3535 Adkisson Dr.
Cleveland, TN 37320

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Peak Performance: A Business Excellence Symposium
“Driving Organizational Efficiency & Effectiveness”
August 10th and 11th, 2015 at Lee University, Humanities Building

The southeast Tennessee region has become an advanced manufacturing and distribution hub. To support this continued growth and economic impact of our region, it is necessary to develop and strengthen the capabilities and skill sets of employees and potential employees. Lee University and Cleveland State wish to provide an ongoing series of bi-annual conferences that will enable our world class organizations to share models of excellence, best practices, innovative applications, and network with other organizations. It is our hope that these conferences will support development of the products and services offered by our area businesses, encourage other organizations to grow and locate to our region knowing that there is a supportive network to assist in their success, and support and strengthen our regional workforce.

We are excited to announce our Keynote speaker for the event as Ms. Denise Rice, Director of Worldwide Manufacturing Effectiveness at Cormetech, Inc.

Presentations and workshops covering a wide variety of organizational topics including:

  • Leadership
  • Millennials: Recruiting and leading the next generation
  • Volkswagen Production System
  • Midmarket Excellence: How to drive results to your bottom line
  • Change Management
  • Business Analytics
  • Selecting for high performance
  • Structured Visual Management System
  • Toyota Kata
  • Employee Benefits

Presentations from Volkswagen, Bayer, Cormetech, Amend Consulting, Squire Strategies, OneSource, Cleveland State, Lee University representatives, plus many more area organizations!

Who should attend?
HR, plant and business management, engineers,  training personnel, and small business owners seeking professional development, networking, and business opportunities.

Our Sponsors!

Bayer Logo
Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce Logo
Southern Heritage Bank Logo

Register for the 2015 Peak Performance Business Excellence Symposium

Registration now open for 2015 Peak Performance Business Excellence Symposium, August 10th & 11th, 2015

Register here now!  See you soon!

Conference Schedule

Breakout sessions are 50 minutes in length. There will be 3 different speakers/workshops to select from for each of the Breakout Sessions.


9:00-10:30:   Registration, Networking, Light Breakfast foods
10:30-12:00: Keynote Address - Ms. Denise Rice, Director of Worldwide Manufacturing Effectiveness at Cormetech, Inc.
12:00-1:00:   Lunch, Networking
1:00-1:50:     Concurrent Session #1 
2:00-2:50:     Concurrent Session #2
2:50-3:10:     Afternoon Break, Networking
3:10-4:00:     Concurrent Session #3


9:00-9:50:     Concurrent Session #4
10:00-1050:  Concurrent Session #5
11:00-11:50: Concurrent Session #6
12:00-1:30:   Lunch with Panel Discussion/Q&A - Millennials: Recruiting and Leading the Next Generation
1:30-2:00:     Wrap up, Door Prizes, Conference Adjourn

Presenter Bios

Denise Rice is the Director of Worldwide Manufacturing Effectiveness at Cormetech, Inc., a joint equity venture between Corning Incorporated and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.  Cormetech provides Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) for the electric power generation, petroleum refining and chemical industries, enabling users to meet federal and state clean air standards.  SCR catalysts reduce NOx, a precursor to ozone and acid rain.

Ms. Rice’s 25-year career with Corning, Inc has included plant management and engineering roles in environmental technologies in Cleveland, TN and Durham, NC; telecommunications in Corning, NY and advanced display products in State College, PA.  She is known for her leadership in change management, new product introduction and extensive experience with lean manufacturing.  Currently, she provides leadership and coordination of worldwide manufacturing excellence in a continual pursuit of cost reduction and efficiency improvement ensuring the most modern and advanced manufacturing strategies, equipment and processes.
Under her leadership, Cormetech-Cleveland was awarded Tennessee’s Business Recycler of the year in 2009.  In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Cormetech’s  BEST (Business and Education Working Together) Program with Cleveland High School was recognized by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce with Gold and Platinum awards.  Cormetech was nominated for the U.S. Department of Defense Freedom Award for their support of military veterans and the company received the prestigious TN Governor’s award for Environmental Responsibility in Materials Management in 2014.  This year, Cormetech was named Company of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers.
Ms. Rice currently is an officer on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Association of Manufacturers as well as a past president on the Cleveland Associated Industries Executive Committee.  Both associations are committed to the needs of local manufacturing companies ranging from governmental affairs to education in the community to ensure a prepared workforce.  After completing a three-year term as a Board of Director for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, she now serves as a Board of Director for the State of Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Most recently, she has been appointed by Bradley County Mayor to the Southeast Tennessee Workforce Development Board.
Rice’s passion is inspiring and encouraging the STEM programs among middle and high school students.  She is an active industry advisor to Cleveland High School’s engineering program and is a member and past president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.
Ms. Rice received her Bachelors of Science in electrical engineering from Syracuse University.  She received her Certificate from The Lean Manufacturing Leadership Institute at the University of Kentucky in 2001 and a Certificate from the Executive Development Institute at Vanderbilt University in 2012.


