Our Company

We have a diverse team of industry experts
who are world-class facilitators of change.

Our Leadership Team

Dodd StarbirdDodd Starbird, Managing Partner

Dodd Starbird has over 25 years of global business leadership experience in consulting, finance, manufacturing, systems, quality, operations, sales, training, human resources, and distribution management.

As the Managing Partner for Implementation Partners LLC, Dodd leads change efforts that consistently achieve exceptional results by integrating best-in-class process and change management skills with strategic business management and leadership experience. Implementation Partners exists to inspire and enable every leader to transform their organizations by giving every employee a chance to contribute their best work on an engaged, sustainable, winning team. Dodd also served from 2016-2018 on the Board of Directors of Joppa, a non-profit in Central Iowa that helps homeless people survive, get into housing, and rebuild their lives.

Dodd is the author of The Joy of Lean: Transforming, Leading, and Sustaining a Culture of Engaged Team Performance (Quality Press, 2016) and Building Engaged Team Performance: Align Your Processes and People to Achieve Game-Changing Business Results (McGraw-Hill, 2010). He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Denver. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Deirdre GengenbachDeirdre Gengenbach, Senior Partner

Deirdre has a passion for process improvement, project management, and facilitating to solutions. Her technical methodology expertise is combined with a solid understanding of the soft skills required to successfully implement any solution: stakeholder management, team management, and change management. This valuable combination enables her to deliver the results her clients need.

Deirdre has over 20 years of experience in training, project management, business process development and Lean Six Sigma Improvement in both manufacturing and transactional business areas. She honed and demonstrated these skills in a $2.3 billion diagnostic corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana, accelerating change and driving profit savings through a wide range of business processes. She held a variety of positions in this company, with ever increasing responsibility from Customer Training Consultant, Manager of Project Management, Group Manager Quality Process Improvement, and Director of Continuous Improvement.

Deirdre has also been actively involved in the professional community. She has been a speaker on the topic of Six Sigma and Project Management at a variety of local professional organizations including Project Management Institute, Central Indiana American Society for Training and Development, the Society for Information Management, and a guest speaker at the Indiana University MBA Operations Program. Deirdre also serves on the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Women’s MBA Alumni Advisory Board.

Deirdre has a BS in Biology from Ball State University and an MBA in Operations Management from the Indiana University Kelly School of Business. Deirdre is a certified Master Black Belt and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Terry ParkerTerry Parker, Senior Partner

Terry Parker has been in the banking/financial services industry for over 30 years, with hands-on experience in credit and risk management, lending, corporate/commercial banking sales and relationship management and capital markets.

As a consultant to banks throughout the US, Canada, UK and Europe, he has worked extensively with clients to clarify/refine and build internal commitment/engagement to the bank’s strategy, as well as driving effective implementation of the strategy through improved role clarity, business and management practices/processes and team alignment. Terry is highly experienced at designing and using metrics to assess the progress of change efforts and employee engagement. His consulting experience includes:

• Corporate and Investment Banking
• Middle Market and Small Business Banking
• Credit and Risk Management
• Private Banking
• Wealth Management
• Retail Banking
• Brokerage
• Financial Markets

Terry has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The University of Notre Dame and is a founder and Managing Director of Strategic Performance Partners LLC.

Our Team

David AthonDavid Athon

David Athon has spent most of his career introducing Lean Enterprise principles into manufacturing and transactional environments. He has developed a unique method of integrating Six Sigma and Lean into a single, balanced system. As a certified instructor in both Six Sigma and Lean, David has been educating and consulting since 1996, starting with Lean Enterprise and Continuous Improvement methodologies, adding Six Sigma to his abilities in 2000. A Master Black Belt, David combines practical knowledge with excellent communication/coaching skills to enhance students’ understanding and retention of the Six Sigma / Lean Methodologies. He has been responsible for providing training and mentoring to all levels of organizations in both Six Sigma and Lean methodologies including Steering Committees, Champions, Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts and Lean Practitioners/Experts. He has held full time positions in Apparel, Metal Office Furniture, Sheet Metal, Aerospace and Commercial Air Refrigeration. David has worked with a wide range of different industries including Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Insurance, Finance, and Telecommunications, helping his clients deliver tens of millions of dollars of economic benefit.

David has a BS in Industrial Engineering Technology from Southern College of Technology in Marietta, Georgia.

Jim AthonJim Athon

Jim has a strong background of Continuous Improvement, having held positions as an Industrial Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, and Design Engineer. He received his Black Belt training in 1996 while at AlliedSignal Automotive and generated substantial benefits for the organization in both the Manufacturing and Transactional areas. He later held positions as a Black Belt and Master Black Belt at GE Industrial Systems.

Jim has been consulting for over 17 years. He has experience in several industries, including: Paper & Printing, Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Aerospace, Internet Service Provision, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences, and Medical Insurance, amongst others. Jim also collaborated with the Penn State QMM program coaching and certifying Graduate Black Belt candidates.

Jim has led numerous projects for clients utilizing Lean principles and Six Sigma problem solving, such as changeover time reduction, establishing pull systems, improving equipment reliability, and eliminating defects. He has also implemented Lean Sigma deployments for a variety of clients, most recently a petroleum refinery that generating $44MM in hard dollar benefit in 2015. He has trained over 800 Black Belts and numerous Green Belts, as well as coaching and mentoring over 1000 projects. He has a unique ability to communicate to any audience at any proficiency level and is skilled at enabling others to understand complex concepts by using commonly understood language and examples specific to their industry and projects.

Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Engineering and a Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification.

