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Offering a Powerhouse of Talent to our Members

The MWCC is continually growing a list of consultants that we offer as a service to our member companies.

Charlie Protzman, CEO & Managing Partner
Business Improvement Group

Charlie is an internationally renown author, speaker, trainer and implementer of Lean and Agile improvements. Charlie has published 9 books to date with more in the works and two have been awarded the Shingo Prize. Charlie spent over 13 years with AlliedSignal (now Honeywell) and has been implementing Lean principles and thinking since 1985. He was the first Lean Master and a Strategic Operations Manager for AlliedSignal and he received several special recognition and cost reduction awards. Charlie is an external consultant for the Maryland World Class Consortia and a regular contributor at MWCC conferences. His partnership with the MWCC stems back to its inception and he was a significant contributor to the resulting World Class Guidelines.

Core Competencies:

  • Lean Sensei, Author, Speaker, Researcher, Coach, Implementer, Trainer.
  • International experience in training,  Lean implementation and business consulting in manufacturing, healthcare, services, & government.
  • Senior Leadership Team problem solving and facilitation.

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Kelly Petrock, President
General Systems Consulting Group & the Lead Institute

Kelly has been a valued MWCC consulting partner since 2000. He helped craft the Consortia's Lean Facilitator Certification (LFCP) program and continues as LFCP faculty, providing crucial subject matter on the topics of leadership, change management, and culture change.

Kelly has a strong passion for helping individuals, teams and organizations realize their potential and achieve results. With over 24 years of global experience in change management, organizational development, leadership development, performance improvement, group psychology and human behavior, Kelly works closely with clients to design and deliver innovative approaches and interventions for lasting and systemic change. He has a long-standing passion for helping teams -- especially those that are cross-functional or self-managed -- develop the skills and processes necessary to become a team of supportive, high performing colleagues.

Core Competencies:

  • Organizational/Culture Change
  • Leadership Team Building
  • Executive & Managerial Coaching
  • Change Management
  • Large Systems Interventions
  • Frontline Leadership Style Development
  • Self-Managing Work Teams
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Design & Implementation
  • Managing for Performance Improvement

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Drew Locher, Managing Director
Change Management Associates

Change Management Associates (CMA) provides various business improvement consulting and organizational development services to industrial and service organizations. CMA can assist organizations in successfully implementing systems and quality management principles within their operations to improve business performance.

Since 1986, Drew has been working to implement innovative business management strategies in a wide spectrum of business environments. From 1986 to 1990, he worked to develop and deliver business improvement programs for General Electric. During this time, he had the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in significant business improvement initiatives throughout a large industrial and service company.  In 1990, Drew left GE to form CMA. CMA is a consortium of individuals who share a similar business management and improvement vision. They are committed to seeing innovative strategies implemented in all business environments. The CMA approach is practical and application oriented – a ‘learn as you’re doing and succeeding’ approach.

Since 2001, Drew has proudly been a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), the not-for-profit organization of the co-author of the landmark book “Lean Thinking”, James P. Womack.  LEI is committed to educating organizations worldwide in the concepts of Lean through its publications and workshops.  He is an approved instructor for the University of Michigan’s Toyota Kata and Lean Leadership programs, as well as a TWI Institute certified Job Instruction (JI) instructor.  Drew is also a faculty member of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, the preeminent organization dedicated to sustainable change in healthcare. 

In 2004, Drew co-authored the book titled, “The Complete Lean Enterprise – Value Stream Mapping for Office and Administrative Processes”.  In April 2005, the book won the prestigious Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. He published “Value Stream Mapping for Lean Development – a How-to Guide to Streamline Time to Market” in 2008.  His book “Lean Office & Service Simplified: The Definitive How-to Guide” was a 2012 Shingo Prize recipient.  His latest book is titled “Unleashing the Power of 3P”.

Core Competencies:

  • Lean Enterprise including Lean Office and Lean Service

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Jennifer Ralston, CEO & President
HKPO Lean Six Sigma Experts

Jennifer Ralston is the CEO and President of HKPO Lean Six Sigma Experts.  Ralston is a multifaceted executive with a unique blend of experience in C Suite mentoring and coaching, quality management, process improvement, process engineering, regulatory, pharmaceutical, quality auditing, software quality, project and program management, change management, business and strategic planning, innovation, entrepreneurialism, and lean six sigma.  Ralston has worked with many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies.  Ralston is also an examiner, licensed affiliate and certified facilitator for the Shingo Institute – A leader in World Class companies.

Ralston has worked with American Red Cross Bio Medical Services Headquarters and Organ Transplant Team, Western Governors University, Smith Interconnect, Knorr Brakes, Roivant & Enzymt part of the Myovant Family, Volvo, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), E&J Gallo Winery, Manulife, DALB, Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Title Source, Quicken Loans, Thomas Healthcare, Joe Corbi’s Wholesale Pizza, Tanner Health System, DLA Piper Law Firm, L-3, Rolls-Royce, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Sysco, Aflac, Hollywood Casinos, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Traditional Medicinals, United States Postal Service (USPS), the Naval Yard, Genentech part of the Roche Family, The Project Management Institute (PMI), Merck Pharmaceuticals, The Army, Reston Hospital, The National Security Agency (NSA), American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), Reston Hospital, Medical College of Virginia, University of Maryland Medical System, Georgetown University Cellular Engineering, Department of State Newborn Screening, and iJet Travel Intelligence. She has presented Quality Concepts to places such as the University of Cairo in Egypt, conducting an International Audit of the Vascera, in Cairo, Egypt in 2001. This was a unique opportunity to teach regulatory concepts to a pharmaceutical company overseas. Ralston has also won the American Red Cross Spirit of Excellence Award, which is an award for individuals that achieve major results. 

