Iowa Lean Conference

Lean from the Heart: by Karl Wadensten

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Wadensten

Karl Wadensten




Karl Wadensten is a passionate, memorable personality with big ideas, big success stories and a take-no-prisoners attitude. He is the President of VIBCO Vibrators in Wyoming, RI, and the host of a weekly web TV show, The Lean Nation on UStream Wednesdays at 3pm EST. Karl has a terrific sense of humor and his passion for lean and for life is contagious. He is a firm believer in the power of leadership and Lean to transform and VIBCO’s story is truly inspirational. Karl is a much-in-demand keynote speaker at regional, national and international conferences.

2 Second Lean: by Paul Akers

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Akers Small

Paul Akers

Paul Akers is founder and president of FastCap, an international product development company with distribution in 40 countries.

FastCap, based in Ferndale, Washington, launches approximately 20 new innovative products per year and is regarded as a lean leader among American manufacturers. 

The grandchild of Greek immigrants, Paul was born and raised in Southern California where he graduated with honors from Biola University. He worked in Pasadena restoring historic homes and taught High school industrial arts.  In 2000 Paul discovered Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS). This newfound knowledge helped him and his wife Leanne to take FastCap from a small start up in their garage into the successful product development company it is today. 

Using Lean, Paul’s company has prospered and expanded even through the economic downturn, having never laid off an employee nor cut one salary, all while continuing to offer the highest level pay for any business in the region.