Helen Zak

Title: President and Chief Operating Officer
Company: ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value


Helen has 27 years of lean leadership experience in a wide range of industries, including automotive, capital equipment and high tech. Formerly, COO of the Lean Enterprise Institute for 11 years, Helen worked with Jim Womack to spread the topic of lean throughout the world and to every industry.

Helen has contributed to 15 published works on the topic of lean, as well as numerous educational programs and events. She helped to establish the Lean Education Academic Network, The Lean Global Network and the Healthcare Value Network.

Helen is on the board of directors of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, as well as an advisor to EdNet at MIT and a steering committee member of the Lean Education Academic Network. She is faculty for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, and faculty and coach for the MBOE Program at Fisher College of Business at Ohio State.

Helen received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, an MS in Operations Management, and an MS in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University.