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Certification Oversight & Appeals Committee

Each certification program has an oversight body comprised of no fewer than five practitioners and subject matter experts from industry and academia. The committee evaluates certification exam performance on a yearly basis making sure that each item is performing accurately. They are responsible for responding to all requests for certification appeals. The oversight body also ensures that candidates are offered proper tools they need while preparing for the examinations and makes recommendations for the development of said tools.


Gary Vresk

Gary Vrsek, CMfgE
Consultant, Eastern Michigan University

Gary Vrsek has been providing engineering support to a variety of industries since 2006, after retiring from a 33-year career with Ford Motor Company. He is an EMU graduate and has been teaching several classes there, primarily in the Engineering Management MS program, since 1995. His prime field of expertise is in the mechanical design, research, and manufacturing, from prototype to high-volume production of powertrains for automotive, industrial, marine, aircraft, high performance, and military applications. While at Ford, Gary spent 13 years as an engineering manager, leading major product programs, CAD/CAM/CAE efforts, and also as casting technical specialist, launching new manufacturing technologies into production. His eight patents span critical engine technologies and manufacturing innovations; one of which earned Machine Design Magazine’s Concurrent Engineering Award and two others, the prestigious R&D 100 award.  Gary is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer, a Six Sigma Project Champion and Green Belt. He has been a member of SME since 1991 and has served as a subject matter expert and course reviewer for Tooling U, as well as a contributor to the Fundamentals of Manufacturing textbook.



Additive Manufacturing Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee


Immediate Past Chair


Ryan Tedjasukmana, CAM-F
Mechanical Engineer, PAR Systems

Ryan Tedjasukmana's technical interests span across many different areas of manufacturing, including robotics, smart manufacturing, and additive manufacturing. For the past eight years, Tedjasukmana has been working in the robotics simulation field, solving various manufacturing challenges in aerospace and defense. Tedjasukmana received both Bachelor's and Master's in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University with concentrations in structures, materials, and systems design. In July 2018, SME recognized Tedjasukmana as one of the "30 Under 30" Future Leaders of Manufacturing. From here, his involvements with the organization continued to grow. In May 2020, Tooling U appointed Tedjasukmana to co-develop a number of online courses for the next generation of learners.




Charles Gilman
Consultant, Gilman Analytics

Charles Gilman has been working in Additive Manufacturing for 25 years. Prior to his current role, Mr. Gilman held positions with GE Global Research’s Model-Based Manufacturing Laboratory, the US Air Force Manufacturing Technology Directorate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and STEP Tools, Inc. Mr. Gilman’s technical interests also include Computational Geometry, Model-Based Manufacturing, and Smart Manufacturing.

Pamela Szmara

Pamela Szmara
Founder, Pamton 3D

Pam Szmara might wear glasses to correct her eyesight, but when it comes to creating real-life 3-D solutions for her customers, she has perfect vision.

For more than 25 years, Pam worked as an orthodontic laboratory technician where she hand-fabricated orthodontic appliances for the dental industry. But after buying her first Stratasys machine and channeling some Geometry knowledge from back in the day, she decided to immerse herself in the world of additive manufacturing. The rest is history.

Today, Pam is the founder and CEO of Pamton 3D, the Mahoning Valley’s only woman-owned 3D printing company. She manages Pamton’s 3D printing services, prototyping, scale models and short production projects for customers all over the country in the automotive, aeronautical, medical and industrial markets. She is also heavily involved in education within the 3D printing community and serves on the board of directors for Tooling U-SME.


Pamela Waterman, CAM-F
3D Printing Application Engineer, Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies

Pam Waterman is a 3D Printing Application Engineer at Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies and has been involved in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) for more than 20 years. She began her career as a manufacturing engineer for Raytheon Power Tube and worked on both defense and commercial satellite communication systems at the MITRE Corporation and EPSCO. She has also served as an additive manufacturing specialist Contributing Editor for Digital Engineering magazine and a contributing author for several editions of Wohlers Report: 3D Printing and AM State of the Industry. Her undergraduate degree is in astrophysics from UMass Amherst; she also holds a master’s in radio astronomy/microwave engineering from U of M Michigan Ann Arbor and has been an engineering instructor at Oklahoma State University.