Dan Gilmore
The type and extent of available employee benefits can be a critical factor in the success of any company's recruiting and retention efforts.  Generous voluntary benefits also play a key role in the creation and maintenance of a positive and productive workplace culture.  However, as employers become increasingly more creative in the range of benefits they offer their employees, they should remain mindful of any unintended negative consequences those benefits may have on the ability of all employees to perform to the very best of their abilities.
Following his graduation from Baylor University and Baylor Law School, Dan served as a judge advocate in the U. S. Marine Corps.  As chief trial counsel at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, he earned the Navy Commendation Medal, awarded for his meritorious legal service.
Dan entered private practice in 1990 in Chattanooga with the law firm of Miller & Martin PLLC.  In his nearly twenty years as a member of the firm’s labor and employment practice group, Dan worked daily with all levels of management with a wide range of companies, including the firm’s largest client, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE).  In 1996, he was selected to serve as captive counsel for CCE’s West Group, headquartered in Los Angeles.  In this position, Dan was directly responsible for CCE’s labor and employment matters in 14 states.  After a decade in this position, Dan returned to the firm’s Nashville office.  In 2009, he was recruited back to Chattanooga to join the labor and employment practice group at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.
As an attorney licensed in Tennessee, California and Texas, Dan has represented clients in all phases of proceedings in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies.  He has extensive experience in equal employment opportunity matters, employee and management training, alternative dispute resolution, and traditional labor law, including representation elections, arbitrations, and contract negotiation and administration.
Most recently, Dan has been named an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s College of Business, teaching Government Regulation of Human Resource Management.

Steve Perry                                                                                                                              
Steve has 25 plus years’ experience in both HR and Operations with two top global supply chain leaders, United Parcel Service and Exel (DHL Supply Chain). Currently, he develops the HR strategy for Jackson Furniture Industries here in beautiful Cleveland, TN. His skills and experience include: Building Advocacy, Business Development, Change Management, Labor Relations & Union Avoidance, Leadership Development, and Mergers & Acquisitions.
These skills were developed in multi-country-state-and-site environments in union and non-union operations. He has developed HR enterprise strategy, led a North America 4.4 million Oracle HRMS effort and created the HR field agenda for a team of 37 serving over 4,200 employees with a revenue scope over $800 million at 49 locations.
Within the global supply chain, Steve last served as the Vice President of Human Resources, Technology sector for the western hemisphere (scope of responsibilities included the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Venezuela, and Chile).
Away from work, Steve was a co-founder and past Administrator of the Memphis Executive Roundtable (MERT). He was a charter member for the FAA’s WorldClass board – an executive board consisting key local business airport leaders and focused on promoting the Memphis International Airport as ‘world class’ to other global ports. He has also served on the Mid South area Board of Directors for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for over ten years and as the president of the Old #7 Rugby Football Club for 11 years.
Steve completed his undergraduate B.A. degree in Communications at The University of Memphis in 1987 and obtained his Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) in 2000. While in School, he was a founder and president of the U of M Rugby Football Club and was selected to represent Memphis’ college youth at the National Youth Leadership Conference.
Steve currently resides in Lookout Mountain, TN and has been married to his wife, Amy, for over twelve years. They have two girls, Isabella (11) and Olivia (9).


David gets his energy from empowering others to achieve amazing.
As a leadership consultant, David has helped hundreds of clients drive double-digit growth. He's been honored as a Pillar Award for Community Service recipient, celebrated as a Best Places To Work Finalist, and recognized as a Small Business of the Year recipient.
When he’s not helping manufacturing and service companies drive positive, lasting change, you can find him mentoring future leaders or building in to others and his community through his volunteer efforts. He spends every remaining minute making memories with his family.
His latest thinking on recruiting and leading Millennials, and effective ways to drive results to your bottom line can be explored in-person at one of his speaking events, or individually over coffee. He also shares a lot on Amend’s blog if a hands-on-the-keyboard approach works better for you.

Discover more about how David and his team inspire people to make changes in their lives that lead to changes in their businesses at http://www.amendllc.com



Directions to Humanities Center, Lee University

From I-75, take exit 25. 
Travel east through 6 traffic lights. 
Turn right on to Ocoee Street. 
Lee University is one mile on the left. 
Turn left onto 11th Street
Turn left onto Parker Street
Humanities Center is on the right.
Parking will be marked.

GPS address: 1250 Parker St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311