John C. Timmerman
Senior Strategist, Customer Experience and Innovation,
John Timmerman, Gallup’s Senior Strategist in customer experience and innovation, is a renowned expert in creating outstanding customer experiences by building and integrating business cultures, systems, and technologies. Prior to joining Gallup, he served as the vice president of operations and quality for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and most recently served as the global vice president of guest experience and rooms operations for Marriott’s portfolio of 18 brands and more than 3,700 hotels worldwide.
A recognized thought leader in the science of service, John has presented hundreds of lectures and consultations worldwide on designing customer-centric organizations across a diverse range of industries. He also enjoys developing new leaders by serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware. John is chairman of the American Society for Quality, which serves more than 70,000 quality professionals in 140 countries, and he is a a former senior examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Timmerman received his bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management with honors from the University of Delaware and his master’s degree in service leadership and innovation from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is completing his doctorate in hospitality management at Iowa State University. Prior to starting his career in the hospitality industry, Timmerman served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a 2nd Force Reconnaissance Marine.
Senior Vice President of Quality and Lean Six Sigma,
Computer Sciences Corporation
Rob Bryant is a Master Black Belt for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). Bryant is responsible for CSC’s Six Sigma program; he has established GB, BB, and MBB training, as well as a Six Sigma award program; conducts Six Sigma analysis; and markets Six Sigma services to clients. He supervises more than 200 Six Sigma projects annually, which has resulted in more than $200 million in reduced costs and increased revenue for CSC in the last seven years. Bryant is a renowned motivational speaker and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt who draws from his personal triumph of overcoming paralysis after a 55-foot fall in 1982 and subsequently achieving two world records: longest walk by a paraplegic (24 miles) and rowing 3,280 miles on a row machine (Guinness Book of World Records, 1992–2000).
Bryant’s fall, due to a design change in a pulley that removed a 49-cent cotter pin, is one of the reasons he refocused his life’s work on quality and safety and wrote the book Walking Through Adversity: 7 Steps to Overcoming Life’s Challenges. He integrates his motivational messages into lean and Six Sigma practices.
D. Todd Thornbrough
Director, Continuous Improvement
Todd Thornbrough is a seasoned expert in the area of continuous improvement for service and manufacturing industries. Most recently, Todd has begun implementation of the process of Failure Modes and Effects Analysis at Nielsen, a global information measurement company. Prior to Nielsen, he served as the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt for Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, and Smart Modular Technologies deploying process improvements across organizations, both domestically and internationally.
A graduate of Purdue University, Todd continues work towards his Master’s degree in Information Management from Arizona State University. His nearly 25-year career in the continuous improvement field included experience as Quality Assurance Manager, Quality Engineer, and Quality Auditor.
Direction of Operations,
Ryan Suydam, Director of Operations at DesignFacilitator, works with project management organizations to develop client feedback programs. Having built both tools and techniques specific to project delivery processes, Ryan helps professionals collect, manage, and respond to feedback. Ryan has spoken at both national and regional events with organizations focused on improving project delivery. He also delivers day-long workshops to organizations developing client feedback / voice of the customer / client experience programs.