image of Amayas BenkarounAmayas Benkaroun

Head of Global Manufacturing performance/Operational Excellence – IPSEN

Amayas Benkaroun as Head of Operational Excellence for Ipsen specialty care manufacturing sites is responsible for leading the culture of excellence through the Shingo model and get profit from that for Customers; Associates and Stakeholders
Mr. Benkaroun was formally the operational excellence leader of Ipsen Pharma biotech site (Signes, France) and getting to Shingo prize in feb 2020.

He brings more than 15 years of Lean 6 sigma and management experience in automotive, process and pharmaceutical sectors located in many countries, He gives also from his free time statistics courses for university students in medicine.
Ms. Benkaroun has a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Arts et Métiers ParisTech and a Master black belt Lean 6 sigma certification. Ipsen is a global specialty-driven biopharmaceutical company focusing on oncology, rare diseases and neurosciences.

image of AmirAmir Ghannad

Leadership Development Specialist and Culture Transformation Catalyst

Amir Ghannad is a frequent and highly sought-after international keynote speaker at leadership summits in the US and abroad, and the founder of The Ghannad Group, which offers speaking, workshop facilitation, executive coaching and consulting services, focused on guiding leaders in creating extraordinary cultures that deliver breakthrough results and unprecedented fulfillment.

For over 31 years prior to founding The Ghannad Group, Amir led multi-functional, multi-national teams in manufacturing and Supply Chain roles in a variety of business situations in the US, Asia, and Europe with such companies as Procter and Gamble, Sunny Delight Beverages, and Campbell Soup Company.

Through his family-owned private consulting practice, founded in 2015, Amir is committed to sharing what he’s learned about the leadership potential hidden within each one of us, and providing the tools and cultivating the mindset to unleash that innate potential and thereby achieve unprecedented levels of success and fulfillment at work and in life.

Amir’s greatest passion is to energize and compel clients, in different industries all over the world, to discover the Transformative Leader within themselves and embrace and fulfill their accountability for creating extraordinary workplace cultures. Through his roles as an authorbloggerpodcast host, consultant, and coach, Amir provides ongoing support to teams in their transformative journeys, long after his initial engagements with them, through such initiatives as his exclusive members-only forum at www.onthecourtleadership.com.

Amir’s book, The Transformative Leader, has been shipped to 30+ countries, and is available in English and Spanish at www.theghannadgroup.com, where you can find over 400 of his blog posts and podcast episodes.

Amir and his wife of over 40 years, Connie, and their children and business partners, Naveed and Naseem, reside in Portugal and serve clients in multiple regions of the world through virtual and in-person engagements.

image of Andy BrunskillAndy Brunskill

Partner at S A Partners, Co-Author of TPM: A foundation for Operational Excellence

Andy is a Partner and specialises in the development and deployment of Operational Excellence Programmes. 

He is the companies TPM Lead Consultant and the co-author of TPM: A Foundation of Operational Excellence. He has worked with a wide range of multi-national clients around the world supporting them with their Continuous Improvement Programmes.  Andy has experience in FMCG, Food & Drink, Utilities, Process Sector and Pharmaceuticals and brings his practical experience of managing large teams into the operational excellence programmes he supports. 

Andy’s passion is for process optimisation, utilising people potential and cultural change.

His ability to engage with both board directors and operators makes him a highly successful change agent within the companies he works.  

Frank Devine

Managing Director: Accelerated Improvement Ltd

Frank Devine is the author of book Rapid Mass Engagement and the Cathedral Model of leadership as a system.

His work is known from the application of this body of work at sites such as DePuy Sythes, Lake Region, Vale, Boston Scientific, Cola Cola Inc, Coca Cola Europacific Partners, Bacardi, Rolls-Royce, Bechtel, GSK, GKN and many others across hundreds of locations globally.

image of Joanna CooperJoanna Cooper

General Manager Daimler Trucks North America

Joanna Cooper is the General Manager of the Daimler Truck North America Mt. Holly Truck Manufacturing Plant.  Over the span of a 15+ year career, she has curated a portfolio of high impact competencies, domestically and internationally, serving in roles across the organization and in close collaboration with a variety of key cross-functional stakeholders.  As Senior Executive, Non-profit Board Director, C-Suite Advisor and Speaker, she is committed to harnessing the curiosity that enables transformation, unlocks future opportunities and drives sustainability.

