Rebecca Bromels, Assistant Professor of Arts Administration, UC College-Conservatory of Music

Prior to joining the College-Conservatory of Music Rebecca  served as director of engagement of ArtsWave, the Greater Cincinnati region’s local arts agency and the nation’s largest community campaign for the arts. Prior to working with ArtsWave Rebecca worked for twelve years at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. As managing director for eight seasons, she worked to broaden the company’s base of support and provide resources for its innovative productions of Shakespeare and the classics. She has also directed plays for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the SERIALS project at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, New Edgecliff Theatre and St. Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Texas Christian University.


Michelle Conda, Professor of Piano; Coordinator of Secondary Piano and Piano Pedagogy; Division Head, Keyboard Studies, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

Michelle is an Associate Editor for Clavier Companion magazine with her specialty in the field of andragogy—adult learning. She is a founding member and on the Steering Committee of the National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum. National conference participations include the Steering Committee of the Adult Learning session of Music Teacher’s National Association, Steering Committee of the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program and Steering Committee member of The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. She lectures locally and nationally. Michelle’s articles have appeared in Keyboard Companion, Clavier Companion, Yamaha Key Action, American Music Teacher and Piano Pedagogy Forum. She is also the author of Sensible Piano Skills for the College Age Musician, a guide to learning piano for students studying other music performance disciplines. At UC, as well as heading the Secondary Piano and Piano Pedagogy programs, she heads the Communiversity piano program. Furthermore, she is a frequent collaborator with the Cincinnati Community Orchestra, having performed eight concerti with them to date.


Steve Hegge, Grant Officer – Office of Research University of Cincinnati

Prior to his current position, which includes working with arts faculty to obtain grants for creative work,  Steve worked as grants manager for the Cincinnati Art Museum. He has taught English and writing composition. His work experience includes a year teaching English at Nation University in Thailand. Steve has written and published a collection of personal essays/prose poems titled Bowling Green Dreaming. He has a Masters Degree in English.


Jesse Lawrence, University of Cincinnati Research Institute

Jesse’s arts background includes a major in theatre from Drury University.




Bryan Smith, Director, Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, University of Cincinnati

Bryan is responsible for developing and directing course design programming and workshops to support and promote learner-centered pedagogy university-wide, which includes engaging in faculty outreach and strategic planning to enhance Center impact and meet university goals. He has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature and Master Degrees in Fine Arts and Creative Writing. Bryan’w work has been published in several literary publications.


Kathleen Spada, English Composition Instructor, University of Cincinnati





Matthew Thomas, Owner, MAT Intelligent Design

Matthew is a Freelance Graphic Designer located in Cincinnati, OH. His current clientele includes Cincinnati Christian University and Aspen Roofing & Siding LLC. Prior to starting his own business, he worked as a Cover Designer for Author Solutions: A Penguin Random House Company. Also known as Verbatim, Matthew is a local Hip Hop Artist and Spoken Word Poet. In December of 2011, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design from the Art institute of Indianapolis.

Lean Players

The following people met with the workshop participants to provide them with an immersion into Lean thinking.

Robert Martinchenko, Founder / CEO LeanCor Supply Chain Group

Robert’s entire career has been committed to third party logistics. Beginning his journey in transportation and warehousing, Robert has spent over 20 years learning and implementing lean and operational excellence with a focus on end-to-end supply chain management. Early in his career, Robert recognized the unmet logistics needs of lean manufacturers. A globally recognized thought leader in lean thinking and end-to-end supply chain management, Robert is a senior instructor for the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute. Robert has written several business books,  two of which were awarded the prestigious Shingo Research Award.  He recently co-authored Discovering Hidden Profit, detailing the operational framework to connect the four core processes of business strategy, product life-cycle management, sale and marketing, and supply-chain operations in order to maximize customer value at the lowest possible total cost.


Deborah McGee, Learning Activities Manager, Lean Enterprise Institute

Deb is responsible for all aspects of LEIs onsite education programs including speaking engagements, standard and customized training programs, and other activities to support onsite capability development. Prior to joining LEI, Deb served as a Project Manager for 13 years with a Boston-based manufacturing & technology company. She brings a practical understanding of lean thinking and application having contributed to enterprise and shop floor process improvements, product line development, and organizational growth through teamwork and complex problem solving.


