Supurna team

Sue Gillman, Managing Partner

Sue Gillman has a reputation for incisive operating model strategy, holistic problem solving, and collaborative change coaching. Prior to Supurna, Sue was co-owner and partner of Aveus, a global strategy and operations change firm in St Paul, Minnesota.

Sue held progressive leadership positions at Seagate Technology. In her last role, Sue founded and led the Lean Enterprise practice, which redefined global supply chain disciplines and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profit, capacity and speed to market benefits for the company and its suppliers.

Also at Seagate, Sue started, transferred, and led Materials and Planning for global operations in Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Singapore, led Technical Program Development for customers, and led architecture development and improvement in and across every link in Seagate’s global supply chain.

Sue has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, where she has taught operations for 15 years. She also has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Minnesota.

Layne Pearson, Principal

Layne Pearson has spent more than 25 years in high technology manufacturing, holding senior level positions in operation management, program management, & strategic planning. Prior to joining Supurna, Layne spent more than two decades with Seagate Technology, where he held various high level operational roles, including responsibility for the start-up of two new factories and the deployment of Lean Manufacturing in two of its major components divisions.

Layne’s most recent role was executive lead responsible for the start-up of Seagate’s media substrates operations in Asia, which included managing the build of a new facility in Johor, Malaysia, and the transfer of existing operations from Europe.

Layne is a results-oriented leader with a strong technical background and highly effective strategic management and operations expertise.

SS Yeow, Principal

SS Yeow has more than 20 years of experience in the high tech industry. He spent 18 years with Seagate where he ran Manufacturing, I.E. and led the Lean Organization in Asia for the past nine years. As a division Lean leader, he was responsible to institute Lean metrics to all the plants in Asia and drive operations and supply chain improvements across factories at different geographical locations within the company.

He has experience working on many projects involving flow improvements and setup, improving bottlenecks capacity and throughput time reduction across the supply chain. He has developed a method and system for replenishment that is being widely used within the company. SS Yeow has an MBA from the University of Portsmouth and attended the Executive Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Russ Weybright, Principal and Business Development

Russ Weybright brings more than 30 years of experience delivering dramatic operational improvement to companies large and small.  Prior to joining Supurna, Russ led his own consultancy at RW Solutions, Inc.  Before founding RW Solutions in 2006, Russ spent a successful career in senior management positions at such companies as Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Eaton Corporation, ABB and Sundstrand Corporation, now part of United Technologies.  His areas of responsibility have included plant management, worldwide distribution, strategic sourcing (outsourcing, insourcing and global sourcing since 1989), profit/loss responsibility for domestic and foreign subsidiaries, material procurement and indirect spend.

Russ has a special interest in bringing Lean concepts of flow and transparency to transaction-based businesses.  In addition, he specializes in dramatic reductions of the total cost of indirect materials.

Russ received his MBA from the Simon School of Business at University of Rochester, Rochester, New York and a BA in economics from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.   Russ has also published articles and is an active speaker in the Twin Cities area.

Phil MaherBusiness Development

Phil Maher is both a consultant and business developer for Supurna. He has been an independent consultant for two years, after working in the technology manufacturing industry for 16 years.

As Vice President of Operations for Seagate, he set up its first off-shore disk drive plant in Singapore. After running this factory for five years he returned to the US to oversee the company’s Lean Manufacturing initiative. He has set up manufacturing in Asia for two clients as well as serving on the Board of Directors for a measurement equipment company in California. Prior to working in high tech, Phil was a high school teacher for ten years.

Steve Gunther, Principal

An expert in capturing value for businesses by deploying Lean Six Sigma, Steve Gunther applies his expertise in planning and deploying the culture change to the benefit of his customers. His specialty is in the development and mentoring of executives and champions to lead the deployment and change management of the Lean Six Sigma methodology. He was trained by Mikel Harry and the Six Sigma Academy.

Prior to his role as managing partner of Mosaica Partners, Steve was with Seagate Technology, where he was responsible for driving the implementation of the Six Sigma Methodology across their global business.  Under his direction, the Six Sigma initiative grew dramatically in manufacturing, business process and design with total savings of over $500 million.  Steve previously held the responsibility for the Six Sigma and the Supply Chain Management initiatives for the worldwide Recording Head Operation.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Rochester in New York.  His educational background includes Six Sigma Black Belt, Champion, Executive and Design for Six Sigma training.  He holds an MBA certificate from the University of St. Thomas Management Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Nancy Norman, Consultant

Nancy Norman has spent the past 20-plus years in supply change management and finance leadership roles. Her supply chain experience includes work in the highly regulated industries of health care, medical device manufacturing, and airline transportation. Similarly, her finance background encompasses those industries and banking as well.

Nancy also teaches for both Metropolitan State University and Moorhead State University. She is known for her ability to look at the same old problem and develop a new insight or approach to creatively solve it.

Prior to working with Supurna and Aveus, Nancy has worked for Wells Fargo, Northwest Airlines, Regions Hospital, Accellent, and American Medical Systems. She holds an MBA, an MA in Library Science, and a BA in English – all from the University of Minnesota. Her certifications include CFPIM [APICS], CMA, and CIA. She is past president of the Twin Cities APICS Chapter.

Dick Devine, Consultant

Richard (Dick) Devine has more than 30 years of management experience in precision machining, complex assembly, and high tech manufacturing. Prior to coming to Supurna, Dick spent 16 years as a manager working for Seagate Technology in the manufacture of thin film heads used in the hard disc drive business. While there he became Lean Master and Six Sigma certified and moved into a project management role dedicated to improving operational performance and cost efficiency. As the Lean Site Practice Lead he was involved in approving, tracking, and mentoring all lean improvement projects at the facility.

Most recently he held the position of Lean Six Sigma department head in a disc drive filtration company located in Rayong, Thailand. In that role he provided training and practical knowledge for all lean aspects with a major focus on reducing cost, reducing throughput time, and improving capacity.

Dick is an experienced change agent committed to the application of lean principles, targeting improved operation and continuous improvement wherever he goes.

Susan Ng, Consultant

Susan Ng has more than 15 years of experience in the manufacturing industry and is a Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Master. As Senior Manager of Lean Manufacturing Department, Seagate Technology Singapore, she led the setting up and implementation of Lean Manufacturing programs, and executed layout optimization and line balancing projects to facilitate increase in capacity.

With her team of industrial engineers, she drove numerous projects in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of bottleneck processes to ramp up production cells, expand plant capacity, and transfer backend processes from a US plant.  She also managed budget planning for factory capacity and headcount requirements.

In her most recent appoint as Capacity Investment Planning Manager at STMicrolectronics central backend operations, she evaluated and planned manufacturing improvements and expansion projects for 6 worldwide plants to ensure that sufficient CAPEX and timely investment is maximized to fulfill the demand plan in the Groups.

Susan has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from La Trobe University.