As a leader, Joanna builds and lead highly successful teams through:
– Envisioning the future
– Strategy development & Deployment
– Transforming culture to drive sustainable results
– Succession planning

As a mentor and coach she helps professionals mine their unique purpose, position and value proposition through:
– Outlining a clear vision
– Cultivating self-advocacy
– Building and nurturing network opportunities
– Positioning “Thought Leadership”

Joanna navigates both her personal and professional journey by a core set of values— Authenticity, Courage, Trust, Integrity, Vision, Empathy—which spells out the acronym A.C.T.I.V.E. – the final piece of her value package – GETTING RESULTS!

image of John QuirkeJohn Quirke

Partner, S A Partners
John Quirke is a Senior Partner and Head of the Life Sciences & Health Sector, he also supports both the US and European Business Development Team. Before joining S A Partners, John worked as Director of Operational Excellence at Cordis Johnson & Johnson, and as European Lean Six Sigma Lead at Millipore B.V. John’s initially industrial training was with Fujitsu Corporation in Japan where he worked as Chemical Process Engineer. John has significant industry experience in developing and deploying operational excellence and culture change programmes for a wide-range of clients.

He is a co-author of the award-winning book TPM:A Foundation of Operational Excellence that aligns behavioural based systems thinking with total productive manufacturing. John is a certified Shingo Institute alumni, facilitator, and consultant as well as a Master Lean Coach.

Ken SnyderKen Snyder

Executive Director of the Shingo Institute

Ken Snyder is the executive director of the Shingo Institute. Mr. Snyder has served as a member of the Shingo Executive Advisory Board since 2009, as a Shingo Examiner since 2010, and as Shingo advisory board chairman since 2013. He became executive director in 2015. Mr. Snyder developed an interest in Japanese business practices while living in Japan during the time he was a student. His interest led him to major in Japanese history and then to pursue an MBA for the purpose of working with a Japanese business. Inspired by the work of Professors Mike Yoshino and William Ouchi, Mr. Snyder wrote his master’s thesis on “Applying Japanese Business Practices in American Companies.” Mr. Snyder earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1980 with an emphasis in international business.

Immediately after graduation, Mr. Snyder joined a Japanese electronics manufacturing company, Susumu Kogyo K.K., and helped lead the establishment of its U.S. affiliate company. As plant manager, and later president of that company, he led the company through the implementation of TQC, QC Circles, and later, JIT and kanban initiatives. After ten+ years with the Japanese company, Mr. Snyder led the startup of Progressive Impressions International (PII) in Bloomington, Illinois. There he created a “Lean accounting” system before the term even existed, and he led the growth of PII from pre-revenue to over $25 million in annual revenues. Before joining the Huntsman School, Mr. Snyder was president of Marketing Communication Inc., an operating division of Taylor Corporation. After 30 years in industry, Mr. Snyder joined the faculty of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business in 2008.

portrait image of Kevin HeffernanKevin Heffernan

General Manager, Jabil Healthcare Bray

Kevin Heffernan is General Manager of the Jabil Healthcare facility in Bray, Ireland, a Shingo Prize recipient in 2021.

Jabil Healthcare is the industry’s largest, most comprehensive healthcare manufacturing solutions provider. During his tenure with Jabil, Kevin has steered the Bray site to double digit revenue growth year on year and has supported the site to diversify its customer base and develop new manufacturing capability offerings for its customers.

The site currently employs over 500 employees, with a culture focused on Employees, Customers, Capabilities and Continuous Improvement.

Prior to joining Jabil, Kevin spent more than twenty years working in Engineering Operations positions with Amdahl, Intel, 3Com, Lucent Technologies and Boston Scientific enabling him to experience and learn about a breadth of company cultures and lean programs.

Kevin’s interest in Lean was initially sparked through the training he received in his first job as a graduate engineer on Edward Deming’s 14 principles on how to improve organisation effectiveness.

Kevin holds a B.Eng Electrical,  MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and a Diploma in Leadership Coaching and also holds 6 Sigma certification.

image of MarianeloMarianela Alfaro

Business Excellence Leader, Hologic Costa Rica (Shingo Award Winners 2022)

Marianelo has been coordinating the Shingo model implementation and continuous improvemente systems
to the Costa Rica facility. (Shingo Prize winner 2022).
During this time she has been developing continuous improvement projects and OpEx strategy for the plant, and is a Six Sigma and lean knowledge expert, coaching continuous improvemente projects.

