The Shingo Executive Advisory Board consists of outstanding leaders from a wide variety of organizations and industries who have established themselves in their careers as principle-centered leaders building cultures of excellence. Members are chosen based on their expertise, commitment to, and willingness to endorse, and promote the principles and mission of the Shingo Institute. In their role as board members, they provide valuable insights, feedback and guidance regarding the work and direction of the Shingo Institute.
Jaguar Land Rover
S A Partners LLP
Fiona Buttrey earned a materials engineering doctorate from Swansea University in South Wales before spending five years in the steel industry. Later she earned an MBA from Cardiff Business School. Progressing through various quality and production management roles at Vale’s Clydach Nickel Refinery, Dr. Buttrey led the continuous improvement program, which resulted in Clydach earning the Shingo Silver Medallion in 2014. Dr. Buttrey became a Shingo Examiner in 2015 and joined S A Partners in 2018. She is passionate about using continuous improvement thinking to transform business performance, guided by the application of the Shingo Model.
President & CEO
M2 Global Technology
Mr. Carlberg has over 35 years of experience in operations management in the electronics, telecommunications and defense industries. This includes more than 20 years of executive leadership with profit/loss responsibility for leading high-technology commercial and defense firms. His areas of expertise include directing all lean manufacturing aspects of product development, production, supply chain management, sales and service. He is president and chairman of the board of M2 Global Inc., a general partnership that owns and operates M2 Global Technology Ltd. The company provides high-performance microwave components and value-added aerospace contract manufacturing services.
Previously Mr. Carlberg served as senior vice president of worldwide operations of Harris Corporation’s Microwave Communications Division, which produces a broad range of microwave radios and microwave components for world markets. During his tenure at Harris, he contributed significantly to the Microwave Communications Division moving from a potentially “going out of business” posture to a #1 position in US markets and a #4 position in world markets. Under Mr. Carlberg’s leadership, the division’s San Antonio operation earned numerous awards and recognitions including the 1996 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing, the 1996 Texas Business of the Year Award, the Organizational Excellence Award by the Association for Quality and Participation, and Clemson University’s 21st Century Organizational Excellence Premier Award. In both 1996 and 1998, the San Antonio operation was selected by Industry Week as one of the Top 25 Best Plants in North America. M2 Global received the U.S. Air Force 2005 Teaming to Succeed Award, the 2007 Association for Manufacturing Excellence Manufacturing Excellence Award, the 2011 SBA Small Business Subcontractor of the Year and the Texas Manufacturing Star Award in 2012.
He graduated from the Arizona Executive Program at the University of Arizona and the Defense Systems Management College in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona and an associate's degree in aerospace engineering from Wentworth Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Carlberg serves on the executive advisory board for the Shingo Institute which is the home of the Shingo Prize, the world’s highest standard for operational excellence. He also serves on the board of directors for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, an international nonprofit educational and benchmarking organization.
Chief Human Resources & Administrative Officer
Discover Financial Services
Andy Eichfeld joined Discover Financial Services as Chief Human Resources & Administrative Officer in September 2018. His responsibilities include overseeing human resources, corporate communications and the Discover Management System.
A passion for more than 15 years has been bridging lean from manufacturing into services and support functions. Prior to his role at Discover Financial Services, Mr. Eichfeld was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company. Since joining the firm in 1995, he has focused exclusively on customer service and operations. As a founder and leader of the global Lean Management practice at McKinsey, Mr. Eichfeld led efforts to continuously improve the way the firm supports clients throughout their lean journeys. In 2012 the Shingo Institute inducted Mr. Eichfeld into the Shingo Academy in recognition of his lifetime efforts to advance the state of the art of lean in services.
Mr. Eichfeld is passionate about talent systems and leadership development at scale. This is central to his role at Discover and builds on his efforts to modernize several of the core talent systems within McKinsey (e.g., the Leadership Development Model, which provides the framework and standards for all development and evaluation for all consultants globally, the markets designs for assigning consultants to client engagements).
Prior to joining McKinsey, Mr. Eichfeld was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow to Pakistan. He earned an MBA and a MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree in government (with honors) from Oberlin College.
Senior Director Manufacturing
Biogen (Denmark) Manufacturing APS
Christian Houborg recently took a new position as the senior director of manufacturing at Biogen Denmark. Bioge is one of the world's first global biotechnology companies founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp. They have been a leader in innovative scientific research and have been aiming to combat invalidating neurological diseases over the last 10 years.
