April 8 - 10, 2019 | Houston, Texas

Main Conference Day One: April 10, 2018

7:00 am - 8:00 am Registration and check in

8:00 am - 8:05 am Welcome from conference director

8:05 am - 8:15 am Chair’s opening address

Lee Laviolette - Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group

Lee Laviolette

Managing Director
Huron Consulting Group


8:15 am - 8:55 am The Consequences of Not Knowing what You Don’t Know

Manny Ehrlich - Board Member , U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
All individuals that take on the responsibility of being part of a coordinated function (regardless of their assigned goals or expected outcomes) generally bring with them specific expertise. Relative to the Chemical Safety Board’s CDL regarding emergency response and emergency planning, this holds true regardless of whether ones function is hazardous materials response, emergency response, first aid response or Incident Command leadership. One constant that transcends all domains and activities embodies the fact that each and every individual must come to grips with the realistic understanding that there are aspects of their role(s) that they don’t know (as no one can “know it all”). Thus NOT knowing what one does not know is vital to the CSB’s goal of incident prevention and saving lives. In this presentation Manny Ehrlich will examine several US Chemical Safety Board investigations and will ask the audience to answer the questions:
• “what is not known in this situation?”
• “what would the possible outcome have been if it were known?”
He’ll also examine how companies can establish the mindset whereby it is not only “ok” but essential that everyone learn to function in a multidisciplinary environment with SME’s available from each discipline.

Manny Ehrlich

Board Member
U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

8:55 am - 9:25 am Optimize Production, Reduce Operational Risk: How Gamification is Revolutionizing Operator Training in Process Industries

Gamification is a buzzword now in many industries but how can it be actually utilized to drive Operational Excellence? Effective operator training is crucial to reduce operational risk, and extensive research has show that using training games in combination with traditional training methods can dramatically reduce costly incidents - while optimizing production. Neste Jacobs NAPCON team has long experience in process industries and over the past decade have developed a cutting edge approach to training. This highly interactive session will take attendees through NAPCON Games, developed with extensive cooperation with Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and producer of high-quality oil products.


9:25 am - 10:05 am Human Factors and Procedures: Effective procedural designs and practices

Dr. Camille Peres will share state of the art research on how to mitigate the effects of variables that influence procedural adherence. She will talk about how to implement effective procedural designs and practices for safe and effective operations.
• Leverage the latest research on effective procedural and adherence practices – and understand the hallmarks of highly reliable organizations
• Learn why workers’ experience level and task frequency strongly influences procedural adherence
• Implement current “best practices” for safety and hazard statement designs
• Understand how Operational Excellence can be compromised when the content of safety statements do not support comprehension or compliance

10:05 am - 10:45 am Digital procedure transformation: Why moving from paper to tablets isn’t just a formatting change

Wendy Schram - Operational Excellence Improvement Specialist, Dow Chemical
Industry 4.0 is all about transforming how work gets performed to take advantage of technology in ways we haven’t considered before. This presentation focuses on the transformation of procedures from a paper-based system to a digital system, and specifically how this transformation will change the human interface with procedures. You’ll learn some of the key pitfalls that have been discovered, and some tips for successful launch.

Wendy Schram

Operational Excellence Improvement Specialist
Dow Chemical

10:45 am - 11:05 am Morning Networking Break


11:05 am - 11:35 am Zero-Based Budgeting: Improve competitive advantage through the modern deployment of a legacy methodology

For the last several years, zero-based budgeting (ZBB) has experienced a resurgence triggered by organizations focused on margins and more strategic deployment of their financial assets. More than just a budgeting practice, ZBB has profound effects on an organization’s culture and overall competitiveness. Attend this session to understand how ZBB is being deployed to realize these benefits.

11:35 am - 12:05 pm Total Case Study: Earning the Right

• Transformation doesn’t come easy – and it doesn’t come free. Shifting from passenger to driver on your transformation journey
• People, process & technology: Creating the integration needed to put the business transformation ‘wheels in motion’
• Growing people and changing behaviors: why operational transformation is not just about redesigned business processes and new technology applications
• Learning from others: Recent challenges and lessons learned from those who’ve been there

Nev Lockwood

Global Operational Excellence Director


Hugo Ashkar

Global Risk Manager


Anchal Liddar

Director New Programs and Operational Excellence
American Petroleum Institute

12:35 pm - 1:30 pm Networking Luncheon


1:30 pm - 2:10 pm Instilling a Zero Loss of Containment Mindset: A Journey to Process Safety Improvement through Operational Excellence

