Best Practice Presenters

Alethea Arnold

Alethea Arnold
Alethea Arnold has a passion for understanding systems that make organizations successful. For the past 8 years, she served as Quality Systems Auditor for Siltronic, Inc., a silicon wafer manufacturer, where she has been employed for 35 years. Alethea is a certified Lead Auditor for ISO TS/16949, 9001, 14001 and 18001, and has audited companies around the world to these standards. Alethea is also a certified Franklin Covey Seven Habits Facilitator, and she served for three years as an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Performance Excellence award. 

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:

Ken Bloch
Sr. HES Professional in Process Safety

Ken Bloch

Galveston Bay, Texas USA

Kenneth P. Bloch is a Senior HES Professional who specializes in petrochemical industry incident investigation and failure analysis. His experience includes thirty years of downstream service in maintenance, PSM, technical, and operations roles. He speaks regularly at AFPM, API, and AIChE process safety symposiums about experiences that help prevent recurring process safety failures throughout the manufacturing industry. Mr. Bloch graduated with honors from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas with an Environmental Science Degree in 1988. Relevant publications include:
  • The Bhopal Disaster: understanding the impact of unreliable machinery, Hydrocarbon Processing Magazine, June 2012, pp 73-76.
  • Update your reliability performance to meet process safety expectations, Hydrocarbon Processing Magazine, June 2011, pp 45-53.
  • Process safety management lessons learned from a petroleum refinery spent caustic tank explosion, Process Safety Progress, December 2010, pp 332-339.
  • Rethinking Bhopal (publication date June 2016)




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.”

Presenting:

Terry Butler
Business Development Manager, Hallam-ICS

Terry Butler

Raleigh, North Carolina USA

Terry Butler,  Business Development Manager for Hallam-ICS, has 9 years of experience in marketing engineering/controls services, including Arc Flash Surveys and Toxic Gas Monitoring Control Systems.  Industry experience includes: Life Science, Higher Education, Research, US and Canadian Government and General Industrial. Terry received his BA Degree from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada in 1981.

Presenting:

Dr. Beverly Chiodo
Professor, Texas State University

Dr. Beverly Chiodo

San Marcos, Texas USA

Dr. Chiodo is a professor in the Department of Management at Texas State University.  Dr. Jerry Supple, former President of Texas State, said she has won every teaching award the university offers, and she's been recognized for her teaching effectiveness at the state and national levels as well.  In 1996, she was featured as "Hero of the Day" by CBS national TV program -- This Morning.  In 1997, Beverly was named "The Best Business Professor in the Nation" by the National Business Education Association.  She has published widely in her field and is a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences.

Beverly earned her BBA degree from Baylor University, her MBA from Texas Tech, and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M.  She is known by her students as the "Doctor of Encouragement."  Beverly says that her teaching philosophy can be summed up in the proverb which says, "A wise teacher makes learning a joy."

Presenting:

David Davis
Vice President, Patient Safety Solutions & Consulting

David Davis

Grovetown, Georgia USA

David Davis has a MS in Nursing Service Administration and a MS in Operating Room Nursing.  He is an RN, and a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.  David was a previous consultant in infection control and disease epidemiology for the U.S. Army.


Presenting:

Carl Dixon
Musician

Carl Dixon

Haliburton, Ontario CANADA

“Our human minds are the single greatest power on earth. What we generate from our thoughts can be as great as the greatest things ever seen.”

Carl Dixon is a Canadian rock musician who has been a part of such bands as Coney Hatch, April Wine and The Guess Who. In 2008 he was involved in a near fatal car crash that could have cost him everything. His story is more than a tale of “had it all and almost lost it”; for Carl the story became, “What now?”

“Our thoughts determine our path; if we find ourselves on a bad path it’s never too late to substitute better thoughts in place of unsatisfactory ones. We have the ability to decide our thoughts, to choose strength over weakness, courage over fear, stoicism over complaint. Sure, it’s not always easy, but it can become a habit every time you remember that the strong choice is the better choice”.

Accident prevention doesn’t happen by accident. Adversity doesn’t build character so much as it reveals character. Determination of purpose makes you a much more powerful force than the irresolute, uncommitted you could ever be.

