With a career that began as a welder’s apprentice and includes stints as CEO and president in food, energy, distribution, and high-tech, Dr. Michael Sanders draws on his vast array of experience to serve as a co-founder and Director for BeehiveFund. With an excess of 30 years in the field, he has worked at every phase of the supply chain with a wide variety of companies on organizational structure & psychology, strategic direction & culture, system & process optimization, and executive coaching.
Dr. Sanders is co-author of the bestselling book Quantum Lean, which is the result of extensive research over many years to refine the framework and delivery of lean methods. In addition to his work as a seasoned executive and practitioner, Dr. Sanders is sought after for his expertise in negotiation, executive coach and advisor, six sigma, quality systems, & regulatory compliance. He has delivered speeches worldwide with topics that include global supply chain optimization, lean & beyond lean production systems, quality & regulatory systems, optimal & effective leadership, product-centered sustainable growth, organizational culture transition, emerging technologies, and SME’s recipe & framework for success. Dr. Sanders has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, Master in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University (TTU) and an MBA from Rawls School of Business at TTU. His Bachelor’s degree is on Bio-Chemistry from W. Texas A&M University. In addition, he holds certifications including Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Quantum Lean Grand Master, NQA-1 lead auditor, QMS, SQF, and HACCP.
Dr. Sanju Patro is a co-founder of BeehiveFund. She has over 30 years of academic and industry experience. Her background ranges from managing a global high-tech product development team to leading managerial and engineering consulting activities in the automotive, oil & gas, chemical processing, and custom fabrication industries. In her academic role, Dr. Patro has taught graduate courses on Systems Engineering, Process Optimization, ERP Systems, Economic Analysis, and Quality Management. She has published numerous technical papers that she has presented at various global conferences.
In her current role as President at BeehiveFund, Dr. Patro manages the executive team and reports to the Board of Directors. She assists with engineering and technical requirements of complex projects in manufacturing and is the authority for building partnerships with other entities.
Dr. Patro received her BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1989. She also holds an MS in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Computer Science, a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, and an MBA from Texas Tech University. She is a certified Six sigma master Black Belt and holds the Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) designation from APICS.
With a strong portfolio of over 200 successfully managed projects, Francelly Mora is well known for her skills in project management methodologies, process engineering, organizational change management, risk management, project planning, team building, and safety programs (HSE). She has delivered projects in the telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, and Oil and Gas industries where she coordinated all the available resources including engineering, procurement, contracts, operations, finance, production, and training.
In her current role as Project Manager-Manufacturing Specialist for BeehiveFund, Francelly consults and assists manufacturers to gain higher productivity, higher profit margins, lower operational costs, and more skillful workforce to achieve profitable growth.
Francelly graduated from Universidad de Los Andes in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has taken graduate courses in topics such as lean concepts, supply chain management, advanced project planning, business fundamentals for engineering, and sustainability. Francelly obtained her PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). She is certified in OSHA 10 and 30, is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and she is bilingual.
Victor Perazzoli has over 22 years’ experience in lean process improvement, project management, and operations planning and analysis. He has served Oil & Gas Upstream and Downstream. Petrochemical, Aviation, Nuclear, Transportation Security, Food, Medical Devices, and Telecom industries. With proven successes in driving costs and wastes out of global operations while simultaneously improving quality, driving revenue growth, and improve employee and customer satisfaction, Victor is known for expertise in process improvement methodologies and strong business concepts including marketing, financial, operational, and
organizational growth. Victor offers innovative approach to operations analysis, business diagnosis and performance improvement methodologies. He possesses a deep understanding of core competencies including Quantum Lean Process Improvement and Planning and Analysis for Operations, Sales, and Finance. He has held top managerial roles in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America.
In his current role as a financial and management practitioner and Network Member for BeehiveFund, he provides technical assistance, training and consulting to for-profit and non-profit businesses. Victor received an Industrial Engineering degree from Texas Tech University in the year 1998 and was a pioneer in a dual master’s degree program between Texas Tech University and Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He was first to receive a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management and Industrial Engineering from both universities in the year 2000. As a lifelong learner, he has continued to develop skills and capability in all aspects of business performance improvement
Sean Fields is an expert network member of BeehiveFund. With over 30 years of success in a wide variety of industries including oil field equipment manufacturing, food processing, and job shops, Sean Fields is a seasoned industry professional who has worked in all phases of business including the shop floor, quality, safety, and engineering. From helping organizations achieve many-fold increases in productivity to radical lead time reductions, he takes pride in being able to bridge theory and reality in the most challenging environments.
