Awards Judging Panel
Managing Director, Innovation Strategy and Programs, Cisco
More about Alex
Dr. Keith Clinkscales
Director Strategic Planning & Performance Management
More about Dr.
Headquarters CI Team Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
More about Phillip
SVP, Operational Excellence
More about Brian
Head of Global Process Management
More about Iassen
Enterprise Business Architecture Leader
More about Kishore
VP Operational Excellence
More about Steve
Head of Intl. Online Scaled Partnerships, Google Cloud
More about Yuval
Vice President – Enterprise Project Management Office & Strategic Initiatives
More about Rias
Nuray Gurtekin Sen
Head of Global Process and Quality Siemens Corporate Technology Research in Digitalization and Automation
More about Nuray
Jim De Vries
Founder, Managing Director
More about Jim
Vice President, Operational Excellence, Transport Solutions NA/EMEA
More about Griselda
Ruben Del Toro
Director, Enterprise Continuous Improvement
More about Ruben
Alex Goryachev is an entrepreneurial go-getter. He takes risks, thinks ahead, and loves making way for new innovations. Over the past 20 years, he’s made it his business to turn disruptive concepts into emerging business models.
For him, it’s all about a passion to create a strategy and then drive it home to “get things done.” And as Cisco’s managing director of Innovation Strategy and Programs, he has plenty of opportunities to put this passion to the test.
He sparks internal innovation by providing employees at all levels the chance to share their big ideas, many of which make their way into the company’s innovation engine. Alex also carries the torch for co-innovation across Cisco’s ecosystem.
He’s especially excited about Cisco's Innovation Centers, which can be found in major cities around the world. Led by Alex, these hubs bring together customers, partners, startups, accelerators, governments, research communities, and universities in a lab setting. Their goal is to discover, develop, and implement game-changing, outcome-based solutions.
He also heads up the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenges. These polished events help creative thinkers bring their technology ideas to life. And then there’s the Cisco Technology Radar, the company’s engine for identifying emerging technology transitions.
Alex began his Cisco journey in 2004 with a singular focus: Innovation. He defined and operationalized several high-profile Cisco initiatives, including the company’s Country Transformation plan for Cisco in emerging markets. He also held senior roles in Development, Marketing, Finance, and Channels, providing him a 360 view of how a great company ticks.
Prior to Cisco, Alex was a successful consultant with extended assignments at Napster, Liquid Audio, IBM Global Services, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
He was the “Emerging Stars” gold recipient of Brandon Hall Group’s 2016 Human Capital Management Excellence Awards Program, and his organization won golds for “Employee Engagement” and “Innovation Talent Management” programs. A sought-after keynoter and media authority on innovation, Alex has a passion for sharing knowledge, mentoring, and guiding innovation programs. Please reach out at email@example.com
Dr. Keith A. Clinkscale is a recognized Lean Six Sigma Black Belt & Operational Excellence Executive known for establishing best-in-class strategic performance management programs. Keith Clinkscale demonstrates a combination of broad industry experiences, performance management acumen and a history of results-oriented management consulting to drive significant improvement and cost savings. As a seasoned Industry Executive and Management Consultant, Keith built a reputation of excellence in all areas of operations.
His skillset includes over 30 years of Executive Coaching, Training and Content Design, Process Improvement, Benchmarking, Total Quality Management, Balanced Scorecards, Business Process Re-engineering, Strategic Planning, and High Performance Teams. Keith’s experience and sensitivity to customer concerns has always enabled him to provide a high level of service, whether in industry or as a consultant. Keith has headed the Performance Management Office at Palm Tran. Keith’s team provided executive coaching, goal and target setting through benchmarking, established and reported balanced scorecards, developed department scorecards and held department directors accountable for addressing deficiencies. Dr. Clinkscale has been the champion of Performance Reporting, Management and Improvement at Palm Tran.
Keith has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and a PH.D in Strategic Leadership from Concordia College & University. He is now the Director of Strategic Planning and Performance Management for Palm Beach County and supervises all activities related to the long-term strategic plan of Palm Beach County as well as the strategic planning of over 30 county departments. Keith is responsible for assisting the Board of County Commissioners (BCC), Executive Team, Department Directors, and staff with the development of long-term goals, objectives, strategies, and actions.
