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James Keppler (vice president of integrated supply chain & quality, Whirlpool):
In his position with Whirlpool, Keppler heads the company’s North American Integrated Supply Chain and Quality organizations, which includes the manufacturing, logistics, planning, trade-partner customer support, and quality functions. Among his accountabilities in this role is leading the execution of the company’s “Invested in America” strategy, which includes the investment of approximately $1 billion in our U.S. manufacturing facilities during the past 5 years. He also has accountability for the strategic development of global supply-chain initiatives to drive operating excellence across the global operations for Whirlpool.
In his previous assignment with the company, Keppler served as vice president of Manufacturing with responsibility for our 13 manufacturing facilities in North America. Before joining Whirlpool, he served in various manufacturing-leadership roles in the automotive industry, including senior vice president, North American Operations for International Automotive Components, where he was responsible for 32 manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In the community, Keppler serves on various charitable and industry boards. He currently is vice chairman for the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, which supports the local public schools, and also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Whirlpool Foundation and United Way of Southwestern Michigan. In addition, he represents Whirlpool Corporation on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Manufacturers.
Cory Wykoff is the packaging department manager for Frito Lay at the Frankfort, Indiana facility. He is responsible for the annual of packaging of ~1.5 billion bags of chips that delight the consumer.
In addition to overseeing the packaging department, Cory also led the site automation project that transformed the facility to utilize industry leading automation which improved the site performance and winning culture.
Cory assumed the role in early 2016 and held various other manufacturing and warehouse roles within Frito Lay starting in 2008. Prior to Frito Lay, he held various roles with Aerofil Technology Inc. from 2005 – 2008.
Cory attended Purdue University from 2000 – 2004 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.
Dr. Satya Ramaswamy heads Mindtree’s Enterprise Reimagination Business, an entrepreneurial business unit that is on a mission to help clients reimagine their businesses across multiple industries including the Manufacturing industry, by leveraging Digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Blockchain and Big Data. In a career spanning 25 years, Dr. Satya has rich leadership experience in engineering, product management, corporate strategy and general management.
Prior to his current role in Mindtree, Dr. Satya was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Digital business in TCS, where he entrepreneurially built the Digital business from the ground up to a fully scaled global organization over a seven-year period, and helped TCS win several recognitions. Prior to TCS, Dr. Satya founded a successful digital technology startup in Silicon Valley and was in the founding team of another startup in Boston. Earlier in his career, he has held leadership roles in IBM and Motorola. Dr. Satya is recognized as a thought leader with publications in Harvard Business Review Digital and has been quoted widely in global media. He is an innovator with ten granted US patents.
Dr. Satya holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a Ph.D in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. He is based out of Mindtree’s Silicon Valley office.
He is a founding partner of Versa Tech Automation established in 1978 and a graduate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.
The company provides engineering and design-build services to Manufacturing and Process Industries and to the US Department of Defense. The company services include design and implementation of IoT, providing Plant-wide Ethernet networks connecting the front office to the plant floor equipment. Software implementations range from Realtime and Historical data collection from the manufacturing equipment to commissioning of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) for plant planning and control.
In his roles at Purdue, Roy is a consultant that is responsible for development of next-Gen educational programs for manufacturing companies in 10 county area adjacent to Purdue University. Roy is also an assistant professor for Purdue’s Executive Management of Business Administration program and is the instructor for the course “AI for Lean Business”.
Roy also provides technical assistance to HDS Mercury, a Silicon Valley start-up company, that is developing a robotics solution for fulfillment centers and manufacturing material handling operations.
Roy’ previous experience included 19+ years at Toyota Motor Manufacturing & Engineering, North America in Kentucky. His roles at Toyota included the General Manager of Information Technology for Toyota’s North American Manufacturing business as well as Project General Manager for Toyota’ Supply Chain reengineering program.
Roy co-authored the book Toyota's Supply Chain Management: A Strategic Approach to Toyota’s Renowned System.
In his position with Purdue, he brings together a wealth of experience in corporate leadership at Board Director level, in thirteen companies in the UK and USA., with development and manufacturing experiences including roofing, membranes, adsorbents, wound-dressings, nano-engineering including sensors, thick-film electronic printing, environmental technologies and magnesium melting/casting. His consultancy work includes national Government, CBRE., Johnson & Johnson Medical, British Aerospace and Glencore-Xstrata where he has delivered management & leadership development as well as leadership coaching. He does ongoing work with leadership on four programs at Wharton College.
He is author of books, now in many languages including ‘Performance Coaching’, Self-Coaching Leadership and Me, Myself, My Team’. He supervises PhD students at the Business School of Birmingham City University, UK. He has over 20,000 graduates from his web-based trainings and designs digital apps for leadership and for Small & Medium-Sized Manufacturing Enterprises via Gnowbe.com
Arun Gupta, Ph.D., CSCP is a proven leader with extensive and progressive experience managing and leading complex global initiatives. Certifications include: APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, SAP Certified Associate, IBM Certifications: Watson APIs, Watson on-premise tools, Design Thinking, Blockchain. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Computer Science
The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX; Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Computer Science, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Arun is currently with North Carolina University as a consulting research associate with the supply chain resource cooperative. Most recently, Arun was the Sr. Managing Consultant, Cognitive Computing CoC at IBM.
Manufacturing Panel: Jody Hamilton (GLC, Tipp. County), and Shan Sheridan (Clinton County), Paul Jackson
Benton County Economic Development, Christy Householder