Best Practice Presenters

Karl Berendt
Managing Director, Incident Prevention Group

Karl Berendt

New Zealand

Based in Taupo, New Zealand, Karl Berendt is a specialist in health and safety consultation and worksite incident investigation. He has 16 years extensive practical experience in the hydro and geothermal energy sector, both domestically and internationally. Karl has worked in a variety of industries including visual retail, timber processing, heavy/light automotive logistics, oil & gas drilling, heavy equipment sales, electrical contracting, industrial coatings and abrasive blasting, rural contracting and welding quality assurance.

Karl is a Certified Incident Investigator, Root Cause Analysis educator and is a Contract Taproot® Instructor.

He has lectured and taught in Europe, the United States and New Zealand on the topics of safety, root cause analysis and hazard awareness. Karl holds a NZ Certificate in Adult Teaching specialising in Supervision and Mentoring, holds the International NEBOSH Certificate in Health and Safety Management, is a member of the NZ Institute of Safety Management and the UK Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

His speaking engagements have seen him present to numerous groups, including NZ Crane Association, NZ Quality Organisation, NZ Defence Force, ENEX Energy Conference and the Safety 360 Conferences. When not at work, Karl enjoys restoring old trucks and is a model train buff. His voluntary work has included serving as a volunteer fireman and fundraising for those with intellectual difficulties.

Presenting:

Heinz Bloch
Consulting Engineer, Process Machinery Consulting

Heinz Bloch

Westminster, Colorado USA

Heinz Bloch is a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology (BSME, MSME, Cum Laude). After his retirement from Exxon Chemical Central Engineering (in Baytown, TX), he worked as a consulting engineer and author of 17 books. He is the equipment/reliability editor of Houston-based Hydrocarbon Processing and has published over 460 papers and articles on reliability improvement subjects. For several decades, he has advised industry on maintenance cost reduction and reliability improvement issues and has taught over 500 equipment uptime improvement courses on all six continents.

Presenting:

John Boyle
Independent Contractor

John Boyle

Woodstock, GA USA

John Boyle has 22 years of Naval Nuclear Power Experience. He worked for General Electric (GE) for 21 years as a Training Manager, Project Manager and Quality Manager. His primary areas of expertise include auditing root cause analysis, continuous improvment, quality assurance, development and implementation of ISO 9001:2015 compliant programs and technical training and curriculum development. John has been a Certified TapRooT® Instructor since 2016.

John was previously certified as a quality management system (QMS) Lead Auditor by Exemplar Global, Inc. and as a QMS Lead Auditor, Continuous Improvement Training Instructor and Six Sigma Green Belt by GE. In 2010, John received a GE President's Quality Award for excellence in full process audit execution.  He has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Occupational Education, a B.S. in Electronics Management, and an MBA in Technology Management.

Presenting:

Ralph Brickey
Consultant

Ralph Brickey

Kingston, Tennessee USA

Ralph Brickey’s experience in facilitating individuals and teams through insight-based learning experiences and working with teams to enhance effectiveness and performance has given him an appreciation for the potential for sustainable high performance within every organization. His work with exceptional leaders, from executives to first line workers in different organizations, has confirmed the importance of developing the spirit of leaders to enable them to inspire organizations to achieve excellent results.

Ralph worked for twenty-eight years with the Tennessee Valley Authority in multiple roles including Nuclear I&C Maintenance and Training, Training Accreditation Manager, and Program Manager for a major culture change initiative. Ralph holds a Doctor of Education in Collaborative Learning from the University of Tennessee and multiple technical undergraduate degrees. His research interests are dialogue, reflective practice and problem solving. Ralph is curious about almost everything and interested in the rest.

Ralph currently facilitates root cause analysis, equipment troubleshooting and train-the-trainer courses in North America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the South Pacific.

“I am excited about partnering with organizations to explore and appreciate together what I believe is the unlimited potential for growth and excellence of performance in both individuals and teams to create healthy high performance safety cultures.”

Ralph is teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course: TapRooT® Evidence Collection & Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills.

Barb Carr
Editorial Director and TapRooT® Instructor, System Improvements, Inc.

Barb Carr

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Barb Carr has been with System Improvements/TapRooT® since 2006. She is the co-author of TapRooT® Evidence Collection and Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills (2017).  Her professional background includes experience in legal and human resources.  She graduated summa cum laude from King University with a BS in psychology, and received evidence collection training from the National Forensic Science Technology Center.  Barb is a Certified Professional Coach.

