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The conference will include both keynote speakers as well as panel discussions addressing important topics in business and operations today. This year’s panels cover five areas that each addresses a different aspect of business and operational excellence:
  • The Outsourcing, Insourcing, and Offshoring Decision
  • Big Data and Analytics
  • The New Office: Trends in Telecommuting and Collaborative Workspaces
  • Flexibility and Responsiveness in the Value Chain
  • New Risks
We are constantly adding to our speaker and panelist roster, so be sure to check back here regularly for updates. 

The Outsourcing, Offshoring, and Insourcing Decision

With recent changes in the global economy and labor market, many companies are reexamining the way in which they do business. What are these changes and how do they affect business’ decision on whether to embark on partnerships at home and abroad? This panel will be divided into two main groups: one to discuss the opportunities presented by outsourcing strategies and another to discuss the opportunities of insourcing.

Paul Wittenbrock
Director of Procurement, Cloud and Enterprise Division

Paul Wittenbrock is a Director of Procurement at Microsoft, supporting the Cloud and Enterprise Division. Starting at Microsoft in 2000, he initially supported licensing of 3rd party software for use within Microsoft. In 2003, he took over management of a central technology team tasked with sourcing and procuring servers, pcs, network equipment and related services for the corporation.

In 2007, he moved to the Cloud & Enterprise Business Group to build an independent procurement team. Working in a decentralized environment, the team implemented standardized purchasing systems and developed supplier sourcing strategies to support the business need for outsourced technical services. Procuring technical services, particularly software development and test, required the team to develop a robust offshore solution. Working with Microsoft resources in China and India, the team identified qualified suppliers, implemented rate cards and worked with suppliers to establish supplier owned offsite facilities. The strategy emphasized project based managed services, and required suppliers to submit to random security audits, implement employee training programs and role out web based project reporting tools.

The team continues to investigate both onshore and offshore strategies to support changing business needs. Current trends include transitioning work in China from Tier 1 to Tier 2 cities; continued support for offshore supplier strategies; insourcing “core” work and establishing supplier owned nearshore facilities that sit outside the primary technology centers.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Paul practiced law in the Seattle area for 18 years. His law practice emphasized medical malpractice defense, property loss claims and appellate work.

Anu Goel
Vice President, Parts and Vehicle Logistics
Volkswagen Group of America

Anu and the Parts Logistics team are responsible for the total supply chain management of service parts, including product definition, cataloging, procurement, materials management, quality, dealer support, warehousing and transportation for Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA).  In addition, Anu and the Vehicle Logistics team are responsible for all activities (including port operations) supporting the distribution of Group vehicles in the United States.

Prior to joining VWGoA in 2012, Anu spent 3+ years with Case New Holland (Fiat Group).  He served most recently as Vice-President, North and South American Parts Operations, where he was responsible for total supply chain management of service parts. Prior to joining CNH, Anu spent 23 years with Ford Motor Company, where his last position was as the Director, Global Parts Supply and Logistics, responsible for total supply chain management for service parts, and for global brand synergies. Anu began his career with Ford in 1986 and spent the majority of his career in Marketing, Sales & Service, working for the Ford Customer Service Division in a variety of positions. In 1992, he joined Ford’s Purchasing and Supply staff, and worked on the North American Free Trade Agreement before moving onto Production Purchasing, and then returning to the Ford Customer Service Division as Section Supervisor for Powertrain Operations, after which he held various field management assignments both domestically, Detroit, Atlanta and San Francisco and internationally, Cologne, Germany.

Anu holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Industrial and Operation Engineering, and a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Production Management, Finance and Human Resources from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Jeff Medzegian
Director of Operations,Supplier Management
Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Jeff Medzegian is Director of Operations for Boeing Commercial Airplane’s Supplier Management Team. He is responsible for a dynamic organization, globally positioned to develop suppliers, manage the value stream for meeting customer commitments, and improving operations functional excellence.

Jeff has more than 23 years of leadership experience in Operations, Supply Chain and Program Management. He has led all facets of Operations for new and sustaining programs, from initial set-up through prototype certification and rapid production rate build-up. Many of his assignments have focused on organizing and leading productivity, total cost and lead-time improvements and leveraging Lean production and supply chain techniques.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration from Seattle University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Washington University. Jeff enjoys many outdoor recreational and sporting activities, spending time with family and friends, and volunteer as a coach and mentor for youth athletes. 

