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Certification Oversight & Appeals Committee

Each certification program has an oversight body comprised of no fewer than five practitioners and subject matter experts from industry and academia. The committee evaluates certification exam performance on a yearly basis making sure that each item is performing accurately. They are responsible for responding to all requests for certification appeals. The oversight body also ensures that candidates are offered proper tools they need while preparing for the examinations, and makes recommendations for the development of said tools.

Jeff Lytle Jeff Lytle, LGC
Master Black Belt
SME Representative

Jeff Lytle is the Americas Continuous Improvement Director at Momentive, a global leader in silicones and advanced materials. He is responsible for leading Continuous Improvement across the Americas Region and heads up Momentive’s Global 5S initiative. Jeff also serves as the Continuous Improvement partner to the Global Operations Team; helping coordinate the application of Lean Manufacturing tools and concepts for sites around the world. Throughout his 20+ year career in manufacturing Lytle has received Lean Six Sigma GreenBelt, BlackBelt, and Master BlackBelt certifications as well as a Fundamentals of Management certificate from Case Weatherhead School of Management. He is also a certified Crucial Conversations trainer. He received his bachelor's degree in Organizational Management from Malone University.


Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) and Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) Committee

Rick Kortekaas Rick Kortekaas, CMfgT
Saint Gobain Performance Plastics

Rick Kortekaas is the Engineering Manager at Saint Gobain Performance Plastics. His key experience is driving continuous improvement efforts internally and at suppliers for cost improvement, lean, QMS, DFM/DFA projects to improve total cost and cost of poor quality, project management of capital projects, and facilities layout to convert to CFM. Kortekaas has a background working in electronics, plastics, fabricated metals, motion and controls and has developed a process for new process introductions.

He received his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Technology with a minor in Manufacturing Management from Bemidji State University. Kortekaas is certified as a Certified Manufacturing Technologist, certified in quick response manufacturing, and Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) through APICS.

Immediate Past Chair
Patrick Ferro Pat Ferro, PhD, CMfgE, PE
Gonzaga University

Patrick Ferro is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Gonzaga University and has twelve years of process engineering experience in the investment casting, silicon wafer, and alternative energy technology industries. He has five years of experience as an engineering educator, providing instruction on materials and manufacturing. Ferro has research interests in hydrogen storage and hydrogen embrittlement. He has also been a materials consultant since 2000. He received his B.S. in materials science and engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. At Oregon Graduate Center in Beaverton, Oregon, he received his M.S. in materials science and engineering and he received his PhD in metallurgical and materials engineering at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. Ferro has also achieved his professional engineer (PE) license in Michigan, Ohio and Washington and is certified through SME as a Certified Manufacturing Engineer.

Thomas M. Binder Thomas Binder, CMfgT, CMfgE
The Boeing Company

Tom Binder is a manufacturing engineer for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company in Renton, Washington. He is currently assigned to the product development team for the 737 MAX, focusing on build integration of the redesigned jetliner. Binder started his career in the commercial airplane division in 1984 and has worked on 727, 737, 757 and military versions of the 707, 737 and 757 aircraft. Recently, he was a hardware manager for the Boeing Defense and Space group working on the P-8A, a derivative of the commercial 737 for the U.S. Navy. Binder was responsible for manufacturability, supplier coordination, and scheduling of military hardware installed in the forward fuselage.

He is a United States patent holder for Boeing's "Sky Interior" for the 737 and was honored with a 2012 Boeing Special Invention Award for this patent. Binder has achieved both the Certified Manufacturing Engineer and Certified Manufacturing Technologist certifications from SME and is a member of the Boeing SME steering team. He is also a Certified Master Automotive Technician – National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Binder received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University and holds a Certificate in Product Lifecycle Management from Purdue University and an Associate's Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.