“Omniscience is denied to we mortals; we can never know all the factors which affect our journey through this life. However, I do believe now that the important ones are revealed to us at the right time. What has been revealed to me is that there is only one worthwhile mission: to bring everyone to the finish line, together and safely.”

The threads from which the fabric of Carl’s life was woven are indeed a "Strange Way To Live."
 

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:

David Doyle
Lead Trainer, Consultant, McCalvin Institute for Knowledge

David Doyle

Sugar Land, Texas USA

David Doyle is a proven Facilitator in the practice of Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability. He specializes in audit and root-cause analysis, a skilled behavioral-safety resource, executive coaching and team development. An experienced facilitator and learning and development HSE professional, David enjoys assisting teams and individuals to resolve their own issues and commit to real actions, which move organizations towards achieving their short and long term goals. For David, it’s about realizing people’s potential and exuding energy and passion as he engages with them. David has helped clients across the country realize positive results through implementing crucial skills training and improving their team interaction.

Being an active leader, coach, mentor and speaker, David applies expertise to improve efficiency exercising for professionals from all walks of business life.
 

Presenting:

Patrick Fortune
RCA/Investigation Specialist, Suncor

Patrick Fortune

Calgary, Alberta CANADA

Patrick Fortune has been involved with System Improvements since 2005 when he took his first TapRooT® Course. Over the next few years he championed the installment of TapRooT® into a Major Oil and Gas Company. In the process Pat joined the TapRooT® Advisory  Board and has been a regular attender at the Summits. Pat has been doing Root Cause Analysis for serious incidents on and off for over 7 years. He has investigated numerous serious injuries, fatalities, process losses, a drilling rig loss and several major economic losses to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

He is currently employed by Suncor and works as the RCA Specialist with a small team of investigations staff that manage the Investigation and Root Cause Analysis of “high impact” incidents, company wide. He is also assists the implementation team that is installing TapRooT as Suncor’s RCA software of choice. He is frequently called on as a resource for cold eye review and Quality Assurance of the Root Cause Analysis portion of investigations at Suncor and is a Certified In House Instructor for the 2 Day course. A wide and varied career in Process Operations and Safety has seen Pat accumulate his fair share of certifications. He is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional, Second Class Power Engineer, and most recently achieved his NEBOSH IGC Certification.  Ask Pat about his favorite certification however, and he will tell you PG2. That stands for “Paraglider 2, Novice”, his most recent passion. He spent many weekends at a 4000 foot launch site in the mountains of BC this last year and is “hooked” He is currently working on his intermediate & instructor ratings.

Patrick is happily married to his wife Dianne of 30 years, and has 2 adult offspring, an academically inclined daughter who loves to travel and a son working in Oil and Gas industry in Northern Alberta who is following Pat’s adrenalin seeking ways when not at work.
 

Presenting:

Jack Frost

 

Presenting:

Gary Gardner
PdM Coordinator II, Tucson Electric Power

Springerville, Arizona USA

 

Presenting:

Tommy Garnett
VP Business Operations, Patient Safety Solutions & Consulting

Tommy Garnett

Pittsview, Alabama USA

Tommy Garnett has over 20 years of experience in Patient Safety & Risk Management. He is an experienced Registered Nurse, Trauma Nurse and Flight Nurse.  He graduated from the American Institute of Medical Law, and is a Board Certified Healthcare Risk Manager. He is also a certified as a DoD Healthcare TapRooT® Instructor.  


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:

Shawn Holden
Area Training Coordinator, Weatherford

Shawn Holden

Casper, Wyoming USA

Shawn Holden is the Area Training Coordinator for Weatherford. TapRooT® is currently used in all Weatherford operating regions as the primary tool to analyze and identify root causes in high-severity/high-potential incidents. It had been utilized initially in health/safety/environmental incidents and has now found widespread usage for analyzing service quality incidents as well. Its common usage across all regions has allowed for more consistent investigations, a common language for discussing root causes and more effective and long-lasting corrective actions.