Moderator: Damian R. Beil
Associate Professor of Technology and Operations
University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Damian R. Beil is an Associate Professor at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Ross in 2003, Damian received his B.A. in Mathematics from New College and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his research, Damian develops mathematical models to analyze complex problems in strategic sourcing. His work lately has focused on how bargaining power affects opportunistic pricing by suppliers, and how competitive bidding events should be designed to account for supplier qualification screening and quality levels. He has contributed to numerous books on sourcing, on topics including supplier selection, supply chain disruption risk management, and procurement auctions. He is on the editorial board of Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, and Naval Research Logistics.

Damian has collaborated widely with industry. He has worked with over a dozen companies in areas ranging from aerospace to retail. At Ross Damian teaches the core MBA Operations Management course, as well as MBA- and Doctoral-level electives on Strategic Sourcing. He received a Teaching Excellence Award from Ross students.

Big Data and Analytics

In the world of business information systems, the term “Big Data” represents both opportunity and challenge. Technology is recording and storing data at an exponential rate and the companies that harness this data and mine the insights that it contains will undoubtedly increase its operational effectiveness and enjoy a competitive advantage. This panel aims to explore the various ways companies are using these new tools to improve their business.

Jack Levis
Senior Director, Process Management

Jack Levis, Senior Director of Process Management is responsible for providing operational technology solutions. The projects that Jack’s group manages have used advanced analytics to reengineer current processes in an effort to streamline the business and maximize productivity. 

Under Jack’s direction, UPS has completed integration of multiple operations systems, requiring extensive system engineering, usability and analytics provisions. These systems ultimately synchronize the flow of data throughout UPS, allowing the seamless movement of goods, funds and information. 

Jack has been the business owner, process designer, and program manager for UPS’ award winning Package Flow Technology suite of systems. That suite of tools and process redesign has been a breakthrough change for UPS, resulting in a reduction of 85 million miles per year.

His team has designed UPS’ next generation of dispatching technologies which use advanced optimizations. The world class optimizations and systems called ORION are beginning deployment and will provide significant additional benefits to UPS. 

Having earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology, from California State University Northridge, Jack also holds a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.

Jack is on the board of directors for the Institute of Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) and holds advisory council positions for multiple universities. 

In his spare time, Jack enjoys baseball, scuba diving, skiing, home electronics and Corvettes. He currently lives in York, Pa. with his wife and four children.

Joe Stump
Freestyle Capital

Joe Stump is a seasoned technical leader and serial entrepreneur. In addition to investing in and advising dozens of startups and companies, he cofounded two venture-backed startups and was Lead Architect of Digg.

Joe is passionate about development processes, iterative product development, and building scalable web infrastructure. He’s worked on small systems with fledgling startups, as well as massive process and technical changes at multinational corporations.

Joe has a BA in Computer Information Systems from Eastern Michigan University and has authored pieces for O’Reilly’s He also has spoken at numerous conferences, including Web 2.0 Expo, Future of Web Apps, Future of Web Design, Kings of Code, The Next Web, Q-Con, SXSW, MySQL Conference, DjangoCon, and PHP-Con to name a few. 

Juan Riojas
Business Analysis Consultant, Global Operations Planning

Juan Riojas is a business analysis consultant, with responsibility for leading Dell’s supply chain Big Data program across Strategy, Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, Performance Management, and as a member of Dell’s Global Decision Science Committee.

Juan has developed specific expertise in strategic planning, performance management, and organizational effectiveness during his 15 year career. As a highly motivated and results oriented leader in both turn-around and growth situations he has delivered clear, practical, and creative approaches to delivering successful results in supply chain transformation through leveraging of big data. Prior to joining Dell, he worked as a management consultant for Accenture leading large-scale supply chain transformation programs for G500 customers.

Juan holds a post graduate degree from Said Business School, Oxford University and studied his undergraduate in Texas A & M International. 

Moderator: Amitabh Sinha
Associate Professor of Technology and Operations
Ross School of Business


Amitabh Sinha is an Associate Professor of Technology and Operations at the Ross School of Business. He arrived at Ross in 2004, after receiving his PhD in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He teaches the core Statistics class in various versions of the MBA program, as well as an elective class in Logistics. Amitabh’s research primarily focuses on optimizing the operations of supply chains, using analytical modeling. For instance, one of his ongoing research projects explores the optimization of order fulfillment by online retailers, as well as the competitive response of brick-and-mortar retailers to the threat from lower cost online retailers.


The New Office: Trends in Telecommuting and Collaborative Workspaces

Yahoo’s recent decision to reign in its work from home program has cast renewed interest and debate in the benefits of alternative work arrangements. This panel seeks to explore new trends, reactions, and attitudes in telecommuting and innovative, collaborative workspaces and how they affect business, productivity, and employee happiness.

