Nick Novotny, CSSMBB
Operations Director
Kerry Vinegar
Cell: 608-302-1725

Matt Simpson
Green Banana Paper
Phone: 808-238-9007

Irakli Naridze
Manager, Customer Success
Phone: 712-898-9194

Maria Grzanka
Lean Consultant
Idea Maria
Phone: 503-319-6168

Jon Kounkel, CSSBB
Program Manager, Bombardier Products
Collins Aerospace
Office: 319-295-8910
Cell: 319-651-6387

Ryan Lienau, CSSBB
Program Manager, Embraer
Collins Aerospace
Office: 503-404-7019
Cell: 503-407-6519

Matt Horvat
Lean Practitioner
The Standard Insurance
Cell: 503-333-1966

Kjell van Zoen
Lean and Operations Consultant
Energy 350
Cell: 971-285-6857

James M. Levett, M.D., FACS
Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgeon
Chief Medical Officer
Physicians Clinic of Iowa (PCI)
Cell: 319-310-4872


“Thanks to you and the great Lean-Six Sigma class you teach at PSU, I was inspired to pursue Six Sigma certification. I just received my Green Belt certification, after my project was approved. And, I just completed the first week of the Black Belt class, too. Thank you, and keep up the great improvement work!”
– Daniel Ornelas, Dental Program Manager, Virginia Garcia Memorial

“Thank you very much for your outstanding presentation this morning. The group really got a lot out of it and voted it the best presentations of the forum. Thank you, again, for being such an avid support of our program and I look forward to inviting you to future events.”
– Chuck Froemke, Senior Director (Administration) and Six Sigma Black Belt at National Industries for the Blind (NIB)

“I initially sought him out as I was doing research for my Master’s Thesis on the relationship between Lean Six Sigma and Sustainability. As a leader in that space he was very helpful in breaking down the current state and helping to give my research some direction. He has such expertise in Six Sigma that he is my go to if I have statistical questions on any of the tools…Since then I have collaborated with Brion in a few different ways, always consistently impressed at his commitment to making this world a better place and use of Lean Six Sigma tools…There are only a handful of consultants I recommend. Brion is a leader in the Lean and Six Sigma communities and I recommend him highly. ”
Amanda Zimmerman, LSS Master Black Belt, Beautiful Opportunity

Deondra Wardelle, Lean and Six Sigma Master Black Belt

“Global Six Sigma provided consultation time with a Master Black Belt, this was central to the project’s success. Brion Hurley, the MBB assigned, possesses extensive experience as a Lean Six Sigma MBB and trainer. His input was invaluable in evaluating the project’s design and ensuring that the elements of the DMAIC process were followed. He also confirmed that the most appropriate statistical tests were used. Brion made beneficial recommendations on brainstorming sessions, data collection and testing designs and methods of maintaining improvements. Overall a great and invaluable resource.”  – Carol Rupley, Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)

“That [Excel Training] was so extremely helpful and informative. I, myself, learned so much and can offer so much more to my team. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that for us…it really means a lot that you were able to allocate some time and energy to helping our team.”
– Courtney Hudson, Rise Against Hunger

“I really enjoyed your class, and your approach in particular. You really know your content, and you are a natural teacher that can relate these concepts to different work situations.”
– S.R., IT Manager at major university

“Thank you so much for your help with my recent dilemma of measurements. The exercise awakened my brain to forgotten lessons.”
Norma Spence, Process Engineer, TMI International

“Thanks so much for providing the excellent Intro to Lean Six Sigma training this morning at City Hall. It was awesome to see our City staff and Gresham Green Business attendees talking with one another sharing their experiences and working through the new concepts they were learning. Your presentation was approachable and valuable to people of all level of experience. I think everyone gained some good tools they can apply in the short term, and work to over the long run. Thanks again for all the time, effort and heart you put into this training, and your overall work. Its important and making a difference! We look forward to sustainable gains through Lean Six Sigma!”
– Gregg Hayward, City of Gresham, Green Business Program (Jan 2020)

Podcast recognition from IISE (Jan 2020)

“You have proven to be exceptionally helpful and surprisingly haven’t asked
for a thing. Your advice and insight have me taught me more in a few emails than I’ve learned in months both on the job and in interactions with our Aerospace customers. You have been so helpful in helping me navigate the murky world of PFMEA’s in particular.”
– K. Wharton, Danville Metal Stamping (Jan 2020)

Article in ISE Magazine mentioning my volunteer work with nonprofits (Aug 2019)

“Got some great feedback today (on-boarding kaizen event) about you being a great coach versus taking over and directing the process. This approach has greatly helped ramp up the learning and skill building.”
– Doreen Crail, Billing Director and Lean Champion, Central City Concern

“Through your commitment, dedication, leadership and expert application of Lean Electronics/Six Sigma tools, you were able to achieve outstanding results. [The program] has acquired new skills through your training that will assure sustainable performance. You are to be commended for your personal commitment to increase flow and reduce waste in our processes. I extend my sincere appreciation for a job well done.”
– Kent Statler, Rockwell Collins, Senior VP of Operations

“Thank you for everything you have done for me and my development in the past. You will certainly be missed!”
– Heather Gatto, Supply Chain Quality Manager, Rockwell Collins

“Your help has gotten me through this class [MBA Statistics course] with a better understanding of statistics – and the why’s and how’s. I appreciate your time and patience with all my questions. Thank you!”
– Caroline Ehlinger, Rockwell Collins, Quality Trainer

“I’m very grateful for your contributions to this successful analysis [freshwater mussel impact on nitrate formation]!”
– Craig Just, University of Iowa, Engineering Professor

“Thanks for your support of our Lean Journey!”
– Andy Ockenfels, City Carton Recycling, Owner

