2023 MLC Annual Conference

  • Tuesday, August 08, 2023
  • 8:00 AM
  • Thursday, August 10, 2023
  • 4:00 PM
  • Hagerty Center at Northwestern Michigan College. 715 E Front Street, Traverse City MI 49686



August 8th - 10th, with a Gemba Walk activity on the 10th

Our theme this year of Lean: What Really Works was suggested by previous conference attendee feedback that noted they want more application and less theory. Lets learn What Really Works together in 2023!

We want every participant to walk away with their heads stuffed with real examples from the real world of Lean that really works!

We know planning your time and your treasure is very important and because of this, we have decided to open up the 2023 MLC Annual Conference registration much earlier than we have in the past! We know you love the learning from the amazing Keynote and Active Learning Session speakers, as well as enjoying the amazing city of Traverse City, so lets book it!

Interested in Sponsoring?

Review the amazing sponsorship levels and to sign up!

Sponsor the Annual Conference

What can you expect?

  • 3 days of learning - 2 Keynote speakers and 12 total Active Learning Session options between both days
  • All Active Learning Session sessions to be divided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced tracks
  • An incredible panel of Lean experts to learn from
  • Cocktail and networking hour
  • 3rd day of Gemba Walks

Tuesday, August 8th

8:00 AM

Conference Guest Check In

8:00 AM

Simple Breakfast

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks; National Anthem

9:30 AM

Welcome/Agenda Review/Icebreaker

9:45 AM

Keynote: Steven Haedrich

10:45 AM


11:00 AM

Active Learning Session Block 1

  • BEG/INT - Deming-The Science of Deming
  • BEG/INT - Dustin Thomas - Utilizing A3 problem solving in-person, virtual, or hybrid
  • INT/ADV- Melissa S - Measuring the adoption of continuous improvement in your organization
  • INT/ADV - Chad Bareither-Sustaining Lean Performance Through Leader Standard Work


Lunch Break

1:30 PM

Active Learning Session Block 2

  • BEG/INT- Joyce Weiss - Kicking Conflict to the Curb™
  • INT/ADV- Deming- How to Separate Special Cause from Common Cause
  • INT/ADV - Lyn Dolson Pugh- Change Management = Actually Managing Change
  • ADV - Toni Benner -KATA & the Practice of Shu-Ha-Ri. Is it your time to break what works?

3:00 PM


3:15 PM

Book Club Q&A with Mark Graban

3:45 PM

Networking Hour

4:45 PM


Wednesday, August 9th

7:30 AM

Simple Breakfast

7:30 AM

MLC Annual Members Meeting

9:00 AM

Welcome/Agenda Review/Icebreaker

9:30 AM

Keynote - Beth Carrington



10:45 AM

Distinguished Service Award & Other MLC Business


Panel Discussion - Mark Graban "The Mistakes That Make Us"

12:15 PM

Lunch Break

1:15 PM

Active Learning Session Block 3

  • BEG/INT - Dave Kippen/Dale Gregory - Simple Value Stream Mapping for Alignment and Progress
  • BEG/INT - Kevin O - Tools for an Effective Gemba Walk
  • INT/ADV - Debra L - Negotiations, Tips & Tricks
  • ADV - Deming-Lean Leaders System Thinking

2:45 PM

Closing Celebration / Prizes

Thursday, August 10th

9:00 AM

Gemba Walks

Check out the List of Speakers!

Mark Graban's "The Mistakes That Make Us"

Mark Graban will join the conference to moderate a panel discussion related to his current passion – “The Mistakes That Make Us”. What a wonderful opportunity to learn from the mistakes and help us understand WHAT REALLY WORKS! Mark will also be available to discuss his book at the Sponsor Lounge / Cocktail Hour event!

Praise for “The Mistakes That Make Us”

“At last! A book about errors, flubs, and screwups that pushes beyond platitudes and actually shows how to enlist our mistakes as engines of learning, growth, and progress. Dive into The Mistakes That Make Us and discover the secrets to nurturing a psychologically safe environment that encourages the small experiments that lead to big breakthroughs.”


Hotel blocks are available now!

Bayshore Resort - 833 East Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Phone: (231) 935-4400 call and ask for the Michigan Lean Consortium discount rate.

Tru by Hilton - 3572 N U.S. 31 S, Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Book with the discounted rate with this link! Phone: (231) 486-6590 call and ask for the Michigan Lean Consortium discount rate

Additional Traverse City Hotels and Lodging can be found on the resourceful Traverse City visitors’ site

Register Today!

Early Bird Pricing will end May 31st 2023

Take advantage of the early bird pricing! You will be able to choose your breakout sessions as we get closer to the event date.





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!

Cancelation Policy:

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 by email to events@michiganlean.org 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 to process your refund request. If the event is rescheduled, all purchases will be honored for the rescheduled event date. If the event is canceled, all purchases will be refunded in full.

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