Pinnacle Partners West

Pinnacle Partners West

Transforming organizations through people and processes

Oklahoma City, OK

Knoxville, TN

Ashville, NC

Princeton, WV

Who We Are

Mark A. Nash

Mark A. Nash, President of Pinnacle Partners West LLC, has over 40 years of process improvement experience, both as an internal and external consultant/engineer, in manufacturing, distribution, government and healthcare. This diversified background allows Mark to work outside the box looking for solutions many people cannot visualize.

Following a successful career as a management auditor, fiscal analyst and turn-around specialist for the government, Nash served as managing director and CFO for Argent Global Services, an international process engineering firm. While on staff at Argent, Mark was a member of Iomega Corporation’s process improvement team which was named a finalist in the large manufacturer category of the 2000 RIT/USA Today Quality Cup competition. Working with international manufacturers Iomega Corporation, Philips Consumer Electronics and Abbott Laboratories in Tennessee, Mexico, and Singapore, along with healthcare reference laboratories such as Kaiser Permanente, LabCorp, Pathlinks and Unilab in California, Illinois, Texas, and internationally in Amsterdam and the United Kingdom, Nash has used his expansive production and transactional knowledge and experiences to save these organizations millions of dollars annually.

Nash has presented at numerous conferences around the world including ASQ Six Sigma, IIE Lean Management Solutions, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine, and Lab Quality Confab. Additionally, Mark served as an advisor to the University of Central Oklahoma’s Center for Strategic Improvement.

Leaving Argent, Mark served as the Operations Manager for Pelco Products, Inc., the largest manufacturer of traffic signal hardware in North America leading the company on its Lean Manufacturing journey. During Mark’s tenure at Pelco, he provided guidance through many successful process, quality and cultural changes. Pelco was recognized by Quality Magazine as the 2010 Quality Plant of the Year, and was named a two-time finalist for the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ IIE Lean Best Practice Award in 2011 and 2012.

Since joining Pinnacle Partners, Nash has continued his involvement in both production and transactional process and quality improvement for numerous organizations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. During his long-term partnership with American Fidelity Assurance Co., Nash was named the company’s Lean Sensei guiding the organization to be recognized as a leader in continuous improvement in the U.S. insurance industry; placing second in 2014 in the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ IIE Lean Best Practice Award competition. Nash has also worked on process and quality improvement projects for Ball Metalpack, Cytovance Biologics, DitchWitch, Emerson Climate Technologies, Hill AeroSystems, Inc., Hitachi, and Malarkey Roofing Products, among others.

As a management skills coach and mentor, Nash is a multi-skilled Six Sigma Master Black Belt and lean manufacturing expert, certified as a NIST/MEP Lean master trainer, partnering with numerous U.S. manufacturers to provide Lean Manufacturing training, facilitation and mentoring. Additionally, Mark has facilitated more than 500 Lean workshops and classes, and has facilitated kaizen events for more than 60 organizations worldwide. He is a senior member of the American Society for Quality.

Mark is coauthor of the 2006 Productivity Press book, Using Lean for Faster Six Sigma Results: A Synchronized Approach, the 2008 Productivity Press book entitled Mapping the Total Value Stream: A Comprehensive Guide to Production and Transactional Processes, and the 2012 CRC Press book entitled The Right Measures: The Story of a Company’s Journey to Find True Indicators of Its Success and Values. Nash is a chapter co-author for the Second edition of the McGraw-Hill Manufacturing Engineering Handbook. Additionally, Mark has written numerous articles for Quality Magazine, has been published in IE Industrial Engineer magazine, and The Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists (United Kingdom).

Sophronia Ward Ph.D.

Dr. Sophronia Ward is a Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners East. She has taught and implemented tools of Continual Improvement and Lean Six Sigma in a wide variety of industries since 1981. She is a statistician and Continual Improvement Expert who specializes in Lean Six Sigma and Statistical Process Control training, consulting, improvement facilitation and coaching.

Currently her expertise is being utilized in many companies as their expert Lean Six Sigma “Senior Master Black Belt”.   Black Belt, Green Belt, and Master Black Belt Training and Certification are her specialized areas of focus. She currently is providing training and coaching for Lean Six Sigma in over 30 different companies in 5 countries.  She combines her statistical expertise with team development to offer an integrated approach to implementing continual improvement systems. She has developed many workshop and seminar offerings including customized materials for client organizations.  She also designed the popular SPC software package, Improvit.