She has also been implementing training related to Operation Excellence to all the employees.

She has been a Shingo Evaluator since March 2022.

Pedro Jimenez

Operational Excellence Manager, Spirax Sarco

Pedro Jimenez, with over 18 years of experience in manufacturing and supply chain, has a strong focus on continuous improvement, operational excellence, and strategic sourcing.

As a Shingo Alumni, he has been instrumental in leading the Operational Journey at Spirax Sarco as the leadership team works towards preparing the organization for the Shingo Award. He has concentrated his efforts on promoting the cultural change needed to tackle the challenges of tomorrow while continuing this path of transformation.”z

Robert MIller

President Arches Leadership

Robert Miller is the Founder, President, and Principal Advisor at Arches Leadership, a Licensed Affiliate of the Shingo Institute.  Robert is a master teacher to organizations worldwide on building cultures of sustainable excellence based on principles.  Before his retirement from Utah State University, Bob was the Executive Director of the Shingo Institute where he was led the development of the Shingo Model. His vision transformed the Shingo Prize into the internationally recognized research, executive education and recognition-oriented Shingo Institute.   His influence has brought new insight into the role of leaders in building organizational culture.

Mr. Miller gained experience as both a practitioner and senior executive in some of America’s most highly regarded companies; including Deere and Company, Herman Miller, Inc. and the Gates Rubber Company.  Prior to his association with The Shingo Institute, he was partner in a global business-consulting firm where he advised leadership teams in Australia, Indonesia, Europe, Asia and Latin America on issues of continuous improvement and cultural transformation.  His recently published book titled, “Hearing the Voice of the Shingo Principles” has been recognized by the Shingo Institute for Excellence.

Seani Devlin

Operational Excellence Lead

Seani has worked at AbbVie since 2014, starting out in Operations he moved to Operational Excellence in 2018 in the sites successful drive for the Shingo Prize. Having previously worked in Lean organisations such as Medtronic in Athlone and Masonite, Carrick on Shannon he has spent 22 years on the Lean journey. Holding degrees in both Manufacturing management and Occupational Health and Safety his head and heart have never strayed far from Operational Excellence and the endless pursuit of perfection.

Sean KellySean Kelly

Abbott Diagnostics Division

Seán has a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and is a lean six sigma black belt and Shingo Prize Examiner with 24 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry (Abbott, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Elan Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline). His technical and operational leadership experience spans medical device and drug substance manufacturing, drug product development and drug discovery research & development.

Prior to moving to a divisional role, Seán, was the Business Excellence Manager at Abbott Diagnostic Longford, a 2016 Shingo Prize recipient. Seán led the site’s operational excellence transformation and focused on creating a culture where principles of operational excellence are deeply embedded into the thinking and behaviour of all leaders, managers and employees. Under Seán’s leadership, Abbott Diagnostic Longford also received the National Business Excellence Award from Irish Centre for Business Excellence (ICBE) in 2015, the 2015 Irish Medical Technology Company of the Year and the 2017 International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Facility of the Year Award for Operational Excellence.

Seán has been recognised by the Shingo Institute as a Shingo Examiner and Alumni.  In his current role Sean has developed the Abbott Diagnostic Division’s Pinnacle Operational Excellence assessment model.  This is a world-class operational excellence framework that blends Shingo, Class A and doing it right principles and is anchored by Abbott’s core competencies.

Shaun Barker

Assistant Executive Director Shingo Institute

Mr. Shaun Barker has been the director of operations and assessment for The Shingo Prize since 2001. In this position, he focuses on overall Shingo Prize organizational operations and development. He oversees the examiner and assessment process and has personally participated in dozens of comprehensive site assessment visits to business and government organizations worldwide that have challenged for The Shingo Prize.

Shaun is a speaker and an instructor for The Shingo Prize and trains companies on the Shingo model and guiding principles, teaching how to apply principle-based leadership to their own operations, and how they can use the assessment tools to foster continuous improvement within their organizations in pursuit of operational excellence.

He has helped with the creation of a lean certification program sponsored by AME, SME, and The Shingo Prize. As an instructor for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, Shaun has taught courses in organizational change management, marketing, and introduction to business.

Shaun earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in economics from Utah State University in 1984 and an MBA with an emphasis in entrepreneurship in 1999.

Mr. Barker’s professional background in retail management included 14 years of work with Sav-On Drugs, Wal-Mart, and Dollar General. He had P&L responsibility for multi-million dollar operations. His work took him to California, Oregon, Washington, and Georgia.

