2014 ASCA Speakers Include:

David Burkus
Assistant Professor of Management
Oral Roberts University

David Burkus is the author of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas.

His work on leadership, innovation, and strategy has been published in numerous scholarly journals and practitioner publications. He is a contributing writer for Forbes, 99U, PsychologyToday, and the Harvard Business Review blog. His work has also appeared in Fast Company, Inc, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and the Financial Times. As a speaker, he has delivered keynotes and lectures to a diverse set of audiences, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to the U.S. Naval Academy.

David Burkus is Assistant Professor of Management at the College of Business at Oral Roberts University, where he teachers courses on leadership, creativity, strategy, and organizational behavior. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and was named an “Expert-in-Residence” by Creative Oklahoma. David is the founder and host of LDRLB, a podcast that shares insights from research on leadership, innovation, and strategy.

David is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Oklahoma, and also holds a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership from Regent University.

Josh Ferguson 
Kent & McBride, P.C.

Joshua G. Ferguson is a graduate of Old Dominion University (B.S., Honors Program, 2000), and Widener University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2004). He is admitted to the Bars of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Josh works primarily in the areas of commercial premises, motor vehicle, contract, and construction defect litigation, and has litigated cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has also been retained as general counsel for a wide variety of businesses, including but not limited to those in the snow removal and landscaping industries.

Josh has presented various seminars throughout the United States on First-Party and Third-Party automobile insurance, contract review/creation/negotiation, snow and ice removal, risk management, bad faith claims and general claims handling. Josh also serves as an Arbitrator/Mediator in Pennsylvania.

Paul Leao
Ariens Wholegoods

In Paul’s current role as Director of Ariens Management System, he is responsible for driving the Lean initiative and Quality System in the corporation. Paul also takes Lean outside of the company to the supply chain, dealers, and landscape contractors. In this role he is also responsible for the training of Ariens Company personnel and coordination of Lean activity. He is the consultant during kaizen events, ensuring that the teams use the Lean tools properly, stay on track with their goals and assists in problem-solving.

Prior to his current role, Paul was the Director of Lean Operations in which he was responsible for driving Lean throughout the Ride-On Product Operations. As Process Manager for the machine shop he conducted one of the first kaizen events in the manufacturing plant nearly fifteen years earlier and led the Lean journey throughout the machine shop.

Over the course of his career, he has been involved in four Lean transformations. He has personally led, co-led or participated on more than 100 kaizen events – the equivalent of nearly two years of work – using such tools as standard work, setup reduction, value stream mapping, quality, ergonomic, and extended value stream mapping.

Paul has created a number of innovative initiatives that have been recognized as best practices within the Lean manufacturing community. These include the Lean Intern program, Lean level training, and daily continuous improvement. As a frequent speaker, Paul shares his experience with many industry and professional organizations including the Industry Week Best Plants annual conference and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) annual conference. He also serves as the company liaison with the numerous public, private and governmental organizations that visit Ariens as they embark on their own Lean Journeys.

Gretchen Merriman
Smithers Quality Assessments

Gretchen Merriman is the general manager of North America at Smithers Quality Assessments, a certification body with headquarters in Akron, Ohio. Ms. Merriman received her Bachelor of Engineering in materials science degree from Youngstown State University and her master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Drawing on her 20-plus years’ experience in quality systems and operations, Ms. Merriman provides interpretation of the requirements of standards, explanation of how the changes to standards affect organizations and provides auditing services to clients across multiple industries.

Ms. Merriman achieved her ASCA certification in 2013 and has been instrumental in assisting ASCA and the snow and ice management industry in its understanding of SN9001 and ISO 9001 certifications. She has developed and delivered training for ASCA, has performed the first-ever certification body witness audit for accreditation by ANAB and delivers public training for ISO/SN9001 training at Snowfighter’s Institute.

Marvin Montgomery
Author of Practice Makes Perfect: The Professionals Guide to Sales Success

For more than 30 years, Marvin Montgomery has earned widespread national recognition and praise for his informative, practical and stimulating programs that refl ect his basic philosophy: “Preparation and practice are the keys to sales success.”

Marvin began his career with one of the nation’s largest jewelry chains and worked his way up to the director of sales position. It was here that Marvin began refi ning his approach to training. In total he trained more than 1,200 associates in 95 stores during his time with the organization.

Since that time, Marvin’s captivating presentations have assisted hundreds of organizations to meet or exceed their sales goals using his training programs. Many of Marvin’s clients have said that getting “Marvinized” has truly made a difference in their company and Marvin has become a mandatory part of company training.

In addition to his training programs, Marvin has given keynote addresses, public workshops and presentations for all industries, professional services, chambers, associations and organizations of all sizes. His addresses include such topics as “Are You Practicing on Your Customers?”, “How to Cultivate New Clients While Maximizing Your Existing Ones” and “Customer Service: The Unexpected Extras that Make the Difference.”

Marvin is the author of Practice Makes Perfect: The Professional’s Guide to Sales Success as well as the soon to be released book, Training Wheels. He is also a regular contributor to magazines such as Smart Business Cleveland and Smart Business Akron/Canton, COSE Update, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.