David P. Lathrop
Director, Research and Strategy
Steelcase Inc.

David P. Lathrop is the director of research and strategy for Steelcase Inc., the world’s preeminent designer of products and services that help create great experiences, wherever work happens. Steelcase is a global and industry-leading company with fiscal 2012 revenue of $2.75 billion, and it’s headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. Appointed to his position in March, 2008, Dave is responsible for developing a cross-disciplinary point of view of the future of work, workers and workplaces. Most recently, Dave led a program of advanced field-based research and consulting as part of Applied Research and Consulting group. Working with Steelcase clients, consultants, and architectural firms, the ARC team creates client experiences based on the issues, principles and measures of space as an organizational change tool.

In other assignments, Dave has led Steelcase’s knowledge management activities, and has been a thought leader in research and development, advanced concepts, corporate strategy, product development, and corporate marketing, Dave is also a founder of Steelcase’s ad hoc Future’s group.

Beginning in 1994, Dave was part of the core team developing and implementing work and behavioral performance diagnostic tools and capabilities. Prior to this, Dave led a cross-functional product development group studying and launching two prototypical office environments, the Personal Harbor Workspace® and the Commons.

As an expert on future trends in the office, Dave has been a featured speaker at various national conferences sponsored by groups such as the AIA, IFMA, the Conference Board, the American Management Association, AECRE, the International Interior Design Association and the International Society of Facility Executives. He has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Design Management Journal, and other publications.

Dave earned a B.S. in psychology from Michigan State University in 1974 and a M.A. in journalism and communications from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1983.

Hayden Brown
Director of Marketplace Product Team

Hayden Brown is the Director of the Marketplace product team at oDesk, bringing a decade of high-tech and general management experience to this role. Her recent background includes running Corporate Development at LivePerson (the market leader in online chat for sales and support) and key roles in Board-level Corporate Strategy projects at Microsoft — including the Yahoo! acquisition bid and the Microsoft Facebook investment. Prior to Microsoft, she worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company in New York and in London.

Peter A. Bacevice

Technological change is rapidly disrupting the way we work and learn.  As time and place no longer constrain our everyday routines, people and organizations are rewriting the norms of social interaction and the rules of how work gets done.  Pete Bacevice is a social scientist and design researcher who consults with a variety of organizations on understanding these changes and how it impacts strategic goals and objectives.  Through his experience, Pete has engaged with clients in the life sciences, consumer products, and business services, and manufacturing to develop long-term workplace strategies.  He has also consulted with universities on linking academic goals around active learning and hybrid course design with long-term campus planning. 

In addition to his consulting work, Pete also collaborates on academic research studies on new ways of working.  He is currently involved in a study with the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship at the University of Michigan that is looking at the recent growth of coworking communities and how they enable people to thrive at work.  Pete’s writings about new ways of working have appeared in and in several blog posts.  He has also been profiled in,, The Los Angeles Times, and The Globe and Mail.

Pete is currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.  He is a part-time lecturer at Parsons, the New School for Design.  He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Michigan.

Todd Swinehart
Supply Chain Program Manager
Cisco Systems

Todd Swinehart is a Supply Chain Program Manager at Cisco Systems, where he works to integrate Cisco's acquisitions into Cisco's manufacturing architecture. This role involves extensive collaboration across functional areas and worldwide locations within Cisco and outside the firm to align and implement solutions. His current projects include the completion of Cisco's $5 billion integration of NDS and the $2.7 billion integration of Sourcefire. 

Todd began his professional career as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps. There, he flew KC-130J cargo airplanes around the world, deployed to Iraq, and managed aviation sourcing and daily operations for the Marine Corps' West Coast units, attaining the rank of Captain.

Todd earned a B.A. in economics from Alma College in 2002 and an MBA from the University of Michigan - Ross School of Business in 2013.

Moderator: Professor Gretchen M. Spreitzer
Professor of Management and Organization
University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Professor Gretchen M. Spreitzer is the Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Professor Spreitzer's research focuses on employee empowerment and leadership development, particularly within a context of organizational change and decline. Her most recent work is looking at positive deviance and how organizations enable employees to flourish. This work fits within a larger effort at Michigan's Business School to develop a Scholarship of Positive Organizing that is dedicated to understanding how work organizations contribute to the development of human strengths and virtues.

She is the co-author of four books, The Leader's Change Handbook: An Essential Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action (1999) with Jay Conger and Edward Lawler, The Future of Leadership: Speaking to the Next Generation (2001) with Warren Bennis and Thomas Cummings, A Company of Leaders: Five Disciplines for Unleashing the Power in Your Workforce (2001) with Robert Quinn and the Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship (2011) with Kim Cameron.