Barb is teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit CourseTapRooT® Evidence Collection & Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skill
 

Presenting:

Angie Comer
Software Project Manager, CSPO, System Improvements, Inc.

Nashville, Tennessee USA

Angie Comer is the Software Project Manager for System Improvements, Inc.

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Angie is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course
Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® Software.

Presenting:

Benna Dortch
Implementation Strategist, System Improvements, Inc.

Benna Dortch

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Benna Dortch has been with System Improvements since 2006.  Her background prior to coming to System Improvements was in finance and marketing, as well as being the Assistant to the Chairman of the Board of a Fortune 500 company.   As Implementation Strategist at System Improvements, Benna enjoys working with companies around the world to help determine the right path they need to take to successfully utilize TapRooT® and help them organize onsite TapRooT® courses.  


Presenting:

Patrick Fortune
RCA/Investigator Specialist, Suncor

Calgary, Alberta

 

Presenting:

Jack Frost
Vice President, HSE, Matrix Service Company

Jack Frost

Tulsa, Oklahoma USA

Jack Frost has served as the Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment for Matrix Service Company, a top-tier industrial EPC contractor to North America’s Energy, Power and Industrial markets, since 2012.  Prior to joining Matrix, he served as Global QHSES Director for Tesco Corporation where he was responsible for the development and implementation of all global strategic and tactical QHSES initiatives. Before that, he served as the Europe-Eurasia HSE Manager for Hess Corporation.  Jack received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is a Board Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and also holds designation as an Associate in Risk Management (ARM). He is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Jack has been a Certified TapRoot® instructor since 2005.

Presenting:

Joel M. Haight
Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

 Joel M. Haight

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA

Joel M. Haight, Ph.D., P.E. is the Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and the Director of the Safety Engineering Program at the Department of Industrial Engineering/Swanson School of Engineering/University of Pittsburgh.

In addition to the best practice sessions listed below, Joel is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course: 
Understanding and Stopping Human Error.

Presenting:

Nancy Potts Hitchins
President, NPH EHS Solutions, LLC

Nancy Potts Hitchins

St. Petersburg, Florida USA

Nancy Potts Hitchins, MPH, CSP has 25 years of experience in Environmental Health and Safety.  Her primary areas of expertise include incident investigation and root cause analysis/corrective actions, and development and implementation of ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001 compliant programs, and ISO Lead Auditor trainer. 

Presenting:

David Janney
Senior Associate, System Improvements, Inc.

David Janney

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Dave Janney is a Senior Associate for System Improvements, Inc. He is retired from Delta Air Lines where he held positions such as Corporate Safety Manager and Quality Auditor.  Dave is an ASQ certified CMQ/OE (Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence) and CQA (Certified Quality Auditor), and a BCSP certified CSP (Certified Safety Professional).  He has a BS in Business Management, an MBA in International Management, and an MOS in Occupational Safety and Health.

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Dave is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course: TapRooT® for Audits


Presenting:

Michele Lindsay
President, Performance Potential Inc.

Michele Lindsay

Uxbridge, Ontario CANADA

Michele Lindsay has been working in the field of investigations and root cause analysis for over 20 years.  As President of Performance Potential Inc., Michele is passionate about helping organizations and individuals access their potential.  A long time out of the box thinker and a focus on high performance has led Michele down a unique career path not only as a technical specialist in left brained, highly analytic root cause analysis, but uses her right brained creativity and connection to others to help her optimize performance with individuals, teams and organizations.  Michele has contributed to the Wiley Publication - Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering on the topic of Leadership; Creating Conditions to Get Beyond Compliance to High Performance.   As a TapRooT® instructor for 1000s of learners, and a facilitator or reviewer in close to 100 significant investigations, her extensive background focuses not only on the process and system improvements but engaging  people to take performance to the next level.  Michele has developed a 2 day course on innovation and creative thinking intended to move teams to new solutions to old problems.  Join her in the Summit course “Creative Corrective Actions” to take these tools and skills back to your facility.  Michele is currently also employed at Southlake Regional Health Centre in the Quality and Risk Department and is part of the hospital’s mission to create Shockingly Excellent Experiences.

Presenting:

Kevin McManus
Chief Excellence Officer, Great Systems!