She was a featured monthly columnist for Quality Magazine under her headline, “Brain Teasers.”  This column was identified as the “most read” column for the magazine.  Because of its popularity, BNP Media published the book, Brain Teasers:  Real-World Challenges to Build your Manufacturing Skills.  She also co-authored “Chapter 56; Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing” in the 2014 release of the McGraw-Hill book, Manufacturing Engineering Handbook, and is a co-author of the book, Using Lean for Faster Six Sigma Results: A Synchronized Approach.  She is a frequent keynote speaker for organizations and associations concerning quality, process improvement, Lean Six Sigma and other improvement related topics.

Dr. Ward received her B.S. in statistics from North Carolina State University and her Ph.D. in statistics from Virginia Tech. She was a professor at the University of Tennessee until 1984. Dr. Ward was one of the founders of the internationally recognized Institute for Productivity through Quality at the University of Tennessee and was a Senior Consultant Manager at Tennessee Associates, Inc.  She is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality, a member of the American Statistical Association, the Biometric Society and the Association for Psychological Type.  She has her certification in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and SMYLOG (a team dynamics survey instrument).

Joseph Tuttle

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering degree from Brigham Young University, Joseph Tuttle has over 20 years’ experience in Lean Six Sigma and performance improvement as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. A results-driven leader who excels at motivating employees and providing a clear vision, he has facilitated numerous business transformation efforts, with long-term success. His experience reaches across a broad range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, defense, aerospace, energy, mining, logistics, jewelry, safety, environmental, material handling, and utilities.

Throughout his career, Joe has affected Business Transformation by applying Lean Six Sigma and Continuous Process Improvement tools to identify and reduce waste within organizations. Through strategic alignment, enterprise value stream mapping and assessment, benefit validation, and performance evaluation, he engages the organization to understand, adapt to and implement improvements. He mentors and trains Green Belts, Black Belts and management in their application of Lean and Six Sigma tools, techniques and principles. By aligning strategic vision with process improvement, he leads organizations to achieve sustainable results. In addition, Joseph is skilled at building strong relationships within an organization whether working in a team environment, cross team, or throughout the entire organization.

Tuttle has worked with both private sector organizations and the military worldwide on process and continuous improvement projects. As a senior consultant working on through contracts, Joe assisted the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command, U.S. Air Mobility Command, U.S. Air Force of the Pacific, and the United States Air Force in Europe on numerous Lean Six Sigma projects, training programs, mentoring contracts at 30+ locations across the United States, England, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Spain and the Azores.

Working with the U.S. Army Central Command, as a consultant, Tuttle worked on Business Transformation by utilizing Continuous Process Improvement within the US Army Central Command (ARCENT) in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Dubai, as well as other Army’s installation support commands in Southwest Asia. This contract included training and mentoring both military and civilian personnel to engage the organization to adapt to and understand improvement processes. Additionally, Joe has provided consulting services to the U.S. Veterans Administration developing logistics planning programs based upon Lean principles.

Joe’s private sector engagements have been just as fulfilling, having worked with multiple manufacturing companies within the oil & gas industry on process improvement and management systems projects for Cooper Compression, Corken International, and KF Industries. Utilizing his management, continuous improvement, and programming skills, Tuttle developed numerous programs providing highly efficient processes for these companies. Filling roles which includes CNC program manager, manufacturing engineer, production manager and plant manager, Tuttle was able to apply both Lean and Six Sigma principles throughout the facilities he worked with in Oklahoma and Maryland.

Additionally, Tuttle spent considerable time working for U.S. Steel in Minnesota, Texas, and Pennsylvania leading the deployment of the Carnegie Way initiatives throughout U.S. Steel. Joe provided coaching, training, and project facilitation, in addition to providing analysis and recommendations for process improvements in production and quality. Joe also served as a mentor for corporate and plant leadership teams for several facilities going through continuous improvement transformations.

Joe also has served as the continuous improvement director for ArcelorMittal Princeton in Princeton, WV, and has worked in Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee on projects for Ball MetalPack, Garrett Turbine, Karsten Engineering, Parker Hannifan, and Pepe Tools.

Sheila R. Poling

Sheila R. Poling’s expansive professional experience includes owning/managing several consulting firms, working in operations management, product development, training materials and seminar development, marketing and sales, client interface, and customer satisfaction initiatives focused on business excellence with an emphasis on leadership and quality/process improvement.