Flexibility and Responsiveness in the Value Chain

As consumer demand and global buying trends become increasingly fast paced and dynamic, the need to build manufacturing and supply chain systems that can react with speed and flexibility has become as important as ever.

This panel discusses the forces that are creating the need for responsiveness and agility, how these forces are disrupting the status quo, and how companies can adapt and create competitive advantages.

John Ames
Senior Vice President, Solutions

John joined LLamasoft in 2009. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Solutions, leading the 70+ member global team that trains, supports, and delivers supply chain design solutions for end clients and alliance partners.

John has been in the supply chain software space for 15+ years, and his experience across technologies includes demand planning, replenishment planning, network optimization, inventory optimization, S&OP , finite capacity scheduling, product lifecycle management, BI and data visualization, and discrete event simulation.

John’s role within organizations have included functional expert and pre-sales lead, business development manager, project manager, strategic engagement lead, and solutions lead. These roles give John a deep as well as broad perspective when working with customers and alliance partners to craft a solution to meet key business needs while incorporating the right mix of technology, people, and process.

John received his MBA at Northwestern’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and received his BBA in marketing at Stephen F. Austin State University.

William R.  Wynne
Vice President, Marketing
Con-way Freight

William R. (Bill) Wynne is vice president, marketing for Con-way Freight based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the department of marketing and law at Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business.

Bill has developed an extensive background in marketing, sales and customer service during his 20+ year career both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Con-way, Bill held numerous positions at the Ford Motor Company. In addition to leading the marketing department for Ford Racing Technology, he has served in Ford Division, Lincoln-Mercury Division, Ford Customer Service Division, World Wide Direct Market Operations, and Fleet Operations. He has experience managing operations in all areas of marketing and sales including franchising, contests & incentives, platform marketing, advertising, import/export operations, distribution and dealer/customer relations.

Prior to joining the Ford Motor Company, Bill worked in various industries including water purification, luxury transportation, public transportation, physical therapy services, restaurant & hospitality, premiums & incentives, computer services, banking, logistics & distribution, convenience retailing, public safety and music performance & instruction as a professional percussionist. Bill also performed for three Presidents of the United States during his 35+ year music performance and recording career.

Bill's diverse experience is augmented by a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Juan R. Correa
Director, Global Supply Chain Planning

Juan Correa has been a Director at Dell since Oct. 2013. He is responsible for global processes supporting finished goods inventory management. He has been in Dell’s supply chain planning organization since 2009 and has held Sr. Manager and global program manager positions there, both with a focus on finished goods inventory management. He has been a leader in Dell’s transformation efforts in this time, as the company has moved away from a purely make to order supply chain to a supply chain strategy leveraging a make to stock model as well.

Juan joined Dell in 2007 and held various roles in operations planning before moving to the supply chain planning organization. Prior to Dell, he worked at Zara, participating first-hand in the fast-fashion retail model, and at Texas Instruments, where he was responsible for process development on leading edge wafer fabrication technology. He holds a BS ChE from Rice University and a MS MSE & MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Vik Srinivasan
Vice-President, Supply Chain Operations
Meijer Inc.

Vik Srinivasan serves as Vice-President, Supply Chain Operations at Meijer Inc. In this role, he is responsible for supply chain strategy, network optimization, product flow, vendor management, lean/six sigma, business-to-business sales, and third-party services at the Retailer.


Prior to joining Meijer, Vik held a variety of leadership positions in supply chain and operations at Dell Inc.


Vik resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Masters in Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Moderator: Roman Kapuscinski
Tauber Institute Business School Co-Director
Professor of Technology and Operations
University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Professor Kapuscinski is the Ford Motor Company Co-Director of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations and a Professor of Technology and Operations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, and degrees in Economics and Mathematics from Nicholas Copernicus University in Poland.

Before joining the Ross School of Business faculty, he worked for the IBM Research Center and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. While at the Ross School of Business, he received the Frank Batten Young Scholar Award, held the Sanford R. Robertson Research Chair, and was awarded for Contributions to the Research Environment (CORE Award).  He was/is a member of Editorial Boards for Management Science, Operations Research, and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. Among his publications, five papers written by him and his students were finalists/winners of MSOM student paper competitions and one a winner of ENRE competition. He has received multiple Operations Research Meritorious Service Awards and has been awarded Teaching Excellence Award by Ross students.

