Operational Excellence

Brian Sloan, CMA, MBA

Value Stream Solutions, Senior Advisor

Brian Sloan is a Senior Consultant for Value Stream Solutions Inc. with a special focus on Lean Accounting and Lean Administration.  He is also Controller for Armo-Tool Limited, providing controllership, SR&ED and Lean expertise.  In prior roles, Brian was Controller for two manufacturing plants in Southwestern Ontario for seven years.  Introduced to the initial concepts of Lean through the traditional channel of the shop floor, Brian has made it his passion to include the concepts of Lean in the accounting and administrative functions of the organization.  He combines his senior management experience, education and financial skills to provide client value add around employee engagement, business strategy and continuous improvement.

​Brian has been instrumental in implementing a number of Lean initiatives in his roles as consultant and Controller.  He has coached, led or facilitated numerous 5S, kaizen and value stream mapping events on both the shop floor and in the office.  In administrative disciplines, Brian has implemented cross-training, standard work, visual controls, problem-solving and 5S methodologies.

Brian received his CMA designation in 1992, his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2006, a certificate in Lean Business Processes from the University of Michigan in 2007, and is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Business program with Edinburgh Napier University.  The focus of his study is on cultural factors that impact the adoption of Lean methodologies in a manufacturing environment.

​In his free time, Brian is a professional player of nearly every instrument with keys.


Chad Metcalf

Value Stream Solutions, President

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada in a family supported by manufacturing, Chad worked in several manufacturing and warehouse operations as an operator and quality inspector while attending college and began his career as an electronics technologist for Dynatec Mining and soon after left to go to IBM.  By the early 1990’s Chad joined Multilin in Markham that was later purchased by General Electric.  Originally hired as a Product Service Technologist, Chad was promoted to Product Manager and then International Service Manager before he decided to move on in late 2000. 

During his years at Multilin and GE, Chad completed a bachelors degree and was trained as a Black Belt in Six Sigma.  Since 2000, Chad has been training and advising companies in methods of continuous improvement to strengthen their business position in industry.  In 2006, Chad formed Value Stream Solutions Inc. and now leads a team of advisors and trainers to serve customers from coast to coast in Canada and the US.

 As a recognized leader in process improvement, Chad has helped guide companies and individuals to phenomenal results.  His expertise in Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Leadership and Team development, developed through years of practical application in manufacturing and service organizations throughout North America, gives him the ability to relate big picture thinking to real world implementation. 

His education includes a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Technology from Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota and a college diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology from Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology in Barrie, Ontario.  He is a Six Sigma Black Belt that has led and mentored dozens of other ‘Belts’ and coached them in their projects.  In addition to leading change in manufacturing, engineering and service, Chad’s experience also includes kaizen improvements in administration, sales, call centers, health & safety, human resources, IT and accounting.

Chad and his wife Nancy created and continue to operate HockeyStockings.com, a Christmas stocking manufacturing and online store business since 2011. 

When it’s time to wind down, Chad enjoys family time with his wife, son and two dogs.  A favourite getaway is to the family cottage for boating, relaxing and puttering.  Picking up a guitar around a campfire is not uncommon.

The family are avid animal lovers and volunteer countless hours to raise or foster dogs for the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Golden Rescue, Danes in Distress, Soi Dog Rescue and Finding Them Homes.


Chris Roach

Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing, National President

Chris Roach is a Talent Management Specialist and a CPC and RPR designated Practitioner. He is a Principal for the Engineering & Technical division at David Aplin Group, a well-established Canadian Recruitment Firm. Chris is also the President of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services. ACSESS is the national voice of the Canadian Staffing industry, advancing  best practices and ethical standards  through advocacy, government relations, education, and training.  

Chris has over 25 years of leadership experience in talent acquisition, management, and retention. As the recent winning recipient of the ACSESS Leadership Award, Chris is well-respected and recognized within the Canadian staffing and recruitment industry.


Devin Melanson

Value Stream Solutions, Senior Advisor

Devin’s 25-year manufacturing career includes P&L accountability for consumer electronics, military, automotive, point of purchase retail, and aerospace.  He has worked as an assembler, QC operator, team leader, supervisor, manager, plant manager, and as a multi-site Director of Operations.  He is equally at home speaking to teams on the shop floor, logistics, engineering, maintenance, and the ownership group in the board room.

Devin now focuses on sharing his enthusiasm for waste reduction and team building with clients ranging from farming to pharmaceutical, and mining through to manufacturing and field service.  He does this by teaching and coaching both the employees and the leadership team how to work together to drive waste out of the business. 