Kathryn Daniels Kathryn Daniels, PhD, LSME, CMfgE
Tri-Phase Engineering

Kathryn Daniels has 30 plus years aircraft experience in tool and die making, tool engineering, and programming. CATIA V5, quality engineer and quality management. (AS9100, AS9102) Adjunct teaching in engineering, quality and lean manufacturing related topics at Wichita Area Technical College, Butler Community College, Pittsburg State University and Wichita State University. Past SME experience is: Certification Committee, (8 yrs.), Chapter 52 Wichita, Ks activities include: Certification Chair, 10 years, Vice Chair (2 yrs.), Chairman, (2 yrs.), Advisor to Wichita State University Student Chapter (3 yrs.). Currently, serving as Chair and Certification Chair for Wichita Ks chapter, and assisting students at Wichita State University. Other professional affiliations are: Senior member, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Senior Member American Society of Quality, Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and American Society of Engineering Education. B.S. Manufacturing Technology and B.S. Business Quality Management Southwestern College, M.S. Technical Education Pittsburg State University, Ed.S Industrial Education Pittsburg State University, and PhD Industrial Engineering University of Berkeley. Currently, owns Tri-Phase Engineering, where most work is engineering design for the military.


Charles Gates, Jr. Charles Gates, Jr., CMfgE, CQE, CMQ, CSQP
Retired, Caterpillar

Charles Gates has 40 years of work experience with Caterpillar Inc. as a division manager, which included global managerial responsibilities for product design, manufacturing engineering, quality engineering, six sigma, lean, factory operations, training, and management development. He has over 30 years of teaching experience as an adjunct professor teaching a wide variety of technical and professional courses at the graduate level. Gates is an active board member for SME Chapter 5 in Chicago, the ASQ Fox Valley Section, and the APICS Fox River Chapter. He has been an active SME member for over 40 years and is an SME Lifetime Member.

Gates holds a Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE), Certified Quality Engineer (CQE), Certified Manager of Quality (CMQ), Certified Supplier Quality Professional (CSQP). He received the Olivet Nazarene University Excellence in Teaching Award and is a Master Certification Instructor. Gates holds an M.S. in industrial technology from Purdue University, a B.S. in management from the University of Illinois, an A.A.S from Illinois Central College, and a four-year machinist apprentice credential from Caterpillar Inc.


Steve Piotrowski Steve Piotrowski, CMfgT, CMfgE

Steve Piotrowski has been actively involved with manufacturing for over 20 years and is currently a project engineer with responsibilities ranging from concept through completion at True Manufacturing Company. Prior to joining True, he was responsible for supporting customers in the nuclear industry while a member of the Pentair team. Working with welder qualifications, documentation, innovations with new product capabilities, cost reductions and capital expansion projects. Steve worked for nearly 14 years with United Defense / BAE Systems as a manufacturing engineer. Projects ranged from large weldments, facility layouts, floor space reductions, facility relocations, international product line start-ups, product testing, field service, and new product development. Steve has been a member of SME since 2001, has a B.S. in industrial technology with a concentration in manufacturing engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, is certified through SME as a Certified Manufacturing Technologist and a Certified Manufacturing Engineer. He also holds certifications from the American Welding Society as an AWS Certified Weld Inspector (CWI).


Philip Rufe Philip Rufe, CMfgE
Eastern Michigan University

Mr. Rufe has been a faculty member at Eastern Michigan University since 1990 He holds degrees in education, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering and is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer and Registered Patent Agent. Mr. Rufe has taught courses in manufacturing processes, industrial operations, drafting, mechanics, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, lean manufacturing, intellectual property, and design for manufacture and assembly. He has taught industrial seminars in design for manufacture and assembly, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and dimensional metrology. Mr. Rufe has also taught both the Fundamentals of Manufacturing Review course and the Manufacturing Engineering Review course for SME at various locations across the country. He is the editor of the Fundamentals of Manufacturing, 3rd ed. and author of the Fundamentals of Manufacturing Workbook.


Lean Certification Committee

“Promote and maintain the leading global LEAN Certification, which enables individual development and business success.”