Phillip Murphy is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with the United States Postal Service. He is part of the Headquarters Continuous Improvement team and is responsible for supporting the USPS CI work across the country. His passion for Lean is evident in his support of various processes within the USPS and his diverse portfolio of work.
Phil began his Lean journey in 2007 while he was a maintenance manager in a plant environment. Since then he has served in several positions at the plant, area and national levels during which times he was also serving as a coordinator for the Lean efforts within each area of responsibility. His blend of maintenance, operations and headquarters experience has provided a unique perspective which allows him to easily relate to the various project teams with which he has worked.
Phil joined the USPS Continuous Improvement Office as an LSS Trainer responsible for developing and delivering the Green Belt and Black Belt curriculum to students across the country in 2014. In 2016 he transitioned to the role of Master Black Belt where he focuses on coaching leadership and working to further integrate Lean into the culture of the US Postal Service. Keeping with his passion for teaching and sharing Lean, Phil is responsible for the Lean Leader program which is used to further develop high performing Black Belts within the US Postal Service.
Phil received his Master Black Belt certification through The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business and MoreSteam in 2017. He has also earned the CSSBB certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and is a graduate of the United States Postal Service Managerial Leadership and Lean Leader programs.
Dr. Gallagher is Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence for CACI International Inc, a $4 billion information systems solutions and services company. In this role, he is responsible for CACI’s integrated program management and delivery methods, process effectiveness, quality assurance, and continuous improvement initiatives.
Prior to this position, Brian was the Director of Engineering and Mission Assurance for Northrop Grumman’s Intelligence and Cyber Divisions where he provided leadership critical to mission success involving engineering, quality assurance, process effectiveness, program execution, and supplier assurance.
Previously Dr. Gallagher served as Director of Acquisition Support at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Carnegie Mellon University, leading teams serving the Department of Defense and other government agencies. He also served in the U.S. Air Force, with assignments as Deputy Chief of Software Engineering with the Air Intelligence Agency; Chief Engineer on the Range Operations Control Center Project at Cape Canaveral in Florida; program manager on the Titan IV Program; and as an engineer with the Strategic Air Command.
Dr. Gallagher earned a PhD in Systems Engineering through Colorado State University, an MS degree in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Technology degree from Peru State College. He is Six Sigma trained, PMP certified, and is certified as a CMMI high maturity lead appraiser for CMMI for Development and CMMI for Services. He is an associate fellow of AIAA and a member of IEEE, NDIA, PMI, AFCEA, and INCOSE, as well as a contributing author of the Guide to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK). Dr. Gallagher is an associate professor at University of Maryland, University College where he teaches graduate course in Systems Engineering and Information Technology.
Iassen Deenitchin is Head of Global Process Management at ING. He joined the global banking group in 2016, with the aim to support the execution of the Accelerate Think Forward strategy through a common process management and improvement practice centred around the customer. Prior to that, Iassen was Head of Lean and Process Management at Raiffeisenbank International and an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company. He holds an MSc in Financial Economics from the Norwegian School of Management and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Kishore leads the business process architecture and automation practice for CSAA Insurance Group with 18 years of Business Architecture experience spread over high-tech, consumer electronics and insurance industries. He is passionate about bringing process perspective to every aspect of the business; from marketing, product and manufacturing to customer and service domains.
Each day, Steve looks forward to meeting new people, new challenges, learning, and opportunities to bring business performance, competitiveness and growth to new levels.
Steve is the Vice President of Operational Excellence for Greene Group Industries, a privately-held major supplier to leading industrial manufacturers, with locations across the USA in California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Reporting to the President, Steve works across the company’s business units and functional areas driving organizational alignment and fostering a customer focused culture to support the goal of continuously improving competitive advantage.
Prior to the Greene Group, Steve spent 20 plus years working internationally, gaining experience and expertise across industries and disciplines. He has worked seven years in management consulting, seven years in operational leadership roles, five years running a high-tech start-up, and served four years in the United States Air Force, where he was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal.
A firm believer in understanding fundamentals, Steve strives to make sure that all team members understand what constitutes the foundation of their organization’s competitive advantage and how each person’s role strengthens that foundation. He is focused on providing the leadership, strategies, and development needed to help enable individuals to more productively contribute to the organization’s success.
