Americas Team

Ernie Arboles

Ernie Arboles has over seven years of in-depth training and hands-on deployment of Six Sigma methodologies. He is a Certified Master Black Belt skilled in driving change through all levels of an organization by educating employees and…


… executives on the value of continuous process improvement and quality enhancement programs.Ernie began an eleven-year career with NBC starting as a journalist and television broadcast executive, holding numerous leadership positions covering the Olympic Games, several elections, and national and local news stories.

He was later promoted to Vice President of Quality where he introduced Six Sigma initiatives across an entire division of NBC. Here he spearheaded a number of cost saving and revenue generating projects and deployed Six Sigma to 300+ employees, developing the methodology and process for selecting, prioritizing and implementing quality improvement projects across the division. Most recently, Ernie led the planning and integration of three television stations in Los Angeles, producing the first English-Spanish co-located tri-opoly in the country.

Ernie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and an MBA in Finance, Organizational Behavior, Marketing & Sales from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.



Jim Athon

Jim has a strong background of Continuous Improvement, having held positions as an Industrial Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer and a Design Engineer.  He received his Black Belt training in 1996 while at AlliedSignal…


… Automotive, and generated substantial benefits for the organization in both the Manufacturing and Transactional areas. He has also worked as an Automotive Design Engineer in Detroit, integrating Design for Six Sigma and Design for Manufacturing principles into current and future automotive safety restraint products.  He later held positions as a Black Belt and Master Black Belt at GE Industrial Systems.

Jim has been consulting for over 10 years and has experience in several industries, including:  Paper & Printing, Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Aerospace, Internet Service Provision, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences, Medical Insurance, amongst others.  His clients have included Adena Healthcare, United Healthcare, Fidelity Investments, Applied Biosystems, AOL, Nokia, Owens Corning, TRW, Sun Microsystems and Mead Paper.  Jim also worked with the Penn State QMM program coaching and certifying Graduate Black Belt candidates.

Jim has worked many projects for clients utilizing Lean principles and Six Sigma problem solving, including changeover time reduction, establishing pull systems, improving equipment reliability, and reducing defects.  Working with teams in manufacturing facilities and transactional offices, he has coordinated Kaizen teams to complete transformational change in weeklong and yearlong projects.

Jim has trained over 700 Black Belts and numerous Green Belts.  He has conducted over 50 Black Belt and Green Belt training courses, and several Champion and Executive Overview sessions.  In addition to the academic experience, Jim has coached and mentored over 1000 projects, thus having a great deal of practical experience applying Six Sigma and Lean Principles to a wide variety of business processes.

He holds a B.S. in Textile Engineering from the Southern College of Technology.

Mo Cayer

Mo Cayer is a global consultant specializing in leadership and organizational change.  He supports Pivotal clients on a wide range of challenges tied to supporting strategic business goals through major transformations and…


… accelerating the development of leadership talent.

Mo started his career in the retail industry, working in various HR Development roles at JC Penney Co., and later with Macy’s, as Vice President, Organization Development & Executive Compensation. He was also with the consulting firm Development Dimensions International (DDI) as the head of Strategies for Service Excellence.

Joining GE Capital Corp. in 1995, he was the Leader for Best Practices & Program Development, designing a wide variety of leadership and organizational development interventions (e.g., Six Sigma, e-business, Strategic Leadership Skills, acquisitions & integrations, applying GE’s legendary Work-Out and Change Processes, etc.). Most recently, he served for several years at Bayer Healthcare, NA, & Pharmaceutical, as Director, Organizational & Leadership Development. He participated in several large organizational change initiatives including a major restructuring of Bayer Healthcare NA. He has also served as a senior consultant to the American Management Association in redesigning their leadership development portfolio, and to several other leading firms in pharmaceutical/healthcare (BMS, Merck), insurance (LOMA, Genworth, John Hancock) and financial services (American Express, Fidelity).

