AME names four to 2012 Hall of Fame class

Honorees have diverse talents and skills, a common commitment to excellence.


The Association of Manufacturing Excellence named four 2012 Hall of Fame inductees at its annual conference this week. In a ceremony held at its annual Internal Excellence Inside Conference, the honor recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the manufacturing community in a manner that is consistent with AME’s mission to inspire a commitment to enterprise excellence through shared learning and access to best practices. This year’s honorees are:

Daniel Ariens, president and CEO of the Ariens Company. Ariens has been a strong proponent of lean manufacturing principles, even when the company was experiencing a downturn as a result of weather-related problems. He created a culture of continuous improvement that has resulted in the creation of world-class manufacturing facilities by lean standards.

Dr. Patricia Gabow, M.D., CEO of Denver Health. Under her direction, Denver Health has experienced a financial benefit of more than $135 million through improvement actions. Most importantly, it has transformed the health system and delivery quality for the patients it serves. Dr. Gabow attributes this lean health care initiative to saving at least 213 lives in 2011 alone.

Dr. Jeffrey Liker, PhD., professor of industrial and operations engineering at the University of Michigan and principle of Optiprise, Inc. Dr. Liker has authored or co-authored over 70 articles and book chapters and eight books. He is author of the international best-seller, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer.

Dr. John Toussaint, M.D., CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Heathcare Value. During his tenure at ThedaCare, Dr. Toussaint applied the Toyota Production System to health care, which led to such results as zero medication reconciliation errors upon admission for more than three years in a row and dramatically improved staff productivity and satisfaction. Millions of dollars of waste reduction have resulted in ThedaCare consistently being one of the lowest-priced health care organizations in Wisconsin, while at the same time more than doubling operating income over five years.

“Our Awards and Hall of Fame council members work hard every year to honor the individuals who really are our industry’s thought leaders, those that take pride in their ability to influence positive change and encourage the adoption of continuous improvement practices, said AME president Paul Kuchuris. “I think this year is no different as we have four very talented and skilled people entering our Hall of Fame.”

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