Welcome Our New Advisory Board Members

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Welcome our new advisory board members at The Innovation Garage®!

We’re super excited and energized to have them on the team!

Their personal passion is to help Make Things. Make Things Better. Teach Others.®

Please reach out directly for any help you might need to learn more about how to build your Innovation, Design, Manufacturing, or Supply Chain Capability.

Connect with them and learn how to become more profitable, and jump-start your companies long term growth!

Lee Thomas Herge – Professional Summary

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 8.39.05 AMLee Thomas Herge, is an Advisory Board member with 24 years experience in Automotive and High Tech manufacturing. He is an expert at operational analysis and continuous improvement and an advocate for innovation in manufacturing. As COO at Local Motors he led the effort of 3D printing the world first car live at IMTS 2014; he helped institutionalize the use of Lean Six Sigma at Vantage Mobility and Diebold incorporated, and led the restructuring of global Supply Chain at Diebold Incorporated including the startup of operations in Central Europe.

Lee is located in Phoenix, AZ and can be reached at lee.herge@the-innovation-garage.com

Lee has worked with companies from a 30 person startup to multi-billion dollars in revenue and market capitalization.

His experience includes:

Chief Operating Officer – Local Motors Incorporated
Director of Supply Chain – Vantage Mobility
Manager Supply Chain Operations and Business Transformation – Diebold Incorporated
Materials Manager and Purchasing – Honda of America Manufacturing


As an Advisory Board member with the Innovation Garage I hope to implement the use of best practices in Lean Six Sigma, Innovation Engineering® and through the use of additive manufacturing to create companies that can operate efficiently, be locally relevant and adaptive to market needs. As someone that has created both global and local supply chains my passion is in creating the right value proposition for the customer.

Areas of Expertise

Supply Chain Management
Strategic Sourcing
Lean Manufacturing
Business Strategy

Industry Experience

High Tech Manufacturing
3D/Additive Manufacturing
Contract Manufacturing

Education and Certificates

Certified Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt
Lean Logistics and SCM
MBA- International Business
BBA – Finance


Matthew Washington – Professional Summary

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Matthew Washington is an accomplished, hands-on manufacturing professional with over twenty years of management and operational experience in metal fabrication, finishing, assembly and logistics of industrial storage products.

Matt is located in Chicago, IL and can be reached at matt@the-innovation-garage.com


Matthew began his career over twenty years ago with no long-term plans to stay in the manufacturing industry. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in business, he took a job on the overnight shift at Lyon Metal Products in Montgomery, IL, stamping parts in their locker cell. His plans were to work in the plant at night while searching for a “real job” during the day. However, manufacturing quickly became his passion.

During his time in the shop, Mr. Washington made it a point to absorb anything the senior employees would teach him. He is a big believer in learning things from the bottom up and the inside out wherever possible. During this time, Mr. Washington also became a student of manufacturing philosophy and theory, studying works from such experts as Taichi Ohno, Eli Goldratt, Iwao Kobayashi and W. Edwards Deming. As he advanced within the company, he was able to put what he learned into practice.

Mr. Washington’s greatest learning experience came while serving as General Manager for Pride Metal Products (a Lyon company) in Watseka, IL. While assigned there, he was tasked with completely re-engineering and re-equipping the facility. This included all fabrication lines, modification to an existing paint line to increase throughput, construction of a brand new, $2MM paint line and building addition and expanding the shipping/receiving department. Mr. Washington was given full P&L responsibility for the facility during his tenure. While there, he hired and cultivated a team of 12 direct-report managers and 225 hourly employees that encompassed all aspects of the business including engineering, HR, shop floor planning and accounting.

Mr. Washington was most recently VP of Manufacturing for Lyon. In that position he oversaw manufacturing operations at three facilities, two in east central Illinois and one in northwest Indiana. He also oversaw the company’s ISO registered quality system.Mr. Washington is a believer in “trust but verify,” therefore he spent a lot of his time walking the factory floors of the manufacturing facilities. This allowed him to build a good rapport with employees.

Areas of Expertise

Flow Manufacturing
8D Problem Solving
Design for Manufacturability
Quality Systems

Industry Experience

​Metal Fabrication
Industrial Coatings (Powder & Liquid)
Material Handling
Industrial Storage
Operation Scaling and Team Development
M&A and Divestiture Integration

Education and Certificates
MBA – Keller Graduate School
BBA – University of Iowa
Graphic Art/Design – Western Illinois University
Innovation Engineering Blue Belt
Lead Auditor training in ISO9000 and ISO14000

If we can help, please reach out.

At The Innovation Garage®…

We help companies become more profitable. We build strategy. We build ideas and coach innovation capability of teams. We design products, services and supply chains. We guide leaders from startup to the Global Fortune 50 to intentionally self-disrupt their offerings and companies. We provide world class education, tools and technology on how to craft innovation operating systems focused on long- term profitable growth.

Make Things. Make Things Better. Teach Others.®

Reach out to us here or visit our website at the-innovation-garage.com to learn more.

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