Now, with increased help from CIRAS, the ILC is poised to take things to the next level with a statewide expansion of consortium programming and the hiring of its first full-time executive director, Teresa Hay McMahon.
CIRAS first teamed up with the ILC in 2011—the year before the consortium hired its part-time coordinator—to cohost the ILC’s first national-level Lean speaker, Mike Hoseus. McMahon, a founding member of the consortium who assumed her new full-time job at the end of February, said the Hoseus event helped gain important exposure for the consortium. From there, CIRAS began sponsoring several keynote speakers for ILC events each year. Together, CIRAS and the ILC have brought in several more nationally known Lean professionals, including John Shook, Jamie Flinchbaugh, Art Byrne, and Tracey and Ernie Richardson.
“People really appreciate the opportunity to have an affordable chance to see national-level speakers right here in Iowa,” said McMahon, who also is a past ILC board president.
Today, CIRAS continues to sponsor ILC events and connect the consortium to national Lean experts. A CIRAS staff member also attends and provides input at ILC board meetings.
In the coming year, CIRAS is looking to expand its sponsorship and financial support of the ILC—from being an event sponsor to becoming a recognized organization partner. This will allow CIRAS to continue to support the ILC as it grows further, particularly as the consortium explores potential additional services such as assessments, certification, and classroom training.
In her new role, McMahon will help grow membership and services, allowing the board to focus on strategic items such as expanding ILC events to each corner of the state.
“Because of previous growth… we have reached capacity for what we can do as a volunteer-based organization,” said Jeff Dahm, current ILC board president and a John Deere Quality and Production System factory advisor at Deere & Company.
Dahm said the partnership between CIRAS and the ILC is a natural one. “We’ve got a similar objective to help companies across Iowa—to provide them tools and resources that they can use to add value to their companies,” Dahm said. “We value the relationship as it is today, and we’re excited about continuing to work with CIRAS.”