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Speaker Biographies

Robert Yacobellis, Director, MSG Process & Quality

Bob Yacobellis is currently Senior Director of the Process, Quality, and Metrics (PQM) Department in the Motorola Software Group. He is also involved in Company-wide software initiatives to achieve improved software quality and productivity and greater engineering leverage. In July of 2003 Bob was awarded the first-ever Motorola Jerry Sandvos award for contributions to Software Engineering. In 2005, he was recognized as a Dan Noble Fellow, one of Motorola’s top honors for technological innovation. Bob joined Motorola in 1988, and was one of the initial champions for the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) process improvement approach within the Company. This model-based approach uses industry best practices for software development focused on continual software engineering and organization renewal and improvement. Bob’s first team in the Corporate Software R&D organization created the vision for Motorola’s Global Software Centers in 1989 and sponsored formation of the Motorola India Global Software Center, the company’s first SEI software CMM® and CMMI® Level 5 organization. Today GSG is an organization of over 6000 software people working in a globally distributed team located in 13 countries.

Craig Libby, Sr. VP

Craig Libby is a senior vice president within Wachovia Bank's Retail Credit area. He leads the research, innovation and development efforts for the line of business, as well as leading Wachovia's process improvement methology group. Craig has extensive experience leading product development and improvements efforts in banking and in healthcare information technology with posts in both Bank of America's Consumer and Commercial bank's New Product Development processes as part of their process excellence work, as well as working for Premier Healthcare leading their program and product development serving the pharmaceutical industry.

Craig has over ten years of expertise in new product and service development in the pharmaceutical, technology, and banking industries across both consumer and commercial markets.

He is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt through the American Society for Quality (ASQ), as well as a senior member. Additionally, Craig is certified in new product development by the Product Development Management Association (PDMA) and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

John Pelton, Director, Corporate Productivity
WR Grace

John Pelton is the Director of Corporate Productivity for W.R. Grace, leading the implementation of Lean Six Sigma and Change Management. He joined Grace in September 2002.

Before joining Grace, John worked as a senior consultant for the George Group. John provided Lean Six Sigma training, coaching and consulting for 10 fortune 500 companies from the executive level to the factory floor. He successfully implemented a Six Sigma program at GSE Systems as a Vice President of Quality and Information Technology and was a critical member of the deployment team for the Six Sigma program at GE information Services. He participated as a member of the GE Corporate Six Sigma Training Council. He attended the Master Black Belt training course at the Six Sigma Academy and has personally conducted training for over 2500 Black Belts and Green Belts. John also served in the United States Army, retiring as a Major in the Infantry after serving in numerous leadership positions.

John Yagel, Director, Productivity
WR Grace

John Yagel is the Director of Productivity for Grace Davison, leading the efforts in Lean and Six Sigma. He joined Grace in October 2005.

Before joining Grace, John worked for The Dow Chemical Company for approximately 16 years. In his most recent Dow role, John was in Louisiana serving as the Quality Leader for a $3 billion division of Dow (Acrylics, Solvents and Intermediates).

John also spent about six years working at Dow’s major manufacturing site and corporate headquarters in Midland, Michigan. There he served as Production Manger / Improvement Leader for a world scale emulsion polymers plant. In this role he coordinated the scale-up of new products in North America and led productivity improvements. While in Midland he also was the Global Work Process Leader for the Emulsion Polymers business – facilitating standard work processes, empowerment and productivity across 18 plants.
Early in John’s career, he also spent about eight years at Dow’s Allyn’s Point site in Connecticut. There he served as production engineer, working on various Environmental, Quality and Productivity areas. He also led a $6MM capital expansion to drive higher productivity and technology improvements.
John holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University.

Deger Becer, MBB, Manager

Deger is a manager within PRTM’s Innovation Management Practice with extensive experience in R&D, project management, operational strategy, and innovation leadership. Deger’s area of expertise is leading the design and implementation of Lean Six Sigma methodologies in complex engineering development environments and transactional processes. Deger has nine years experience at GE as a project manager and Lean six Sigma internal consultant - leading transformation initiatives in a variety of GE’s industrial and process technology programs. Deger Becer held the position of Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt - New Product Introductions (NPI), Global Marketing and Technology for GE Water & Process Technologies ( GE W&PT), division of GE Infrastructure. Deger's responsibilities included overseeing all of the NPI programs and the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) process on a global basis for GE W&PT. In this role, Deger focused on applying LEAN Six Sigma principles to create externally focused NPI processes with improved cycle time and quality that yielded projected return on investments. Deger earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, his Master's of Science Degree in Chemistry from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, Texas, and his MBA from Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management, in Ithaca, NY.

Peri Kaae, MBB. Process Excellence Manager/Indirect Procurement

Peri Kaae is BP's Process Excellence Manager for Indirect Procurement. In his role, Peri is responsible for developing the organization construct and for leading and coordinating process improvement activities across the organization. Prior to this role, Peri was a Six Sigma Master Black Belt within the organization. Before joining BP, Peri was an SVP, MBB with Bank of America, responsible for developing and executing the Six Sigma deployment strategy within the Credit Risk Operations Group. Peri has an M.S., B.S. in Industrial and Management Engineering.

Theodore J. Brown, Lean Competency Champion

Theodore (Ted) J. Brown is the Lean Competency Champion in DuPont Operations. His responsibilities include the effective deployment of lean tools and concepts through DuPont Production System and DuPont's knowledge processes. His forty-year DuPont career includes manufacturing assignments in five businesses; quality leadership in one business, DuPont Project Engineering, DuPont's Quality Management & Technology Center and a corporate network of quality and process control practitioners; and a key role in renewing the operations competency in DuPont. He has a BSChE from the University of Cincinnati.

William Grundstrom, Global BPI Champion
Dell Computers

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