Matt Batcha, FeneTech

Matt Batcha has been with FeneTech for sixteen years and is currently a member of FeneTech’s business development team focusing on the window and door industry. Prior to moving into business development, Matt served for nearly ten years as the software development manager. He holds a BS in computer science from Ohio Northern University and an MBA from Kent State University.

Paul Breault, Industrial Automation & Robotics

Paul Breault helps companies become more efficient by improving productivity and optimizing their production costs. He is curious and passionate about the world of industrial automation and has over 20 years of experience in industrial automation processes, automation machines and robot installation, machining automation parts and robotics and maintenance. Paul says when he looks at an industrial production line, optimization solutions emerge automatically in his mind. He likes working with people, complex projects and problems for which solutions are not clear.

Vern Campbell, Operational Excellence Expert

Vern Campbell is a professional engineer with extensive experience in both the manufacturing and service sectors.  Vern spent ten years at Manitoba Hydro, first in financial planning and then leading their Strategic Planning and Quality Improvement Initiative. In 2000, he moved to Northern Blower, a 200 employee custom fan manufacturer serving the North American industrial market, initially as a consultant and then as General Manager.  At Northern Blower,  he put his operational excellence principles into practice with dramatic improvement results.  In his consulting practice, Vern has consulted in a variety of sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, human resources/payroll, electric utilities, packaging, and education, and regulatory bodies to address strategy planning and deployment, executive training and coaching, leadership and supervisor development and coaching, strategic project selection and execution, operational improvement through Lean Six Sigma training and coaching, basic data analysis, interpretation and problem solving. Vern is passionate about developing people, improving organizations and preparing students for rewarding careers in industry.

Robert Clarke, Robert Clarke Associates

Robert Clarke, Robert Clarke Associates, Boulder, Colorado -Princeton University – Engineering (1965) (briefly hockey captain) -Stanford MBA (1972) -Peace Corps – Malaysia – Science & Math Teacher -Co-Founder: Southwall Technologies (Heat Mirror), 1976, Palo Alto -Founder: Alpen (architectural glass & windows) 1981 ThinkAlpen.com -Present: Energy Consultant (with focus and very high performance architectural glass and windows) - RobertClarkeAssociates.com  

Aynsley Dueck, DUXTON Windows & Doors

Aynsley Dueck joined DUXTON Windows & Doors in 2012 as the second generation of the family business. Prior to joining the manufacturing industry, Aynsley graduated from the I.H. Asper School of Business as well as the Art Institute of Vancouver. In 2014, she completed her Yellow Belt in Lean Manufacturing, and is now working on her Green Belt.

Steve Derksen, Barkman Concrete

With over twenty years of experience in agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, and concrete manufacturing, Steve has a proven history of questioning the status quo and pushing for process improvement with tangible results. More recently he’s been using tools from his Lean and 6 Sigma certifications to drive bottom-line results with the focus and passion to equip all levels of organizations to succeed.

Steve is currently the Quality and Continuous Improvement Manager at Barkman Concrete in Steinbach, a manufacturer of precast concrete products.

Jon Eakes, Canada's Original TV Handyman

Jon Eakes was Canada's original TV Handyman starting with Mr Chips in 1978 through 8 years on HGTV up to 2004. A master teacher and a building consultant who works with the industry, sits on CSA committees, CHBA Technical Research Committe and who is often called on to help get their information into the field.
Presently he is the author of Tool Talk, a regular column in the Canadian Home Builder magazine ; has a one hour hot line radio show in Montreal which is also heard in London Ontario ; maintains a 2,000 page website on home improvements on JonEakes.com; and has his own web broadcast studio on WebTogether.ca.
Jon is Canada's EverReady bunny that just never stops beating the drum.

Brett Hiscock, LEAN Facilitator

Brett Hiscock, CIM, P.Mgr, C.Mgris a LEAN Facilitator and the Training Within Industry (TWI) Instructor for CME Manitoba. In a career spanning more than two decades, Brett has worked extensively in manufacturing operations management. He has held Operations and Production Manager positions for local and international organizations, including Palliser Furniture, a company with annual domestic and international sales of $500 million. Since joining CME in 2011, Brett has worked with more than 50 consortia companies to implement LEAN principles. He has helped over 25 companies implement TWI. Brett holds his Yellowbelt, Greenbelt, Blackbelt certifications, and Master Blackbelt certifications in LEAN Manufacturing. He is certified by the U.S.-based TWI Institute to deliver Job Instruction and Job Relations program modules.