Mo holds a Ph.D. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from New York University where he also taught as an Adjunct Professor.  He currently is a faculty member in Psychology and Management at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, and is a member of the American Psychological Association, Academy of Management, Society for Human Resource Management and American Society for Training & Development.

James K. Cushing

James has over 25 years experience as a strategic leader, organizational excellence consultant, results facilitator, and problem solver.  His primary expertise areas include service industry work flows, client relations…


… management, employee development, strategic planning, and project portfolio management.

His briefcase of opportunities includes customer service, training and education, compliance, sales, project management, and performance improvement.  Jim has practical application experience with Lean, Six Sigma, and Adaptive Design at Iowa State University, Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo, and Iowa Health System.  He supports a number of non-profit organizations with strategic planning.

James has a B.B.A. in Management from Iowa State University and an MBA from Drake University.  He has done course work with the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Project Management Institute.  He is a member of the Iowa Quality Center, the American Society for Quality, the American Society for Training and Development, and the Iowa Alliance in Home Healthcare. James is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute. 

Erika DeVito

Erika has over 20 years’ experience providing Continuous Improvement leadership and support to a wide variety of both manufacturing and service-based organizations. She is a Master Black Belt with exceptional analysis and…


…training skills that allow her to help clients build internal capability for driving change and sustaining meaningful operational improvements.

Erika began her career at Johnson & Johnson in the medical device industry providing analysis for quality and consistency in FDA clinical research reporting, while at the same time using her Continuous Improvement skills in supporting cross functional product manufacturing teams’ quality efforts. As a MBB for Seagate Technology, she worked closely with company executives to identify improvement opportunities and guided internal improvement teams to deliver consulting, coaching and training to achieve company objectives. Erika expanded her training skills to include curriculum design and leadership mentoring at Intrawest, where she supported the improvement efforts of various business services and product divisions across North America.

As a full-time consultant, Erika has provided ongoing Continuous Improvement strategic guidance and outcomes for her many clients, including helping a global high tech firm reduce its on-time delivery of products from factories to warehouses from 49% to over 90%, resulting in significant cost savings and higher customer satisfaction. She also led an organizational change effort to shift data analysis from a monthly to daily basis, allowing the client to make enhanced, timely strategic decisions while at the same time improving operational consistency and collaboration, and reducing waste. Most recently Erika has worked with financial services, medical technology, and consumer goods and global network products and services organizations, where her deep technical skills and experienced coaching supported effective solutions and deployment of both short- and long-term improvements.

Erika has an MS in Statistics from University of Minnesota, an MS in Mathematics from University of Oregon, and a BS in Mathematics from Portland State University. She has taught at the university level and published in the Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics.

Clare DiFrisco

Clare DiFrisco is an experienced business professional with hands-on experience across many industries. She has been providing Six Sigma training and consulting for the past eight years and has worked with national and…


… international customers such as Cisco Systems, HSBC, British Petroleum, GMAC, Sears Commercial Sales, Army Air Force Exchange Services, UnitedHealth Group, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In addition to large organizations, Clare has worked with start-up companies, rapid-growth organizations and corporate integrations.

Clare has taught and provided coaching and consulting of Six Sigma, Process Improvement, Process Design, Lean (for transactional businesses and for job shops) and Change Management methods and practices. She is experienced in working with entry-level personnel as well as executive staff and provides hands-on consultation and guidance to ensure successful implementations. Her own business process improvement and design experience of over 20 years allows her to effectively translate business improvement theory into application, and to real-life situations and scenarios.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Clare was the Vice President of Information Technology for Concentra Managed Care (a high-tech healthcare cost containment and worker’s compensation company). She played a significant role in the growth of a corporate subsidiary from $18M to over $100M and played a pivotal role in the technical and operational integration of a 5-company merger. Clare led the design of the technical infrastructure and operational processes to support growth and industry demands. As a member of the corporate steering committee, she led teams of process owners in improvement and re-design projects. The system included an integration of balanced scorecard, executive dashboard and robust reporting functionality. Also responsible for budget planning, she saw this major undertaking completed at 95% of planned expenditures.