Shaun spent his childhood in the Philippines where he lived for thirteen years. He speaks the national language of the Philippines, Tagalog, fluently. At the age of 15, he began his working career. His first job was as a wrangler at a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and he also worked other cattle ranches. He would fly back to the States from the Philippines to work the summer returning home in August each year. In 1978, the same year he returned to the States permanently, he worked on a commercial fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Shaun has a wide variety of experiences, including work at Del-Monte Corp., E.A. Miller Beef, and Trans-Western Airlines.

Much of his spare time is spent following his children’s sports games and other interests. He enjoys most outdoor activities including skiing, snowboarding, camping, tennis, and golf – regardless of the score, as well as anything else his kids can come up with.

IMAGE OF Siobhan GearySiobhan Geary

Operational Excellence Manager

Dynamic and passionate Operational Excellence Manager with over 20 years’ experience in coaching, developing and executing transformative operational excellence strategies across various sectors from Aviation, Technology to Medical Devices.  Educated to Masters level in both Lean Operations and Advanced Manufacturing Technology and 6 sigma black belt accredited

image of Alina SturaŠtura, Alina

Practical Process Improvement Site Leader, Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics, Lithuania, Vilnius

Alina has more than 10 years experience in improving processes in different manufacturing, R&D and support functions areas, leading Strategy Deployment & Lean Management, Lean Employees and Managers Development, Organizational Structure changes, SMART FACTORY initiatives related with process digitalisation and robotization.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics was awarded with Shingo Prize in 2017. Alina is sharing the best practices among other Lean practitioners: she was a speaker in European Shingo Conference in 2019, Baltics Lean Forum in 2020.

Her backround is Master of Organic Chemistry at Vilnius University, currently also graduating MBA studies in International Business School (ISM).

Tony Hayes

Tony is an Executive Lean Leader, responsible for the Wabash Management System, Continuous Improvement and Quality at Wabash, supporting the CEO and the Executive Leadership Team, driving customer value creation. He has extensive experience in delivering profitable growth, improving risk profile, and increasing return on invested capital in the automotive, transportation, aerospace and defense industries. Tony is a seasoned operations and lean expert with extensive experience in strategy and organizational governance. Tony has utilized his lean expertise to assist organizations with their most complex problems in manufacturing, engineering, material planning and logistics, value chain management, and quality.

As Global Lean Leader, Supply Chain at GE Transportation a Wabtec Company, a $11 billion operation, Tony was responsible for developing and driving the strategic vision of global continuous improvement  across the enterprise. Process improvements had led to over $10 million in cost improvement and reducing lead time by an average of 50%, resulting in GE Transportation being a recognized industry leader.The Contagem, Brazil locomotive assembly plant was featured in Railway Age magazine for implementing one of the first mixed-model moving assembly lines in the rail industry.

As the Ford Production System (FPS) Lean Implementation Manager – North American Car Region at Ford, Tony was instrumental in Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant’s journey to receiving the Shingo Prize the highest standard for organizational excellence. With over a decade of core manufacturing experience and a strong operations background, Tony developed and deployed an efficiency framework focused on data consistency and effective root cause analysis leading to improved uptime, enhanced quality, production throughput, safety and cost per unit improvements.

During his tenure at GE Transportation, Tony was one of twelve high potential leaders selected to be a member of the CEO’s Insight Team, providing leadership, guidance and counsel to the C-Suite on challenging issues affecting the overall performance and profitability of General Electric, a $95B Digital Industrial Leader, across 9 business segments. He also led Haworth’s Lean University, earning a medal of recognition from the State of Michigan’s Governor’s office for Teamwork, Leadership and Excellence in the spirit of reinvention, in addition to a previous role on the Board of Directors for the Walden Green Montessori Academy (The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University). Tony is currently on the Board of Directors for the West Michigan Spartans and has recently been appointed to the Executive Advisory Board for the Shingo Institute, Home of the Shingo Prize. He was previously the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Lean Consortium, focusing on Strategy Development and Deployment, aligning the board’s efforts to increase membership, ultimately creating sustainable value for Michigan’s economy.

Tony, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. 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 Flint, Michigan. In addition, Tony is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and is certified through University of Michigan in Lean Manufacturing and Operations, as well as Lean Office and Service, in addition to being a Shingo Institute Alumni.