The Lean Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee is made up of industry leaders whose diverse backgrounds represent years of lean experience. The Lean Certification Alliance — American Society for Quality (ASQ), Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), Shingo Institute, and SME — works to appoint lean practitioners to the committee. The Lean Certification and Oversight Appeals Committee plays a critical role in administering the Lean Certification program.

Chad Vincent Chad Vincent, LSC
American Railcar Industries
ASQ Representative

Chad Vincent is the director of lean manufacturing for American Railcar Industries (ARI) in Saint Charles, Missouri where he leads the Lean Enterprise Program for the organization. Prior to ARI, he worked as a lean specialist in the industrial packaging industry, as a quality engineer in the medical device manufacturing industry, as a project engineer in the construction industry, and was in management in the logistics and transportation industry. Vincent earned a B.S. in engineering management specializing in quality engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is a senior member of ASQ and SME, and is Past-Treasurer for the ASQ Lean Enterprise Division. He is a Certified Quality Engineer (CQE), Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE), Certified Manager of Quality/Operational Excellence (CMQ/OE), Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB), and is Lean Bronze Certified (LBC). Vincent has also served as a senior lead examiner and judge for Arkansas's Governor's Quality Award and is past president for the Leadership Arkansas Alumni Association board of directors. Vincent is passionate about lean as the pathway for organizational cultural transformation. He routinely supports various organizations as a presenter for conferences and as an author and reviewer for publications related to lean topics. He is the co-editor of The Lean Handbook: A Guide to the Bronze Certification Body of Knowledge.

Mark Volesky Mark Volesky, LBC
Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership
AME Representative

Mark Volesky is a senior business advisor with the Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards & Technology Hollings MEP. Since 2003, Volesky has been assisting companies in a wide variety of industries to increase profits and create and retain jobs. He has conducted more than 150 kaizen events, including co-facilitating continuous improvement efforts with Shingijutzu Consulting and Normen Bodek. Along with proctoring the SME Lean Bronze Certification exam, he developed the Dakota MEP LECP course curriculum and has taught it to more than 500 individuals from nearly 60 companies. For this work, Volesky was selected as MEP Practitioner of the Year at the 2007 national MEP conference. In 2007, he received his Train-the-Trainer certifications in Training-Within-Industry’s Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations and he has been Lean Bronze certified since 2008. He is a member of the Board of Examiners for the Shingo Institute and serves on the board of directors of the Minn-Dak Manufacturers Association. Prior to joining the Dakota MEP, he was principle engineer with Steelcase Inc., holding positions in R&D, new product development and manufacturing process improvement. Volesky received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and Management from North Dakota State University.

Immediate Past Chair
Richard Evans Richard Evans, LBC
President and TWI Certified JI and JR Instructor
JR Lean
AME Representative

Richard Evans has spent the past four decades helping companies become more effective in delivering quality and value to the production process, whilst focusing on customer success. Having a manufacturing engineering background, Evans teaches companies how to recognize waste through mentoring, coaching, and applying lean tools and techniques. His extended knowledge of various industries, such as automotive, aerospace, railroad, packaging, and fasteners, enable him to quickly focus in on opportunities for improvement. As an approved Lean Bronze Certification review course trainer for SME, Evans is able to coach teams to increase value-added content to a maximum.

Evans has held various positions in industry from Manufacturing Engineering Director to Director, Lean Enterprise. During the past ten years, he has assisted companies in developing lean transformations and has facilitated more than 50 kaizen events. Evans is vice president of the Canadian Board of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and was past program chair for the National and Regional Lean Conferences since 2007. He is also a Certified TWI Job Instructions and Job Relations Trainer.

Larry G. Anderson Larry G. Anderson, LGC
President, Southwest Region
Association for Manufacturing Excellence
Shingo Institute Representative

Larry Anderson is Lean Gold Certified and a lean senior management and training professional with over 40 years of experience. He has a strong lean manufacturing and improvement background that includes a variety of functional experience. He serves as a senior examiner/team lead for both the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence and the AME Excellence Award. He is certified by the Shingo Institute to facilitate all institute workshops, is past chair of the Lean Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee, and serves as President of the Southwest Region of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. Anderson pursued the Masters in Engineering Management at the University of Louisville and holds a BSME from Texas Tech University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and Kentucky.