Glen Hodgson, International Economist, Opening Keynote

Glen Hodgson has 36 years of experience in global and Canadian macro-economics, international trade analysis and finance, fiscal and tax policy, and other “big picture” topics.

Glen’s career has spanned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C., the federal Department of Finance, Export Development Canada (EDC), and the Conference Board of Canada, where he was Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist for twelve years. He recently joined International Financial Consulting Ltd. as a Senior Associate, and the C.D. Howe Institute as a Senior Fellow. He has travelled the world and Canada as an economic analyst and public speaker, financial negotiator, and advisor to governments, businesses and international organizations.

Topics of expertise and interest include: global, U.S., and Canadian economic performance; globalization, trade and disruption; international trade analysis and risk management; managing catastrophic risk; the emerging low-carbon economy; fiscal and tax policy; and the business economics of sports.

Glen has co-authored two books and over 375 reports, briefings and articles, with a regular commentary in the Globe and Mail. He has delivered many presentations to audiences of all types and sizes, and done numerous media interviews via print, TV, radio and social media.    

David C Hogg, P.Eng., Dip T EE, BASc EE, Founder, Lean Consortia

Dave, a graduate of electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, began his career in aerospace design & development engineering with Westinghouse in Hamilton. Later, Dave drew on his diverse manufacturing, education, & business background in the aftermath of the 1981-83 recession to lead the evolution of the Lean manufacturing consortia movement, described by the Sloan Management Review in 1998 as Leveraged Learning Networks. In 2000, he and his business partner Robert Kerr founded HPS Inc. to establish consortia from coast-to-coast in Canada, with extensions into the US and Australia.  At the 27th Annual International Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Conference in Dallas in 2011, Dave was inducted into the AME excellence Hall of Fame, which recognizes international manufacturing leaders.  He chaired the 2008 AME international conference in Toronto and later the 2012 Sustainability Conference as he believes lean and green are seamless.  In 2017 he was awarded the Manitoba CME Lifetime Achievement Award.

Christian Holtman, Thorwesten

Christian Holtmann works as an application engineer since 2011 by Thorwesten. He started by Thorwesten as programmer of the machinery and supports the customers. The installation of machinery from Thorwesten at the customers gives him practical experience of many different vinyl profile systems. About that way he got close between theory and praxis of processing from vinyl profiles on Thorwesten machinery. To find technical solutions for special shaped vinyl profile systems on Thorwestens machinery is his main part today. So Thorwesten works close together with their customers. And this knowledge from more than 25 years meets new customers to get the step from hand machinery to automatization.

Maria Jasminez, AquaSurTech OEM

Maria Jasminez joined AQUASURTECH OEM in 2015 as the Director of Customer Relations. Maria brings with her 20 years of window and door industry experience in various key roles with select Canadian companies.  Prior to joining the coatings industry Maria honed her manufacturing and operations skills, in her capacity, as VP of Operations for Mennie Canada Ltd. and prior to that; as Director of Human Resources for AluminArt Products Ltd.  As an active member of Fenestration Canada, Maria also volunteers her time as a member of the planning committee for the North America WinDoor Show each year.

Todd LeRoy, Loewen

Todd LeRoy has had a diverse career at Loewen which has included many roles with increased responsibility since he started at Loewen in 1982. Starting on the Shipping dock, Todd moved into positions that included safety, transportation and leadership. In 1997 Todd moved into a Production Manager role and just over a year later was promoted to Plant Manager at a time when Loewen had an average of 1300 employees. Since then Todd has served as a Business Unit Leader to lead the Awning/Casement team through a Lean transition before taking on the role as Director, Production Support Services in April 2009. Todd’s diversification in knowledge, leadership and expertise has been invaluable during a temporary on-site assignment in 2009 as the Director, Operations for Loewen Lift Slide in Oceanside, California where he provided leadership on Lean principles, process improvement and operations practices. Since that time Todd has added the leadership of the Customer Market Services and Information Technology areas to his portfolio in the role of Director, Business Operations. In July of 2013 he transitioned to Director, Manufacturing and in early 2015 was promoted to VP, Manufacturing.