Becky BaybrookBecky Baybrook PhD

Becky has a passion for developing organizations, teams and individuals to drive business results. She is an entrepreneurial, innovative HR leader focused on practical, scalable people practices that drive business results, integrate cultures and operating styles, and bring out the best in talent.

Dr. Baybrook offers real-world tested expertise in the following:

  • Global M&A: Managing due diligence, talent and culture-fit assessment, benefits and pay practice assessment, communication and integration planning, and execution
  • Organization design: Providing a sounding board and expert guidance on designing an organization and developing capacity to deliver on strategic commitments

For over 20 years, in a range of high-tech and media companies, Becky has led culture and organization transformations. Most recently, Becky has worked with Life Sciences, Medical Device, and Property Management companies as their People Strategy & Practice consultant. Prior to that, Becky was Global Chief People Officer for Saama (big data solutions consultancy); VP Human Resources for Echelon (embedded control networks), Nanosolar (a solar startup), SST (a fabless memory chip company acquired by MicroChip) and for PDF Solutions (a process technology consultancy). She started her career with Knight-Ridder, Inc. a large media company (acquired by McClatchy).

Becky received a B.A. in Psychology from Westmont College and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida.

Sarah BrethouwerSarah Brethouwer

Sarah’s passions are for people and processes. Her diverse background in human resources, healthcare, operations, and information technology enables her to holistically drive process improvement, change management, innovation, and Engaged Team Performance as an on-site project leader.

With project and senior leadership experience ranging from machine shops and hospitals to banks and insurance companies, she has deployed Lean, Six Sigma, and Engaged Team Performance tools to deliver results for clients in healthcare, manufacturing, and transactional/service industries, with an emphasis on implementing process changes, designing new workflow systems, managing team performance through both daily measures and trend analysis, and working with senior leaders to drive organizational change and strategic initiatives.

In her most recent role for a top Denver hospital system, Sarah has supported clinical and operational projects for patients across the care continuum (inpatient to outpatient) for three nationally recognized and top 10 sub-specialty service lines and now supports and drives the organization’s healthcare Innovation Strategy. She brings cross functional and cross level teams together to execute on quality, operational, cost savings, innovation and clinical outcomes, and she gets to know her clients’ operational and clinical team members just as well as the leadership in order to consistently strike the right balance in aligning people and processes for success. She also serves on many hospital-wide groups aimed at aligning practices and ensuring safe and efficient outcomes for patients and staff.

Sarah has a Bachelor’s of Business from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, with majors in Human Resources, Operations Management, and Management Information Systems. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and also is gold-certified in Engaged Team Performance.

Tony Cann

Tony’s passion is building and improving systems. He is an experienced project and functional manager in engineering design, IT consulting, and process improvement. Trained as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he is experienced resolving customer focused issues and is an experienced facilitator. He has:

  • Helped develop Six Sigma capabilities at Sun Microsystems as member of initial cadre.
  • Led development of Operational Excellence capabilities in Corporate Engineering department of Genentech.
  • Improved performance of Sun’s equipment at customer sites and improved relationships with customers.
  • Over $4M in cost reductions achieved in IT department at Sun using Six Sigma in 2005.
  • Facilitated senior management problem solving sessions.
  • Delivered $1.5M Java software development effort within budget and schedule.
  • Supported eBay in maturing their IT processes after a “CNN moment.”
  • Managed engineering department of 150 engineers building satellite control systems. Performed detailed risk assessments for $1M+ programs.
  • As Director of Systems Engineering, helped venture capital backed start-up company go from $0 to $6.4M in sales

Tony graduated with a B.S. in Math from the Air Force Academy, and has M.S. degrees from the University of Southern California (Systems Mgt) and Santa Clara University (Computer Science).

Debbie Curl-NagyDebbie Curl-Nagy

Debbie Curl-Nagy is an experienced consultant and trainer, with a focus on Leadership Development and Lean Six Sigma training, coaching and project facilitation.  She has over 15 years of experience developing and providing training, consultation, and technical assistance in continuous improvement, evaluation, leadership, critical thinking and effective decision making to a variety of audiences.  She is also an experienced facilitator, enabling organizations and teams to achieve desired outcomes through effective planning, facilitation and group decision making.

Debbie brings a wealth of experience from her work in health care, education, public and non-profit organizations.  She has provided Lean and Six Sigma training, coaching, and project facilitation to health care, education and social service organizations across the country.  In her work with the Veterans Health Administration, Debbie has worked with executive and mid-level leaders to develop a Lean Management Infrastructure that transforms the organizational culture in order to promote, sustain and disseminate continuous improvement throughout the organization.  She has also taught basic through advanced Lean and Six Sigma courses; and facilitated Rapid Process Improvement events within public, nonprofit and private organizations.

Debbie was previously employed as Director of Collaboration and Continuous Improvement for a national nonprofit organization providing consultation and technical assistance to community partnerships focused on improving urban education.  She has worked in government as a state performance auditor and project manager to promote efficiency and effectiveness of public programs; has run programs and taught bachelor’s and master’s level courses in Social Work; and has worked in the non-profit sector providing crisis intervention and counseling services to children and families.

Debbie has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bowling Green State University and Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University.  She received her Six Sigma Black Belt from the International Society for Six Sigma Certifications in November 2010.

Crystal Davis

Crystal Davis

Crystal Davis is an experienced business management consultant and leadership development coach with over twenty years of experience in the design, development, and implementation of Lean Business System solutions. She has accumulated extensive domestic and international expertise in automotive, healthcare manufacturing, and consumer packaged industries.

Crystal has assisted clients in formulating comprehensive business and logistics strategies and in re-engineering distribution and manufacturing operations to reduce costs, improve customer service and drive sustainable revenue gains.