During her time working for American Red Cross, Jennifer was the Director of Process Improvement for Biomedical Services at American Red Cross National Headquarters. She is a certified Master Black Belt, Lean Sensei, and managed the Red Cross’ Lean Six Sigma Program and Computer Simulations. Ralston began her seven (7) year career at Red Cross in 2002, serving as Senior Change Engineer, Change Management, Senior Quality Design Engineer, and Systems Design Engineering. She was also the organization’s first Black Belt and Master Black Belt in the Six Sigma program. In this role, she introduced and implemented Six Sigma and Project Management tools in support of the continuous improvement program and in compliance with FDA regulations, applicable laws, cGMP, CLIA/CMS, as well as AABB, JCAHO and ISO Standards. Ralston is also an auditor for several organizations such as AABB, CAP and ISO. She has also trained with the American Society of Quality as a Certified Quality Auditor and Certified Quality Engineer. Ralston has also worked as a Clinical Technologist, Medical Technologist and Microbiologist when she first started her career in Health Care which later changed to a career in Quality and Process Improvement after she decided not to go to Medical School to be a pediatrician.

Core Competencies:

  • Lean Enterprise & Standard Work Replication
  • Lean Six Sigma & Design for Six Sigma
  • Business & Strategic Planning
  • Supplier Management & Procurement
  • IT & Project Management
  • Regulatory Compliance, FDA Experience
  • Process and Product Design

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Greg Fields, President & Founder
Bridgewright, Inc.

Greg is a transformational leader and change agent who expands business, achieves operational excellence, and attains revenue growth in start-up, emerging, and mature markets. He was the first consultant approved by the Maryland World Class Consortia in 1998. Additionally, he was a contributor to the Consortia Guide to World Class Manufacturing and an architect of the Lean Facilitator Program.

He has a record of accomplishment in forecasting industry trends and executing growth strategies that yield optimal financial results and operating performance. Aligning change efforts with business goals, he is highly proficient in identifying opportunities, creating innovative programs, establishing strategic alliances, and launching ventures in competitive industries.

Greg offers a winning combination of skills in diverse settings, delivering concrete operational results, decreased costs, and increased revenues. Applying strong general business acumen and leadership skills along with in-depth knowledge of change management Greg has repeatedly turned around unprofitable, stagnant operations and delivered continuous improvement and transformational change in processes through the implementation of Operational Excellence, Lean Thinking, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints, and Change Management methodologies.

Core Competencies:

  • Operational Excellence (Lean Thinking, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints)
  • Operations Strategy and Hoshin Planning
  • Transformational Performance Change
  • Leadership and High Potential Employee Development

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Dan Protzman, Managing Partner
Business Improvement Group

Dan has consulted and conducted Lean & TWI training with several manufacturing companies as well as in the medical device field for a Fortune 100 company. Dan has conducted several hospital lean assessments and also worked with GI clinics. Dan has also completed two Japan study missions over the last three years and has conducted Lean workshops for the State of Maryland’s World Class Consortia.

Dan is a certified Lean Master Practitioner Level IV and has had the Shingo Organization Training Courses as well as training from Toyota’s Dojo in Nagoya, Japan. Daniel is a 3-time co-author including the books book One Piece Flow vs Batching and The Basics Lean Implementation Model. Dan is a certified MBTI instructor, Harada Teacher, Lean Leadership Development Coach and TWI (JI) trainer.

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Maria Elena Stopher, President

Maria Elena is an award-winning lean practitioner with demonstrated results in private business and government. Besides achieving dramatic gains in business performance, she breaks down barriers among team members at all levels, creating continuous improvement work cultures that support the open exchange of new ideas and elevate employee and customer satisfaction.

She started her career in continuous improvement in the late 1980’s at Xerox Corporation and Danaher Motion (formerly American Precision Industries). Later, as director of National Lean Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, she established the first nation-wide, government-sponsored program to make manufacturers more competitive globally through lean thinking. Her vision to provide lean training nationally to businesses trained over 2,000 field engineers in 50 states and Puerto Rico. For this, she earned the Commerce Department’s Bronze Medal.

Maria Elena also served as a senior advisor (SES) to the Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force, where she advised senior leaders on establishing strategic performance goals and implementing continuous improvement initiatives, earning her the Air Force’s Meritorious Service Award.

In addition to working with numerous manufacturing industry sectors, Maria Elena is nationally recognized for leading several successful lean transformations within the federal government at USHUD, USDA, USAF, CMS and US EPA.

Maria Elena has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Maria Elena has served as Chairman of the board of AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence), a certified international excellence award assessor, as well as a certified professor through Chapman & Co.’s Truly Human leadership. Maria Elena’s fondest accomplishment has been raising 3 boys, all Eagle scouts!

Core Competencies:

  • Strategy Deployment/Hoshin Planning

  • 3P/Lean New Product Development
  • Enterprise Excellence/Lean Thinking/Continuous Improvement
  • People-Centric Leadership
  • Lean Office/Lean Government
  • In addition to manufacturing; Experience in Healthcare, Government, and Financial Institutions

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Interested in becoming a consultant for the MWCC?

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