Previous to Biogen, Mr. Houborg was responsible for the Lean transformation at Lundbeck, a Danish-based pharmaceutical company. Before taking on the Lean challenge, he was responsible for Lundbeck’s supply chain strategy and management processes in his role as personal assistant to the executive vice president for production. Since 2009, Mr. Houborg has combined the leadership of the Lean transformation with the role of vice president for service and technical operations, which includes the following areas: facility services, corporate real estate, corporate health, safety and environment, corporate engineering and technical services.
With a master’s degree in engineering, Mr. Houborg was instrumental in Lundbeck’s success. Three out of four Lundbeck manufacturing plants have received Shingo recognition. In 2012, Lundbeck was the first European company to receive a Shingo Silver Medallion and the first pharma company globally. Lundbeck’s Italian chemical plant received a Shingo Bronze Medallion in 2015.
Director & CEO
Ozgene Pty Ltd
Frank Koentgen is a successful entrepreneur, research scientist and international biotechnology leader with more than 25 years experience in research and development in molecular genetics. He is co-founder and CEO of Ozgene, located in Perth, Western Australia. Ozgene provides contract research services for global markets and prides itself as a research organization managed by scientists, for scientists. Under Dr. Koentgen’s leadership, Ozgene was awarded an “Emerging Exporter Award” by the Premier of Western Australia. Ozgene has also been a recipient of the “Rising Stars Award,” which recognizes and celebrates the ten fastest growing, private companies in Western Australia. In addition, Dr. Koentgen is a former Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist in Western Australia.
Dr. Koentgen received a Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg, Germany in affiliation with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for immunobiology and Roche pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland). His work culminated in the establishment of the world’s first successful C57BL/6 knockout mouse. Dr. Koentgen then went on to complete post doctoral research at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology (RIMB) located in Nutley, New Jersey, USA. After completing his initial post doctoral research, Dr. Koentgen was awarded a German DFG research fellowship and moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His research at the WEHI resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications in prestigious scientific journals and multiple patents granted worldwide.
Today, Dr. Koentgen is very passionate about applying Lean thinking into research environments. He has studied Toyota, and many other Lean practitioners in Japan, as part of the Shingo Study Tour. Within his own research organization, Ozgene’s unique style of Lean transformation drives the company’s new leadership mindset as the very basis for all of its scientific endeavors: “to advance humanity – inspire curiosity."
VP, Talent & Enterprise Services & Manager, Management System Strategic Services
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Martina Kuhlmeyer is an operations leader with more than 25 years of experience in continuous improvement, process re-engineering, business system re-design, and change management. She is passionate about creating environments where all employees are aligned to a common purpose and thrive on continuously improving their daily work with the customer in mind.
She joined Liberty Mutual Insurance in September 2014 and has been focused on driving a common approach to continuous improvement across the enterprise. Concurrently, she works with the Enterprise Talent Community to integrate the same mindset into leadership practices and expectations.
Previously, as the HR business operations leader at Fidelity Investments, Ms. Kuhlmeyer fostered strong business unit alignment while creating scalable operations within workforce management, planning, and analysis. She was also responsible for leading large strategic HR initiatives.
As Six Sigma leader at Textron Financial, Ms. Kuhlmeyer implemented the goal deployment process and strengthened the use of Lean principles and continuous improvement concepts with measurable impact on revenue, expenses, and employee engagement. While at Textron Financial, she also oversaw the successful turnaround of a portfolio management company.
Prior to Textron, she worked at General Electric where she received her Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt certifications.
Early in her career, as quality assurance manager at Harting Technology Group, she led a Lean transformation of a manufacturing plant driving significant reduction in labor and material costs while increasing quality and on-time delivery.
Ms. Kuhlmeyer was born and raised in Germany. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Fachhochschule Wilhelmshaven, and a Master of Business Marketing from Freie Universitaet Berlin. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Illinois.
Centralized Ops & Tech Officer
State Farm Bank
Sheila Montney has held a variety of positions with State Farm Insurance Companies since 1985 in seven locations across the United States. Ms. Montney led the start-up of the Lean journey for State Farm’s Life/Health/Mutual Funds product lines which began in 2006. During the year 2017, Ms. Montney served as a loaned executive in Enterprise Technology. Ms. Montney was named to her current position as State Farm Bank Centralized Operations & Technology Officer in March 2018.