With Crystal’s vast knowledge and experience, she has played integral roles on several enterprise-wide Supply Chain Management projects. Crystal has also trained and coached globally in Operational Excellence at various organizational levels. As a teacher, consultant, coach and speaker, Crystal uses practical techniques, innovative methods, and Socratic teaching to engage, captivate, and add value to those she encounters.

Crystal holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, a M.B.A; is a certified LSSBB, and a certified John Maxwell Leadership Development Coach.

Rosalie Escamilla

Rosalie has over 25 years experience in training, instructional design and organization consulting. Over the course of her career she has been involved in change and education initiatives for many organizations, domestically and internationally, including Boeing, Magneti-Marelli, Cisco Systems, Tektronix, and General Motors.

Fluent in Spanish, Rosalie is skilled in a wide variety of management practices and methodologies, from both a design and delivery perspective. She has worked on major efforts such as strategy deployment, workout, Six Sigma, process improvement, improved problem solving, decision making and innovation, and project management. Rosalie helped convert the IP Action Strategy Development and Deployment consulting methodologies into transferable training programs and materials. She has designed and developed generic and client-custom education for many organizations across a wide range of industries.

Active in local government, Rosalie served two terms in public office, including as Mayor of the City of Jackson, California in 2005.

Tom Fischer

Tom has over 30 years of technology-related experience in four different organizations. He’s seen and done it all in those years. As a Developer, Systems Analyst, Project Manager, CTO and finally as CIO, Tom has led change by getting out in front of the rapidly evolving technology landscape and using that technology to improve processes, time to market and profitability in those organizations.

Tom is one of those rare technology professionals who has more than a cursory understanding of the complete technology stack. He can get down into the bits and bytes with developers; discuss the pros and cons of Linux vs Windows in the Data Center; challenge Project Managers on project methodologies and project structure; and work with CIOs to develop IT Strategies.

Tom has a BA in Applied Computer Science from Grand View University and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Graham Forbes

Graham has extensive experience in leading projects, managing cross functional and cross cultural teams and supporting both service and manufacturing organizations. He is a sought-after coach, trainer and consultant, bringing a pragmatic, common sense approach to the application of the appropriate business improvement tools and techniques. He has taught people from all levels of his client companies, covering Six Sigma and Lean topics and also some ‘softer skill’ areas such as facilitation, presentation and team work. He is an excellent communicator and is equally effective at shop-floor and Board level.

Graham entered the consulting field in 2004 and has used his experience and knowledge to great effect in a wide range of business challenges. Prior to this, Graham’s career spanned over 25 years at Motorola, in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility. Here he gained experience in Engineering, both hands on and as a Manager, during which time he introduced the concept of statistical engineering and structured problem solving in his team. He also had the opportunity to run a Manufacturing Operation for many years, where he learned the value of the Lean family of tools. Later in his tenure at Motorola, as a Business Chief of Staff, he was instrumental in leading a quality improvement drive. Laterally, he was the Global Process Owner for Customer Quality in the semiconductor arena, a role which afforded contact with many demanding blue chip customers. Success here required involvement in all aspects of the business and interface at all levels.

His key client engagements include extensive training and consulting support for BP’s Process Fitness initiative, coaching and training for first direct Bank, and various services for firms such as Cisco, M&S Money, Babcock Naval Services, Pfizer, CRUK, RS Components and Shop Direct.
His most recent engagement within BP saw him successfully lead a Finance initiative to implement a new process and system to manage the downstream IT costs.
Graham holds a Degree in Physics from Strathclyde University in Glasgow and is a certified Master Black Belt (MBB).

Steve GreenSteve Green

Steve Green has over 25 years of federal government and private industry Lean Six Sigma and Management Systems consulting experience in multiple industries and environments.  He is passionate about process improvement and facilitating teams to achieve results.

Steve is a retired United States Air Force (USAF) veteran.  During his service he held senior positions leading efforts that resulted in substantial achievements in Supply Chain and personnel support operations.  He also served as a civil servant for with the USAF where he held senior positions as Enterprise Architect for Supply Chain Operations business processes, and later as Course Director/Lead Instructor for the USAF Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course.  He brings in-depth process improvement experience including defining and executing strategies, implementing management systems, curriculum development and delivery, training, coaching, and mentoring.

As a consultant and certified Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, Steve has in-depth experience leading multifaceted process improvement teams delivering sustainable improvements.  His experience and knowledge coupled with his ability to motivate and facilitate change has enabled teams to reduce operational cycle times and waste, and to improve quality while delivering exceptional product and customer experiences. Steve has worked with teams and executives in the Healthcare, Automotive, Safety, and Medical Supply industries.

Steve earned a Master’s of Science in Management degree from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.  He also received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education, Major Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.

Melanie GuanciMelanie Guanci

Melanie Guanci has over twenty years of experience in client-centric process management with a focus in organizational and employee development. She currently contracts in a role as the Communications Director for Joppa, an organization serving homeless individuals in Iowa. She also serves on the Board of Directors and is a past CEO of the Lupus Foundation of Iowa. As a quality improvement specialist, Melanie is a strategist in achieving key business objectives.

Experience areas include:

  • Team Building and Development
  • Training/Train the Trainer
  • Process Improvement and Problem Solving
  • Call Center Dynamics
  • Key Performance Indicator Improvement
  • Building Client Centered Cultures
  • Functional Strategy
  • Organizational Development
  • Sales and Relationships
  • Business and Non-Profit Operating Models
  • Facilitating Change in both Culture and Operations

Melanie has a BS in Business Management, Employee Development. She has a professional record of increasing revenue, reducing costs, building teams, and creating lasting cultures, with a focus and passion for serving the community in non-profit organizations. She lives in Des Moines with her husband and children.

