About the author
Adam Zak is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Adam Zak Executive Search and an accomplished senior executive with more than 25 years of experience spanning the areas of management consulting; financial and operations management; and talent acquisition. Adam excels at identifying and attracting business leaders who are experts in lean continuous improvement, process and operational excellence, and sustainability. His impact on organizations quickly becomes apparent as these talented individuals, in their new leadership roles, consistently go on to make their new companies excellent.
Adam has recruited executives for a diverse mix of Fortune 1000, private-equity, and entrepreneurial companies in the United States and abroad. He has worked in a variety of industries from automotive and aerospace giants implementing sustainable operational excellence cultures to fast-paced consumer product distributors revolutionizing their global supply chains with green management practices.
Earlier in his career Adam earned a bachelor’s of science in degree in accounting from the University of Illinois, became a certified public accountant, and worked with KPMG in both advisory and assurance roles. He subsequently held a variety of financial and general management positions with venture capital, innovative start-up, and Fortune-ranked companies in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley.
Adam has been using his uncommon expertise to help his clients improve their businesses operationally and financially for almost 20 years. He’s been a partner with two international executive recruiting firms and now conducts executive searches in a much more creative, entrepreneurial, and results-driven (and lean) fashion. His unique and highlypersonalized methodology for recruiting exceptional talent is trademarked as PDCAsearch®. Adam is considered by many to be the most influencial leader today in Lean recruiting and Lean executive search.
Recently, Adam’s work has focused on helping to improve American health care by bringing operational and process excellence to the healthcare industry. He is also the innovator behind the recently launched recruiting initiative Crusade for Lean HealthCare Talent.
Adam contributes his time to a number of professional and community organizations. He often speaks and writes on topics including the Lean enterprise, innovation, operational excellence, and sustainability. He is a devoted student of executive leadership, change management, and, most of all, the philosophies and practices of continuous improvement.
Bill Waddell is a consultant, author, and speaker who has spent over 30 years working in just about every facet of manufacturing. Beginning with his education at the University of Cincinnati, Bill came up through manufacturing in virtually every capacity, including accounting, industrial engineering, supply chain, production, and quality management. His resume includes working as manager of advanced manufacturing practices for Emerson’s Copeland Division, as vice president of global supply chain for McCulloch, and as vice president of global operations for the Wahl Clipper Corporation. He is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on Lean manufacturing and Lean enterprise management and strategies.
Bill coauthored the award-winning Rebirth of American Industry (with Norman Bodek, PCS Press, 2005) and Evolving Excellence: Thoughts on Lean Enterprise Leadership (with Kevin Meyer, iUniverse Inc., 2007). His provocative columns on manufacturing issues on Evolving Excellence make it the most widely read manufacturing blog in the world. He is also a regular contributor to Manufacturing Crunch and Pacific Excellence, and his articles have appeared in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence’s (AME’s) Target Magazine, APICS Journal, and a wide variety of other manufacturing publications.
As a consultant, Bill has worked with hundreds of companies on five continents in a wide variety of industries, ranging from multibillion dollar global organizations to his pro bono work with local organizations hiring the handicapped to learn basic manufacturing skills. His focus in recent years has been to work with smaller- to mid-sized companies, often in support of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs.
As a speaker and educator, Bill has addressed just about every significant manufacturing form in the world. One of the original “thought leaders” behind the Lean accounting body of knowledge, he has become a regular fixture at the Lean Accounting Summit and at numerous events related to the financial management of manufacturing. He is past technical chair for the International Six Sigma/Lean Quality Conference and has spoken to dozens of groups within the Association for Operations Management (APICS) on topics related to global supply chain optimization and leadingedge factory scheduling. He has lectured in over a dozen top universities as well as at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology on manufacturing strategy, global manufacturing issues, and financial management.