Kevin McManus

Rainier, Oregon USA

Kevin McManus serves as Chief Excellence Officer for Great Systems! and is also an international trainer for the TapRooT® root cause analysis process. During his thirty-five plus years in the business world, he has served as an Industrial Engineer, Training Manager, Production Manager, Plant Manager, and Director of Quality.   He holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a MBA. Kevin has been a member of IIE for thirty-five years, and has served as Senior VP of Continuing Education on the IIE Board of Trustees.  He has served as an Examiner and Senior Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Performance Excellence Award for seventeen years.  Kevin also writes the monthly performance improvement column for Industrial Engineer magazine, and his newest book is entitled “Vital Signs – the Power of Meaningful Measurement.”

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Kevin is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit CourseAdvanced Trending Techniques.

Presenting:

Mark Olson
Reliability Consultant, MFO Services

Mark Olson

Hibbing, Minnesota USA

Mark Olson is a Reliability Consultant for MFO Services. He is an experienced TapRooT® Instructor and Investigator with an impressive resume of valuable experience including 25 years in the petrochemical industry. Other experience includes facilitating RCFA for safety, environmental and equipment failure incidents, and conducting FMEA to develop equipment reliability improvement strategies; re-engineering a maintenance/reliability business process and providing RCFA facilitation for reliability improvement; and extensive management experience in an industrial setting.

Mark is teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit CourseSpecial 2-Day Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting and Root Cause Analysis.

Mark Paradies
President, System Improvements, Inc.

Mark Paradies

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Mark Paradies is President of System Improvements, Inc., a firm specializing in performance improvement and root cause analysis. He has 29 years of experience operating, managing, and improving high reliability systems. Mark started his career as an officer in Admiral Rickover’s Nuclear Navy. He also worked for DuPont and Westinghouse before starting System Improvements in 1988. Currently, Mark researches performance improvement strategies and helps senior management understand, plan, and implement performance improvement programs while he manages System Improvements and teaches TapRooT® Courses.

Mark has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (with emphasis on Human Factors), both from the University of Illinois. Mark is a board certified Professional Ergonomist, and a Certified Hazard Control Manager. He was also Engineer Certified by training, testing, and experience by Navsea 08.


Presenting:

Vincent Phipps
Owner, Communication VIP

Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

Ken Reed
Senior Associate and Equifactor® Program Manager, System Improvements, Inc.

Ken Reed

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Ken Reed brings 21 years of US Navy nuclear operator and supervisor experience to System Improvements, having served on numerous fast attack, ballistic missile, and research submarines. He is currently the Project Manager for the Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting module of the TapRooT® software, overseeing course and software updates and revisions. He holds a B.S. in Electronics Management from Southern Illinois University. He was born and raised in Watertown, NY, and currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.

In addition to the best practice sessions listed below, Ken is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course
Special 2-Day Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting and Root Cause Analysis.

Presenting:

TBD

 

Presenting:

Brian A. Tink
Support Analysis, Watershape Safety Analysis, INc.

Brian A. Tink

Orangeville, Onatario CANADA

As a graduate of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with a Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Justice and Ryerson University with a Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, Brian A. Tink has the educational background to address and identify the cultural aspects of populations.  Understanding these cultural aspects is necessary to successfully implement corporate programs.  Working as a Coordinator in the automotive manufacturing field he currently manages new model development, staff retention, and staff training.  He co-created a two day course which allows participants to use the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree in order to improve their organization’s culture.  Brian is a certified instructor and facilitator using Human Synergistics’ culture and individual assessment tools.

Brian is teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit CourseTapRooT® Analyzing and Fixing Safety Culture Issues

Brian W. Tink
President, Watershape Safety Analysis

Brian W. Tink

Haliburton, Ontario CANADA

Brian Tink specialized in health, safety and environmental matters during the latter part of Brian Tink's career at Hydro One (starting in 1994). Before pursuing other interests, he held the title of Manager of Health, Safety & Environment Field Support for Hydro One Networks, Inc. This branch of Hydro One delivers electrical service to homes and businesses across the province of Ontario, Canada. Hydro One owns over 90,000 miles of Transmission and Distribution Lines, serves 1.3 million customers with 4,600 regular employees.