In addition to being an active lean innovator and practitioner, Sean Fields assists companies with production scheduling, inventory control, and developing quality management systems (ISO 9000, AS9100, and API Q1). He is co-author of the bestselling book Quantum Lean, a syndicated columnist, a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas, a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and a certified QMS auditor. In addition, he regularly appears on podcasts sharing his experiences and insights and has published several articles in industry publications.
Rachel Greene is a Network Member for BeehiveFund. She supports the Kiva Houston Hub powered by Bayou Microfund as its Capital Access Manager. She has been the Content Coordinator for First Colony Neighbors Magazine from Best Version Media where she had the opportunity to write about interesting people and businesses in Sugar Land and the Fort Bend County area. Previously, she served as a Literary Consultant for The Landing Theatre Company and Shabach Enterprise's Fade To Black Festival, both centered in Houston, Texas. Rachel’s entrepreneurial odyssey, MonologueBank.com, a non-profit which was dedicated to injecting more new work into the audition room was an online experiment she conceived of and built from the ground up.
Rachel has held numerous Arts Administration positions at The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and the Dallas Theater Center and has enjoyed freelancing in casting and international cultural exchanges. She also gained extensive experience in teaching private English lessons and analyzing sustainable businesses during a seven-year stint in Japan. Her passions include the cultivation of creative artists and entrepreneurs, the exploration of intercultural communication and new play development.
Mike Smith has been a board member with BeehiveFund since 2015, serving as the Executive Chairman of the Board since 2020. Mr. Smith has spent the majority of his 35-year career delivering key strategic and financial results within the industrial community. As CEO of a historically underperforming company, Mr. Smith inherited a 75-year-old manufacturer with a diminished backlog where production costs were acting as fixed expenses and outside sales efforts were minimal. His unique skills in strategic planning and execution, organizational development and value creation allowed him to record revenue and earnings results within the first five years which ultimately led to significant shareholder return. But his real interests reside in team building. Bringing together strong intelligent personalities to focus on a common goal and win in a competitive marketplace.
Mike has a BS degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and has certifications in lean manufacturing and distribution management. In addition to his work in industry, he has dedicated years to non-profit activity serving on several boards and volunteering his time with organizations like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Odessa College.
Al Sammann began his manufacturing career working for Corn Saver Manufacturing Inc. in Dimmitt, Texas producing harvesting aids for the agricultural industry. Over the years, he became President and CEO of the company and helped the company expand its market to 27 states and three foreign countries. During this time, he also completed his MBA from Texas Tech University.
Al joined the Texas Tech Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in October 1991 as the Director of Plans and Programs. He pursued grant opportunities for complementary programs for the SBDC. Al helped obtain grants for Texas One, Texas Marketplace (The first attempt by the state of Texas to develop electronic commerce), International Trade, and the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC). He held this position until 1995 when he accepted the position of Director of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at Texas Tech University (TMAC).
As the TMAC Director, Al helped institute many new innovative training programs. The Manufacturing Skills Standards Center (MSSC) was established in the Lubbock Independent School District and Friendship Independent School District which partnered with South Plains College in 2005 to train students for manufacturing jobs after high school graduation. TMAC West Texas won the state award from the Texas Workforce Commission for this program. He was also instrumental in developing programs for Texas Tech University such as the International Center for Food Industry Excellence (ICFIE) and the Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) program in the College of Agriculture. After 20 years of service, Al retired from Texas Tech TMAC in 2014, but continues to be involved with the manufacturing industry.
John P. McCausland
John was born and educated in London, England, where he majored in both finance and architectural engineering. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1957, and has been in Retirement Conservation Planning since 1958. He earned membership in the Million Dollar Round Table and soon after attained a Life membership. John has held all of the offices of the Texas Association of Life Underwriters and has been a platform speaker for various associations and companies.
John’s paintings in various mediums have won many ribbons in competitions. He lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Cheryl, who is also a licensed and experienced Life Underwriter.
