The OpExChange is pleased to announce the addition of six new members to its Advisory Board: Amy Williams, Joseph Stanford, John Leek, Blake Leaphart, Andrew Klein, and Sparky Avant.
“I am so pumped about the recent additions to the OpExChange Board,” OpExChange Coordinator Mike Demos said. “The OpExChange has grown approximately 60% in the last two and a half years. With the additional board members, every section of South Carolina is represented by an advocate for their region and for the entire state.”
Amy is the Industrial Engineering and Continuous Improvement Director for Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Company in Liberty, SC. Amy built her career on manufacturing plant operations management, large scale capital investment projects and continuous improvement.
For the past 30+ years, she has had roles in production, engineering, and maintenance management as well as large scale capital investment project management at several manufacturing facilities in South Carolina. Amy’s lean journey includes chapters on Kaizen Deployment, Six Sigma DMAIC Teams, Training Within Industry and most recently Kata Problem Solving. Amy also has a passion for educating the next generation of industry leaders and is currently a trustee on the SDPC School Board.
Joseph is the Senior Manager of Continuous Improvement with Sleep Number in Irmo, SC. Joseph’s background is in project management and operational efficiency. He is passionate about helping teams understand and improve processes through value stream mapping, team development, and continuous improvement.
Since 2012, Joseph’s focus has been helping manufacturing sites identify and eliminate waste to reduce cost and improve efficiency by converting from functional silo thinking to full value stream thinking. This approach allows companies to focus on the development of people instead of the reliance on capital investment.
John C. Leek
John is the Production and Sales Growth Manager for Diversified Plastics in Latta, SC. John’s background is diverse with a strong commitment to business and community growth.
He is passionate about helping grow both the Pee Dee and overall South Carolina manufacturing economy. John has a strong record in developing and growing business and is excited about participating in the OpExChange program.
Blake is Principal Lean Six Sigma Specialist for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) in Aiken, SC. Blake is dedicated to the lean transformation process and the implementation of employee suggestion systems in various businesses. In his current role, he applies lean six sigma concepts to SRNS and small businesses in the community.
During his eleven-year career at SRNS, he has led 100 different process improvement teams and 30 kaizens. His specialty is leading teams through the A3 methodology and teaching lean six sigma trainees how to use this improvement tool. Blake has also maintained and sustained a robust employee suggestion system at SRNS. Blake also applied his lean six sigma skills by serving on the National Board of Directors for Ideas America, the University of South Carolina Alumni Association, the South Carolina Future City Competition, and the Aiken Partnership.
Andrew is the Continuous Improvement Manager for Autokiniton in Fountain Inn, SC. Andrew is driven by continuous improvement. He is a uniquely blended individual with both hands-on and professional experience in the automotive industry.
His strive for lean transformation and the development of people through the application of lean knowledge, training, and kaizen activities is endless. He is motivated by challenges, competition, and success.
Sparky is the Operational Excellence Manager for Embroidery Solutions in Kingstree, SC. For over 20 years, Sparky has used his drive for continuous improvement and lean processes in various aspects of manufacturing involving plastics, bioscience, and textiles.
He believes that most of the answers are on the shop floor. In his current position, he extracts these ideas by using trust and inclusion on all levels to build an open and rewarding culture. His goal with OpExChange is to help other companies strive to be better today than yesterday.
The OpExChange, sponsored by the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is a peer-to-peer network of manufacturers and distributors in South Carolina known for generating success for members through benchmarking and best practices activities. Member companies host events and share practical examples of industrial automation, lean manufacturing improvements, and leadership development. It is an invaluable resource to South Carolina companies that provides access to others who are on similar improvement journeys. If you are interested in joining, contact Mike Demos (Mike@OpExChange.com) or visit the OpExChange website www.OpExChange.com.
A full list of the OpExChange Board is available here: https://www.scmep-online.org/pages/opexchange-board
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