“I am late in sending you a thank you note for a wonderful lecture for the MBA class a couple of weeks ago [Six Sigma at Rockwell Collins]. Great job engaging the students and giving them a really great overview of SPC and Six Sigma. I truly appreciate your time and expertise — thank you!”
– Jen Blackhurst, Iowa State University, Logistics & Supply Chain Management Professor

“Thank you. You offer a very engaging and information-packed class [Lean and the Environment]. I find myself thinking more ‘lean’ already, not just at work but in every aspect of life. Funny how much difference even a day session can make.”
– Evonne Pacinda, Hampton Affiliates, Environmental Engineer

“You’re a fantastic presenter [home weatherization workshop] and were a real asset this year. I appreciate your ease as a presenter & your valuable expertise, as well as your great feedback & your patient participation in our new VWL (volunteer workshop leader) program.”
– Cass Cole, Community Energy Project, Community Educator

“Thank you Brion for all of your help with the statistical analysis of my PhD. It has been greatly appreciated!!”
– Mike Stutzman, Rockwell Collins, HR and Lean

“Thank you for all the Six Sigma mentoring [ASQ Green Belt exam preparation] you have done for me. I truly appreciate your guidance and help. Again, thank you for all your assistance.”
– Irakli Naridze, Rockwell Collins, Lean consultant

“I had the pleasure to work with Brion in several projects. During these he provided outstanding mentorship, support and training. His knowledge and technical skills are superior to many people I have worked with. Brion always excels among professionals not only for his intelligence but also his personality, ethical values and commitment to the people and company. I hope our paths will once again cross to work together.”
– Cristina Uribe, Rockwell Collins, Industrial Engineer

“I had the pleasure of working with Brion as a Black Belt from 2008-2013, as a peer and then as a direct report. Brion is passionate and knowledgeable about continuous improvement. He is capable at applying the Lean Six Sigma tools practically as well as teaching the principle effectively in a formal classroom. He can make difficult concepts understandable and non-intimidating by bringing humor and practical examples. Brion possesses in-depth knowledge of statistical applications and modeling. He is a patient mentor and able to guide both Green Belts and Black Belts through to successful certification, while delivering impactful business results. Brion is a team player, always willing to lend a hand to other team members and interested in tackling the more complex business problems. Any organization would benefit from having Brion as part of their team.”
– Todd Moser, Rockwell Collins, Lean Manager

“Brion was my mentor early in my career as an Industrial Engineer at Rockwell Collins. He inspired me to always build process improvement into my job responsibilities no matter the position I was in. He also helped me prepare for the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt exam through ASQ. His knowledge of both the change management and the technical side of Lean and Six Sigma is unrivaled. I have met very few people who are as genuine and trustworthy as Brion.”
– Nick Novotny, Rockwell Collins, Plant Manager

“Brion is one of the smartest and enjoyable people I have the pleasure to work with. He never stops offering to support production needs for various Lean projects. He provides training for our site which is timely and he is able to answer unexpected questions competently. As a new leader, I often defer to him for his experience and recommendations when I’m getting ready to make changes to my production team…I look forward to working with him in the future.”
– Will Gray, Rockwell Collins, Production Manager

“Brion has been extremely helpful and responsive to my data assessment needs. We’ve one project with mulitple facets to consider and he consistently supported the project either with direct data crunching or providing instruction and feedback to my own data crunching. I’ve recommended him to a supplier that has an immature SPC program and could use some quick phone call feedback from Brion on suggestions for managing their process monitoring.”
– Mary Silva, Rockwell Collins, Subcontracts Program Manager

“Thank you again for leading the professional development call! You introduced a new framework that will not only help us improve the efficacy of our work, but will also help our employees take ownership of the process at a higher level. Several of the directors on the call are really excited about it, which is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s also great timing, because we’re getting our own 501c3 and going through lots of strategic planning, logic models, setting metrics, etc., which I think is the perfect time to also examine opportunities to streamline our efforts and reduce waste.”
– Katie Cantrell, Factory Farm Awareness Coalition, Executive Director

“[Thanks] for being even more patient and figuring out a way to explain it [Green Belt training] all in a way I could understand. Meant the world!”
– Erica Hanz, Traffic Manager, Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants

“… I am happy to say that we completed the project officially two weeks ago.  All the action items are complete and the new process is working great so far.  It was awesome to see our first Kaizen event play out so well…with your help of course!”
– Christine Israelson, Senior Quality Assurance Specialist, ACHC

“Thank you for your assistance throughout my Green Belt program. I hope to now use what I learned in my future projects and hopefully one day prepare myself for the Black Belt training.”
– Alec Bokman, Quality Engineer, Cinch Connectivity Solutions

“I have seen Brion and Matt’s presentation before, and know of their work in Portland and can easily say I wish I had discovered them years earlier. Their simple and effective tools could have saved me years of anguish at the Portland ReStores.”
– Joe Connell, Executive Director, Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA)

“Thanks again for all of your help! I was happy to have had you as a mentor during this process. I really enjoyed both the Lean and Green Belt classes and it was fun discovering something new to be passionate about at work.”
– Jennifer Bartels, Sr. Manager, Continuous Improvement, TriLink Biotech

“Thank you for helping me through this project and I deeply appreciate your help on my study. Please be prepared to receive my questions even after this. Thanks again.”
– Yi Zhou, Staff Scientist and Six Sigma Black Belt, BD

“Your insights and guidance are always useful. I particularly liked how you were able to help me re-org the data in Minitab so that the tests would work as intended. I could have spent hours tearing at my hair trying to figure that out on my own. But now, I understand what we did and why and can apply that flexibility in other statistical problems. A confidence builder!”

– J.S., Engineering Program Manager, Aerospace company