Ms. Montney holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in government from Harvard University. She has earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and LIMRA Leadership Institute Fellow designations. She has served as a speaker and benchmarking research partner for various process excellence organizations including CEB – Operations Leadership Council, The Shingo Institute, SAA & Company’s Process Roundtable, and Hammer & Company’s Phoenix Research Consortium. Ms. Montney was named to the Shingo Institute’s Executive Advisory Board in 2015. She also serves as an OPEX Week Advisory Group member for IQPC – PEX.
Ms. Montney is married to Wayne Montney, Associate General Counsel with State Farm Corporate Law. They have one son, Jared, age 15. The Montneys live in Bloomington, Illinois.
Irish Centre for Excellence in Robotics Technologies
Dermot O'Neill has been the project and network manager with the Irish Centre for Business Excellence (ICBE) since 2003 and has recently been appointed as director of the Irish Centre for Excellence in Robotics Technologies. He is responsible for the successful delivery of its core processes of both networks of leading Irish and multinational companies. Ireland is on the brink of adoption of robotics, cobotics, and smart technologies as part of their competitive drive and Mr. O’Neill has the necessary skills and networking abilities to increase the robotics/cobotics density in Ireland in line with other countries. The formation of the new Cobotics Skillnet supported by the Irish government is a testament to Mr. O’Neill’s recent successes.
During the period of 2006 to 2012, Mr. O’Neill successfully managed the Business Excellence Skillnet and the Innovation & Lean Sigma Skillnet, which is responsible for the management of all aspects of training, providing value for money and time and ensuring a high standard of training provision through formal and informal channels. During 2008, he was an integral part of the foundation of the Innovation and Lean Sigma Federation, offering advice and guidance to over 200 multinational organizations in their Lean transformation journeys.
Prior to his appointment to ICBE, Mr. O'Neill worked mainly in senior operational and engineering roles, with 20 years of managerial experience in delivering results in excess of targets. Mr. O'Neill is an experienced practitioner of Lean and Six Sigma transformation programs with various organizations. His hobbies include golf, tennis, reading, and the odd game of soccer.
O.C. Tanner Company
Gary Peterson has worked for the O.C. Tanner Company for 28 years. His current assignment is executive vice president of supply chain and production. Prior to working in his current role, Mr. Peterson has held an impressively diverse set of jobs with the O.C. Tanner Company, including manager of market research, manufacturing change facilitator (where he was instrumental in moving the operation from “batch” to Lean, resulting in receiving the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing), vice president of manufacturing, marketing vice president of award development, and vice president of research and professional services.
Mr. Peterson serves on the executive advisory board for the Shingo Institute. His experience with Lean enterprise sends him around the globe helping others improve their operations.
He earned an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Brigham Young University. Mr. Peterson recharges his batteries by snowboarding, playing basketball, hiking, watching his daughter play soccer, and spending time with his grandchildren.
Fernando Ramírez Garza is the corporate quality director and champion of the operational excellence strategy at Deacero Group, a major steel products conglomerate based in Monterrey, Mexico. Mr. Ramírez has worked at Deacero for 27 years in different fields, mainly those related to operations in wire manufacturing, lab tests, quality control, product development and equipment installation. He also directed the construction, start-up and operation of a steel wire products mill for 14 years, with more than 400 workers and a capacity of 250,000 tons per year.
Recently named to his current position, Mr. Ramírez’s main goal is to redesign and implement an overall total quality and operational excellence strategy among the company’s 18 production facilities, including steel mills, rolling mills, wire plants and distribution centers. This effort will require the commitment of 5,000 people working throughout the organization, and he is leading this transformation by using the Shingo Model™ and passing it through the company’s executive operations committee.
Mr. Ramírez earned a degree in industrial engineering at ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico, where he resides with his loving wife, two beautiful daughters and one son.
Executive Director of Corporate Partnerships
Utah State University
Independent Researcher and Author
Schonberger & Associates, Inc.
Richard Schonberger is an independent researcher, author, and frequent presenter at public and private-company events. He is author of 15 trade and text books, including Japanese Manufacturing Techniques (Free Press, 1982)—the first book in English detailing lean management principles and methodologies; and World Class Manufacturing (Free Press, 1986). His latest is Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement: A Deeper Look (Wiley, 2008). His 200-plus articles have appeared in a wide range of academic and practitioner periodicals (e.g., Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Lean Management Journal, Management Accounting Quarterly, Quality Progress, Journal of Quality Management, Cost Management, Interfaces). Following early years as a practicing industrial engineer, Dr. Schonberger joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska, becoming George Cook (chaired) Professor in operations management and information systems; and later affiliate professor in management science, University of Washington.