Gregg Kiihne - Director, Process Safety, BASF
A Case Study in holistic process safety improvement, in which you can learn:
• How to overcome skepticism and gain buy-in from all levels of the organization,
• How Controlling, Human Resources, and Business Management impact Process Safety performance,
• Successful practices for setting expectations and developing employee engagement,
• How environment influences behavior, and
• How operational excellence improves Process Safety and Business performance

Gregg Kiihne

Director, Process Safety


2:10 pm - 2:40 pm How simulation will solve the decades-old challenges of training in downstream field operations

Christian McDermott - Country Manager, Voovio
Companies operating in high–risk, hazardous environments have been trying to solve training issues in Field Operations for decades. It is challenging because:
• The aging workforce: skilled, experienced employees are leaving
• Competency problem: new, inexperienced workers are filling the gap
• Workforce mobility: churn rate impacts knowledge capture and transfer
• Challenges with on-the-job-training
• Whether or not you have correctly written procedures, in digital format or printed out, it does not solve the old training challenge: how do I teach this so that you retain it?
• Standardization of training material and delivery across the organization
For many, the solution is simulation: bringing the field into the classroom environment. Training is a crucial, if not the most important, part of Operational Excellence in field operations.
Simulation is the key to success but we will present a new form of simulation that boosts productivity and supports the entire lifecycle of field operators: training, planning and executing procedures.
Enhanced Reality will solve these decades-old training challenges.

Christian McDermott

Country Manager


2:40 pm - 3:20 pm Operational Excellence Academies: A Case Study on Albemarle Best Practice

Nev Lockwood - Global Operational Excellence Director, Albemarle
Twice a year Albemarle holds “Operational Excellence Academies” - a forum that brings together operations supervisors, team leaders, engineers chemists and other supporting functions to discuss how to drive operational excellence across the business. The academies are 3.5 days long for two weeks, and in between them the attendees are required to execute a continuous improvement project to present to the Manufacturing Council. The highlights of the program are not just the learning, but the networking, empowerment, and access to senior leadership for all of the attendees. Nev Lockwood will share the story behind these “Operational Excellence Academies” and share insight into what kind of an impact they’ve had on business performance. This is a case study you don't want to miss!

Nev Lockwood

Global Operational Excellence Director

3:20 pm - 3:50 pm Solution Insight Sessions and Demo Drives

Branded as “the best networking session I’ve ever attended” by a number of past Summit delegates, this structured networking session is the ideal opportunity for you to capitalise on time out of the office by speaking to each of your peers in attendance and learning about the solutions available to your specific OE challenges.

How does it work? It’s easy. You spend five minutes at a table of your choice, and when the bell rings you’ll be directed to the next one to start another round of networking. At the end of the session you’ll have met most of your peers, and if you haven’t, you can continue into the networking cocktail reception at the end of the day.

3:50 pm - 4:40 pm Controlling Risk In A Dangerous World: 10 Principles of Operating Excellence

Jim Wetherbee - Astronaut and Author, Controlling Risk: 30 Techniques for Operating Excellence
How do operators prevent the next accident? How do they prevent unpredictable accidents? Can they simultaneously improve performance?  On the front lines of danger, your employees are the last line of defense trying to prevent death and destruction. What happens if they don’t succeed? After accidents, organizations typically issue new rules. These will work—until the next accident. Again, new rules are issued and procedures are updated. Yet, the cycle of accidents continues. Organizations and operators must need something more than rules and procedures to prevent unpredictable accidents. The solution is found in the principles of operating excellence.
Since the beginning of the space program, astronauts have been following these principles and developing techniques to help flight crews stay alive and accomplish dangerous missions in the unforgiving environment of space. In Controlling Risk, you will learn how to operate better, work together, and improve performance in your high-risk business to accomplish much more in your dangerous world!

Jim Wetherbee

Astronaut and Author
Controlling Risk: 30 Techniques for Operating Excellence

4:40 pm - 5:30 pm Putting transformation into action: A story of cultural change

Matt DiGeronimo - Vice President, Operations, Veolia
The philosophies and programs of cultural and operational transformational are necessary and useful. However, there is often a large gap between the conference room in which programs are devised and the front-line where they are executed. Matt DiGeronimo will share his story about fundamentally transforming the cultural, operational, and financial underpinnings of a failing coalfired power plant in less than one years’ time utilizing the principles outlined in the book he coauthored, “Extreme Operational Excellence”. This story will highlight the challenges of modifying the thought-processes and operational models that had been ingrained for decades in the minds of front-line supervisors despite the knowledge of the likelihood of a plant shutdown due to its failing financial performance.

Matt DiGeronimo

Vice President, Operations

5:30 pm - 5:30 pm Day One closing remarks and conference adjourns. Networking Cocktail Reception for all Conference Attendees, Speakers and Sponsors