Clare holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Nutrition from the Clayton College of Natural Health in Birmingham, Alabama.

Riaan du Plooy

Riaan is a dynamic leader, coach, facilitator, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with over 15 years of hands-on experience driving results. With a focus on partnering with organizational teams to identify critical business …


…challenges, Riaan has led and supported numerous highly successful improvement initiatives. His deep experience spans developing and applying continuous improvement methods to large, complex global organizations as well as working with smaller groups to implement practical process improvements.

Experienced in working with a variety of core and support functions, including Product Development, Sales & Marketing, Organizational Strategy, Creative Design, Operations (Manufacturing, Warehouse/Distribution, Service/Transactional), IT, Finance, Human Capital and Legal, Riann has established a proven track record of reducing costs and developing highly effective and innovative business solutions. Riaan possesses both the technical skills required to drive success as well as the ability to lead and build capabilities of others for sustainable results.

Prior to becoming a full-time consultant, Riaan, as Lean Manufacturing Manager/CI Manager led the implementation of Lean Six Sigma tools and practices into the Manufacturing Excellence initiative at Lion’s Dairy & Drinks. He also was the company’s Excellence Facilitator, a critical role in implementing the world class manufacturing principles that included applying various improvement concepts, tools and methodology, as well as introduce change management principles to ensure successful time and waste reduction, maintenance and asset care and quality. In other organizations Riaan has also served in important management and operational roles overseeing critical production processes, quality and control.

As part of his Lean Six Sigma/Continuous Improvement capabilities, Riaan’s skills include: defining and delivering on Key Performance Indicators, process streamlining and improvement, visual management and control systems, change management and interpersonal skills, lean auditing and action planning, leadership development and strategy, Lean Six Sigma and change management training. He is fluent in both English and Afrikaans, and has verbal understanding of Dutch.

Riaan holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Vaal University of Technology. He also holds a diploma in Brewing from the Institute for Brewing and Distilling, as well as being a LSS MBB.

Mário Fonseca

Mário has a wealth of experience in Lean, Six Sigma, ISO9000 and improvement strategies, with more than 15 years consulting in industries from ceramics and plastics to food and cosmetics.


He has helped clients achieve significant improvement in cycle time, productivity, costs and defect reduction. An effective trainer and coach, he can help clients build internal improvement capability, or directly lead projects to completion.

Mário first developed his expertise in improvement methods during 17 years with Aeropquip Vickers, a global hydraulics design and manufacturing firm. As Product and Quality Manager, he worked on a wide variety of projects that improved productivity and product performance and was responsible for the Brazil plant’s initial ISO9000 certification. Using Lean methods, he was able to boost throughput enough to cut back an entire shift in the operation, delivering substantial savings.

In 1998, he entered the consulting and training field and gained even broader and deeper experience working with such companies as Coca-Cola/FEMSA, Boticário cosmetics, Yara chemicals, Propex textiles, and Irwin tools. Mário applies a practical approach to helping clients target opportunities, select the most appropriate principles and tools—Kanban, Six Sigma, Kaizen, TPM and various others—and work to achieve results while building capability.

Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, Mário has worked with companies in the US, Mexico, Chile and Argentina as well as Brazil. His Mechanical Engineering Degree was earned at Universidade Agostinho Neto.

Greg Gibbs

Greg is a proven quality and change execution professional with extensive experience in Lean and Six Sigma business process improvement, organizational change execution, and leadership coaching. In his 15 years as an organizational…


… change consultant and trainer, Greg has worked with a variety of companies, either “on the inside” or in consulting roles, to improve company-wide change initiative implementation and business processes of all kinds.


A Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he has led/coached multiple teams, including leading Lean events, which have resulted in significant business results.

While at Genentech, Greg was the lead in the roll out of the Capacity and Portfolio Management effort, which included all most corporate functions and all production plants in the U.S. and Singapore. He also led the communication strategy and introduction of the Genentech Production System throughout Product Operations.