Time and again, clients understand that their customers want shorter lead times, more variety, more features, and aggressively controlled costs with better quality.  They deserve it… so Devin makes it his goal to help all employees to work together to make sure the customer can get this improved value from the enterprise, not the competition.

When not working on Lean projects, Devin can be found relaxing at home with his wife and two children in the Hamilton area.  And by “relaxing”, he means running a recording studio… or volunteering his time to families that are starting their first garden … or joining his family on stage as they present their seven-year journey of raising Monarch butterflies.


Gavin Oakes

MTE Consultants, Project Manager

Gavin Oakes is a Certified Engineering Technologist and Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 11 years of professional experience in a consulting environment, specializing in the assessment and remediation of hazardous building materials and microbial contamination. His professional practice in the environmental consulting industry includes worker exposure assessments, indoor air quality assessments, environmental sampling, developing remediation plans, abatement specifications / tender documents and conducting pre-, active and post-remediation inspection and testing.


Ian Morris

Ian Morris has more than 25 years’ experience with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board assisting Ontario employers develop and implement Health and Safety Management Systems and Programs.


Jamie Thorpe

Armo-Tool Limited, Die Dept Manager

Jamie Thorpe is the Die Department Manager at Armo-Tool Limited.  His current responsibilities are management, sales, project management, design supervision and floor supervision.  Jamie has been with Armo-Tool Limited for 18 years, starting as a summer student in high school.  He has been fortunate enough to climb the corporate ranks at the company to his current position.

Jamie left Armo-Tool Limited from 2014 to 2016 to gain knowledge as a Tooling Engineer with North American Stamping Group.  He was tasked with all new tooling launches for the Canadian division.  This was also where he gained supervision experience with two Junior Tooling Engineer direct reports.


Jim Farmer, P.Eng, MASc.

Industrial Performance Group

IPg specializes in all aspects of Industrial Safety as it relates to equipment. Jim Farmer, P.Eng. MASc.  has experience in plant engineering, machine design, guarding, electrical safety, production control and legislative compliance.

His specialty is providing safety in a production environment without compromising efficiency. Jim has provided Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews on more than 1000 pieces of equipment, and also offers EMC members on-site training on Machine Guarding and Electrical Safety.


Jody Faught

Apotex, Director, Global Supply Chain

Jody Faught is a Global Supply Chain Director at Apotex Inc., leading integrated business planning, system innovations and supply planning solutions for the API line of business.  Receiver of a 2019 Global Apotex Award for Strengthening Foundations and Improving Profitability via team evaluation and execution of a portfolio optimization initiative, and a 2018 Apotex Global Collaboration Award for successful implementation of an integrated IBP Supply Review process, Jody focuses on leadership and collaboration to achieve business results in complex and challenging situations. 

Prior to her current role, Jody was a chemist and co-authored two patents, putting her H.B.Sc. (Chemistry) from the University of Western Ontario to good use.  Jody subsequently completed her MBA at Wilfrid Laurier University and obtained CPA, CMA accreditation at the Strategic Leadership Program in Cambridge, Ontario while moving through Technical and Supply Chain Management operational spaces at Apotex in the pharmaceutical industry.

Relentlessly reaching for continuous improvement and applying both discipline and an open mind to tackling challenges, are values Jody champions to achieve business engagement and drive value.  An avid runner and triathlete, Jody is a 6-time Boston Marathon finisher, 2-time Ironman 70.3 World Championship finisher, and strives for personal excellence – and faster times! -  as passionately in her free time as she does for her community on the Brant United Way Allocations Committee and for her colleagues driving operational excellence initiatives in the professional workplace.


Kevin Johnstone

Canplas Industries, Operation Excellence Leader

Operation Excellence Leader at Canplas Industries – Injection molding for the Building Industry

Skilled in Leadership, Team Building, and Continuous Improvement. While using my training and experience with Six Sigma, Kaizen, and Value Streaming created an Operator led, Process Control Environment. Continually developing Operation Excellence through ongoing innovation


Kristi Barnes

Maple Lodge Farms, Director, Performance Culture

Kristi Barnes is the Director, Performance Culture at Maple Lodge Farms Ltd., located in Brampton, Ontario. Kristi has an extensive background in HR, bringing more than 15 years of experience from top employers, including Coca-Cola Bottling, Lyreco and Amazon.  Passionate about culture transformation and talent development, Kristi coaches leaders and nurtures relationships that aid in people’s professional growth.

Kristi is an active member of Food and Beverage Ontario, promoting the F&B sector as an employment destination with youth and new Canadians; and sits on the Program Advisory Committee for Conestoga College aligning skills of new graduated with the needs of our industry.


Laura Rourke

Tigercat Industries, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability Manager

Laura started her career in waste management and then moved into the manufacturing sector where she has spent the last 20+ years.  Laura has worked in the automotive parts, electronic and now heavy equipment manufacturing. 