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:

Scott M. King
Regional Manager - Mid Atlantic, Hallam-ICS

Scott M. King

Raleigh, North Carolina USA

Scott King has over 20 years of project management experience and 29 years of experience in electrical engineering systems design, short circuit, coordination and arc flash analysis.  Expertise in power design (both normal and emergency), lighting, auxiliary systems (fire alarm, telecommunications, security, lighting control and power system software to analyze arc flash incident energy levels of electrical distribution systems.  Scott is a certified electrical safety/hazard trainer of NFPA 70E and Arc Flash Loss Prevention.  Scott has a B.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering from Norwich University, is a certified Project Management Professional, a LEED accredited Professional and a qualified Commissioning Provider

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:

Mitchell Miller
QHSSE Manager, Weatherford International

Mitchell Miller

Houston, Texas USA

 

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.



Presenting:

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:

Barb Phillips
Editorial Director, System Improvements, Inc.

Barb Phillips

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Barb Phillips has been with System Improvements since 2006. Her professional background includes experience in legal, human resources, marketing and non-fiction writing.  She completes her B.S. in Psychology at King University in August 2016.  She earned an A.A. at Indiana University and a Marketing Certificate from the University of Tennessee.  Barb is a Certified Professional Coach, a Registered Yoga Instructor, and a published writer.

Barb is co-teaching the Pre-Summit Course: 
Interviewing & Investigation Basics.

Presenting:

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:

Ed Skompski
Vice President, System Improvements, Inc.

Ed Skompski

Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Ed Skompski has been with System Improvements since 1996, and has taught and specialized in performance improvement through teaching the TapRooT® System for root cause analysis, performing and facilitating investigation, and helping companies implement performance improvement programs. He has taught hundreds of training courses around the world at both client sites and through public seminars.

Ed has been a Partner since 2000, and a VP since 2006. He is currently manager of software development, technical support, e-commerce, and network support. Additional responsibilities include client management, training, and product development. Ed has also spearheaded the projects focused on reducing medical errors in the healthcare industry through the implementation of root cause analysis techniques.

Prior to joining System Improvements Ed provided environmental evaluation, remediation consulting and project supervision for Radian Corporation and Law Engineering.

Presenting:

David Smith
QHSSE Programs & Systems Manager, Weatherford International

David Smith

Houston, Texas USA

David Smith began his HSE career in the oil and gas industry with Union Texas Petroleum in 1993. He came to Weatherford International as an environmental coordinator and has served several different HSE functions within the organization over the past seventeen years. He is currently the US QHHSE Programs and Systems Manager for Weatherford, responsible for maintaining alignment of QHSSE programs, procedures and infrastructure within the US region. He also provides administrative oversight for Weatherford’s TapRooT system within the US and supported their international regions as TapRooT was spread globally. He has a BA from Baylor University, an MA from The University of Houston – Clear Lake, and a JD from South Texas College of Law.

Presenting:

Joel Solomon
Manager, Solomon Solutions LLC

Joel Solomon

Lincoln Park, Michigan USA

Joel Solomon has 37 years of experience in petrochemical refining and 12 years of experience as a Process Safety Coordinator. He has been a TapRooT® teacher and investigation leader since 2002. His background includes 25 years in refinery operations as both operator and supervisor. Joel holds a BS in Communications and a Detroit 1st Class Stationary Engineer license.

Presenting:

Steve Swarthout
President, Performance Improvement of Virginia, Inc.

Steve Swarthout

Mineral, Virginia USA

Steve Swarthout is President and Senior Partner of Performance Improvement of Virginia, Inc. He has 40 years of engineering/equipment troubleshooting experience, and has taught TapRooT® to thousands of people. He has held a Senior Reactor Operator license at a commercial nuclear utility and facilitated over 100 incident investigations.

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 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.

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

Chris Vallee is a Senior Associate and TapRooT® Instructor with System Improvements, Inc. Chris has 18 years of experience in the aviation industry (from repairing to building aircraft cradle to first flight). A Six Sigma Black Belt with a Human Factors in Psychology Masters Degree, he often spends one-on-one time with many of our clients in process improvement and TapRooT® company implementation.

In addition to the Best Practice Sessions listed below, Chris is also teaching a 2-Day Pre-Summit Course: 2-Day TapRooT® Quality Process Improvement Facilitator Course

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.

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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