At Sun Microsystems, his responsibilities as Director of the Lean Sigma Program Office included Lean Sigma program strategy development and implementation, Master Black Belt and Black Belt Development, including certification, Sigma and Lean training, and the Lean Sigma program management and support. He also coached team leads of projects chartered to create and utilize metrics of key corporate strategy implementation elements.

As a consultant and trainer, Greg has taught Six Sigma and Lean classes to team members, project leads, coaches, champions, and business process owners. He has provided coaching support to hundreds of Master Black Belts, Black and Green Belts, with project benefits in the millions of dollars.  Recently, he guided the Lean Six Sigma efforts at Commander of Navy Installations Command, South Pacific region.

Some of his other notable clients include American Airlines, American Express, Bahamas Telecom, Becton-Dickinson, Carlson Companies, Cendant, Cisco Systems, GE Capital Financial Services, GMAC Mortgage, General Dynamics, Kaiser Permanente, and Sears Home Services.

Additionally Greg was trained in Lean at the University of Michigan and is also a certified Emotional Intelligence coach. He has published articles on Six Sigma and process management and was a contributing editor to the best-selling book, The Six Sigma Way, published by McGraw-Hill.

Francisco González

Francisco is an energetic and effective consultant and educator with proven experience in delivering meaningful improvement results and guiding critical change initiatives.  His expertise in Lean and Six Sigma methods, and…


… emphasis on the cultural elements of business improvement, make him a special talent in the field.

Francisco began his career as a requisitions manager for GE in Mexico, where he was first exposed to the needs of defining requirements and managing customer-supplier relationships.  He then moved to Johnson Controls, where he led the implementation and training of Lean practices, guiding projects using such methods as quick changeover, 5S, Value Stream Mapping and Kaizen.  He then worked in a series of roles—from Technical Training Manager to head of Quality Engineering—with such companies as Beachmold Mexico and Philip Morris, supervising teams of Quality Engineers and delivering high levels of performance results and quality improvement.

Realizing his passion for improvement and ability to support many different types of organization and process, Francisco entered the consulting field in 2010.  In that role, he has trained several hundred Yellow, Green and Black Belts and has helped clients implement Lean Six Sigma initiative that delivered significant results in cycle time, OEE and scrap reduction.  Just as importantly, he has enabled clients to build strong ownership of performance improvement at all levels, from management to front-line.

Francisco has taught university courses in statistics and data analysis for Universidad TecMilenio and is currently on the faculty teaching Industrial Engineering, Quality and MBA courses for Universidad del Valle de México.  He has been an auditor for ISO14000 and ISO TS 16949 since 2008 and is certified in Project Management through Philip Morris.

Based in Querétero, Mexico, Francisco holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Systems Engineering, and a Masters in Business Administration, from Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya.

Mark Halmrast

Mark carries more than 20 years of experience in process improvement, line operations, and corporate strategy, specializing in service-based industries including retail, financial services, and healthcare.


Mark has a signature ability to craft practical improvement approaches and solutions that fit a company’s specific business situation while respecting the culture and leadership style. As a former operations leader, Mark has an acute awareness of what it takes to balance attention between urgent needs and longer-term initiatives. The combination of that operational lens with extensive improvement expertise results in actionable insight, direction, and achievements.

As one of three experts called on to help a Fortune 100 retail company launch its corporate process improvement program, Mark and his peers secured executive sponsorship, drove enterprise adoption, and enhanced the corporation’s critical thinking competency.

In addition to standing up the program, Mark also led a portfolio of improvement initiatives across multiple functions including Merchandising Operations, Marketing Operations, and Human Resources that delivered significant incremental revenue improvement, more than $12MM in operational expense savings, and achieved historic high performance in key industry metrics.

For a global financial services business, Mark and team were called in to remedy the incomplete implementation of a shared service model in human resources. Working with ad hoc teams from five continents, Mark established the global end-to-end process, identified global end-to-end roles (including process owners), and aligned post-implementation issues to the above for resolution. In less than six months, more than 200 issue processes were dispositioned (compared to 15 in the full year prior to Mark’s engagement.)