A Business Transformation leader with hands-on experience on how to manage technology, people, data and products to lead real change, innovation and growth in global organizations.
Yuval is experienced in building and leading high performance teams through the challenges organizations face when dealing with digital transformation, scale and innovation. By leveraging technology, human behaviour and the cultural dynamics in the workplace, his teams drive a habit and behavioural change that promotes a more holistic, data-driven, user centric and agile mindset in people, leading to a scalable and sustainable growth for the organization.
Currently at Google, Yuval has previously led the business transformation at Skype and Microsoft.
Yuval holds a B.S.c from the Technion - Israel's Institute of Technology and an M.B.A from INSEAD Business School in France and Singapore. Currently working towards his
MSc in Neuroscience at King's College London.
Rias Attar is an accomplished operational excellence and project management professional. He is recognized for his ability to help strategize business architecture, identify areas to improve processes and outcomes, turn around businesses from deficient to profitability, champion continuous improvement efforts, deliver challenging cross-functional programs while working collaboratively with diverse types of stakeholders, lead and coach winning teams, and inspire staff to deliver ambitious results.
Mr. Attar has planned and executed transformational projects (Business and Technology) that contributed over $500M of combined EBITDA impact and is managing a portfolio of initiatives that adds between $200 and $300M of EBITDA annually. He established PMOs, led Lean and Six Sigma efforts, championed Change Management, ensured proper Governance while reducing Bureaucracy, and has set proper business directions while staying focused on motivating staff, inspiring trust and confidence, developing people’s skills, and generating enthusiasm.
Mr. Attar worked for different companies at a variety of industries such as: Michelin (Tires), Friede Goldman Halter (Oil & Gas) , DHL Express (Courier), and General Electric/Genworth (Mortgage Insurance), and Maple Leaf Foods (Food Processing and Supply Chain). Prior to working at Caesars (Entertainment/Hospitality), he spent a few years in the consulting business working with companies such as Danone Dairy (Food Processing), Steel Tech (Steel Manufacturing/Rolling Mill), Sport Master (Clothing/Retail), and dipndip (Chocolate F&B).
Mr. Attar started his professional career in Finance as an FP&A analyst then moved to project management and operational excellence about 18 years ago. During that time, he worked/lived in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, The Middle East, Toronto-Canada, and now in Las Vegas.
Mr. Attar has a bachelor degree in Finance, got his MBA from University of Texas, and have a few certifications in project management such as (PMP) Project Management Professional, (ACP) Agile Certified Practitioner, and (CSM) Certified Scrum Master. He is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB).
Outside of work, Rias is a devoted family man with a wife and 3 kids. His best time is when he spends it with his kids playing board games, riding bikes, swimming, or just watching movies. Rias loves sport, tries to work out often, practiced Jiu Jitsu and Kick Boxing for years, and enjoys lap swimming every once and a while. He also loves music and plays the classical guitar.
Nuray Gurtekin Sen has a dual role as Head of Global Quality and Process at Siemens AG Corporate Technology Digitalization and Automation organization and in US she is responsible for QM, EH&S and Sustainability at Siemens Corporation US in Corporate Technology .
In the early stages of her career, Nuray worked in food and pharmaceutical packaging manufacturing industry as QA manager for 5 years. Then she worked as an external auditor and consultant in Bureau Veritas for 2 years. During this period, she became ISO 9001, ISO 4001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 22000 Lead Auditor and ISO 9001 Lead auditor trainer registered in IRCA. She audited over 200 hundred companies of BRC, GMP, HACCP and company specific management systems. After extensive process and management systems experience, Nuray joined Siemens Turkey Healthcare in 2006 as Change Manager. She led Siemens Healthcare in winning EFQM Business Excellence Award in 2007.
Following that, she was promoted as Siemens Turkey Head of Business Excellence and worked on all sectors and various countries (e.g. Israel, Austria and Central Eastern Europe countries). She established Lean Six Sigma model in Siemens Turkey and acted as key expert and ambassador in CEE and Eastern Mediterranean Clusters. Nuray also executed Project Management Coordinator role for Eastern Mediterranean Cluster.
