All COE events are located at Fisher College of Business unless otherwise noted.

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Aug. 14 - COE Forum

Everyone, Every Day: Creating and Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture

Joe Murli, founder, The Murli Group; author, The Lean Management System

It’s the goal of any organization pursuing a lean transformation: Every employee at every level constantly searching for ways to improve, enabled by leaders who work to make it happen. Getting there is both the challenge and the opportunity.

Join the Center for Operational Excellence Friday, Aug. 14, for an exclusive members-only keynote address from Lean Management Systems expert Joe Murli as he offers his insights from decades working with companies in the pursuit of operational excellence. Murli, founder of The Murli Group and author of The Lean Management System, will break down how leaders at each level of your organization can work in concert with the elements of the management system to help fuel the continuous improvement culture and offer crucial insights on the role of coaching and driving work-force creativity. Go beyond struggling with sustainability and on to continual improvement at every level.    

Murli is a more than 25-year veteran of the lean management system who has led transformation efforts at Pratt & Whitney, Kaman Aerospace, and Sterling Autobody. Following the session, Murli will be signing copies of his book, The Lean Management System.

Location: 140 Pfahl Hall, 280 W. Woodruff Ave. (adjacent to The Blackwell), Columbus, OH 43210


  • 9:30 - 10 a.m.: Check-in
  • 10 - 10:30 a.m.: Welcome, COE Exec. Dir. Peg Pennington, Fisher Senior Assoc. Dean Peter Ward
  • 10:30 a.m. - noon: Joe Murli keynote
  • Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Book signing

Aug. 28 - Professional Development Meeting | Fawcett Center, Columbus, OH

9 - 10 a.m.: Board meeting (COE board members / invited guests only)

9:30 a.m.: Networking breakfast (All other member attendees) - Arrive when you want, grab a light breakfast, and network with other COE member attendees

10:30 a.m.: A Conversation with Snap-on Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk

 A manufacturing industry veteran and a tenacious advocate for continuous improvement, Snap-on Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk also wears the mantle of one of the trade’s biggest cheerleaders. COE is thrilled to host Pinchuk for its fall seminar to share his perspective on transformative leadership, his company’s dynamic approach to process excellence, and his vision for a U.S. manufacturing renaissance.

An inductee last year in the IndustryWeek Hall of Fame, Pinchuk has served as president and CEO of the innovative Kenosha, Wis.-based tool maker since 2007. He joined the company in 2002 as a senior vice president. In just the last half-decade of his tenure, Snap-on’s revenue has grown nearly 40 percent to top $3 billion while profits have tripled. Snap-on’s stock price has quadrupled in that same time, well-outpacing market trends.

Pinchuk has guided Snap-on to new heights after a long career in the manufacturing industry and a stint as a U.S. Army officer. He’s previously held leadership roles at Ford Motor Co. and United Technologies subsidiary Carrier Corp., where he served in a wide range of positions. His storied career in the industry may drive his passion for returning American manufacturing jobs to a symbol of prosperity and growth, but Snap-on’s relentless approach to continuous improvement contains leadership lessons for any industry.

Noon: Buffet lunch

1 - 2:30 p.m.: 'Embrace, or Brace, for Change: Operational Excellence in the Future'
Tom Goldsby, Professor of Logistics, Fisher College of Business; author, Global Macrotrends and their Impact on Supply Chain Management

While the topics of supply chain risk management and sustainability are mainstream managerial concerns today, scores of emerging developments reside just beyond the view of most organizations' long-term planning horizons. Macro-level social, economic, environmental, and technological forces have the potential to change the daily lives of people around the globe and, in turn, the success of businesses. These trends force us to recalibrate commonly held assumptions related customers' demand patterns and companies’ supply capabilities.      

Award-winning professor and researcher Tom Goldsby will offer insights on what “macrotrends” organizations and their supply chain partners need to consider in today's operations. These trends – which include explosive population growth in underdeveloped countries, a rising global middle class, climate change, resource scarcity, and disruptive technologies – might seem futuristic, but Goldsby argues companies with an eye on them are uniquely positioned to seize competitive advantage.        

Drawing from the book he co-authored last year, Global Macrotrends and Their Impact on Supply Chain Management, Goldsby will highlight what a “global” company will look like in the future, what organizations can do to prepare for these trends today, and how those steps can render your long-term operational excellence strategy more effective.

Oct. 16 - IT Leadership Network forum

Featured speaker: Bob Gold, CEO, Gold Group Enterprises

'The Top 5 Challenges in Executing IT Projects'

Gold is a rare combination of business entrepreneur, strategic visionary and outstanding communicator. His successful track record in creating and developing growth companies combined with his specialty focus in sales, marketing and technology, has enabled him to help companies convert their Intellectual Properties’ into thriving businesses throughout his career. Gold's most recent business endeavor has taken him to the new world of mobile and social commerce.

As CEO of Gold Group Enterprises, Gold has built a thriving business focused on “lifestyle engagement, transactions, and rewards” extending enterprise CRM and Loyalty programs for Fortune 1000 companies.

Also featured: Amy Evans, Manager, Continuous Improvement, Nordstrom Inc.

Registration to open in August 2015

Nov. 6 - Professional Development Meeting

Featured Speaker:

Joe Zekoski, SVP, Chief Technical Officer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Zekoski, who had served as Interim Chief Technical Officer since 2012, began his career with Goodyear in 1979 as a commercial truck tire engineer in Akron, Ohio. He then took leadership positions in commercial truck tire development in Luxembourg and in Akron.  Zekoski gained experience in consumer tires when he was assigned as Chief Engineer of tire development for the Asian original equipment manufacturers.  Zekoski has also held many other leadership roles within Goodyear’s technical organizations, including customer engineering, light truck tire development and North America product development.  His business leadership experience encompasses North America’s retread business, as well as the molded products and air spring businesses in the Engineered Products Division.  From 2006 through 2008, Zekoski led Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Luxembourg.

Registration to open in September

Mark your calendar...

The following COE events are scheduled with more details to come, though dates are subject to change. Check back on our events page or look for an e-mail invite closer to the event.

  • Oct. 30 - Supply Chain Forum
  • Dec. 4 - Women's Leadership Forum: Women in Lean
  • Feb. 12, 2016 - Professional Development Meeting
  • April 12-14, 2016 - Leading Through Excellence summit
  • June 3, 2016 - IT Leadership Network forum