Mark earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Minnesota and carries advanced certifications in six sigma and leadership coaching and development.

Chet Harmer

Chet is a seasoned finance executive whose interest in addressing critical business and operational problems led to a “second career” in consulting and continuous improvement.  He has been providing consulting and training in…


… process improvement and Six Sigma concepts for the past 20 years working with such organizations such as adidas, Clorox, Cisco Systems, GE Capital, Principal Financial Group, Sears, Sun Microsystems and others.

His global experience includes work in such locations as London, Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Chet spent 15 years in financial management positions within Hewlett Packard; he has operations and financial consulting experience with Coopers and Lybrand and KPMG as well.  Chet has also worked with rapid-growth organizations and played a significant role in the growth of one start-up business whose revenue grew from $40M to $800M in a seven-year period.

Chet has taught Six Sigma skills to entry-level personnel, mid-level managers and executive staff. His outstanding support of the Six Sigma initiative at GE led to his work with several GE suppliers that have, in many cases, launched initiatives of their own. Chet’s own financial experience has been especially valuable in aiding his clients with tracking and reporting results of process improvement and redesign efforts. His 35-year career has equipped him with a keen ability for translating skills and concepts into real-life application.

Chet has been a CPA since 1969 and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting from Brigham Young University.

Colleen Kindler

Colleen brings over 20 years of consulting experience and 10 years of experience designing and implementing Six Sigma programs. Colleen’s dynamic approach to training involving targeted storytelling from her broad experience makes…


…her an exceptional instructor and consultant.

Colleen has served on design teams for Six Sigma deployment while working for companies such as BHPBilliton, GE Capital, and GE Nuclear Services. Her roles included coaching business leaders, training over 3000 participants in the technical DMAIC approach and facilitating project teams as a Master Black Belt. Colleen understands process design requirements from a customer-driven perspective while balancing the strategic focus of improving business productivity and costs. She also teaches and coaches in change management and advanced statistical methods. Colleen’s training courses are consistently evaluated as outstanding.

Colleen has been consulting in the service industry following several years with Mercer Management Consulting, where she managed Baldrige-based quality improvement initiatives and helped teams to redesign business processes for clients including Sun Microsystems, American Express, Consolidated Freightways, University of Colorado and Neighborhood Health Plans. In addition, Colleen has experience with General Motors where she designed and implemented statistical process control systems and with Dun & Bradstreet where she managed an operations staff of 40 and led strategic business improvement projects.

Since joining Pivotal Resources, she has been lead consultant on projects for Brinker International (Chili’s Restaurant) and Target Stores. She has been a very popular instructor for Green & Black Belts, Champions, and project leader with numerous clients including adidas, Genworth, Cisco, Omnium, i3, and Charles Schwab.

Colleen holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University and an M.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago. She has been a speaker at the Rocky Mountain Quality Conference and GE’s Nuclear Annual Quality Conference.

Kelly Kita

Kelly brings over 20 years of experience in process-based organization design, measurement and problem solving. Her areas of expertise include: Change Management and Facilitation; Process Management and…


… Measurement, Six Sigma and Lean for Service Organizations; Business Process Reengineering; Baldrige-Based Business Assessment; Training Design, Development and Implementation; and Customer Listening System Design and Implementation.


Kelly has helped companies in the industries of Finance, Retail, Healthcare, Insurance, Energy, Telecom, and Entertainment/Broadcasting to design and implement successful organizational change, leading to long-term and sustainable benefits. Her practical approach was honed in her years in management with American Express, GE and Target. She is able to tailor proven best practices and methods to fit unique company cultures, people, and business needs, achieve speedy results, and ultimately build lasting internal capacity for continuous improvement.

Among her achievements, Kelly has led senior management teams in translating their strategic imperatives into business measurement systems, and comprehensive employee performance management processes that turned plans into action and results. She has designed and led company-wide Six Sigma initiatives, achieving millions of dollars in bottom-line benefits across diverse company divisions. She has also developed and implemented large-scale change initiatives to help client business bring about significant shifts in organizational processes and management practices.