Ian Marshall, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Manitoba

Ian Marshall, Lean Champion, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, joined CME Manitoba Division in 2005 as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, a joint industry / government funded initiative aimed at helping Manitoba manufacturing companies improve productivity and achieve world best performance. In this role, Ian delivers the Lean Greenbelt and Blackbelt certification programs, assists public and private sector organizations on enterprise-wide Lean transformation and supports the five Manitoba Lean consortiums. Ian is a professional engineer and spent 12 years driving Lean initiatives in the automotive and aerospace divisions of Lucas Industries in the United Kingdom and across Europe. Moving to Winnipeg 20 years ago, Ian continued to champion lean manufacturing in the roles of Change Manager at Motor Coach Industries, Plant Manager at Monarch Industries and General Manager Imports at Palliser Furniture.

Aaron Mundt, AmesburyTruth

Aaron Mundt has been with AmesburyTruth for 25 years and is currently a Business Unit Manager for casement and awning hardware as well as extrusions.  He is actively involved in strategic planning, budgeting, product design, product life cycle management, and P&L decisions for the business.  He is also AAMA Fenestration Master certified.

Stephan Nies, SIEGENIA

Stephan Nies has more than 30 years experience in various roles in the metal-industry as:
-Export Sales Manager at BGH Edelstahl in Germany (Special Stainless Steel long products)
-Sales Director at KI in Germany (Seamless drawn precision pipe)
-Director of Sales at Nobelclad in Germany (Explosion welded bi-metal plates)
Stephan is now the Area Sales Manager at SIEGENIA in Germany, a more than 100 year old family business and a world leader in windoor and door hardware with more than 2500 employees. Stephan is responsible for the sales in North America (including Canada) The UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand.

Sanjay Parikh, Joseph Machine Company

Sanjay Parikh has been with Joseph Machine Company for the past 19 years. Joseph Machine Company provides automated manufacturing solutions primarily for the Fenestration residential and commercial industry. Sanjay currently serves as the Executive Vice President at Joseph Machine Company. Over the years, Sanjay has had the opportunity to learn from and work with manufacturers, understand their needs and requirements and assist in concepting and implementing labor and material optimization solutions. Sanjay has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S in Computer Science. While Sanjay does spend a lot of time working with the team at Joseph to stay focused on the “right” growth path for customers and the company, he is also able to stay completely involved with his 9 year old daughter - whether school related activities, after school related activities, doctor’s appointments or just wasting time with her.

Cheryl Partridge, Opportunities for Employment

Cheryl Partridge has been a specialist in working with diverse populations for over 15 years. In her work with Opportunities for Employment (OFE), Cheryl is proud to have played key roles in two award-winning projects, including the Minister’s Workforce Development Award, for revolutionizing recruitment, training, and onboarding of new employees in the manufacturing sector. In her time with OFE, Cheryl has developed strong and lasting relationships with dozens of employers to meet their ever-changing (or growing) staffing needs, successfully matching over 200 job seekers with long-term, meaningful employment in this industry. Her innovative and collaborative approach has resulted in job retention rates that are significantly higher than the industry standard, long lasting partnerships with leading manufacturing companies, and happy, productive employees.

Frank Schaefer, Décor Cabinet Company

Frank comes to FenCon 19 indirectly by way of the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim, Germany.  Frank has spent the last 20 plus years in various roles within cabinetry manufacturing and production management roles. Frank is currently Director of Operations at Décor Cabinet Company.  He has been deeply involved in the evolution and implementation of some cutting edge concepts of Kaizen at Décor. Frank is extremely proud of the ability of Décor “Kaizen implementers” to post their achievements by on YouTube!

