Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson

Masters of Engineering Management
Community Partner - Transformation Leader

David is a seasoned professional with proven expertise in driving operational excellence, continuous improvement, and business development through lean manufacturing and six sigma methodologies. He is experienced with addressing complex problems, reducing costs, and ensuring organizational productivity which has been honed from a diverse background in consumer products, food and beverage, OEM electro-mechanical, custom heavy equipment and automated machinery, appliance, medical, and dairy industries. He has been commended as a proactive leader and a strategist, with well-defined communication, leadership, and problem-solving capabilities. He has been highly effective at fostering and maintaining positive work relationships with diverse individuals through leveraging leadership best practice principles pioneered by InitiativeOne.

What is your educational background?

David holds a Technology Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology, a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Master's Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds certifications as a Black Belt and Master Black Belt from Allied Signal, certified Quality Manager from ASQ and Design for Sound Quality certification from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

What is your professional background?

David has led the continuous improvement efforts for over 12 years at a leading dairy company. In addition, he has provided leadership in directing Lean Manufacturing deployments, an adaptation of the Toyota Production System (TPS) for 3 different organizations. Further, his prior work included research and development (R&D) that led to several design patents in retail and automation fields. Other notable experience includes plant startups and line commissioning for the heavy equipment, plumbing, beverage and dairy industries. David has been a part-time educator for over 30 years teaching a wide range of curriculum that includes engineering, six sigma, lean manufacturing, leadership intelligence as well as emotional intelligence. In addition to his work with InitiativeOne, he teaches as an adjunct professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) covering lean, six sigma and engineering topics.

What is your greatest passion?

Cycling, Racing and helping others see the potential in themselves.

What are the best books that you have read?

The Reality of Change, Blink, Life Reimagined, Is Everyone on the Boat, David and Goliath, Outliers.

What is your favorite quote?

Be the change you wish to see in others.

Where do you like to travel?

I love traveling to Europe. I have been fortunate to have work overseas and the breath of cultural experiences have definitely broadened my perspective on life.

What is your hidden talent?

I have always had a knack to solve difficult problems that most have not been willing to tackle. Continuous improvement has always come natural to me.

What is your favorite hobby?

Love to cycle. This is relatively new to me and rings my joy bell like nothing else.

Who is your favorite superhero?

Flash! I have always been enamoured with speed.

Who is your favorite band?

AC DC. I'm old rocker from back in the day.

If you could have dinner with anyone (past or present) who would it be?

Knowing what I know now, I would love to have one more dinner with my Grandmother. Her and I had a great connection but unfortunately, I was out of the country when she passed. I was planning on visiting that summer when I returned. I never had the chance to properly say goodbye.

What is your favorite food?


What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to take my daughter to Australia. I lived their before she was born and I believe it is important for her to know about my life before coming to America.

Who is someone that you admire?

My sister. She is one of the smartest and wisest people I know.

How do you spend your free time?

I love to drive and ride my bicycles. I try to ride one of my bikes at least once every day.

What is your favorite movie?

Kelly's Heroes. This is an old WWII movie starring Clint Eastwood. I have always been fascinated with WWII history for some reason.