Kelly has established and coached cross-functional project teams to achieve over 40% improvement in performance.

In addition, Kelly has conducted leadership training and coaching programs to help managers become more effective change agents. She also has experience as the leader of an international Six Sigma training team, serving over 80,000 employees in 11 languages, with audiences that ranged from executives to front-line employees, and programs that integrated classroom and e-learning tools for higher efficiency and effectiveness.

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University at Albany, New York, and a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Wendy MacLeod

Wendy joined Pivotal Resources in 2011 after more than fifteen years working in fields ranging from the administration of a European Ministry budget for cultural and scientific programs in the United States, to a major consulting firm focused


… on helping public and private sector clients prepare for negotiations, and finally in knowledge management for a small east coast firm.

Across these experiences Wendy developed a keen appreciation for the need to develop and refine an organization’s leadership strategy, to identify processes in need of change, and to continuously assess teams, strategies, and future planning. Wendy has a special interest in the overlap between public and private sector management practices, and how individuals as well as executives in each field can learn from each other.

Wendy earned a Master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University, and the CEP from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

Pamela Schmidt-Cavaliero

Pamela’s background as a line manager and improvement team leader in the services industry gives her special insights into applying Six Sigma and change leadership skills to diverse groups and organizations. She has more than 18


… years experience as a consultant and trainer, advising clients on implementation and project execution.

Prior to entering consulting, Pamela spent most of her career in the real estate and relocation services industry, with such companies as Equitable, Travelers and PHH. At Cendant, now CARTUS, she was Regional Manager of Human Resources responsible for quality implementation, leadership development, organizational analysis, succession planning and OD interventions.  Prior to Cendant, she was Director of Policy Development with a division of GE Capital Mortgage, where she held key management positions in account management, real estate acquisition and sales, closing and billing.

She moved into the consulting field in 1993, and in 1996 became part of the pioneering Pivotal Resources team that supported the global roll-out of Six Sigma and DMAIC for GE Capital. Pam’s expertise in and understanding of the nuances of change management led to her becoming a certified Change Acceleration Process (CAP) facilitator, for which she has been a highly sought-after resource. Thanks to Pivotal’s work with NBC, in 1998 Pamela took a one-year assignment consulting on the launch of the “QNBC” improvement initiative. Since then she has been active with a wide range of clients in the implementation of Lean Six Sigma—including Sears, Cisco, Vanguard Group, TRW, Johnson & Johnson, Starwood, Sun Microsystems, GMAC Insurance and A&P.

Her results have included reduced turnover by 46%, increased productivity by 50% and reduced waste by 33%.

Pamela holds an M.S. in Human Resources Education and Organizational Development from Fordham University and a B.A. in History and Geography from Boston University. She has also been an adjunct professor of Marymount College’s faculty, teaching Organizational Behavior.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth has provided process improvement consulting, training and design services to Fortune 100 companies for the past 20 years. Most recently she worked on the design and implementation of a Performance Management


… System for the Bahamas Telecommunications Company resulting in the alignment of strategic corporate goals with every layer of the company down to coordinated targets for front-line technicians.

Just prior to that she coached several improvement teams at Charles Schwab resulting in a 20% reduction in unnecessary account terminations, a 30% reduction in rework associated with on-line funds transfers, a 75% reduction in total account open cycle time from application to funding. In an ongoing effort, she has been a principal in the design and rollout of the first Lean/Six Sigma effort in the hospitality industry for Starwood Hotels and Resorts resulting in average benefits of $30 million per year from 2001-2008 for North America alone.

Elisabeth is the author of a business simulation used worldwide to gain buy-in and establish leadership awareness in the area of process improvement. Her clients include: Bahamas Telephone Company, BP, Charles Schwab, Cisco Systems, GE Capital, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Ford, Federated Department Stores, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, NBC, Northrup Grumman, Target, Raytheon, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, United Health Care, Volvo and Wells Fargo,.

