires in 2020

Betsy works in the Training Services Division of Northwestern Michigan College as a Sales and Training Specialist, specializing in human resource management. Betsy is a former travel executive and consultant, with over 30 years of statewide operational development and management experience.

Her current professional affiliations include:
• Traverse City Chamber Healthcare Committee Member
• SHRM Human Resource Specialist
• Traverse City Area Human Resource Board Member
• Michigan Lean Consortium Event and Annual Conference Committee Member
• Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center Annual Conference Committee Member
• Certified DISC Trainer

Rob Pease

MLC Chair

Term Expires in 2019

Kata/Improvement Manager at N U C R A F T

Rob has over 20 years of leadership and coaching experience. He has been influential for change and culture with accolades from the military, government, and corporate environments. Currently working within the furniture industry he is coaching an organization through a cultural transformation to achieve substantial growth (of 300%). Rob has traveled the nation focusing on his passion for training, speaking, and coaching in a myriad of organizations and venues. Rob has been married for 18 years, the father of two teenage boys, currently a basketball coach, pursuing his graduate degree at Western Michigan University in Organizational Change Leadership, as well as being the chair of the Michigan Lead Consortium board.

Brian DeVries

MLC Technology & Social Media Lead

Treasurer

Term Expires in 2019

Continuous improvement Manager at Zeeland Farm Services Inc.  

Brian has global experience in the development and execution of continuous improvement/lean strategy and assessment within manufacturing facilities in various locations within the U.S., as well as facilities in India, China, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, and France.  Before joining ZFS, Brian was a CI Manager with Dean Foods, and a Global Continuous Improvement Champion at Haworth Inc.  Brian also had worked as a Production Supervisor where he was introduced to Lean, and began building his formal lean skills by self-studying Toyota Kata and working as part of the Lean/Quality team at Steelcase. Prior to his lean journey, Brian was a Golf Course Superintendent in various areas of the country including Southampton, NY, Williamsburg, VA, and Las Vegas, NV.

Brian has a Masters of Global Business Administration from Cornerstone University, is a Lean & Six Sigma Project of the Year Award Recipient, a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and is Google Analytics Certified.


Holly Plaga, LSSBB

Secretary

Term Expires in 2019

Operational Excellence Leader at Dart Container

Holly has a background in industrial engineering and has spent over 20 years fostering organizational change and strategically deploying methods of process improvement in both the manufacturing and transactional environments. She has been invited to work in government, non-profit, pharmaceutical, healthcare, energy, aerospace, defense, finance, fabrication and tier 1 and tier 2 automotive manufacturing. She enjoys working together with organizations to develop a positive team atmosphere, while implementing effective and efficient systems to facilitate process excellence; creating the linkage needed to sustain positive change.

Born and raised in Michigan, Holly graduate of Michigan State University in Interior Design and began her journey at Dart Corporation December 27th, 2014.

She has been an active member of the Michigan Lean Consortium since 2010 and currently serves on the Board of Directors.

Outside of work Holly and her husband, Ken enjoys raising their two highly energetic teenagers and two dogs. She looks forward to any activity out of doors, especially gardening and running. She samples as much chocolate as possible and loves singing in the local chorale.

Favorite color is Green, with purple as a close second

  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certified
  • Lean Leader Certified
  • Change Pro Simulation Certified

Anthony DeCaria

MLC Membership Liaison 

Term expires in 2020

As an improvement strategist, hack psychologist and fun enthusiast, Anthony DeCaria is always looking for unique ways to inspire lean thinking.  He's helped DTE Energy and other organizations work toward creating a flourishing culture of seeing and solving problems by working with all employees, from front lines to founders.  He has advised Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and non-profits in the food, finance, and energy sectors on developing lean strategy, building operating systems, and sparking entrepreneurial behavior.  Anthony lives with his wife, two kids, massive cat, and secret punk-rocker status in Milford, Michigan.  He's released four albums and won an international songwriting competition.


Lucy Young

Events Team

Term expires in 2020

Lucy Young has thirty-seven years of experience in healthcare leadership, project management and process & quality improvement. She has led and been involved with several types improvement initiatives related to quality improvement, cost reduction, re-engineering, benchmarking, information systems implementation, mergers, and opening new hospitals and facilities. Currently, Ms. Young is the Director of the Corporate Performance Excellence Department where she leads a team to support System transformation initiatives, including population management strategies and system-wide transformation initiatives.

Her previous role was Director of Quality and Performance Excellence at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. In that role, she was responsible for key operational improvement initiatives, risk management, infection control and Regulatory compliance. While in that role, she was also the project manager for the EMR go-live for the Hospital and campus clinics.

Additional past roles at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) included the Director of Henry Ford’s Corporate Management Services department, where she supervised a team of 14 and staffed HFHS’s Performance Council, the System’s most senior level leadership team responsible for strategy development and deployment.

Previously, Ms. Young was a Senior Consultant for Premier, Inc. where she was assigned as the Director of Performance Engineering at McLaren Health Care Corporation in Flint, Michigan. Lucy also worked for the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) for fourteen years, finishing her tenure there as their Director of Corporate Operations Analysis.

Lucy served on the Society for Health System’s (SHS) Board from 2006 to 2008 and was SHS President from 2011-2012.

Lucy has a BS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan. She is married and stays plenty busy with six children and a new puppy, Porter! Lucy loves Michigan lakes and water, and enjoys water-skiing, kayaking and paddle-boarding in the summer, bike rides among the beautiful Michigan spring blooms and fall colors, and ice-skating or cross-country skiing in the winter.


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 The Michigan Lean Consortium is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 
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