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Process Palooza Speakers

  • Elizabeth H. Simmons

    Elizabeth H. Simmons

    Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons is the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of California San Diego. In this capacity, she serves as UC San Diego’s chief academic officer and is responsible for policies and decisions relating to all academic programs and curriculum, instructional support programs, and faculty appointments and performance.

    Dr. Simmons previously served as Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development, Dean of Lyman Briggs College, and University Distinguished Professor of Physics at Michigan State University (MSU).

    Simmons is a theoretical high-energy physicist whose research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles, especially the top quark. She is currently studying how physics beyond the Standard Model might manifest in experiments in progress at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. She enjoys teaching physics courses at all levels, from introductory to graduate, and a central tenant of her mission as an educator is to encourage students from groups under-represented in physics to consider studies and careers in the physical sciences.

    EVC Simmons will kick off the event with a welcome address at 9 a.m.

  • Bob Neuhard

    Bob Neuhard

    Bob Neuhard serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives, which is charged with identifying, responding to, leading, and supporting unique initiatives and opportunities across campus on behalf of the Chancellor and the Chief Financial Officer. Bob Neuhard is a business professional and licensed attorney who has extensive global experience leading mission critical strategic engagements across national and international organizations.

    Bob will introduce the Process Palooza competition pitches.

  • Steve Ross

    Steve Ross

    Steve Ross serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Resource Administration, Academic Affairs (AVC-RA). As AVC-RA, Steve serves as the chief financial and administrative officer for Academic Affairs and a primary resource consultant for the Executive Vice Chancellor reporting units, including Academic Affairs, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Student Affairs.

    Steve will introduce the Process Palooza competition pitches.

  • Hugo Villar

    Hugo Villar

    Hugo O Villar is currently Associate Dean for Professional and Continuing Education at UC San Diego Extension, where he oversees programs in areas as diverse as Arts and Humanities, Education, Engineering , Healthcare, Applied Math, Life Sciences and Business. His technical interest has been in the application of computers to diverse problems in the life sciences and development of new technologies for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Dr Villar holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina) and a Masters in Business Administration, with emphasis on Health Care and Pharmaceutical Management from the University of Colorado.

    Dr. Villar will deliver closing remarks at the conclusion of the Process Palooza competition.

  • Eliud Escobedo

    Eliud Escobedo

    Eliud has worked at UC San Diego since 2006 and most recently joined the Resource Management & Planning’s (RMP) senior management team as a Business Process Innovation Manager and chair of the RMP IS Advisory Group. In his current role, he manages the $5M RMP IT initiatives Portfolio to ensure best practices and that priorities align with strategy and business needs. This process includes strategic planning, business case development and ROI/risk analysis to realize project value. Eliud implemented a methodology to score projects; and operationalized a process for evaluating IT enablement needs with the goal of prioritizing investments and focusing IT resources on work that will make the largest business impact.

    In his previous role as Transportation Services Sr. Planner, Eliud participated in the first Transportation and Parking Services Strategic Plan using the Balanced Score Card methodology, resulting in a series of initiatives to improve customer satisfaction, stabilize financial standing and improve self-service capabilities.

    Eliud will deliver closing remarks at the conclusion of the Process Palooza competition.

  • Ric Van Der Linden

    Ric Van Der Linden

    Ric Van Der Linden is the Principal Consultant for ProgressivEdge , a consulting business based in the Southern California area focused on the applications of Continuous Improvement techniques to any business type (private and public, service, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, military…). His career has focused on Continuous Improvement. For the past 23 years he has led and supported business growth including the start up of two large operations which included facilities, equipment and staffing. He managed production operations and for the past 13 years has had a full-time dedication to Continuous Improvement through the application of Lean Six Sigma and other improvement approaches.

    As a Champion of Lean and Six Sigma, he has developed Lean Strategies and Six Sigma programs that have become “best practice”. He has driven results through Lean and Six Sigma in all aspects of business. Along with project leadership, he has also trained, mentored, and certified over one thousand Lean/Six Sigma individuals that have resulted in a 5 year accumulation of $50 million savings. He has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering, a Masters in Organizational Management, is a certified Lean Expert and Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. He currently holds a board position with the American Society for Quality, was past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and was recently the Lean and Six Sigma Advisor/Instructor at San Diego State University and is an Instructor at University of California, San Diego for Lean Enterprise and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

    Ric will serve as an emcee for the Process Palooza competition.

  • Tracy O'Rourke

    Tracy O'Rourke

    Tracy is a Managing Partner at and Co-Founder of Integris Performance Advisors. Tracy advises companies and spearheads implementation on many aspects of cultural change, leadership development, customer experience, strategic alignment, and process improvement. 

    Tracy got her start as a Six Sigma Black Belt at GE Appliances in the late 1990’s with Jack Welch at the helm of the organization. After her Black Belt career at GE, Tracy became a Lean Six Sigma Consultant and has helped many organizations with all aspects of Lean Six Sigma implementation.

    Tracy is an accomplished facilitator, trainer and presenter. She has trained over 1000 people, mentored 300+ people and has helped complete 300+ projects with results that range between $50,000 and $8 million dollars in savings. Her facilitation expertise runs the gamut, from facilitating leadership retreats with top executives, to facilitating Process Walks, Kaizen Events and project team meetings.

    Tracy will serve as an emcee for the Process Palooza competition.