ABout Us

Our Experience


Here at Pinnacle Partners West, we are dedicated to you and all your different  consulting, training and facilitation needs.

Every Pinnacle Partners Business Consultant has over 30 years of real-world experience.


  • Assessments to determine improvement opportunities
  • Customized materials for your industry
  • Consulting services on site, via email or phone 
  • Training provided on- or off-site
  • Facilitation for successful strategic improvements
  • Mentoring your employees to help develop your own in-house experts


  • Manufacturing 
  • Health Care
  • Distribution
  • Government
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations

Meet Our Team

Sophronia Ward Ph.D.

Dr. Sophronia Ward is a Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Inc.  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.  In addition, 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 coauthored “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).

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 is a member of International Who's Who, Sterling Who's Who and was named one of the "94 Meeting Planners to Watch in 1994" by Convention South Magazine. 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.

F. Paul Clipp MBA

With an extensive experience working with hundreds of companies Paul Clipp has had the opportunity to work within such industries as: furniture manufacturing, automotive (OEM and all supply levels), textiles, electronics, paper, converting, food and more. Paul's approach is simple; hands-on and practical. Working with all levels, from first-line to the strategic, executive level, Paul is highly interactive and challenges organizations to understand and adopt best practices.  ​With an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University, Paul is a Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Champion. His experience includes being an engineer and first-line supervisor with General Motors and production manager and plant manager with Colgate-Palmolive. While with Colgate-Palmolive, he implemented a system called Manufacturing Excellence which moved the plant into the ranks of the most profitable in the company. He later wrote a book with the same name.  This was a monumental achievement as this plant had been ranked 39th out of 39 plants for five consecutive years just prior to this work.  In addition to his book, Manufacturing Excellence, he has also written four leader guides, Total Quality Management, Implementing Process Improvement, Managing Change, and Challenging People to Succeed published by The National Management Association in Dayton, Ohio.  Currently, as a member of the Pinnacle Partners Network, Paul serves as Director of The Southern Associates, a company which helps clients in the areas of: business strategy, operations improvement and sales marketing. He also serves on the Advisory Board of The Chief Executive Network of Lawrence, Kansas.

​George Sivess

George Sivess brings a tremendous depth of experience in all levels of operations, with a particular emphasis in World-class Manufacturing Methods Lean Thinking) and Six Sigma. After graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1971, he served in the U.S. Army in various assignments including Tank Platoon Leader, Supply and Operations Staff, Tank Company Commander, and Armored Cavalry Troop Commander.  In 1978 he joined Johnson & Johnson in the maintenance area and established the Stores and Spare Parts system for a 700 man facility and became one of three Maintenance Department Managers. Later, at Kimberly Clark Corporation, George was Operations Manager at a plant, converting it from a traditional organization to self-directed work teams with world-class performance results. From there he became Operations Manager at a state-of-the-art tissue manufacturing facility. 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 became the lowest cost producer in the corporation, thereby changing the basis of competition in the marketplace.  ​Through his role as a Senior Consultant with Pinnacle Partners, George has guided many efforts to improve and/or redesign companies resulting in organization and operations excellence.  His extensive experience in project work has created numerous success stories leading to tremendous bottom-line savings and top-line growth.  He has worked with many major organizations including Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, Nashua Corporation, Nippendenso, Rock-Tenn Corporation, Lawson-Martin, Degussa Engineered Carbons, Louisiana Pacific, International Paper, Rosewood Industries, Gold’n Plump Poultry and many others.