Mehran Tahmassebi has been in construction business since 1985 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He started in landscaping field, expanded to luxury home building through his successful company, Tabriz Construction, and then ventured into multi-family housing and commercial buildings. He is self-educated in architectural design and space allocation. Mehran has built numerous outstanding residential and commercial building in and around Sat Lake City. His fame for quality and reliability has been the most effective advertising tool for Tabriz Construction company as most of Mehran's clients rave about the finished product they receive. During his tenure in running his construction company, Mehran has also been a venture capitalist, investing in startup restaurants.
Mehran obtained his BA in Accounting & Finance from Accounting & Finance College of Iranian National Oil Company. He graduated with an MA from the same college in 1980. He migrated to US in 1984 and obtained his MBA from Westminster College of UTAH IN 1985.
Steve Anderson was the National Customer Service Manager and Merchandise Manager for Brown Group, Inc., St. Louis Missouri. Steve had twenty-two years of experience in marketing, sales, and management in the office products, computer and software industries in Dallas and West Texas. He received numerous marketing and sales awards during that time. This included the CPT Corporation Outstanding Achievement Award.
From 1996 to 2008 Steve was the Director of the Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center at Lubbock, Texas, covering 15 counties, and received the State Star Award in 2001. In 2008 Steve became the Executive Director of the West Texas Coalition for Innovation and Commercialization at Texas Tech University. The WTCIC mission was to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship for emerging technology companies in an eighty-three-county region. This included securing sources of angel and venture capital funding. During this time, Steve worked closely with the West Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at Texas Tech University.
Steve Anderson graduated in 1971 from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Public Administration. He was named to the College of Business, “Top Ten in Marketing” honor organization. Steve also attended professional development courses at Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota, and others through the National Office Products Association.
The broad experience gained from being involved business and academic endeavors enabled Dr. White to support Beehivefund as both a member of the Board and as a visiting contributor to member and client interactions. He brought experience gained from a 25-year automotive career with the former General Motors Corporation production and operational systems; management policy and strategy; and business strategy and development. The broad span of that experience included developing new relational stat system applications for production level operations in the early ‘70s. by the early ‘80s the interest in electric propulsion and suspensions Dr. white gained experience with electric vehicle performance, battery recycle analysis for establishing production capacity, and magnetic levitation systems performance.
Dr. White’s experience in assessing future trend, event, and technology impacts on business and transportation related endeavors led to developing an Analytic Scenario Generation Model; enabling a New Business Development Process to be established within the former General Motors Corporation (GM), at the Chairman’s level; and enabling internal organizational endeavors to become independent businesses: Balance Engineering; GM/ARA Industrial Cleaning; two major new business ventures -- GMF Robotics (a joint venture between GM and Fanuc of Japan) and SATURN Corporation (formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of the former General Motors Corporation that was developed from an internal ‘small car project’ endeavor)
Academically, Dr. White began his 17 years with Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute and GMI Engineering & Management Institute) as Associate Professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Business (IMEB) department while developing a new Information Systems Track for upper class students. Before he retired, as Business Program Director, he served as Moderator of the Faculty Senate, leading a new curriculum and curriculum re-design process. He taught Strategic marketing management, Information’s systems, data base management, and Project management for manufacturing operations.
Dr. White was a member of several professional societies: SAE -- over 40 years and Full Member; International Industrial Engineering -- over 35 years; INFORMS; Project Management Institute (PMI); and Michigan CPA Association. He was honored to be a member of Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Pi Mu (IIE), Theta Tau – professional engineering fraternity; and Sigma Xi (Research) over 30 years – emeritus. Dr. White holds degrees from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) -- B.M.E. Mechanical Engineering Automotive Concentration; and Texas A&M University --M.S. Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. -- Operations Research
As an expert network member of BeehiveFund, Luke Herranen assists clients with mechanical design, FEA, DFMEA, tooling, and implementation of lean manufacturing practices. He has over 12 years of experience in this area including: Oil field pipeline, thru-tubing design and cased hole completions development; HVAC controls and manufacturing; programming and GIS systems; and sporting goods, plastics, and electronics manufacturing.
Luke is a founding member of UH COT Marine Technology Society and he is affiliated with the Texas Board of Professional Engineers as an Engineer in training. Luke is an Honors College graduate, receiving his Mechanical Engineering Technology degree from the University of Houston in 2011.