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.

Tony Hayes

Tony has more than 25 years of continuous improvement and manufacturing operations experience from companies such as Wabash National, GE Transportation, Ford Motor Company, Alcoa, and Dana Corporation. In his previous role at GE, Tony was responsible for developing and driving the strategic vision of global continuous improvement in both manufacturing and cross functionally across the enterprise. He also led Haworth's Lean University, earning recognition from the State of Michigan's Governor's office for Teamwork, Leadership and Excellence in the spirit of reinvention.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Tony earned his Bachelor of Science in Project/Facilities Management. He also holds a Master of Science in Manufacturing Management, a Master of Science in Operations Management, and a Master of Business Administration, all attained from Kettering University. In addition, Tony is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and is certified through University of Michigan in Lean Office and Service, as well as Lean Manufacturing and Operations, in addition to being a Shingo Institute Alumni.

Mike Wiersma
Vice Chair

Mike is married with 4 girls. 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.

Richard Love

Richard is the founder of HarborView LLC ( which provides Business Intelligence (BI) consulting services and products for FDA regulated industries. HarborView clients include L7 Informatics, Genentech/Roche, Ligand, Amgen, Kite Pharma, Baxter. HarborView is also working with St Gallen to develop an advanced analytics app for their OPEX benchmarking database and FlexFab for sales reporting.

Richard has a BS Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and has held Global Technical Operations and Quality positions in the Bio/Pharmaceutical industry, most recently for GlaxoSmithKline.

At GlaxoSmithKline, Richard was immersed in Lean principles, tools and culture and has since incorporated Lean in his business to provide real value to his clients. He takes a 5S for Data approach in building his management and shop floor analytics reports. This approach enables clients to dramatically improve information flow within the value stream—traditionally a difficult lift.

His skill set/experience includes Power BI, dimensional modeling, systems analysis, business intelligence report design/implementation, database design/implementation, GxP, 21CFR211, 21CFR820, process, computer, facility validation, supply chain management, protein chemistry, manufacturing process development and scale-up, Quality by Design, Design of Experiments, Lean Quality/Operations, Six Sigma. VBA Expert, MS Access, Excel. He recently developed and deployed a Quick Base app for a global pharma-client.

Anne Cram

Anne Cram is a Lean Process Improvement Specialist and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt who works for the State of Michigan to help Agencies realize process efficiencies. 

Her experience working for three state governments (Indiana, Tennessee, and Michigan) enables her to understand the government model and what drives successful continuous improvement in it: engagement and buy in from leadership, a culture of engagement with internal staff and external partners/customers, a focus on the process and not (fixing) the people.

Anne has over eight years of experience working in State Government serving in numerous capacities. Included in this experience is over six years in Child Welfare as a foster care case manager, investigator of severe abuse and neglect, and program manager all while serving on the Continuous Quality Improvement team. She served as the Training Director for the State of Tennessee’s Child Safety Division for over two years prior to moving “home” to Michigan. For the past two and a half years, Anne has served as the Lean Process Improvement Specialist in Michigan’s statewide process improvement office managing process improvement project portfolios for seven state agencies.

Anne is a certified Lean Process Improvement Facilitator and holds a Black Belt certification in Government. Anne has had formal training in the tools and strategies of Lean Six Sigma, Project Management, Change Management, and Visual Management. 

Anne holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services from Western Michigan University.

Vanita DeJesus
Membership Liaison

Vanita is a transformational Leader with 20 years of Lean experience, working in Manufacturing and the Energy industry. Vanita’s career span includes training, workshop/Kaizen facilitation, strategic planning and coaching leadership teams through a Lean transformation. As a Director for Consumers Energy, Vanita has the great opportunity to lead a high performing team that is responsible for the design, development and deployment of a Lean Operating System. In addition, she leads the Governance Council for Operational Excellence. She specializes in partnering with organizations and functional areas throughout the company to drive overall operational maturity.

Vanita has a Greenbelt and has successfully completed the Lean Office Certification Program at University of Michigan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from Central Michigan University. In her free time, she likes to travel with her family but is not opposed to curling up with a good book in the comfort of her home.

Kevin Olds
Member Services Co-Liaison

Originally from Northern Michigan, Kevin “boomeranged” back to join the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) in Traverse City as a Senior Business Advisor in January of 2019. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge of continuous improvement with others and is a certified Lean Champion instructor. He has facilitated numerous Lean and Six Sigma projects for his Northern Michigan clients. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council and hosts benchmarking events with the Lean Learning Consortium.

Prior to his role at MMTC, he worked as the Process Improvement Manager for Embraer Executive Aircraft in Melbourne, Fla. for 7 years and as the Continuous Improvement/Production Manager for DRS Training and Control Systems in Fort Walton Beach, Fla for 4 years. At both companies he was accountable for all Lean, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints initiatives. He established Quality Clinics, Lean Manufacturing Maturity Models and facilitated more than 200 Kaizen projects in the US, as well as internationally in Brazil.

Kevin was a member of the United States Navy for 10 years. His job in the military was performing aircraft maintenance as an Aviation Electronics Technician. He was a Lean Six Sigma pioneer in the Navy and eventually went on to become Naval Air Station Oceana’s (Virginia Beach, VA) Leading Petty Officer for the AIRSpeed Core Team, which is the Navy’s program for Lean, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints. He holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the Florida Institute of Technology and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt by the Naval Air Forces Command (NAVAIR).

