“It is through the work of visionaries like this year’s inductees that manufacturing is experiencing a renaissance and resurgence,” said Paul Kuchuris, AME President.  “Their contributions to the lean manufacturing community have helped propel our organization and the industry at large forward.”

This year’s honorees are:

John Shook, chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Mass., with a mission to advance lean thinking around the world. As a prolific author (“Learning to See” co-authored with Mike Rother and “Managing to Learn”) and thought leader in the lean industry, Shook brings a lifetime of experience to his role with the Institute. He honed his lean management techniques during his 11 years at Toyota, where he became the first American kacho (manager) in Japan. Shook is also the former director of the University of Michigan Japan Technological Management Program, and served on the faculty of the university’s Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

Tom Hartman,director of operations for Autoliv Americas, the world’s largest producer of automotive safety products with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. Hartman provides executive support and strategic leadership for seatbelt, airbag and steering operations in the Americas. He is a member of the Shingo Prize board of governors and a member of the Shingo Academy. Also a member of the team that launched and fostered lean methods within Autoliv, Hartman played a key role in developing its widely-recognized culture.

Daniel Jones, founding chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy in the United Kingdom, an organization specializing in lean thinking implementation. Jones is a best-selling author of an array of influential lean thinking manuals, offering insights gleaned from the implementation of lean strategies at organizations such as Tesco. His management books (including co-author of “Lean Thinking”) sparked a worldwide lean practitioner movement and led to the establishment of the Lean Global Network, a coalition that has organized more than 25 lean summits around the globe. Jones has served as the European director of MIT’s Future of the Automobile and International Motor Vehicle Programmes, and a professor of manufacturing management and founder of the Lean Enterprise Research Centre at Cardiff University Business School.

Mike Rother, engineer, independent researcher, teacher, author and speaker whose groundbreaking insights make the leap between theory and practice of lean thinking. Rother is a best-selling author with previous affiliations with the University of Michigan, Industrial Technology Institute, Fraunhofer Institute and Technical University Dortmund. His most recent book, “Toyota Kata” examines the Improvement Kata, which is a teachable, repeatable routine that makes scientific working a daily habit and provides a clear path for leveraging human potential. Additionally, Rother’s book “Learning to See,” co-authored with John Shook, is widely regarded as the standard explanation and user guide for Value Stream Mapping.

About the Association for Manufacturing Excellence

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to the journey of continuous improvement and enterprise excellence. AME’s membership is composed of a trusted network of volunteers who are committed to leveraging the practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company shared-learning experience. Through engaging workshops, seminars and plant tours, and industry-leading conferences, AME members are continually discovering and implementing new continuous improvement strategies and best practices. AME offers its members a multitude of valuable resources to help them stay abreast of current industry developments, and improve the skills, competitiveness, and overall success of their organizations. For more information, visit www.ame.org or email info@ame.org.

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