Jim JanickiJim Janicki

Jim Janicki has over 25 years of global business leadership experience in consulting, business operations, business strategy, manufacturing, systems, quality, engineering, regulatory, sales, and supply chain management.

Jim was one of the original certified Black Belts in GE’s Six Sigma program and went on to become a founding certified Master Black Belt and Lean Master for Sun Microsystems’ Sun Sigma program, where he was then promoted to lead the corporate-wide Operational Excellence effort. His team trained and certified 40 Master Black Belts and 420 Black Belts in an organization of 32,000 people. The program achieved benefits of cost savings and new business from improved customer engagement of over $1 billion in a three-year period.

Jim is a registered professional engineer and holds three U.S. patents, and he published an article in the first edition of iSixSigma magazine. Jim also volunteers as a board member on the Industrial and Professional Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Western Michigan University. He lives in Maryland.

Bruce Jeffrey

For the past 20 years, Bruce has served to increase organizational performance through training, managing, leading, and consulting with a variety of organizations including Fortune 500’s, mid-size companies, business start-ups, government, and non-profit organizations.

Bruce has also served as an Air Force officer. His tours of duty include flying on a combat crew and serving on the faculty of the Air Force Academy.

Bruce has a unique ability to “clarify and simplify”. He has guided a wide range of executive teams through the process of creating a one-page strategic plan, and then, systematically executing that plan.

Some of Bruce’s clients have included Sprint, Citicorp, Motorola, Ford Motor Company, Kimberly-Clark, Bank of America, DST Systems, Informix, Intercontinental Hotels, Host Marriott, and General Electric.

Stacy King

Stacy brings a wealth of strategic, tactical, and operational knowledge and experience across a diverse mix of organizations and industries. Stacy completed a 22 year career with the Marine Corps in 2006 which includes personal highlights of Drill Instructor duty, Maintenance Management expertise, Combat veteran, and First Sergeant.

Stacy was introduced to TQM in 1993 which led to positions and experiences which would eventually lead to project management, program management, continuous improvement, Kaizen, standard work, agile, maturity models, training, adjunct instructor, curriculum development, ISO-9001, and lean management. Stacy has led improvement events with the Department of Defense, SPAWAR, CGI Federal, and Amazon.

Stacy expanded his knowledge in 2014 by conducting PMP Boot Camp Training, LSSGB Exam Prep training, and agile training. He also conducts course evaluations for the Defense Acquisitions University and has developed a 2-day, 4-day, and two eBook Series under the banner of King Consulting Services and the PMP Whisperer Brand.

Stacy has a BS in Criminal Justice from Chaminade University, an MBA in Project Management from Strayer University and is currently enrolled in a DBA Program in Marketing at Argosy University. Stacy brings a multitude of tools to any client engagement as well as the ability to effectively listen, observe, facilitate and guide the client through accurate identification of the problem and the discovery of solution once the ah ha moment has occurred.

Kelly KitaKelly Kita

Kelly brings over 16 years of experience in process-based organization design, measurement, and problem-solving. Her focus is on custom-designing an improvement approach for her clients that works with their company’s unique culture, people, and business goals to achieve speedy results. Kelly’s practical approach was honed in her years in management with American Express, GE Capital Corporation, and Target Corporation, where she had lead roles in the development and launch of change initiatives ranging from Baldrige-based business assessment, to process re-engineering, to Lean Six Sigma. She has helped to bring success to both the traditional and the non-traditional targets of process improvement – including distribution, operations, information technology, marketing, human resources, and more.

Kelly has a proven track record in working across all levels of the organization. For example, she has led senior management teams in defining the organization’s core processes, determining process-based business metrics, and selecting improvement projects that helped to achieve their strategic initiatives. She has also established and coached project teams, and achieved up to 40% improvement in performance. Further, she has led international training teams, with audiences that ranged from Executives to front-line employees, and programs that integrated classroom and e-learning tools for higher efficiency and effectiveness. Kelly’s diversity in experience and expertise helps to ensure her clients they are provided the best services and solutions to meet their needs.

Kelly holds a M.A. from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and a B.A. from the University at Albany, New York.

Rachel LambRachel Lamb

Rachel is a results-oriented professional with demonstrated ability to deliver continuous improvement initiatives that have added millions of dollars to the bottom line. She has extensive experience leading, training, and mentoring through the use of problem solving and Lean tools. In her most recent role as the Global Head of Process Capability for Defense Services at Rolls-Royce, she developed and implemented a Lean Acceleration program. This program enabled teams across the sector to rapidly maximize business performance through on time delivery, efficiency gains, and cost reduction solutions. She is characterized by a strong set of values and high levels of initiative and commitment. Her goal is to combine her knowledge and fifteen years of process improvement experience to deliver optimal results for clients.

Rachel has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She spent several years of her professional career working in Mexico where she became proficient in Spanish.

Jena MarcumJena Marcum

Jena Marcum has broad experience leading projects, programs, and process improvements for a variety of industries. She is known for her ability to consistently deliver results by breaking down ambitious projects into executable plans and strategies. Jena has led the planning and execution of multi-year global technology projects among cross-functional teams including engineering, legal, test, manufacturing, supply chain, purchasing, and operations. She also volunteers as a Project Management Professional (PMP) Instructor for the Project Management Institute (PMI) and as a Wish Granter for The Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Her previous career experience includes Engineering and Technical Program Management at Rolls-Royce Corporation where she worked with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. NAVY, NASA, Italian Air Force, Alenia Aeronautica, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed Martin, and Cessna on various development and in-service programs.