His research focuses on supply chain management and the intersection of operational aspects with marketing and finance; this includes topics such as the evaluation of capacity constraints, design of production and inventory systems, vendor-managed inventory, the value of information in coordinating the elements of supply chains, efficiency as a function of ownership within value chain analysis, and lead-time quotation. Recently his work extends to pricing in energy markets and the effect of customer behavior on operational decisions.  He also writes on the role of manufacturing in the US economy.

He has cooperated in research with several companies, including advising over 50 MBA/Engineering projects.

Risks in the New Economy

Businesses of all sizes use electronic information systems and a plethora of internet-based services to grow and remain competitive. But these new technologies have created new risks. Cyber threats, protection of intellectual property, and the proliferation of counterfeit goods are just some of the challenges that businesses face as they operate in an increasingly global market. This panel will discuss these risks, challenges, and more.

Dan Newton
Director of Risk Management, Cloud & Enterprise

Dan Newton is the Director of Risk Management, overseeing the Risk Management Office for the Cloud & Enterprise organization. He holds both the Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP) and Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI) certifications.  Dan has been engaged in the risk management, business continuity and disaster recovery industry for over twenty years in various capacities including consulting, risk assessments, impact analysis, program and vendor management, exercise and event coordination, plan development and maintenance as well as crisis management and remediation.

He previously served as the Chair of the DRI International Course Development & Maintenance Committee, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Education Commission as well as Strategic Advisor for DRII.  Dan is the co-founder, charter member and past president of the ACP Arkansas Chapter. Additionally, he served on the ACP Corporate Board and received the ACP MVP award two years in a row. Dan is currently a member of InfraGard and the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

Michael Held
Specialist Leader
Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Michael Held is a results-oriented leader and operating executive with nearly 30 years of experience in automotive and industrial manufacturing, global supply chain risk management, strategic sourcing and procurement, international project management, quality systems, product life-cycle management, logistics and new product launches. Skilled in global operations management, performance improvement, supply chain management, transactions, innovation, collaboration and client relations with extensive experience in distressed companies. Michael has deep expertise in automotive manufacturing transformations and supply base consolidations.

Michael’s primary focus is to identify automotive and consumer & industrial product manufacturing companies that understand the need to transform their operations with an integrated approach to their financial and production systems, supply chain, business processes and asset management. Recognized eminence and published in global supply chain risk monitoring and disruption intervention services. He has extensive network in automotive OEMs and the global automotive supply base.

He currently serves in the US Consulting Practice for Deloitte’s Consumer & Industrial Products sector. Michael was a Director with Grant Thornton in Restructuring & Performance Improvement and has served manufacturing clients globally. 

John Plaisted
Global Risk Management

John Plaisted has 25 years of financial and risk related experience and is part of Marsh’s global risk management advisory team.   Marsh is a global risk advisory and insurance brokerage firm and is an operating unit of parent Marsh & McLennen Companies (MMC).

A key focus for John is around emerging risk and how companies can optimally understand and mitigate risk in an increasingly global and interconnected risk environment.

Client experiences include helping apply risk analytics to support enhanced decision making across multiple dimensions – including risk identification and quantification, risk tolerance analysis, risk finance optimization analysis and mitigation strategy development and measurement.

In addition to his experience with Marsh, John was with Ernst & Young and served in several roles, including audit, consulting and business development.  Between Ernst & Young roles, John spent time with REI as both an internal auditor and leader of information security.  

Moderator: George W. Ash
Foley and Lardner LLP

George W. Ash is a partner and member of the Automotive Industry Team as well as the Privacy, Security & Information Management Practice. He is the chair of the firm’s Government Procurement Practice, which was recognized by Chambers USA(2011, 2012 and 2013) as one of the top practices in the nation. Mr. Ash’s practice focuses on government procurement law. He counsels clients on the preproposal, proposal, negotiation and performance of the U.S. government prime contracts and subcontracts, and on resolving contract disputes. He also assists companies with state and municipal contract issues and has appeared before various Federal Boards of Contract Appeals and Courts.

A retired United States Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Ash spent his 20 years of active duty as a judge advocate, an associate professor of law at the USAF Academy, serving as assistant general counsel for the SDI (Star Wars) Program and was responsible for international and arms control issues. He also served as an advisor to the strategic arms reductions talks in Geneva with the former USSR.

Mr. Ash obtained his B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy (1972) where he was named "The Cadet Who Best Exemplifies the Highest Ideals of Loyalty, Integrity and Courage." He earned his J.D. from the University of Denver (1975), where he was elected to the Order of St. Ives. He received an LL.M. in international law from the University of London (1985), and a diploma in Air and Space law from the London Institute of World Affairs (1985).



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