Dr. Schonberger’s honors include: 2016 Certificate of Merit in the IMA’s annual Lybrand Awards manuscript competition; 1995 Academy of the Shingo Prize; 1990 British Institution of Production Engineers’ International Award in Manufacturing Management; and 1998 IIE Production and Inventory Control Award. In addition, Dr. Schonberger was listed in Quality Digest (1995) as one of 24 “New Gurus: Next Leaders of the Quality Revolution. He is on the editorial boards of several business/academic journals, and currently is director of the “Global Leanness Studies” and the “World Class by Principles” international benchmarking project.
Institute of Management Improvement
Ritsuo Shingo is president of Institute of Management Improvement, a company started by his father and namesake of the Shingo Institute, Dr. Shigeo Shingo, and former president of Toyota China and GAC Hino Motors. Dr. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world’s leading experts in improving manufacturing processes. Dr. Shingo has been described as an “engineering genius” who helped create and write about many aspects of the revolutionary manufacturing practices, which comprise the renowned Toyota Production System.
Mr. Shingo has followed in his father’s footsteps and has been very successful in the automotive industry. Mr. Shingo started his career with Toyota Motor Company in 1970, after earning a law degree from Waseda University. He worked in Toyota’s legal, public relations and purchasing departments for 13 years before transferring to its purchasing department in Detroit, Michigan.
Mr. Shingo then spent two years at Toyota Motor Kentucky before returning to the purchasing department in Japan. Later he worked for Toyota Motor UK for another three years, and then he returned to China, eventually becoming president of Toyota China in 1998.
Ken Snyder, the executive dean and chief administrative officer of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, joined the Shingo Institute as the executive director in 2015. Mr. Snyder has served as a member of the Shingo Executive Advisory Board for the past eight years and has intimate knowledge of the Institute and its history.
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 expanding to the United States. Inspired by the work of Professor Mike Yoshino and Professor William Ouchi, Mr. Snyder wrote his master’s thesis on “Applying Japanese Business Practices in American Companies.”
Immediately after graduation, Mr. Snyder joined a Japanese electronics manufacturing company 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, where he directed a group of six companies while growing revenues from $25 million to over $80 million. He joined the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business in 2008.
Mr. Snyder has served as a member of the Shingo Executive Advisory Board since 2009, and as a Shingo examiner since 2010. He was named chairman of the Shingo board and executive director of the Shingo Institute in 2015.
He earned an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1980 with an emphasis in international business. Prior to that he earned a bachelor’s degree in Japanese history from the University of Utah in 1978.
Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Billy Taylor is a highly respected, motivating and visionary leader with over 20 years of diverse experience in all phases of manufacturing management, offering business focused solutions that are communicated passionately with an enhanced ability to construct and present business concepts and plans in a clear and persuasive manner. Often selected to pilot leading-edge and innovative processes, he has been repeatedly called upon to successfully implement improvement strategies in under-performing operations, improving production efficiency and employee engagement and has built a reputation negotiating complex contractual issues, with the highest level of integrity, fairness, and honesty, while dealing with a range of sensitive issues.
Mr. Taylor was appointed to his current role in January 2015, after serving as the director of Commercial Manufacturing North America for nearly three years. Previously, Mr. Taylor has led numerous manufacturing teams as a plant, production and business center manager for Goodyear, consistently improving plant performance across all areas of production, labor costs, quality and safety, winning numerous internal and external awards and recognition such as the Shingo Silver Medallion. Mr. Taylor was also recognized as one of the Most Admired Executives in Oklahoma by The Journal Record, the Oklahoma City-based business newspaper affiliated with Dolan Media Company.
He has been an invited guest of the Goodyear Board of Directors and participant at several senior Goodyear international and global conferences and state CEO roundtables as a “Transformation Leader,” to offer his own unique insights and strategies in Lean manufacturing, leadership and employee engagement. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Governors Business Roundtable and the Oklahoma Most Admired CEO Roundtable, as well as the Shingo Executive Advisory Board.
Mr. Taylor earned a MBA from Baker University, where he was rated a top student in his year, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University. He also recently completed the Goodyear Senior Leadership Development Program at Harvard Business School.
Chief Executive Officer
John Toussaint is one of the foremost figures in the adoption of lean principles in healthcare. Under his leadership, Catalysis has launched peer-to-peer learning networks, developed in-depth workshops, and created many products – including books, DVDs and webinars. Catalysis sponsors the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit each year – both in the U.S. and in Europe. The Catalysis team has built C-suite coaching capability and partners with many organizations throughout the world advancing the idea of healthcare value through delivery redesign using lean, transparency of healthcare performance data, and payment reform.