Jena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and her Master of Science in Technology degree from Purdue University. Jena holds PMI PMP and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certifications, and she is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Product Manager/Product Owner.

Vickie Maris

Vickie is a leader in digital content strategy and instructional design. In her 30+ year career in industry and higher education, she and her teams have developed award-winning programs for the online environment in the topics of Lean Six Sigma and Project Management. Vickie consults with clients in the uses of social media within online learning as well as in the uses of social media for marketing and making customer connections. A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, she is process-driven and helps her clients find ways to repurpose and channel the expertise and energy of their in-house teams, and make connections with the right service providers when projects call for outside assistance.

A thought-leader in her field, Vickie hosts and produces a podcast, Online Course Connections, where she connects with instructional designers, instructors and providers of online learning. She is a conference speaker in online course design and delivers a signature keynote talk, Leadership Lessons Learned from Livestock, which she has presented at Purdue University, University of Texas-Austin, and at the Conference on Management, Executive and Professional Development. She also helps other authors and speakers get a course online when they want to extend their reach beyond their traditional, published book, blog, podcast, or keynote talk.

Vickie is an instructor in communications and leadership for engineers and others in technical roles. She has taught in the Krannert School of Management at Purdue for the Technical Management Institute, and in quality systems for regulatory affairs in online graduate courses.

Vickie earned her BS in agricultural communications, and her MS Ed in Educational Technology in Curriculum and Instruction Design from Purdue University.

Tom MatticeTom Mattice

Tom has over 35 years of healthcare leadership experience.  Among his many talents are his practical insights into best practices in management, a thorough understanding of trends in healthcare, advanced coaching and mentoring skills, and a lifelong desire to simultaneously learn and teach.

Tom’s proficiencies include:

  • Organizational design and development
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Change management
  • Systems thinking and systems redesign
  • Organizational stewardship
  • Tactical and operational planning

Beginning as a graduate school management intern, Tom has served in nine different positions in medical centers across the country, culminating with seven years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.  The majority of his experience has been in highly affiliated, tertiary care medical centers.  While at the Roudebush VA, he led its transformation from consistently average performance to achieving top rankings in patient satisfaction, quality, employee satisfaction and efficiency.

Melanie McCarter

Melanie has over 20 years of experience in human performance improvement and business. Melanie’s business experience and science background, combined with her numerous certifications, enabled her to transform business processes at a Diagnostics company in Indianapolis, Indiana. As part of their deployment of Six Sigma, she trained Green Belts, supported Black Belts, and delivered Lean Six Sigma training to customers. Furthermore, she has extensive experience in developing and designing classroom and web-based training. Melanie is a meeting facilitator as well as a trainer for in-persona and virtual meetings.

Melanie’s passion for workplace learning has led her through all aspects of this discipline: training analysis, development/design, delivery, and assessment. She explores all possible learning techniques to find the ones that will produce the best results for the company and the learner. Melanie did market research for the life science market on a global scale. The skills for this role translate well to any project: asking good questions, analyzing complex data and communicating results in written and verbal methods. Her years of experience in technical writing enhance all learning, process improvement, project management and market research projects.

She enjoys all types of computer software and applications. In addition to creating databases, basic programming, spreadsheets, presentations, documents and websites, Melanie is adept at training people on the computer. She has designed and delivered both classroom and distance methods for teaching people how to use computers and various software programs.

Melanie has a BS in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt. In addition to holding Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt accreditations, Melanie is a certified Instructional designer/developer.

Lela MeinkeLela Meinke

Lela Meinke is an experienced consultant and facilitator, with a focus on StrengthsFinder and Lean Six Sigma training, coaching, and program facilitation. She has over 20 years of experience developing and providing training, consultation, and technical assistance in problem-solving, continuous improvement, strengths development, and visioning with a variety of teams. She is also an experienced facilitator, enabling organizations and teams to achieve desired outcomes through effective facilitation, group decision making, and intentional alighment with purpose. Lela brings a wealth of experience from her work in technology and non-profit organizations. In a variety of Operational Management and Chief-of-Staff roles at HP, Inc., Lela built Quality programs and KPI dashboards. She also works to onboard new team members in the Compassion Planet program, a non-profit focused on developing Aged-Out Foster children. Lela is an Instructor at the College of Continuing Education at Sac State, where she develops and delivers Lean Six Sigma, Strategic Planning, Business Analysis, and Train-the-Trainer courses. At this point in her career, Lela is focused on bringing heart into business.

Lela has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Management) from San Jose State University. A lifelong learner, she has earned a number of certifications: Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, June 2019; VOPAR Strategic Planning, Certified Fall 2018; People Acuity Certified Strengths Coach, August 2018; Strengths Strategy Certified Coach, October 2017; ASQ Certified LSS Green Belt, February 2017; HP/Eckes LSS Black Belt, Certified 2008.

Teri Montz

As CFO and Controller, Teri is responsible for overseeing Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, Payroll, Human Resources, Benefits Administration and all daily financial operations.

Before joining the Implementation Partners Team, Teri Montz had over 7 years with the Internal Revenue Service and 20 years in Public Accounting, 15 of which she owned and managed a successful accounting and tax practice.

Teri has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Arts in Italian from California State University, Chico and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.

Patrick Noonan

Patrick Noonan provides clients with best practices in improving productivity, reducing variation, creating metrics, developing leaders, and implementing process improvement. He specializes in leading change efforts for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Patrick currently directs Dagaz, Inc. Indiana, which facilitates Process Excellence (Lean Thinking, Six Sigma, Dashboard Metrics, and Design Excellence), Leadership development, and Recruiting for healthcare clients who are deploying Lean Six Sigma.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Patrick directed the Process Excellence Initiative for the Medical Devices and Diagnostics Division of Johnson & Johnson Company (J&J), which included deployment of Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Dashboard Metrics, and Design Excellence. He also led the Process Excellence initiative for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, an operating company of J&J.