Born in the UK, Elisabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Computer Science from Columbia University in New York City, NY. Elisabeth is GE certified Black Belt Trainer and a founding member of BCT (Boston Comedy Theater) specializing in improvisational techniques to foster organizational change efforts.

Robinson B. de Toledo

Robinson has a deep background in operations management and improvement, including 15 years as a corporate quality leader and 10 years consulting for a wide variety of companies.  He has worked extensively across Latin America, in


… the US, and for various organizations in his native Brazil, delivering improvement results in production, logistics, product quality, customer service and business development.

Robinson’s early career included 11 years as product and production manager for DuPont Brazil, applying his engineering background to support the company’s chemical, textile and electronics businesses.  He later served as Manufacturing Manager for Siemens and Operations Director for Amcor PET Packaging, overseeing production and quality for eight facilities.  He first began consulting work in Lean, Six Sigma and related services in 2002, though he also spent two years as Lean Sigma and Operations for Swiss Chemical company Sika.

As a performance improvement trainer and consultant, Robinson has worked with companies in fields including automotive (Delphi, Remy), cosmetics (Avon), chemicals (Fosfertil) and foods (McCain), among many others.  His expertise includes development of improvement strategies, Total Productive Maintenance, Lean Office and team building. He is an effective trainer and hands-on advisor to management and project teams alike.

He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Escola de Engenharia Mauá and a Masters in Business Administration from Fundação Getullo Vargas.  Based near São Paulo, Robinson is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Ed Vasko

Ed is a process improvement expert bringing more than 20 years of performance improvement and implementation experience in Lean, Six Sigma and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in various industries.


Ed started his career in aerospace manufacturing and operations where he helped lead cultural change with McDonnell Douglas and The Boeing Company and, as a Senior Manager, worked with suppliers worldwide to help ensure timely, quality delivery using CQI techniques. Trained in Lean by the Shingijutsu Company in Japan, Ed has made the pursuit of excellence fundamental and integral to the way he views business and team performance.

In addition, Ed has hands-on project consulting experience including efforts in supply chain management, purchasing, program management, logistics, and manufacturing and healthcare operations. Some of his most recent work includes team/project support with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), training, certification and project management for the Trandes Corporation, a leader in logistics support and repair, overhaul and maintenance of government communication and radar systems, laboratory productivity and cycle time reduction for Palomar Pomerado, quality improvements in the construction and delivery of surgical instruments kits and cycle time/flow improvements in emergency departments and perioperative services at various facilities. His strong change management background, appreciation for the challenges of day-to-day business operations and people skills have fostered successful collaboration with teams and helps Ed bring real-life, practical experience to the classroom.

Ed has an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has studied facilitation & teaching skills, public speaking and leadership awareness—all of which he has found vital to his work in process improvement. Ed is a frequent public speaker and teaches on a regular basis, is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) and a certified Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Ramya Venkataraman

Ramya comes to Pivotal Resources with a diverse background in process improvement, marketing, promotions and business development. Her experience – in both Fortune 500 companies as well as technology start-ups – has included a…


…number of successful national and regional change efforts.

Ramya started her career in the entertainment Industry, handling promotions for Sony Music in India. Her next stint was at Reliance Entertainment, a start-up that introduced broadband interactive television in India. Before joining Pivotal, Ramya served as a certified Black Belt with GE Capital where her role included process improvement, strategic planning, client interface and operations overview – as well as training and project mentoring. Her project work, involving resource optimization and core business consolidation, achieved close to $750,000 in savings.

With Pivotal, Ramya’s work matches her diverse experience and includes project consulting and facilitation, product development and training. She has done extensive consulting work on a variety of projects for Cisco Systems, GMAC Insurance and several other clients. She also serves as Product Manager for Pivotal’s Qualification and Certification services.

Ramya has a B.S. in Math, Physics & Chemistry from Osmania University, India, and earned her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.