Joanne E. M. Deys Joanne E. M. Deys
VP Global Sales and Operation Planning
Stanley Black and Decker - SEF

Joanne E. M. Deys is president of Brightside Alliance LLC, a consultancy based in Rochester, Michigan that specializes in lean business and leadership development, lean implementation, and cultural transformation through the understanding of principles and execution of concepts and tools. She focuses not only on identifying the opportunities, but also developing the infrastructure and skills for long term success on the journey for her clients. Before consulting, Deys was the vice president of integrated supply chain at Kautex, Textron and was based in Germany. During her previous 26 years in industry she held leadership roles in manufacturing, engineering, labor relations, operations management, change management, production control, logistics, and materials management. Her working history has gained her experience in a range of industries including, aerospace, automotive, electronics, fire and safety, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and biotech, and others. She is on the Shingo Institute Examiners Committee and has been a certified Examiner/Lead Examiner for the Shingo Prize for Operations Excellence since 2007. Receiving her B.S. in Industrial Technology from the State University College at Buffalo, Deys also holds a Harvard Business Micro MBA certificate from SUNY Buffalo, and an Executive Leadership Program Certificate from Thunderbird School of Global Management.


Jeff Fuchs Jeff Fuchs, LBC
President, Neovista Consulting LLC
Director, The Maryland World Class Consortia
SME Representative

Jeff Fuchs is president of Neovista Consulting LLC, a consultancy based in Baltimore, Maryland specializing in lean implementation, leadership development, and cultural transformation. Since 1997, Fuchs has worked with companies in a range of industries, including aerospace, textiles, pharmaceuticals and biotech, energy, consumer products and others. Prior to his consulting career, Fuchs held engineering, quality and production leadership roles in the aerospace and automotive fields. He has been a part of the development and rollout of the Lean Certification standard since its early inception in 2006. Since 2008, Fuchs has served as director of The Maryland World Class Consortia, a collaboration of 49 member companies sharing a common interest in using lean techniques to strengthen the economy and deliver business results. He is the representative of The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence in the state of Maryland and has been a lead examiner for The Shingo Institute since 2007. Fuchs received his B.S. in aerospace engineering from West Point.


Stephen Lehocky Stephen Lehocky, LBC
SME Representative

Stephen Lehocky has more than 30 years of leadership experience, with a solid background in international operations excellence. He has deployed lean and six sigma methodologies in manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, service industries, and transportation.

Among his recent achievements, Lehocky is the Vice President of Operation Excellence practice at TransSolutions implementing lean in the US and Australia. While at the George Group, Accenture, and CPS consulting firms, he was the Lead Master Black Belt and lean instructor for the US Army’s Lean Six Sigma program office as well as supporting the US Postal Service and the FAA. During his tenure with TEREX Mining Americas, Lehocky was instrumental in the development and implementation of lean principles and tools in manufacturing plants in the US, Mexico, Germany, England, and Ireland. He was the Divisional Quality Manager for Jostens’ Jewelry Division implementing six sigma practices at the plant level. He successfully built from scratch the company’s quality department and implemented six sigma across three plants. Lehocky has also provided expertise in lean and six sigma to notable firms such as Black and Decker, Boeing Satellite Systems, and Hughes Space and Communications.

Lehocky earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois and his MBA at California State University Dominguez Hills. He is presently pursuing his Ph.D. in industrial Engineering at the University of Texas Arlington with a focus on Human Factors Engineering. He holds certifications in Lean Bronze, Six Sigma Lean Master Black Belt, Six Sigma Black and Green Belt, Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer, Quality Auditor and Software Quality Engineer.

He is active with state and national quality programs serving on the Board of Examiners as a process coach, team leader, and scorebook editor for the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award and the Texas Award for Quality Excellence. In addition, Lehocky is a Civil Air Patrol Captain and a licensed single-engine private pilot. He is a member of SME, American Society for Quality, Association for Manufacturing Excellence, and the Institute of Industrial Engineers.