Patrick formerly worked at General Electric. His last assignment was in Six Sigma Quality as a Quality Leader and Master Black Belt in the GE Plastics Electromaterials business unit. He also fulfilled roles in Materials Management, Logistics, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance and Customer Service.

Patrick is a certified Master Black Belt and has a degree from Northern Kentucky University in Accounting.

Brandy Phalora

Brandy has over 7 years of experience in training, project management, and regulatory compliance, focused in diagnostics (IVD) and pharmaceuticals. Her style is complemented by experiences in leadership and life coaching, with a strong focus on process improvement, documentation, adult learning and harmonization of group dynamics. She demonstrated these skills in various positions such as Customer Training Consultant for a $2.3 billion diagnostic company and Senior Project Manager for a $2 billion contract research organization in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Brandy offers a firm understanding of risk management, budgeting, workflow analysis, and working both vertically and horizontally with organizations to deliver unified solutions. She has a passion for leading and ending projects on time, on budget and on target.

Brandy has a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences from DePauw University and a Masters degree in Project Management from Villanova University.

Deirdre RaganDeirdre Ragan

Deirdre has over 25 years of leadership experience in the insurance industry, having held multiple executive roles in the life insurance carrier and consulting space. She worked with four different insurance companies and focused on both acquisitive and organic growth, as well as organizational and operational transformation. Deirdre’s extensive experience in the acquisition and integration of insurance blocks and operations, system implementations and conversions, product implementation, and operational improvements is founded in her working knowledge in life insurance operations, finance, and technology. Her application of traditional, Agile, and Lean methodologies, as well as her passion for continuous learning and engagement of staff has contributed to the development of strong cross functional team performance that has generated high quality and on-time projects.

Deirdre has a strong track record in evaluating operations and completing high quality conversions and integrations as a consultant and as an insurance company executive. She led due diligence, modeling, and conversion of over 45 acquired blocks at Madison National Life alone. In her career, she has evaluated over 100 insurance blocks. To drive operational improvements to support sales and customer service, Deirdre created and led an Agile transformation which resulted in highly successful teams that delivered multiple product implementations and technology projects. At National Guardian, she successfully merged two organizations post-acquisition, designed an enhanced operating model for a new line of business, and led the successful transformation and conversion of one of their subsidiary company operations onto a new technology platform.

Deirdre holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas in Austin, CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) from the CFA Institute, FLMI (Fellow of the Life Management Institute), and multiple certifications in leadership and agile practice.

Carlos RojasCarlos Rojas

Carlos is a design and innovation enabler who has helped organizations shape the conditions that make them more adaptive, creative, and prolific when solving modern business challenges.

A builder at his core, Carlos is known for his expertise in reimagining all aspects of an organization and for effectively setting a clear and compelling enterprise strategy that expands current offerings reach and profit revenues by: identifying target market growth opportunities, developing new differentiating offerings and capabilities, and positioning a corporation’s short and long term readiness to effectively engage the evolving domestic and global consumer landscape.

He draws from his passion for customer empathy and customer-driven innovation, twenty years of experience at three Fortune 500 corporations, and a range of disciplines that serve as a tool belt for reshaping culture, structures, talent, processes, products, services and experiences.

Born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he also completed most of his studies, Carlos earned both his industrial engineering and marketing undergraduate degrees from Universidad Privada Boliviana and his M.B.A. from the University of Florida.

Beth Rothwell

Elizabeth (Beth) Rothwell provides expert facilitation for strategic business decisions, particularly for the medical devices and venture capital industries. She is currently a Board of Directors member for the three VFD Technologies companies.

Formerly, she served as a Vice President for Monterey Advisors, a Medical Device consulting firm. From 2002 to 2008, she held several executive positions with Kyphon, Inc., one of the fastest growing medical device companies in history. These positions included Vice President, Operations, Quality, R&D, Program Management and Regulatory Affairs. From 1995 to 2002, Beth served as a Board of Director Member and Vice President for Intercon, Inc. a contract manufacturing firm specializing in fiber and electrical assemblies for a variety of markets.

Ms. Rothwell holds a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Women in Leadership Program.

Jennifer SargentJennifer Sargent

Jennifer has been leading and providing training, supervision, facilitation, and development for facility-based, strategic, high impact process improvement efforts for almost a decade in the area of healthcare. She has proven to be a highly effective and ethical change leader as well as a leader of administrative decision making and strategic planning. Her efforts have transformed working environments into cultures standard work models focused on continuous daily improvement strategies to reduce cost and increase satisfaction. Her expertise ranges from working with executives in the area of establishing guiding policies and process improvement identification to staff coordination, project execution, and long term project sustainment.

In recent years, Jennifer has focused on improving processes as a Transformation Leader with Indiana University Health, as a Lean Sensei Consultant for VA Medical Centers across the United States, and as the Business Process and Quality Assurance Director for a very successful healthcare communications company where she facilitated a highly strategic and enterprise-wide business transformation effort to retool quality and efficiencies through standardized project management methodologies, including Six Sigma and Lean Management, in order to accomplish business objectives. Prior to Jennifer’s targeted work in process improvement she spent time in distribution, sales, marketing, operations management , and other Executive Leadership roles incorporating project management and process improvement methodologies and principles leading to both corporate and personal successes.