She currently manages the environmental, health & safety programs for Tigercat International.  Laura was also a key support for the EMC SIGs & Safety Group for over 8 years.


Marela Vucic

Shrader Canada, Vice President

Marela Vucic is a Human Resources Professional and a CHRL designation candidate.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University and a post graduate degree in Human Resources Management from Sheridan College. 

Marela has over 18 years of experience in human resources and compliance and currently holds an executive position as the Vice President of Human Resources & Compliance, acting as one of the key business transformation leaders for Shrader Canada Limited.  Shrader Canada Limited is a 65 - year international manufacturer of proprietary automotive, marine and industrial chemical products.  Shrader is recognized as one of the primary leaders in its field.    No other organization within the industry serves so many prominent North American companies with over 70 OEM tested and approved chemical products.  Shrader Canada Limited holds multiple awards; ISO 9001, Q1, Chrysler Pentastar.   

Ms. Vucic, formerly a Director of Human Resources and Compliance, North America for Keter Plastics and Marmac CNC Machining, has managed and implemented a full range of programs and initiatives at both unionized and non-unionized companies such World Trade Group, Marmac CNC Machining Ltd and Cara Operations.  Vucic is also the Public Relations Officer for Women in Business, Certified Lead ISO Auditor through SGS and a Certified Profiler through Thomas International.

Marela Vucic is also a business coach, author, guest speaker and corporate visionary.  As the founder of the dynamic Synergence Group Inc., she is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs by making their businesses BIG and their challenges small through effective signature business courses, consulting, coaching and a trademarked line of compliance products. 

As the winner of the 2014 Young Femme Leader Award, Marela has established herself as an inspiring authority for human resources, compliance and business management.  She has been featured in the Toronto Sun, The Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Region Record and SNAP magazine, amongst others.  Marela is also a business commentator featured on the Hamilton’s “The Chat”.


Marnie Downey

Ergo, Inc., President

Marnie Downey, President of ERGO Inc., has earned a solid reputation as an expert in the field of Occupational Ergonomics. She is a Certified Canadian Professional Ergonomist and Professional Kinesiologist with over 25 years of ergonomics consulting and training expertise.

Marnie has solved diverse ergonomic challenges for hundreds of companies in a variety of industries in Canada, the United States and Mexico with her pro-active approach to problem solving. Some of her projects have included the design-build of correctional institution touch screen technology control rooms, time studies to determine the repetitiveness of a work cell, analysis of material handling tasks to reduce double handling and create lean work processes, design of a kitchen to accommodate wheelchair patrons, development of post offer pre-screening programs for hospitals, school boards and manufacturing and the ergonomic design of office spaces, libraries, retail stores and industrial workstations.

Marnie authored the Ergonomics Study Guide for the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals. The text of this domain provides an overview of the most relevant ergonomic principles for Safety Professionals and is used when preparing for the BCRSP exam.

Her energetic personality provides a motivational training atmosphere for management and employees. She has presented at the American Industrial Hygiene Association in Washington, D.C., the Canadian Association of Ergonomists, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, the Ontario Kinesiology Association Annual Conference, The WSPS National Health & Safety Conference, The Schedule 2 Employers Group Conference, the Ontario Library Association and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.


Randy Dignard

Industrial Safety Trainers, President

Randy Dignard has been in the Health & Safety field for more than 35 years constantly learning through training and participating in a variety of committees to improve workplace health and safety.  Prior to founding Industrial Safety Trainers, he held the position of health and safety coordinator for Molson Breweries.  Today he spends the majority of his time advising businesses on compliance of Ontario Safety Laws in addition to providing consulting services. His true passion is educating youth in safe work practices and as a recipient of many awards over the years, Randy possesses the utmost of pride for his Provincial Award of Merit presented in recognition for his passion and longstanding commitment in volunteering time for teaching safety to high school students. Randy is the definition of ‘Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life’


Victoria Greene

The Bowmanville Foundry Co. Ltd., General Manager

As one of Canada’s thought leaders representing the foundry sector, Victoria Greene works with a close-knit team at a Canadian manufacturing company which has succeeded for over 100 years!  In her capacity as General Manager, Victoria is responsible for operations and quality, as well as hands-on engagement with production staff too. 

During the past 100 years, the sector progression has been quite extensive and not without its challenges.  Canadian foundries are a vital part of the economy and a component in virtually all sectors of manufacturing.  Looking at manufacturing of tomorrow, Victoria will also share her thoughts on the future of foundries and the key role they will play.  Her background in communications, industrial marketing and economic development provides a different perspective towards the topic.