Susan Witt
Manager Industrial Training, EWI

Susan M. Witt works as Manager Industrial Training for EWI. For the past five years she has been developing and managing the programming in the STEM Lab and developing training courses for industry. Prior to coming to BMW Ms. Witt served as Program Coordinator for Erie and Niagara Counties for the Dream It, Do It program, engaging and educating the next generation in manufacturing and engineering. Ms. Witt earned her Bachelor’s Degree from State University of New York, Buffalo State in Mechanical Engineering in 2002. Upon graduation she worked as a design engineer specializing in electro-mechanical designs. Ms. Witt currently sits on Erie Community College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Advisory Board and State University of New York, Buffalo State Mechanical Engineering Technology Industry Advisory Board, the SME (Society Manufacturing Engineers) Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee and the RIA (Robotics Industries Association) Individual Robotics Certification Committee.



Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA), Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) and Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) Committee

Immediate Past Chair


Jeevan Malpeddi, CMfgE, CQE, CRE
Product Development Lead, Ford Motor Company

Jeevan Malpeddi is a senior engineer in the body engineering area of product development at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.  He has over 25 years of automotive product design and manufacturing experience which includes body exterior systems, sheet metal, interior seats restraints.  His role is to lead the design, development, validation, release implementation of engineering product changes that are attributed to revenue, quality, cost, customer satisfaction, performance, regulatory, manufacturability, and serviceability.  He has master of science in management degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY; master of science degree in manufacturing from Eastern Michigan University, MI; and bachelor of mechanical engineering from Osmania University, India.




Thomas Binder, CMfgT, CMfgE
The Boeing Company, Retired

Tom Binder is a retired manufacturing engineer from the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company in Renton, Washington. Binder started his career in the commercial airplane division in 1984 and had worked on 727, 737, 757 and military versions of the 707, 737 and 757 aircraft. Recently, he was a hardware manager for the Boeing Defense and Space group working on the P-8A, a derivative of the commercial 737 for the U.S. Navy. Binder was responsible for manufacturability, supplier coordination, and scheduling of military hardware installed in the forward fuselage. His last assignment involved build integration and production system design for the 737 MAX family of jetliners.

He is a United States patent holder for Boeing's "Sky Interior" for the 737 and was honored with a 2012 Boeing Special Invention Award for this patent. Binder has achieved both the Certified Manufacturing Engineer and Certified Manufacturing Technologist certifications from SME and is a member of the Boeing SME steering team. He is also a Certified Master Automotive Technician – National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Binder received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University and holds a Certificate in Product Lifecycle Management from Purdue University and an Associate's Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.


Brian Cobb, CMfgE, LBC, CAM-F
Hyosung HICO, Ltd

Brian Cobb is the Manufacturing Control Manager at Hyosung HICO, Ltd in Memphis, Tennessee. He has over 25 years of Manufacturing Engineering experience in the medical device, chemical, hydrocarbon, nuclear power, and power transmission industries. His areas of specialization include process control, lean manufacturing, rapid prototyping, new product development, DFMA, DMAIC, machining, casting, and forging. Over the years Brian has established production lines and developed manufacturing processes for multiple facilities in the United States, Asia, and Europe. He has held the positions of Vice Chair of SME Chapter 080 in 2011 and 2017, and Chairman in 2012 and 2018.

Brian holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering, from STIM in Memphis TN, a BS in Manufacturing Engineering, and an MS in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Memphis. He also holds the CMfgE, LBC, and CAMF certifications through SME.


Kathryn Daniels, PhD, LSME, CMfgE
Owner, Tri-Phase Engineering

Kathryn Daniels has 30 plus years aircraft experience in tool and die making, tool engineering, and programming. CATIA V5, quality engineer and quality management. (AS9100, AS9102) Adjunct teaching in engineering, quality and lean manufacturing related topics at Wichita Area Technical College, Butler Community College, Pittsburg State University and Wichita State University. Past SME experience is: Certification Committee, (9 yrs.), Chapter 52 Wichita, Ks activities include: Certification Chair, 11 years, Vice Chair (3 yrs.), Chairman, (3 yrs.), Advisor to Wichita State University Student Chapter (4 yrs.). Currently, serving as Chair and Certification Chair for Wichita Ks chapter, and assisting students at Wichita State University. Other professional affiliations are: Senior member, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Senior Member American Society of Quality, Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and American Society of Engineering Education. B.S. Manufacturing Technology and B.S. Business Quality Management Southwestern College, M.S. Technical Education Pittsburg State University, Ed.S Industrial Education Pittsburg State University, and PhD Industrial Engineering University of Berkeley. Currently, owns Tri-Phase Engineering, where most work is engineering design for the military.