Marian Anton Lemne Marian Anton Lemne, LGC
Director of Global Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning – Cameron, a Schlumberger Company
Shingo Representative

Marian Anton Lemne is currently the Director of Global Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SIOP) and has held this position at Cameron, a Schlumberger Company, since February 2016. In his role as Director of Global SIOP, Marian has global oversight of Surface Global SIOP strategy and operating model including global strategy on inventory acquisition and inventory utilization. He has collaborated across multiple divisions on the design and implementation of a centralized global supply chain.

In 2008, Marian joined Cameron’s Surface Systems division as Plant Manager and was instrumental in driving strong Operational Performance and Customer Engagement at two “state of the art” manufacturing facilities. In 2011, Marian was appointed Manager of Global Strategic Sourcing for Surface Systems and, later in 2013, was appointed Director of Global Supply Chain with responsibility across all Surface business worldwide.

Before joining Cameron - Surface Systems as Plant Manager in 2008, Marian held the position of Lean Methods Team Leader for Husky IMS in Canada. Between 2001 and 2006, Marian held leadership positions as Plant Manager with ThyssenKrupp Northern Elevator, Quality Manager and Engineering Project Manager at Concord Elevator in Brampton, ON, Canada.

Marian brings a wealth of global experience in Sales, Inventory and Operations management, Global Category Management and Sourcing, Lean Manufacturing, Engineering, Project Management and Quality Management. Marian is Lean Gold Certified by the Lean Strategic Alliance, trained on Shingo Model and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) from APICS. Marian also holds a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) license from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and a Professional Project Professional (PMP) designation from PMI.

Marian earned an Executive MBA from the WU University of Business and Economics in Vienna, Austria and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Gh. Asachi Polytechnic Institute in Iasi, Romania.


Bruce Patch Bruce Patch, LBC, LSC
Pinnacol Assurance

Bruce comes from a diverse career background. After receiving his BS in Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he entered the US Air Force as a career officer and instructor pilot. He received his Masters of Public Administration from Drake University, in Des Moines, while on assignment to the Iowa Air National Guard. Bruce was first exposed to lean as the Quality Assurance Officer at the Arizona Air National Guard, when he was asked to improve the lead time to inspect and rebuild the unit aircraft. Having been bitten by the lean bug, he pursued training and experiences through the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century program, built primarily on lean concepts. His experiences there exposed him to maintenance, recruiting and medical operations improvements. Bruce holds an FAA Commercial and instrument rating. He currently flies sailplanes near his home in Boulder, CO.

After retiring from the Air Force, Bruce joined the VA as a Management Analyst to help find efficiencies in claims processing and disability ratings. During his time with the VA, Bruce earned his Lean Bronze Certificate. Bruce then went on to join the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, helping them to support research through more efficient and effective processes. With the value stream work being done there, Bruce earned his Lean Silver Certification. Today, Bruce is a Continuous Improvement Coach for Pinnacol Assurance. Pinnacol is a Workers Compensation insurance provider in the state of Colorado. His work includes training and coaching individuals at all levels of the company. He is also involved in helping to take Pinnacol to the next level as part of their lean transformation. Bruce is excited about joining the Certification Oversight and Appeals committee.


Ben Tanner, LBC
Division Logistics Manager, Dean Foods
AME Representative

Ben Tanner, MBA, currently serves as a Division Logistics Manager for Dean Foods. He oversees the logistics function in South Texas which encompasses 500 direct store delivery routes. In his seven year tenure at Dean Foods, he has served in various continuous improvement roles at the plant, regional and corporate level. Before working in the dairy industry, Ben worked in the aerospace and HVAC industries. He was recognized as a Top Manufacturing Leader Under 40 by Plant Engineering Magazine in 2012. He also served in the Navy and is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. He resides in San Antonio, TX with his wife, Helen, and two children, Caroline and Luke.