In this position, while reporting to the VP HSE, he was called to analyze and investigate safety incidents that occurred. He has facilitated or been a part of the action plan development for numerous investigations, approximately 30-40 per year since 2000. The position involved working with and reviewing incident reports and action plans with other Line of Business VP’s and Directors. The lines of business included Construction, Lines, Station Maintenance and Forestry type work activities. He has also been called to lead or participate in investigations where a high level of scrutiny is expected for the results or there is significant need to identify areas of improvement. 

During his career, he had the opportunity to attend an extensive amount of training and seminars. The training resulted in becoming a Certified Registered Safety Professional in Canada and a Certified Utility Safety Administrator through the National Safety Council in the USA. Both of these certifications require safety management theoretical knowledge, testing and several years safety management experience.

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Brian is also co-teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course
TapRooT® Analyzing and Fixing Safety Culture Issues.

Ken Turnbull
President, Ken Turnbull Consulting

Ken Turnbull

Houston, Texas USA

Ken Turnbull has led major accident investigations worldwide using TapRooT® for over a decade. He is the former manager of Texaco Corporate Safety.

Ken is teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course
Advanced Causal Factor Development.

Presenting:

Linda Unger
Vice President, System Improvements, Inc.

Linda Unger

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Linda Unger is Vice President of System Improvements, Inc. She first became involved in incident investigation and root cause analysis in 1986 as a field engineer working for DuPont where she performed investigations into operating and maintenance problems. Since that time she has become an expert in root cause analysis, incident investigation, and development of performance improvement programs. Currently, Linda helps clients use TapRooT® as part of their performance improvement program by developing implementation strategies. In addition, Linda is responsible for the development of the 2-Day TapRooT® Training program and licensing of TapRooT® Training and Software to clients. She also teaches TapRooT® Courses.

Presenting:

Chris Vallee
Senior Associate, System Improvements, Inc.

Chris Vallee

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Meet your Quality Best Practices Track Lead and Best Practice Presenter, Chris Vallee.

  • Over Ten years as a Senior Associate with System Improvements, Inc. (The company that created TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis). 
  • TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis, Equifactor® and Trending Instructor (over 6,000 hours of instruction).
  • Facilitated investigations to include industrial related injuries, fatalities, medical events, quality process issues and equipment failures.
  • Subject Matter Expert in Human Factors in Psychology (how people interact with machines, environment and people).
  • 18 years Aviation experience (Troubleshooting military aircraft equipment failures and managing the build of executive jets).

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Chris is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course: Advanced Trending Techniques.

Presenting:

Dan Verlinde
Director of Information Technology & Software Dev, System Improvements, Inc.

Dan Verlinde

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Dan Verlinde has been with System Improvements since 2006 overseeing the development and technical support of all TapRooT® software. Prior to joining System Improvements, Dan was a Business Systems Analyst for an international third-party certification company.  There he oversaw the implementation, development and support of a business software used for performing audits to international standards.  In addition to his education at the University of Michigan, Dan has had formal training in SQL, Crystal, Software Administration and Lean principles.

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Dan is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course
Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® Software.

Presenting:

Jim Whiting
Principal Risk Engineer & MD, R@W - Risk at Workplaces Pty Ltd

Jim Whiting

Indooroopilly, Queensland AUSTRALIA

Jim Whiting is Managing Director, risk@workplaces pty ltd, and is an internationally known Risk Engineer and HSE expert with 30 years experience in that area. Jim was former CEO of the National Safety Council of Australia. Jim is the creator of the Risk Management Best Practices Course taught with the TapRooT® Summit each year and in onsite courses. For the past two years, he has been involved in the establishment of a new company called SOTERIS and one of their areas as expert consultants is in Neuroscience.

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Jim is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course
Risk Assessment and Management Best Practices.

Presenting:

Michelle Wishoun
Licensing Paralegal, System Improvements, Inc.

Michelle Wishoun

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Michelle Wishoun has been with System Improvements since 2007 as the Licensing Paralegal and TapRooT® Implementation Strategist. She writes Licenses for clients and assists with negotiations.  She also maintains and oversees the Certified TapRooT® Instructor database information and helps clients become certified.  Michelle has her BS in Legal Studies and AS in Paralegal Studies as well as some informal training.

Presenting:



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If you are a TapRooT® User, you may think that the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System exists to help people find root causes. But there is more to it than that. TapRooT® exists to: Save lives Prevent injuries Improve product/service quality Improve equipment reliability Make work easier and more productive Stop sentinel events Stop the …

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