Jeff Miller

Dr. Jeff Miller
Principal Senior Technical Fellow in Production Engineering at The Boeing Company

Dr. Jeff Miller is a Principal Senior Technical Fellow in Production Engineering at The Boeing Company.  He started in career in 1990 at McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company and has extensive experience in leading innovative technology development through production system implementation.  Before joining the Boeing Technical Fellowship, he held Senior Management positions in Technology Integration and Global Equipment & Tooling Integration for the 787 Dreamliner Program. Miller led onsite design, construction, and activation of launch facilities for the Boeing Delta IV rocket program on both coasts, and site planning and activation teams for the 1.5 million square foot Delta rocket factory in Decatur, AL, including acquisition and commissioning of the plant, property, production equipment, and tooling.  Miller led several technology development projects for manufacturing both aircraft and launch vehicle primary structure including specialized equipment and processes for the NASA Advanced Composites Technology Wing Program.  He is an Affiliate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Washington and has developed and previously taught courses in composites materials and processes, manufacturing, concurrent engineering, project management, producibility, and technical leadership.   Miller was selected as an SME Fellow and serves on the AeroDef Executive Committee.  Miller previously served as Certification Chair for SME Chapter 39 and led instruction of Manufacturing Engineering and Technologist Review Courses.  He holds Professional Certification in Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering Management, and Project Management.  Miller earned BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Manufacturing Engineering, MBA in Technology Management, and is a Registered Professional Engineer.


Gary Vrsek, CMfgE
Consultant, Eastern Michigan University

Gary Vrsek has been providing engineering support to a variety of industries since 2006, after retiring from a 33 year career with Ford Motor Company. He is an EMU graduate and has been teaching a number of classes there, primarily in the Engineering Management MS program, since 1995. His prime field of expertise is in the mechanical design, research, and manufacturing; from prototype to high-volume production of powertrains for automotive, industrial, marine, aircraft, high performance, and military applications. While at Ford, Gary spent 13 years as an engineering manager, leading major product programs, CAD/CAM/CAE efforts, and also as casting technical specialist, launching new manufacturing technologies into production. His eight patents span critical engine technologies and manufacturing innovations; one of which earned Machine Design Magazine’s Concurrent Engineering Award and two others, the prestigious R&D 100 award.  Gary is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer, a Six Sigma Project Champion and Green Belt. He has been a member of SME since 1991 and has served as a subject matter expert and course reviewer for Tooling U, as well as a contributor to the Fundamentals of Manufacturing text book.


Ruben Reyes, CMfgE
Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Ruben Reyes holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Wichita State University. Early in his career, he developed tools and procedures for the F-35 fatigue test airframe teardown and structural evaluation at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), allowing valuable data to be captured that otherwise would have been lost. Currently, he is Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics where his primary focus is on the application of low-observable coatings on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Ruben previously served as the Vice Chair of Wichita Chapter 52 in 2019 and served as their Chair in 2021 and 2022. Throughout his college career, he served as Wichita State University’s Student Chapter 14 Treasurer, Vice Chairman, and Chairman.



Lean Certification Committee

“Promote and maintain the leading global LEAN Certification, which enables individual development and business success.”

The Lean Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee is made up of industry leaders whose diverse backgrounds represent years of lean experience. The Lean Certification Alliance — Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), Shingo Institute, and SME — works to appoint lean practitioners to the committee. The Lean Certification and Oversight Appeals Committee plays a critical role in administering the Lean Certification program.



Audie Penn, LGC
Principal, Audie Penn Consulting
SME Representative

Principal Consultant and Operating Executive, Audie Penn has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing industries including Heavy Equipment, Food, Office Furniture, and Building Materials.

He has served as Principal Consultant for the past 6 years. His expertise is evidenced by multiple new product introductions in Fortune 50 global products and multiple divisional turnarounds.

In 2016, Penn created Audie Penn Consulting, a firm specializing in the deployment of Operational Excellence. His focus is executing Strategy Deployment and training executives and local plant staff to execute process improvements and achieve targeted results.

Prior to consulting, Penn was responsible for multiple manufacturing positions including: Group Manager of the North American Assembly Operations for Hydraulic Excavators, Caterpillar, Inc.; Plant General Manager North American Operations, Manitowoc Cranes (multiple plant responsibilities); and Plant Manager for other organizations. He is experienced in global operations, having also worked in China, Europe, Central America, and South America.