Jennifer has been a key contributor and leader in the organizations she has worked with as she identified, led, and implemented nearly 100 cross-functional project teams aimed at developing actionable recommendations to resolve the root causes of failures. This resulted in 3 black belt projects, 18 green belt projects, 62 yellow belt projects, and 12 kaizen projects.

Jennifer earned a BS in Marketing from Ball State University and her Yellow and Green Belts in Lean Six Sigma through QAI Training. Jennifer earned her Six Sigma and Lean Management Master Black Belt through Ancerra Corporation. Jennifer is a valued member on a team of instructors teaching in the online Lean Six Sigma program offered through the Partnership for Competitive Advantage in Engineering Professional Education at Purdue University as well as an independent consultant within the healthcare industry.

Steve SchehlSteve Schehl

Steve is a proven leader with expertise in Business Improvement, especially as it relates to Marketing and Sales. Steve has a passion for achieving results and building organizational capability to sustain them. He has a broad base of experience where he utilized his business expertise to support projects focused in such areas as product launches, price improvements, market share growth, organization design, productivity improvements and organization competency.

In his last corporate role with DuPont, Steve led a team of over 100 Black Belts and Master Black Belts in over 20 countries where he demonstrated the ability to take improvement methodology and adopt it to solve real time business issues delivering multimillion dollar annual benefits. He is adept at tailoring the improvement approach to the complexity of the issue, the current capability of the staff, and the local environment and culture. Steve’s underlying approach to any project or training is that it must focus on how it helps the people and their customers.

In addition to his Business Improvement expertise, Steve has had leadership roles in Marketing, Sales and a Chemical Production Unit and also has firsthand experience in Sales, Product Development and Product Management roles. Steve has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois and a Master of Science from the University of Arizona. He is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a recognized Six Sigma Deployment Champion.

Tiffani SiddonsTiffani Siddons

Tiffani Siddons is an experienced industrial engineering strategist with a proven track record for designing and implementing world-class manufacturing and assembly facilities. For over 18 years she has played active roles in defining and executing company visions, working with global teams to support property strategies across the U.S.

In her most recent role as the facilities engineering specialist and program manager on a 3,000,000 sq. ft. campus revitalization project, she engaged with stakeholders to develop the project scope and then guided the team through planning and execution. As a part of the project, she tactfully defined and orchestrated a 4000+ asset movement plan without inhibiting ongoing production. Among numerous facilities projects, she has successfully led an entire $30 million work package to construct and populate a state-of-the-art aerospace composite manufacturing facility.

Tiffani has a strong mind set for continuous improvement and is proficient in incorporating Lean Six Sigma methodologies throughout her projects – resulting in significant bottom-line savings for her customers. By optimizing overall facility layout designs for process and material flow, she enabled a $4 million hard savings on a recent project.

With data-driven integrity, Tiffani enjoys engaging teams by building simulation models and providing 2D, 3D and 4D computer aided designs (CAD) to facilitate understanding and enable the team to visualize their efforts and overcome challenges ahead of implementation.

Tiffani received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. She is accredited in Lean Six Sigma and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Her passion for making a vision become reality is contagious.

James StarbirdJames Starbird

A certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, James brings expertise in the areas of business operations improvement and IT strategy. He has worked in the public and private sectors in technology (SaaS), consumer products, and distribution logistics industries. He specializes in driving process improvement efforts by combining business operations and IT strategy to create holistic solutions.

In his most recent role, James has worked with Staples Business Advantage Sales Operations in an effort to drive business process optimization, tasked with defining and leading strategic initiatives to increase overall sales effectiveness and profit margin. He also led efforts in the identification and implementation of operational and organizational structure opportunities. In a previous role, James led a project to streamline international logistics for a retailer that was sourcing products from Europe and the Far East, saving over $400,000 per year. Complementing his experience in business process improvement, James has experience with business intelligence, advanced analytics, various programming languages, and IT infrastructure.

James has a BS in Business Management with focus areas in Global Supply Chain, Operations Management, and Entrepreneurship from the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.

Deanna SuskovichDeanna Suskovich

A certified Master Black Belt in Six Sigma and Lean Management, Deanna has worked with Fortune 50 organizations, government agencies, hospitals, labs, animal science, universities, architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as well as a variety of service organizations, to design and build continuous improvement programs; select, educate, and build clients’ change-resource capacity; and implement process improvement projects.

Deanna specializes in leading healthcare Lean Six Sigma deployments, with recent experience in leading and coaching projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a member of their internal consulting team, the Veterans Engineering Resource Center (VERC). She has invested almost a decade in support for that deployment, coaching executives in the MyVA transformation, leading champion workshops for leaders, training black belts, and facilitating rapid process improvement (RPI) efforts. She has also supported Lean Six Sigma deployments in other healthcare systems, including Memorial Hospital (Jasper, IN), Tipton Memorial Hospital (Tipton, IN), DuPont Hospital (Fort Wayne, IN), Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, Sisters of St. Francis Health Care System, and the AHRQ – MRSA North America Collaboration.

Through the use of Lean, Six Sigma, and Design for Six Sigma methodologies, Deanna has educated and led on-site client teams on more than 140 Lean Six Sigma improvement and Design for Six Sigma projects which combined have an 83% success rate of sustaining improvements for longer than 6 months following the pilot implementation.

Deanna has a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a BA degree in Marketing from Purdue University.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth has provided process improvement consulting, training and design services to Fortune 100 companies for the past 20 years. Most recently she worked on the design and implementation of a Performance Management System for the Bahamas Telecommunications Company resulting in the alignment of strategic corporate goals with every layer of the company down to coordinated targets for front-line technicians.

