COTA Virginia Tech - Invent the Future
Lean Academy - Virginia Tech
Lean Academy - Virginia Tech


Our Instructors

photo Jeff Fuchs, Maryland World Class Consortia

Jeff Fuchs serves as the executive director of the Maryland World Class Consortia, a non-profit organization that helps members understand lean principles, achieve performance excellence, and strengthen the state and regional economies. He served on the Consortia’s founding member Advisory Board in 1996, and has previously been a consulting service provider to MWCC member organizations.

Jeff is also President of Neovista Consulting, a services firm specializing in operational excellence, Lean Thinking, leadership development, change management, and building cultures of continuous improvement.

Jeff was deeply involved in the creation and expansion of a nationally-recognized system of Lean Certification that is today jointly supported by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Shingo Institute, and the American Society for Quality. He is currently pursuing his Lean Silver Certification and he has served on the Lean Certification Oversight Committee continuously since its inception in 2006.

Jeff received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from West Point. He is an examiner for both the Shingo Prize and AME’s Manufacturing Excellence Award. He is the past Chairman of the Maryland Advisory Commission for Manufacturing Competitiveness.

photo Mike Leigh, OpX Solutions

Mike Leigh is the President of OpX Solutions, LLC, a performance improvement company that specializes in helping organizations pursue operational excellence by improving their processes and developing their leaders. Mike has over 25 years of operational leadership and process improvement experience in both government and corporate organizations, and currently supports the City of Roanoke’s lean initiatives by providing training, consulting, and strategic services through the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center. He specializes in helping organizations implement lean techniques and create a culture of continuous improvement.

Prior to starting his business, Mike was a leader in GE Energy’s Global Lean Office where he developed lean programs, implemented lean concepts, and trained site lean leaders and executives at over 25 businesses, both domestically and internationally. During this time, he led or consulted hundreds of kaizen teams, and worked side-by-side for 45 weeks with consultants from Shingijutsu. Mike has held various supply chain management positions including Operations Manager, Quality Leader, and Global Master Scheduler.

Prior to his manufacturing career, Mike served in the US Navy where he qualified as a Nuclear Engineer and retired as a Commander. He resides in Roanoke, VA.

photo Margaret Deck, Pamplin School of Business, Virginia Tech

Margaret Deck has over 20 years of experience as a Lean practitioner. She began her career in 1987 when Lean was still new to US industries. Working in the automotive industry, she had the opportunity to participate from the beginning in a Lean transformation and then build on that foundation over the next 20 years. Margaret has held various management positions in manufacturing including Plant Manager, Operations Manager, Quality Manager and Engineering Manager.

Margaret has spent the last 8 years teaching at Virginia Tech. She teaches Lean philosophy and tools, as well as management and leadership courses, and works with student groups to develop Lean solutions in businesses in the New River Valley.  She also partners with the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center to provide Lean training for teams from government and industry. She is currently helping develop the Virginia Tech Lean Academy which will be offered through the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center.

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