Marian Lemne

Marian Lemne, LGC, LSC
VP Manufacturing, Tally Energy Systems
SME Representative

For over 20 years, Marian Lemne is pursuing his passion for Operational Excellence leading world class teams from good to great processes and to sustainable results through open communication and collaboration. Marian Lemne holds a Lean Gold and a Lean Silver Certifications from SME, a Certified Supply Chain Professional certification from ASCM / APICS, a Project Management Professional certification from Project Management Institute with international experience in supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, trade, legal and distribution, and a focus on lean principles, data analytics and agile problem solving. Marian Lemne holds a Master of Business Administration from Vienna University of Business and Economics, a Masters’ Certificate in Project Management for York University, Toronto, Canada and an Engineering Degree in Mechanical Engineering, specialization Thermal Engines, Major in Engines from “Gheorge Asachi” Technical University from Iasi, Romania.


Robert Elliott, LBC
Continuous Improvement Manager, GBMP
GBMP Representative

Bob Elliott is a Continuous Improvement Manager at GBMP, SME Bronze Certified and a Certified Shingo Institute Workshop Facilitator.

Bob has facilitated training and implementation of Lean Principles in many World-Class organizations including Raytheon, Drager Medical, Flexcon Industries, Mersen, Norfolk Southern Railroad to name a few. The training and implementation in these organizations has resulted in reduced lead-times, quality and productivity improvements and cost reductions.

Bob’s training and coaching abilities are not limited to manufacturing; he has worked with many Healthcare organizations including Concord Hospital, Lowell General Hospital, Mass General, Emerson Hospital and Somerville Hospital. He has also worked with service industries such as Mass Mutual Insurance Company and Dacon, a design & construction architectural company.

Bob has been a frequent speaker/presenter at SME’s Eastec, a New England manufacturing exposition held in Springfield MA and was also a guest speaker for the Worcester chapter of SME. Bob has presented at GBMP’s annual Northeast Lean Conference and has been involved with the Shingo Prize as an examiner for Shingo applicants like Raytheon and Snap-On Tools. Bob, a former GBMP client and Board of Directors member has been involved with GBMP since the early 1990’s. Bob has held top-level Operations Management positions at several local Massachusetts companies. Bob holds a BS in Operations Management from Northeastern University in Boston.


Jeff Fuchs, LBC, LSC
President, Neovista Consulting, LLC
AME Representative

Jeff’s passion for Lean Thinking began in 1993, as the plant manager of a small aerospace firm where lean manufacturing provided the cornerstone of a dramatic multi-year business turnaround. His industry experience includes automotive, machining, defense, and solar power, in roles of quality manager, engineering director, and lean champion. In 2000, he launched Neovista Consulting to focus on operational excellence, Lean Thinking, leadership development, change management, and organizational culture.

For eleven years, Jeff served as Executive Director of the Maryland World Class Consortia, a non-profit lean consortium helping organizations build cultures of continuous improvement. He has been a lean trainer, improvement facilitator, leader coach, and strategic advisor. He served on the founding member Advisory Board in 1996.

Jeff has been deeply involved in the creation and expansion of the Lean Certification system. He holds Lean Bronze and Silver Certifications, and is working toward Lean Gold. He is Past Chair of the Lean Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee.

Jeff is a lean instructor for University of Baltimore’s Certified Public Manager Program, and he has supported Virginia Tech and Harrisburg University in lean curricula offerings. He has designed lean training and coaching programs that have together graduated over 1,500 lean leaders across multiple government agencies and private sector companies. Jeff’s major clients have included Raytheon, GlaxoSmithKline, Northrop Grumman, Halliburton, U.S. Air Force, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NOAA, the City of Baltimore, and the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from West Point. He is a lifelong student of team leadership, a combat veteran of the first Gulf War, and was awarded multiple Bronze Star Medals. He is an examiner for both the Shingo Institute’s Shingo Prize and the AME Excellence Award. He is the past Chairman of the Maryland Advisory Commission for Manufacturing Competitiveness and serves on the Board of Directors of Open Works, a Baltimore community maker space and small business incubator.