He was the founding chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, as well as the non-executive leader of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform in Wisconsin. He has participated in many Institute of Medicine subcommittees and has directly worked with CMS leaders to broaden their understanding of lean for government.
Dr. Toussaint’s healthcare improvement work using Toyota Production System principles has been well documented in articles published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Health Affairs, The Journal of Patient Safety, The Journal of Healthcare Management, Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, Harvard Business Review and Frontiers in Health Services Management. His work on payment reform and the transparency of provider performance data has been featured in The American Journal of Managed Care, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, and the Commonwealth Fund publications. News publications such as TIME, The Wall Street Journal, the CNBC Blog, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Healthcare Finance News have featured articles about Dr. Toussaint’s work.
Dr. Toussaint has been recognized for his work in transforming healthcare by organizations such as The Business Healthcare Group of Wisconsin, which awarded him the “Driving Meaningful Change” award in 2014, The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME), which inducted him into its 2012 Hall of Fame, and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, which hosts the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Dr. Toussaint was named a lifetime member of the Shingo Academy in 2011. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle also honored Dr. Toussaint with a Certificate of Commendation for Innovation from the State of Wisconsin in 2005.
He has been a featured speaker at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Shingo Prize, The Lean Enterprise Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and many international conferences. He also presents regularly to legislators, Medicare leaders and government staff on the topic of healthcare value.
Dr. Toussaint has written three books all of which have received the prestigious Shingo Research and Publication Award. His groundbreaking first book, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry reveals how healthcare can be fundamentally improved at the point of delivery using the proven principles of lean management. His second book, Potent Medicine: The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare, describes the three core elements necessary to transform healthcare and deliver better value; delivery of care designed around the patient; transparency of treatment quality and cost; and payment for outcomes. His third book, Management on the Mend: The Executive Guide to System Transformation is a study of eleven organizations and the successful attempts to apply lean principles in healthcare. Dr. Toussaint is also the winner of ACHE’s 2014 Dean Conley Award for his article “A Management, Leadership and Board Road Map to Transforming Care for Patients,” published in the Spring 2013 issue of Frontiers of Health Services Management.
Vice President, North American Production Innovation Ctr.
DENSO International America, Inc.
Don Tracy has over 34 years of automotive engineering and management experience. He has worked in American and Japanese cultures developing world-class Lean organizations to meet and exceed the changing global competition. As director of one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturer, Mr. Tracy is responsible for the ongoing successful operation of the Body Electronics Division. He joined DENSO in 1989 and eventually led DENSO to align the concepts and requirements of the Shingo criteria to receive a 2007 Shingo Prize. Mr. Tracy is responsible for leading the Tennessee site through its cultural transformation and changing leadership behaviors and practice, which enabled the site to improve business results year-on-year in an ultra-competitive market.
Mr. Tracy earned a bachelor’s degree in management and mechanical engineering, and he studied and instructed DENSO and Toyota Production Systems in the US and in Japan for both companies.
Founder & Chairman
Haumann Precision Technology
Fulian Ye is the founder and chairman of the board at Haumann Precision Technology. He has spent 25 years in industry working for various companies, including global companies such as Delphi, ABB and Konecranes.
Mr. Ye studied mechanical engineering at Beijing Institute of Technology. After graduation in 1991, he worked in China for nine years in various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, machinery and construction. He worked in diverse roles such as design engineer, product engineer and project manager. He began his Lean journey at Basler AG in Hamburg as a performance manager.
In 2008, Mr. Ye took the position of Lean production director at Framas Group, a German company in the plastic injection molding industry. Framas produces plastic components for sporting goods products made by companies such as Nike, Adidas and New Balance. He was in charge of establishing a Lean production system throughout the entire group, including eight factories all over the world. Mr. Ye is a certified trainer for the Japan Industrial Association (JITA) and serves in the Training Within Industry (TWI) program. Through implementing a Lean production system, and the TWI program throughout the group, the efficiency and quality of the entire group improved significantly.
In 2014, Mr. Ye founded Haumann Precision Technology, which provides turn-key solutions for plastics injection molds and parts manufacturers in the automotive industry.
Mr. Ye earned a master’s degree in engineering and a MBA from the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg and Northern Institute of Technology in 2004, with an emphasis in international production management. Prior to that he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology.