Charles Brinkman

Journeyman Skilled Trades
BA Management, Northwood University

Charles started his extensive lean career as a production worker, operating lathes, mills and assembly equipment at General Motors.  He was then selected for the General Motors Skilled Trades Training Program, and became an apprentice in this highly-competitive environment.  Chuck worked to gain his journeyman status in the skilled trades, and completed both academic and work-related objectives during this training.  In this role, he participated in some of the first innovative new continuous improvement teams within US manufacturing, where trades were involved in work process improvements. He was then selected for promotion into leadership roles, and he worked his way up to key roles in General Motors, Delphi Automotive, and Grainger.

Charles has held the roles of: Skilled Trades Supervisor, General Foreman of Skilled Trades, Superintendent of Manufacturing Operations, Manager of Global Lean Manufacturing, and Senior Manager of DC Facilities.  He has extensive experience in the maintenance sector, and is a recognized world leader in lean.  He has led initiatives in proactive maintenance processes, development of long term asset management maintenance strategies, and development of effective maintenance management methodologies and structures. During his tenure as the Manager of Global Lean deployment for then Delphi Automotive, he held the lead role in the joint training venture between Delphi and Akebono corporation, where employees were trained in long-term hands-on exchange programs between the companies. He was also responsible for launching a global production system, and overseeing multi-cultural teams across more than 20 manufacturing plants.  Chuck additionally has been trained in lean deployment and Kaizen methodologies, working with leaders such as David Westphal, Art Smalley, and Tom Harada across the world.

Chuck is a Six-Sigma certified problem solver, and has participated in leadership training from the Pacific Institute, and Dale Carnegie.

Chuck lives with his wife Brenda in Florida.