Just prior to that she coached several improvement teams at Charles Schwab resulting in a 20% reduction in unnecessary account terminations, a 30% reduction in rework associated with on-line funds transfers, a 75% reduction in total account open cycle time from application to funding. In an ongoing effort, she has been a principal in the design and rollout of the first Lean/Six Sigma effort in the hospitality industry for Starwood Hotels and Resorts resulting in average benefits of $30 million per year from 2001-2008 for North America alone.

Elisabeth is the author of a business simulation used worldwide to gain buy-in and establish leadership awareness in the area of process improvement. Her clients include: BP, Charles Schwab, Cisco Systems, GE Capital, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Federated Department Stores, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Mitre, NBC, Northrup Grumman, Target, NBC, Raytheon, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, United Health Care, Vanguard Financial Services, Volvo and Wells Fargo,.

Born in the UK, Elisabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University in New York City, NY. Elisabeth is a certified Black Belt Trainer with GE Capital and a founding member of BCT (Boston Comedy Theater) specializing in improvisational techniques to foster organizational change efforts.

Tiffany Tokarz

Tiffany Tokarz

Tiffany Tokarz is the CEO of Modern Muse and an Intentional Growth Strategist. Since 2006, Tiffany has been working with sales professionals and business owners to help them achieve notable career and business advancements. Some of the industries where she has focused her efforts are the financial sector, manufacturing, engineering, veterinary services, and construction.

Tiffany holds credentials as a CPBA, CPMA, and has earned a master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Development Psychology. She was recently accepted into Faculty Row, an elite organization of accomplished academics ranging from Fulbright Scholars to TED Talk speakers.

Tiffany believes that we have only begun to understand the scope of human potential and that leaders who create company cultures to better leverage their human capital will position their companies to thrive in the new economy. She prides herself on being results-driven while maintaining a healthy balance between work and play. Taking her own advice, Tiffany can often be found jogging at Gray’s Lake in Des Moines, teaching yoga, and attempting to cook something new in the kitchen.

Robert TrippRob Tripp

With over 20 years of focus in the quality management arena, Rob’s breadth and depth of experience combine to enable significant business results in each of his client engagements. Rob was trained and certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt in AlliedSignal’s first wave in 1995; by 1998 he acquired his Master Black Belt certification, at which time he began his consulting career. Since that time he has trained, mentored, and certified thousands of Green Belts, Black Belts and Master Black Belts in dozens of companies across several industries around the world. Through these engagements, Rob has assessed organizational readiness, designed and led deployment strategies, developed curricula for various levels of Lean, Six Sigma, and Design for Six Sigma training, and mentored Leaders, Champions and Belts through both organizational and technical aspects of Lean Six Sigma deployments. Rob is a thought leader in his profession, with several articles in website and print publications, and his clients have been recognized for deployment excellence and best deployment of the year multiple times at industry symposiums.

The continuous improvement journey that Rob has shared with his clients enables him to immerse himself in multiple processes across various functions, including R&D, sales and marketing, engineering, operations, human resources, accounting, information technology, and supply chain management. This process experience comes out of multiple industries, including mining, oil and gas, construction, automotive, chemical, insurance, banking and finance, software development, medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, and retail. Rob has delivered training, facilitated projects, and consulted deployments in over 20 different countries; prior to his consulting experience, Rob was an operations manager and plant controller at AlliedSignal.

Rob currently lives in rural Indiana with his family on a small hobby farm; he attended Indiana University, Bloomington, where he earned a bachelor of science in Biochemistry and an MBA in finance.

Susan VaughnSusan Vaughn

Susan has over 22 years of consulting experience, specializing in both traditional and Agile project management. She has a proven track record of managing challenging information technology projects and is a results-driven professional with experience leading multifunctional teams of experts in initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing complex projects. She has expertise in facilitation, requirements gathering, and design documentation and possesses great analytical skills and is a creative problem solver.

Susan is a board member of Women & Hi Tech, a non-profit organization created to address the specific needs of women in high tech industries in Central Indiana that encourages more women to consider careers in technology. She has been actively involved for over 13 years and a board member for 11 years.

Susan received a business degree specializing in computer information systems from Indiana University’s School of Business and she is a certified with the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Kyle WardenKyle Warden

Kyle has over 30 years experience in information technology and is known for driving IT-powered business transformation. He has managed contemporary technology platforms and delivered wide-ranging modernization programs while supporting business enablement, innovation, security and compliance.

In his most recent role, he was Vice President, IT Technical Operations for a top-50 commercial property and casualty insurer during a period of significant technological change, responsible for all functional groups except Application Development. He led the development of core IT strategic roadmaps and implemented transformational investment to build contemporary application development and infrastructure systems.

Kyle has a BA in Computer Science from Yale University. He is President of the Yale Alumni Association of Central Iowa.

Chuck ZaczekChuck Zaczek

Charles (Chuck) Zaczek has over 18 years consulting experience leading process transformation programs within manufacturing, mining, IT, and healthcare organizations. He delivers business consulting services and team facilitation with an emphasis on Lean Enterprise, Business Process Improvement, Six Sigma, and Quality Systems. Chuck brings a wealth of global experience, having served clients across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Prior to his current role, Chuck worked for Hamilton Sundstrand  (a division of United Technologies) to apply leading-edge laser technologies (welding, cutting, and heat treating) in an aerospace manufacturing environment.  He held senior level Manufacturing Engineering positions and had the opportunity to apply Statistical Process Control techniques, Group Technology, Just in Time Manufacturing, and other Lean Six Sigma Manufacturing concepts to drive performance and results. Chuck began his career with GE by joining the Manufacturing Management Program (MMP).

Chuck has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Administration & Management Science, both from Carnegie-Mellon University. He lives just north of Denver in the foothills of Colorado.