Becky Andree
Member Services Co-Liaison

Becky Andree spent 25+ years in Fortune 500 companies, experiencing first hand the pressures facing leaders today. Her disruptive and visionary talent approaches have resulted in millions of dollars to organizations’ bottom line. She led a global team to develop a Lean Leadership Program to develop skills and behaviors to ensure sustainability of Lean philosophy, processes, and tools. That program is still in use today at two Fortune 500 companies and has been translated into 13 languages and delivered to 9,000+ leaders in 20+ countries.

Becky is currently CEO of Vertical Leadership Consulting engaging with organizations around the globe to:

  • identify leadership gaps (behavior & thinking)
  • embed learning into the curriculum of work to increase skills and thinking development individually and organizationally
  • implement programs to develop individual, team, and collective potential

Becky earned her MA in Human & Organizational Systems from the Fielding Graduate Institute, and a BA in Accounting from Carthage College. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Human & Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University researching the impact of leader’s cognitive complexity on high-quality connections.

She lives in Norton Shores, Michigan with her teenage son, Carson, and dog, Rudy. She enjoys traveling, yoga, reading, philosophizing, and gardening.

Ruth Archer
Technology & Social Media Lead

Ruth Archer is the Director of Continuous Improvement at Michigan Technological University, where she manages the continuous improvement activities for the university. Ruth is responsible for advising, encouraging, and supporting Lean culture and principles in Michigan Tech students and the Leaders in Continuous Improvement (LCI) student organization; providing consultation and education on Lean thinking to academic and administrative units; and creating Lean capability in Michigan Tech's workforce, students, and the community. She also teaches courses on Lean principles, teamwork, and communication.

Before working at Michigan Tech, Ruth was in the United States Air Force. She held multiple positions, including aircraft mechanic master technician, test equipment designer, aircraft electromagnetic signature collector, radar modeler, current and future radar engineer, and AFROTC instructor.

Ruth has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech, an MBA from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Northcentral University. She is a Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner, Michigan Performance Excellence (MIPEx) Examiner, and also serves on the Lean Higher Education global steering group representing the continental Americas.

Katie Labedz
Strategy Liaison

Katie Labedz is the President of Learning to Lean, LLC. She has been practicing Lean and Six Sigma concepts for the past 20 years. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Project Management Professional.

She has a diverse background that includes manufacturing, materials, supply chain and IT in the automotive and electronic industries. Katie has spent the last 15 years of her career focusing on how to teach the application of Lean/Six Sigma concepts in a non-manufacturing environment.

Katie makes it her professional goal to expose the genius in all of her students.

Lauren Wisniewski 
Marketing Liaison

Lauren is a mother to a four-year-old son and the founder of Rise Consulting Company, empowering nonprofits to maximize their impact through Lean principles. Lauren is passionate about the power of philanthropy as a tool for change and works to integrate Continuous Improvement with social impact.

Lauren attended the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, receiving her BA in Public Policy. She received her MA in Philanthropic Studies and Nonprofit Management from Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy as well as a Masters Certificate in Collaborative Governance from the University of Arizona.

Lauren has experience working with a range of nonprofit organizations and three large higher education institutions. In the Ann Arbor, Michigan and Tucson, Arizona communities she worked with smaller community nonprofit organizations, including a youth athletic program, a food bank, a secondary education institution, and a child and family service organization. Lauren has worked for a consulting firm coaching Lean Innovation and founded Rise Consulting Company six years ago to support nonprofits as they approach challenges in a powerful way.

Saso Krstovski
Board Member
Co-Lead Academia Community of Practice

Dr. Saso Krstovski works for Ford Motor Company – Van Dyke Transmission Plant as a Lean Manufacturing Coach and Six-Sigma Master Black Belt. With over twenty years of service with Ford Motor Company, Dr. Krstovski has held a multitude of engineering assignments, which includes time working as a Test Engineer, Launch Test Engineer, and Electrical Control Engineer. During his time with Ford Motor Company, Dr. Krstovski has worked in several plant environments and skill teams such as Dearborn Tool & Die Plant, Information Technology, and has held front-line supervision roles managing hourly UAW-Ford production employees. This exposure to new work concepts within Ford has allowed Dr. Krstovski to amass a holistic approach to engineering. As such, Dr. Krstovski has gained an extensive understanding of the Six-Sigma methodologies. As a detail oriented and data-driven engineer, Dr. Krstovski is an invaluable contributor to Ford Motor Company. He is highly distinguished and skilled with problem identification and resolution to avoid time and cost expenditures.

Dr. Krstovski recently joined Lawrence Technological University as an Adjunct Professor and is currently teaching in the Engineering Department. Dr. Krstovski’s research interests lie in the area of System Optimization. He continues to collaborate actively with researchers at several universities. Dr. Krstovski provides guidance globally to doctoral candidates on dissertation direction. He serves as Six Sigma Director for IEOM Society organization. Dr. Krstovski graduated from Lawrence Technological University with a Doctorate of Engineering in Manufacturing Systems (DEMS). In addition, to his doctorate degree, Dr. Krstovski has a Masters in Electrical Computer Controlled Systems and a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University. Dr. Krstovski has authored several publications and scientific articles on various engineering topics.

Robert Sturza
Board Member
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.

Joshua Foster
Board Member
Co-Liaison Healthcare Community of Practice and Co-Lead Healthcare Symposium

Josh has 11 years of experience in healthcare operations with five of those years being process improvement related. In his current role, Josh leads strategic continuous improvement teams who focus on reducing waste and improving the patient experience through continuous improvement.

Josh graduated from Central Michigan University with a BS in Healthcare Administration, a MS in Healthcare Administration, and a MS in Adult Education and Training.

Additionally, Josh also holds a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification and a Lean Gold certification.

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