Jim Garrick, LBC, LSC, CMfgE
Global Engineering, A O Smith
Shingo Representative

Jim is Lean Silver Certified and is a senior management and training professional with over 35 years of experience. He has a strong manufacturing and service improvement background that includes a variety of functional experience. He serves as a senior examiner/team lead for both the Shingo Prize and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Excellence Award and is a member of the Southeast Board of Directors for AME. Jim is also serves as a Board Member for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship and College of Business Advisory Boards at Tennessee Technological University. He has been an SME member since 1983, receiving the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award - 1990, and Award of Merit – 1992. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Gannon University and an MBA from Tennessee Technological University. He has achieved the levels of Certified Manufacturing Engineer, SME and Professional Engineering Manager, Association for Engineering Management.


Christianna (Chris) Hayes, MBA, PMP, SSMBB, CMQ/OE, CQA, CQE, CSCP, LBC
CEO, Impact Performance Solutions
Shingo Representative

Chris has almost 30 years as a proven business performance improvement leader, international speaker, and author. Chris is a full spectrum coach and adult learning instructor with practical experience from the shop floor to the boardroom. She utilizes organizational excellence best practices to engage the workforce, drive ideal behaviors, meet objectives, and sustain results. Because of her extensive experience helping companies achieve organizational excellence, Chris is one of only 36 in the world to be accepted as a Shingo Licensed Affiliate.

Chris has served in various top leadership positions throughout her career including CEO, COO, VP of Quality, and Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University and the University of Tulsa where she developed and taught numerous adult-learning-centric courses. She has volunteered her time and shared her knowledge through her association with organizations such as ASQ (Board of Directors, Lean Enterprise Division Chair, Quality Innovations Summit TPC Chair, Fellows Coach and NextGen Chair) and SME (Member volunteer, Lean Bronze Instructor, Lean Bronze Portfolio Reviewer, and COA Member).

Chris has an MBA in addition to an undergrad degree in Business and Project Management and has earned certifications in areas of Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (LSSMBB), Project Management (PMP), Supply Chain (CSQP), Quality (CMQ/OE and CQE), Auditing (CQA), certified ISO 9001 and AS9100), and Human Resources (HR Specialist).


Matthew Hilgendorf
Director, Atkore Business System, Atkore International
SME Representative

Hilgendorf, director of the Atkore Business System, joined Atkore International in Aug. 2017, where he is responsible for all business improvement activities including lean manufacturing and operational excellence. Prior to this role, Hilgendorf led manufacturing operations at Atkore’s Allied Tube & Conduit facility in the greater Chicago area. Previously, he was the supplier development and quality manager at Black Horse LLC, a Caterpillar Inc. and Ariel Corp. joint venture, leading quality, sourcing and operational excellence efforts. Past roles in Caterpillar include leadership positions in operations, quality and supply chain. During Hilgendorf's quality career, he spent five years as a Chief Metrologist. Hilgendorf holds bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and manufacturing engineering from Kettering University and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an SME endowment member, active SME Education Foundation donor and scholarship committee member. Hilgendorf has been active at the international level since 2006, having spent three terms on the SME Board of Directors in 2012, 2015 and 2017. He also led the SME Member Council in 2014. In 2018, Hilgendorf was named an SME Marcus B. Crotts Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer. SME Member Since 2002.


Rachel Regan
Program Director, Catalysis

Rachel Regan has over 25 years’ experience in lean, beginning her career as a Quality Engineer for Toyota Motor Manufacturing. Currently she is the Program Director at Catalysis, a non-profit with a mission to transform the healthcare industry. Her primary role is chief engineer of the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summits in the US and Europe. She also leads the Physician Lean Leader Forum, a peer-to-peer networking group. She has also held led payment initiatives (value-based payment).

Prior to joining Catalysis, Rachel was the Director of Events with the Lean Enterprise Institute and was privileged to work under the guidance of Jim Womack, John Shook, and Helen Zak. Additionally, she was a lean consultant, working in automotive, farm equipment, footwear manufacturing, and construction.

Rachel holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She is a Shingo Prize examiner and has been an instructor for the MBOE program at The Ohio State University.

Chad Vincent

Sr Manager Product Development Engineering - Design
AME Representative

Chad is a continuous improvement professional with over 20 years of experience.  He is a Senior Member of ASQ and a member of SME and AME.  He is a past chair of the Lean Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee and SME’s Technical Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee.  He is a past examiner and judge for the Governor’s Quality Award, Arkansas’ equivalent of the MBNQA.  Chad earned a BS in Engineering Management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.  He has served as a lean practitioner for the logistics, construction, and manufacturing industries including medical devices, industrial packaging, railcar, and footwear.