A prolific presenter and author, Sheila has presented at over 25 conferences and coauthored multiple articles and books.  These books include Productivity Press’, Using Lean for Faster Six Sigma Results: A Synchronized Approach and Mapping the Total Value Stream: A Comprehensive Guide to Production and Transactional Processes,  BNP Media’s, Brain Teasers: Real-World Challenges to Build Your Manufacturing Skills, and also coauthored “Chapter 56; Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing” in the 2014 release of the McGraw-Hill book, Manufacturing Engineering Handbook. Additional books includes Customer Focused Quality and Building Continual Improvement: SPC for the Service Industry and Administrative Areas, and  the 2012 Productivity press book entitled The Right Measures: The Story of a Company’s Journey to find the True Indicators of Its Success and Values.

She has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, and a member of the American Management and American Marketing Associations. She has had the privilege to study and work closely with many of the leaders in the process improvement, Six Sigma and Lean industries…including a long, professional relationship with Dr. W. Edwards Deming.

George Sivess

George Sivess brings a tremendous depth of experience in all levels of operations, with a particular emphasis on the world-class manufacturing methods of Six Sigma and Lean Thinking. After graduating from the United States Military Academy, Sivess served in the U.S. Army in various assignments rising to the rank of Armored Cavalry Troop Commander, which included posts throughout the United States and in Germany. As unit commander George was responsible for the training of the unit and the development of both the other officers and non-commissioned officers. During his time on Operations Staff, George designed and wrote the Division’s response plan for natural disasters in the Louisiana area of operations.

After a successful military career, Sivess joined Johnson & Johnson in the maintenance area and established the Stores and Spare Parts system for a 700-man facility, and after being promoted to Maintenance Trainer he worked with the local union to develop and put into operation a Diversity Development Program for the Maintenance Division, eventually becoming one of three Maintenance Department Managers. Sivess’ department supported numerous production machines, including steam and ethylene oxide sterilizers, and cobalt irradiators, in three Operations Departments.

Joining Kimberly Clark Corporation as a Department Manager in North Carolina, George was promoted to Operations Manager and relocated to Mississippi, converting it from a traditional organization to self-directed work teams with world-class performance results. While in Mississippi Sivess was selected to attend the Center for Creative Leadership. Sivess’ success with self-directed work teams provided the opportunity for a transfer to the state-of-the-art tissue manufacturing facility in Loudon, Tennessee. This facility was the first in the industry to operate with high-involvement work teams as opposed to traditional departments with supervisors. Under his leadership, the plant went from never having turned a profit to profitable in 18 weeks. The Plant became the lowest cost producer in the corporation, thereby changing the basis of competition in the marketplace. During this part of his career Sivess also consulted with two Kimberly-Clark facilities in Canada to assist with cost issues.

Known for both his self-directed teams and equipment expertise, Sivess joined the Pinnacle Partners team as a Senior Consultant in 2010. Splitting time between identifying antiquities for several foreign governments and consulting for Pinnacle Partners, George has guided numerous efforts to improve and/or redesign processes, organizational structure, and staff skills resulting in organization and operations excellence. Sivess’ extensive experience in project work has created numerous success stories leading to tremendous bottom-line savings and top-line growth. George’s work with industry-leaders including Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, Nashua Corporation, Nippendenso, Rock-Tenn Corporation, Lawson-Martin, Degussa Engineered Carbons, International Paper, Rosewood Industries, Gold’n Plump Poultry, and ArcelorMittal among others, have allowed him to work with many diverse teams in 13 U.S. States, 3 Canadian provinces, Germany, and England.

Melvin Pierce

Melvin Pierce, CPIM, CPM joined the Pinnacle Partners team in 2019 after working more than 20 years in supply chain management for numerous manufacturers. As a Lean trained supply chain management expert, Mel has brought his experiences from the trailer manufacturing industry, traffic signal hardware and ornamental lighting, oil and gas manufacturing, and aerial lift platforms manufacturing to the team.

In addition to holding both the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and the Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) titles, Mel is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Mel has extensive experience in sourcing raw materials, components and parts for manufacturing companies including Global sourcing and procurement experience.  He has recruited and maintained suppliers provide high quality products and services at a reasonable price, while maintaining the highest code of ethics and conduct. Additionally, Mel has overseen supplier development and the new product approval process with vendors.

He has spent the last 12 years working to implement Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in several manufacturing companies as the supply chain director. This required the relentless pursuit of Lean concepts within the purchasing and logistics teams, and also required that he maintain the integrity of all processes within the Supply Chain function while working alongside Engineering and Quality Assurance to ensure that processes and procedures were being adhered to throughout the support areas of the organization.

Mel received his BS in Business Management from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma in 1993. He earned his CPM in 1991 from the Institute for Supply Management, and his CPIM from the Association of Production and Inventory Management in 2009. After attending numerous NIST/MEP Lean Manufacturing courses from 2006-2008, Mel achieved his Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Pinnacle Partners in 2010.