Niklas Modig, Author and Researcher, Stockholm School of Economics

Niklas is a researcher at the Center for Innovation and Operations Management at Stockholm School of Economics and is one of the leading authorities within lean and operational excellence. He has been living for extended periods in Japan and reads, writes, and speaks Japanese fluently. From 2006 to 2008, Niklas was a visiting researcher at the “Center of Excellence – Manufacturing Management Research Center” at University of Tokyo where he researched together with professor Takahiro Fujimoto who is the leading Toyota researcher of all time. As the first and only foreign researcher in the world Niklas was given access to conduct a in-depth study of Toyota Motor Corporation’s most high-performing service systems. He has spent thousands of hours inside Toyota trying to understand the depth of their philosophy.


Tom Richert, Principal, Lean Project Consulting

Tom began his work with lean principles in 2000. In addition to using lean approaches on projects he also helped develop and deliver a corporate-wide training program for a large construction management firm. His lean experience as a project manager includes building projects in New England and California. His work as a lean coach includes working with project teams throughout the U.S. in their implementation of the Last Planner® System and Responsibility-based Project Delivery™, helping them reduce project schedules by working together more reliably. In addition to working as a project manager for a range of owners, Tom has also worked as the lead cost estimator for a multi-billion development program, and presented a number of research projects on using a lean approach in public transit to several international transportation conferences.


Karyn Ross, Principal, Karyn Ross Consulting

Karyn is a purpose-driven consultant and lean coach, and the coauthor of The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations. She has taught organizations in sectors such as financial services, HR, transportation and retail how to use creativity combined with Toyota Way principles and tools to make sure that every customer receives exactly what they want, when they want it, right the first time. She is passionate about teaching teams how to use creativity to discover and deliver the solutions that will satisfy customers on an ongoing basis. A practicing artist, with an MFA in Sculpture, Karyn’s specialty is developing a team’s creativity and critical thinking skills so that they can continuously solve problems and innovate, a powerful combination for delivering service excellence.


John Shook, Chairman and CEO, Lean Enterprise Institute

John Shook is recognized as a true sensei who enthusiastically shares his knowledge and insights within the Lean Community and with those who have not yet made the lean leap. John learned about lean management while working for Toyota for nearly 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and subsequently to other operations around the world. While at Toyota’s headquarters, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager) in Japan. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, KY, assisting North American companies implement the Toyota Production System. As co-author of Learning to See John helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. John also co-authored Kaizen Express, a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. In his latest book Managing to Learn, he describes the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and leadership. John is an industrial anthropologist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, and is a graduate of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science. He is the former director of the University of Michigan, Japan Technological Management Program, and faculty of the university’s Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering. John is a sought-after conference keynoter who has been interviewed on lean management by National Public Radio, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and numerous trade publications.


David Verble, Principal, Lean Transformation Group

David has been a performance improvement consultant and leadership coach since 2000. Prior to that, he worked for Toyota in North America for 14 years, first as an internal change agent and later as a manager of human resource development at the plant and North American levels. He has been on the workshop faculty of the Lean Enterprise Institute for eleven years and has done presentations and workshops to support a number of the LEI affiliates in the Lean Global Network. David has worked with clients in manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and higher education in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work focuses on supporting clients in process improvement, development of lean management systems and practices, strategic thinking and problem solving, and leadership coaching for managers and executives.  David is a partner in the Lean Transformations Group and is based in Lexington, KY, where he works through Verble, Worth & Verble.


Bryan Wahl, Senior Associate, Bostwick Design Partnership

As a practicing architect, Bryan enjoys putting things together, creating stories, and teaching others throughout the design process to reach their goals. The design process inspires him to create, going beyond the building and shaping the environment. As a good listener, he absorbs and analyzes information first and then translate it into a design. By leading conversations through which designs are conceptualized, refined, and developed detail is uncovered and clarity is gained to achieve desired outcomes. Bryan has been leading the design effort on his firm’s first lean project, which is also the first Integrated Project Delivery project for the Cleveland Clinic.


Workshop Discussion Leader

Joanna McGuffey, Founder / CEO, Unconventional Works

Unconventional Works was founded to help people build quality relationships in the workplace, invest deeper in their organization’s mission and to be more fulfilled as part of a team. Joanna helps teams make changes in the workplace to increase morale and productivity. She works with leadership teams to help define their culture, believing it ripples far beyond its leadership. It reaches throughout the organization to clients and beyond. Joanna is a Certified Facilitator of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology and provides workshops designed to fit specific challenges, including understanding the perspective artists have toward Lean thinking. She has a Fine Arts degree from California State University and her experience includes work as an art instructor.