Warren Peters, LEAN Consultant

Over the course of a 20-year career in the manufacturing sector, Warren Peters has steadily assumed more senior roles, including operational responsibility for multiple plants across Canada. His experience from the shop floor to the boardroom provide him with a valuable perspective from which to provide guidance, coaching, facilitation and training services. Warren is LEAN Blackbelt Certified and Kata trained through the University of Michigan. Along with a degree from the University of Manitoba, he maintains a number of other certifications, including 4 Disciplines of Execution (Franklin Covey), Safety Management, Leadership for Excellence, Safety Auditor Training and WHIMS (COR).

Rob Spewak, Research Manager, Red River College

Rob Spewak joined Red River College 2007 as Research Manager for Research, Partnerships & Innovation. He has focused on developing the applied research activities for the College and matching external partners and projects with internal capabilities. Since 2015, he has managed the Building Envelope Technology Access Centre, or BETAC. He led a team in the writing of the proposal to create BETAC, which is funded by NSERC’s Technology Access Centre program. He has focused on developing the applied research activities in the building construction industry and oversees the strategic direction and business development activities for BETAC. Rob is focused on growing the service, training and applied research activities for BETAC. BETAC’s mission is to improve the energy performance and durability of buildings particularly in Winnipeg’s extreme climate. Rob holds an M.Sc. in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, and has completed a Technology Commercialization Internship which included basic licensing training and intellectual property management. Prior to joining Red River College, he worked in technical sales for six years – the majority of which were spent in the composites manufacturing sector. Although currently in a managerial role, Rob still enjoys working in the field alongside his team of research professionals and technologists and has trained in air leakage testing of large buildings along with infrared thermography.

Billy Ray Taylor, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Luncheon Keynote

Billy Ray Taylor is Director of Commercial and Off Highway Manufacturing for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Taylor has more than 25 years of operations management experience, in his role as Director, he is responsible for driving operational excellence, delivering best in class product service and product quality enabling high-value business growth.

He has a track record of improving production efficiency and building employee engagement at all levels of an organization. Billy has been called upon by Business Excellence Magazine, Association of Manufacturing Excellence, Nike, The United States Army, and the International Manufacturing Technology Show to deliver his powerful leadership message and show practical examples on how to drive and sustain effective results through embracing your culture and enabling employee ownership. He earned an MBA from Baker University, in Baldwin, Kansas, and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University, in Prairie View, Texas.

Taylor is active in the community and currently serves on the Saint Vincent-Saint Mary High School Executive Board in Akron, Ohio, as well as chairman of the board of the Goodyear Good Governance Fund and executive sponsor for the Goodyear Black Network an Employee Resource Group.  He is a member of the Shingo Institutes executive advisory board at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Billy  is a trusted member of Plant Engineering Publications Editorial Advisory Board.

Notable Achievements and Recognition:
  • State of Oklahoma Governor’s Office and the Oklahoma Southeast Legislative Delegation – citation of commendation for leadership and community service.
  • 2010 Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence – “Silver Medallion” – for leading the Goodyear plant in Lawton, Oklahoma, to excellence in lean manufacturing; the second highest honor behind the Shingo Prize and the world’s only lean manufacturing award program.
  • Freedom Fortress Coin – rarely bestowed upon civilians and presented in recognition of strong leadership during economic downturn by Lieutenant General David Valcourt, deputy commanding three-star general and chief of staff of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Al Dueck, Duxton Windows & Doors, Conference Chair

Al Dueck, Owner and Founder of DUXTON Windows & Doors, has dedicated more than 25 years of his professional life to the window manufacturing industry. Graduating from the University of Manitoba with an MBA, Al has always been particularly passionate about product design and building envelopes. A large portion of his industry background involved leading edge glazing – technological advances offering greater energy efficiency, comfort, and durable warm edge configurations. Al is the founding president of Fenestration Manitoba and is also active within Fenestration Canada.

Nancy Zubriski, Fenestration Manitoba, Conference Organizer

Zubriski & Associates provides Association Management services for not-for-profit member-based associations. This service includes membership management, event management, financial management and board management. Nancy Zubriski has been working with Fenestration Manitoba as Association Manager/Executive Director since 2015.