In 2013, Nuray was transferred to Siemens US Corporate Technology and Research organization at Princeton to lead a big change management and organizational transformation program. End of 2013, she promoted to the Global Process and Quality Manager role at Siemens AG (Headquarters) and got selected “Corporate Core Digitalization and Automation Leadership Team”. Currently, Nuray is responsible for process excellence and quality management for the Digitalization and Automation unit in regions Germany, US, Austria, China, India and Russia. Nuray has B.S. degree in Food Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.
Jim de Vries is a skilled thought leader with more than 30 years of experience helping clients achieve their desired outcomes through his ability to facilitate teams and drive improvement. His experience encompasses financial, commercial, CRM, services, IT, call centers, security, transportation, automotive, power systems, oil and gas, nuclear energy, research and development, government, and electronics industries.
In her current role, she leads the operational excellence and transformation strategies for Transport Solutions NA/EMEA and its partnering dealer network. She has led successful business transformations globally and has extensive experience in leading teams to accomplish breakthrough results.
Prior to this role, she was integrated supply chain leader for Fluid Management, Material Handling and Power Tools, she drove continued improvement of the value streams and was responsible for a supply chain strategy to optimize performance in critical operational areas, including cycle time, safety, quality, delivery and productivity for three of the company’s 11 strategic business units.
Griselda joined Ingersoll Rand in January 2013 as a director in operational excellence with our residential solutions business in Tyler, Texas. She was appointed in January 2014 to one of two regional operational excellence leader roles for North America and was appointed vice president, operational excellence in November 2014. Prior to Ingersoll Rand, she was with Honeywell as director, global growth; Flowserve as a multi-site leader; Volvo-Novabus as senior manufacturing engineering manager; and AlliedSignal-Honeywell as lean supervisor and global transitions leader.
Griselda holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University, which includes overseas study in economics from the Pontificía Universidad Católica de Chile, and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University. She has also earned her Lean Master certification from Shingijutsu and Honeywell, and is a member of Prospanica, the National Society for Hispanic MBA’s, a member of the Society of Women and Hispanic Professional Engineers, and is the current Chair for the Women in Manufacturing national association.
"It was an honor for Avis Budget Group to win Best Organizational Achievement in Lean Enterprise Improvement in the first year of our Lean Six Sigma deployment. The award process was thorough and it gave Avis Budget Group a tremendous platform to demonstrate the success our young Performance Excellence deployment has achieved. The $40 million of verifiable hard-dollar savings ABG’s Performance Excellence team was able to achieve in its first year was a key deliverable of the company’s annual strategic plan."
Vice President Performance Excellence Deployment Leader, Avis Budget Group
"It has been an honor to accept the award for Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in Healthcare this year. The award has allowed SSFHS to increase the credibility of its Lean Six Sigma Program within its own system and in the communities it serves. The award shows our customers and competitors that we are committed to excel and progressing steadily as we improve the quality of care for our patients."
Regional CEO, Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. – Northern Indiana Region
"We are extremely excited to have received this recognition for Best Emerging Business Improvement. I believe this terrific award recognizes that customers can depend on our ability to live our mission statement every day with on time delivery, lowest industry turn times, customer service of exceptional value, service and products of the highest quality. Also, I'd like to compliment the organizers for their excellent recognition program."
President and Chief Executive Officer of PAS Technologies
"I was very pleased to accept the award of Best Project Achievement in Business Enabling Processes on Delphi's behalf. It was especially gratifying to receive external validation from a diverse and global audience that included contingents from some of our key customers and competitors."
Global Director of Customer Satisfaction, Delphi Gas Engine Management Systems
"It was an exceptional moment when we first learned BMO Financial Group was the recipient of three Global Six Sigma and Business Improvement Awards. Theses awards are truly attributable to all the hard work and dedication of our employees across North America. Lean Six Sigma has enabled BMO Product Operations to significantly improve our customer service and organizational cost management in today's challenging economic environment. We are determined to intensify our commitment to Lean Six Sigma business improvements as we continue to deliver great customer experiences."
P. Eng, MBA, Deployment Leader and Master Black Belt, BMO Financial Group
"Capital One has received multiple awards through our participation in the Global Six Sigma Award Program, including most recently the 2008 Platinum Award for Process Excellence Project and the Best Project Achievement in Innovation or Product Development. This prestigious external recognition is a great confirmation of the exceptional business results delivered by our associates."
Sr. Vice President, Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Capital One Bank