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
Chair

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
Vice-Chair
Co-Lead Healthcare Community of Practice and Co-Lead Healthcare Symposium

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

Secretary

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.

Melissa Castro

Treasurer

Melissa Castro began her journey in Lean Process Improvement and Change Management over 15 years ago. Melissa has led multiple process improvement and change management initiatives for public sector projects. She currently serves as the Change Management offering lead for the Guidehouse Midwest state and local government market. Melissa holds a Masters of Services Administration from Central Michigan University. She resides in the Lansing area with her husband and her cat Zooey.

Joe Pesz
Community of Practice Co-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
Events Co-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.

Alen Ganic
Events Co-Lead
Alen Ganic is a dynamic and passionate leader and management professional with a track record of steering efficiency and continuous improvement by deploying Lean Six Sigma methodology and tools and leveraging team capabilities. He is recognized for the ability to transform businesses through training, coaching, and mentoring.

Twenty-plus years ago, Alen fell in love with the Lean philosophy. Since then, he has helped manufacturing plants with Lean transformation, coaching, and mentoring. Alen has also helped streamline and transform some departments and operations in the public sector. In 2019 Alen received the Michigan Lean Consortium Distinguished Service Award for superb customer service and going above and beyond in time commitment and service to Michigan and the MLC community.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and reading. Also, he loves spending time outdoors, like kayaking, hiking, and biking. Alen speaks fluently three languages; English, Bosnian, and German.

Debra Levantrosser
Membership Liaison
Debra Levantrosser has over 30 years of executive level international leadership and management experience in many industries. She is currently a full-time faculty member at the University of Michigan (U of M) in the College of Engineering, Industrial and Operations Engineering department where she teaches lean manufacturing, leadership for engineers, senior design and coordinates career readiness workshops.

She is the lead adviser of Arbed Solutions, a consulting company dedicated to helping and teaching businesses to make positive, productive and strategic changes to their work.

She is a Lean Master Black Belt and enjoys teaching others about lean thinking; especially the change management, coaching and leadership aspects of it. She has worked with many senior leadership teams around the world to focus on the true meaning of lean and the role of leadership in a transformation. She has lived on three continents and worked in 50+ countries.

She attended Michigan State University where she received two undergraduate degrees in German and in Political Science with a minor in health studies. She attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY for her MPA degree and remained very active with Marist by being a member of the School of Management Advisory Board and establishing a scholarship for women entering leadership positions. She has completed three years of studies towards her PhD and has certificates from Smith College and The Disney University. She lives in Plymouth, Michigan with her three dogs and enjoys dark chocolate with peanut butter as a daily treat.

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