President, Cogent Power (Canada)
Ron Harper, P.Eng., is President of Cogent Power Inc., in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. He has worked in manufacturing for 25 years, mostly in senior leadership positions in marketing, engineering, operations and general management and has been with Cogent since 1995. The organisation has been on its lean journey since 2004, and Harper has taken a highly personal role in leading the company and its teams to create a self-propelling lean organisation and culture.
Ron is a member of the AME executive committee and the Canadian regional board. He is also a highly active board member of The Centre for Skills Development and Training, in Canada, the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), and regularly advises on local government policies and initiatives with Next Generation Manufacturing. As part of the AME board of directors, Harper is a leading member of the strategic initiative for People-Centric Leadership. This movement is intended to educate leaders to engage and lead teams in a manner to maximise job satisfaction and fulfillment, while creating significant value in business.
President and CEO, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (North America)
George Saiz is President and CEO of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, North America. A practitioner and strong proponent of lean and continuous improvement since 1992,he is excited to help AME grow its footprint, and to promote enterprise excellence and people-centric leadership among the next generation of manufacturing leaders. Saiz previously served as president of MicroAire Surgical Instruments, LLC.
During a career spanning more than four decades, Saiz worked for a number of medical device manufacturing companies in increasing roles of responsibility from manager, director, general manager, vice president, owner and president. He has significant experience in leading complex organisations and generating growth in sales and earnings. Saiz earned his master’s degree in business administration at the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif., and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from West Coast University in Los Angeles, California.
Keynote Speaker, Author and Facilitator
Lynne Cazaly is a keynote speaker, author and facilitator. She is the author of 4 books:
Leader as Facilitator: How to inspire, engage and get work done
Making Sense: A Handbook for the Future of Work
Create Change: How to apply innovation in an era of uncertainty, and
Visual Mojo: How to capture thinking, convey information and collaborate using visuals.
She works with project teams, executives and senior leaders on major change and transformation projects. She helps people distil their thinking, apply ideas and innovation and boost the engagement and collaboration effectiveness of teams. Lynne is an experienced board director and chair. She is a partner with Thought Leaders and on faculty of Thought Leaders Business School.
Adjunct Professor Susan O'Neill
CEO, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
Adjunct Professor Susan O'Neill is the Chief Executive Officer of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Susan has extensive experience in health leadership, across metropolitan and regional health services in several states.
Prior to joining St Vincent’s, Susan was the CEO of Albury Wodonga Health, the first cross-border health facility in Australia. Susan has held senior health administrative positions in Victoria and South Australia, where her passion for organisational excellence was established.
Susan is an advocate of the lean thinking philosophy and is a dedicated proponent of continuous improvement practices in health care. Susan holds an executive MBA, a Masters of Nursing Science, and is a fellow of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School. Susan is an adjunct professor at La Trobe University.
Dr Frank Koentgen
Director and CEO, Ozgene
Dr Frank Koentgen is the Director and CEO at Ozgene. Frank is a successful entrepreneur, 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. He successfully runs the company in a very efficient and lean, yet comfortable manner, wearing the traditional Aussie outfit of board shorts and t-shirt, coupled with German Birkenstocks.
Frank is very passionate about applying Lean thinking in research environments. He has studied Toyota and many other Lean practitioners in Japan, as part of the Shingo Study Tour, and he was recently appointed a Shingo Executive Advisory Board member. Within his own research organisation, Ozgene’s unique style of lean transformation drives the company’s new leadership mindset as the very basis for all of its scientific endeavours: “to advance humanity – inspire curiosity”
Head of Supply Chain, Australian Red Cross Blood Service
Annette Sando is the Head of Supply Chain at Australian Red Cross Blood Service. She is an accomplished financially astute supply chain professional with excellent communication, change management and team building skills. Highly motivated and results driven - Annette is always keen to educate and set ' the vision' then support and drive the team to deliver out performance. Her love of supply chain and determination deliver the best performance possible.
Annette has broad experience in manufacturing management, S&OP ( IBP) , Inventory Planning , Warehousing, Freight and Importing, Process Improvements and Systems Integration and Implementation.
She is a strong believer in the power of strong internal relationships and truly engaging with key customers and suppliers. She believes people are your greatest asset. "I makes sure I have the right people motivated to look for innovative solutions to drive effective and efficient processes supported by the right integrated systems and tools. The result? A great team deriving great fun and enjoyment in delivering a supply chain function that is lean,agile, competitive and resilient."
Managing Director, Wilson Transformers
Jon Retford has been general manager of the distribution business unit of Wilson Transformer Company since 1999. He is the past president of the Hume Lean Network and was the industry representative to the Victorian Government’s advisory committee on workforce development. Retford served as chair of the board for the North East Local Learning and Employment Network and is the chair of The Big Day Off Trust which raises funds to support Australian’s affected by spinal injuries.
Manager Continuous Improvement and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Qantas Airways
Ronald Tan is the Manager Continuous Improvement and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at Qantas Airways. Ronald will cover his experience implementing numerous highly successful 5S programs during his time at Qantas.
Qantas Engineering puts the 5S Lean methodology into practice at its BBM Operations with the goal of establishing a sustained 5S culture that focuses on process and productivity improvements; cost benefits; and safety by eliminating hazards.
The implementation of 5S Lean methodology at BBM is now the benchmark across all of Qantas Airways. The benefits are significant, with efficiency gains of 10% - 30%.
Financial Accountant, DSI Underground
Jessica Cole is the Financial Accountant at DSI Underground. She has been in this position for 6 years. DSI Underground are global leaders for products and systems for the Tunneling and Mining industries.
Jessica completed a Bachelor of Commerce with Financial Accounting major through Newcastle University and through a scholarship with Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She was awarded an MBA with distinction (marketing major) through Newcastle University and completed a Graduate Certificate in Competitive Systems and Practices through Swinbourne University. Jessica was the finalist in the 2017 Hunter Manufacturing Rising Star Award.