IIE Best Practices in Managing Continuous Improvement 2013 


Featured Presenters

Michael Ballé, author and executive lean coach

Michael Ballé, Ph.D., is a best-selling author and executive lean coach. He assists CEOs in leading the lean transformation of their businesses and has 20 years of experience in lean research and practice. He also is associate researcher at Telecom Paristech, where he is co-founder of the Projet Lean Entreprise, and co-founder of the French Lean Institute as well as The Lean Edge blog (http://theleanedge.org/). Ballé has co-authored two lean novels, The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager, for which he has been awarded the Shingo Prize in 2006 and 2011. Also the author of Managing with Systems Thinking, his background is in systems thinking and cognitive sociology, having received a Ph.D. from La Sorbonne in social sciences and knowledge sciences. Ballé writes the weekly Gemba Coach column for the Lean Enterprise Institute.

Dr. Patricia A. Gabow, professor of medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Patricia A. Gabow, M.D., was CEO of Denver Health from 1992 until her retirement in 2012. She is a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine as well as a member of the Medicaid and CHIP Access and Payment Commission (MACPAC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board and the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Health Care. Gabow was elected to the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame for her work on lean in healthcare and has received the National Healthcare Leadership Award, the AAMC’s David E. Rogers Award and the NCQA’s Health Quality Leader Award. 

Lt. Col. Geert Letens, military materials engineer, Department of Economics, Management and Leadership, Royal Military Academy, Belgium

Geert Letens is a lieutenant colonel - military materials engineer in the Department of Economics, Management and Leadership at the Royal Military Academy, Belgium. He has served as a change agent for the Belgian armed forces at various technical units and provided training and consulting services to several Fortune Global 500 companies for more than 10 years. He is a recognized expert on organization development and change, performance management and lean product development. Letens is a senior member of the Institute for Industrial Engineers and served as the past president of the Society for Engineering and Management Systems in 2011-2012.

Srikanth Sankaran, manager, Continuous Improvement and Enterprise Optimization Group, United Airlines

Srikanth Sankaran joined United Airlines as an inventory specialist in 2004 and is now manager of the Continuous Improvement and Enterprise Optimization Group. Over the last nine years at United, he has led major initiatives in different business areas including Airport Operations, Maintenance, Customer Relations, Fuel and Food Services.  He is a certified lean Six Sigma black belt and has gone through extensive lean academy training at United. Sankaran earned his master’s degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University. While at Kansas State, he served as a statistical analyst for the NSF Advance program doing research on the university space allocated for male and female faculty.

Scott Sink, director, Integrated Leansigma Certification Program, The Ohio State University

Scott Sink, Ph.D., P.E., has served as director of the Integrated LeanSigma Certification Program in the College of Engineering (Integrated Systems Engineering) at The Ohio State University since 2007. Prior to this role, Sink served at the vice president of business process reengineering and improvement level for two firms in Toronto and Boston, Global Life Sciences and CRM. He was previously a professor in industrial and systems engineering at both Oklahoma State University and Virginia Tech from 1978 to 1997. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and served as president of IIE during the 1991-1992 term.

Kurt Verweire, strategy professor and partner, Vlerick Business School

Kurt Verweire, Ph.D., earned his doctoral degree at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1999 and he is now a strategy professor and partner at Vlerick Business School. Verweire has a lot of teaching experience, both with MBA students and executives. He has done work for BNP Paribas Fortis, Rabobank, Belfius Bank and Belfius Insurance, KPMG, Deloitte, Orangina Schweppes, Aliaxis, AGC Europe and many other companies. In recent years, he has mainly worked on the topic of strategy implementation and developed interesting frameworks and case studies on this topic. Verweire is an enthusiastic strategy professor who knows how to translate theoretical concepts into practically relevant insights. One of his major strengths is that he works together with many companies and is close to business practice.