ABOUT
OpX

About OPX

OpX Solutions, LLC is a performance improvement company. We specialize in helping organizations achieve operational excellence through process improvement and leadership development.

Mission

To be the go-to-provider of leadership development and process improvement services for small and medium organizations in Virginia.

Values

At OpX Solutions, all team members will continuously strive to:

HoW We've HElped

We are constantly looking for better ways to develop our current and future leaders. I found the Effective Leadership Development program with OpX Solutions to not only be extremely effective, but it also aligned with our focus on having leaders become more strategic in their planning of their daily activities, as well as the associates that report to them. The class was very beneficial to shift the standard way of thinking for our leaders from Important/Urgent to Important/Non Urgent i.e. shift from firefighting to strategic planning.

Pete Hall

Director of Operations, Salem, VA / integer, Cardio and Vascular
Mike is an industry expert in lean and continuous improvement strategies and practical implementation. His leadership has helped us implement a kaizen-based program from the ground floor. In less than one year, OpX Solutions has helped us reduce cycle time by as much as 75% on various operations.

Peter Mierke

General Manager / Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems americas
The investment I made with Mike at OpX Solutions to develop our leaders was the best training money I've ever spent!

Sam Suttle

 VP North America Mfg & Repair / Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas
The strategies and theories promoted in the Effective Personal Productivity and the Effective Leadership Development Programs have been of great benefit. I believe your process has been more successful than other short programs or books.

Sheldon Bower

Principal / Parker Design Group
The Effective Personal Productivity Program has given me back control of my day allowing me to focus strictly on high pay-off activities for myself and my staff.

Chris Briones

Sales Manager / Synnex Corporation
Working with both our current Leadership Team and developing future generations of managers and leaders in both Roanoke and Richmond, Lawrence Companies has discovered a valued partner in OpX Solutions. Mike and his team have provided incredible value to Lawrence through the insight and organizational efficiencies taught during OpX offerings of Effective Leadership Development and Personal Productivity programs.

Peer Segelke

CEO / Lawrence Companies, Inc.
Mike Leigh and OpX Solutions have been well worth our investment to develop the future leaders of the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department.

Stephen G. Simon

Chief of Fire and Rescue
I absolutely love this EPP class! Thank you so much for encouraging me to take it and thanks to OpX for being a company.  I was almost thinking, how have I made it this far in my career without this class? Exactly what I needed to get organized and set goals.

Rudy Wolf

Plant Manager / Chemtrade Logistics, Richmond, VA
OpX Solutions designed our strategic planning process to provide the time and space needed to successfully determine organizational goals, allowing us to achieve our maximum potential.  Mike is a superb leader, facilitator, and planner!

Karen L. Mason

Executive director / Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley

Our Team

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Mike Leigh

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President

Mike Leigh is the President of OpX Solutions, LLC and a Managing Partner with Leadership Management Institute. Mike has 25 years of leadership and management experience, within both government and corporate environments. He began his career as an officer in the US Navy in the late ‘80s, specializing in nuclear propulsion and surface warfare. During a 20-year career spanning both active duty and the reserves, he received several awards and earned numerous qualifications, including certifications as a Navy Nuclear Engineer and a Navy Instructor. Mike retired from the Navy as a Commander in 2008. Following active duty, Mike spent 13 years with General Electric and held various leadership and senior management positions at several different manufacturing sites. During his last five years with GE, Mike was an internal lean consultant and helped over 25 GE factories/suppliers and hundreds of work teams become more productive, reduce costs, and improve their bottom line. Mike learned his skills from Shingijutsu Consultants, considered by many to be the best in the world.

Mike left the corporate world and started OpX Solutions because of his desire to more closely help others achieve success, both in their personal and professional lives, and to be more involved in the Roanoke area. Mike stays active volunteering with several charitable and civic organizations including the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Military Officers Association of America, and St John’s Episcopal Church. He also enjoys running and triathlons and is an avid Green Bay Packers fan. Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources.

Mike Leigh

President
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Leadership Development expertise

  • 25 years of operational leadership experience as a US Navy Officer (retired Commander) and manufacturing manager.
  • National account certified facilitator with Leadership Management International (LMI).
  • LMI World Growth Leader in 2018 awarded to top LMI business in the world for year over year growth.
  • LMI Americas Facilitator of the Year in 2016.
  • Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year in 2014 from Virginia Small Business Development Centers.

LEADERSHIP Development
Expertise

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Lean PRocess expertise

  • Lean practitioner since 2007.
  • Internal Lean consultant with GE for 5 years.  Provided Lean strategy, training and support for 15 different GE factories.
  • 45 weeks of training by mentors from Shingijutsu, considered by many as the best Lean consultants in the world.
  • Facilitated over 300 kaizen improvement teams.
  • Instructor with Virginia Tech Lean Academy.
  • Co-authored book - Practicing Lean.

lean process
Expertise

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Jeffrey Gregory

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Director of Continuous Improvement

Jeffrey is a Mentor who partners with executives and entrepreneurs to improve their P&L. After more than 20 years working in manufacturing for multimillion-dollar brands, Jeffrey knows what truly drives material flow, productivity,and quality at the source—and it’s not chasing the project or problem of the week. It’s how well you connect with your customers and then communicate their needs to your employees. It’s about converting voice of the customer into actions/processes which deliver a predictable, acceptable result. Having been VP of Operations and Chief Operating Officer in prominent manufacturing companies, Jeffrey certainly understands the value of developing your teams. With more than 25 years of experience Jeffrey has been involved in Lean and Leadership activities in operations, maintenance, quality, Information Technologies and has full P&L management experience.

Jeffrey has achieved results in the automotive industry leading to the Maintenance Excellence Award. He has obtained his Lean Manufacturing Certification as well as Total Productive Maintenance. Jeffrey is a Six Sigma Black Belt with certifying projects totaling more than $1M in annual cost reduction. Jeffrey has proven results reducing labor by more than $1.7M in one mainstream Cabinetry company, 36% productivity improvement in HVAC industry and more than $1.5M in inventory reduction using proven material flow processes.

Real change starts at the top and Jeffrey works with clients to create a culture of continuous improvement. Working with leaders and associates at all levels gains understanding of the current state to develop a strategy for the future.

Jeffrey Gregory

Director of Continuous Improvement
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Lois James

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Director of Leadership Development

Lois has 28+ years’ business and management experience in the financial, customer service, and senior healthcare industries. She started her career in the secondary mortgage market with Freddie Mac in McLean, VA where she was responsible for reconciling accounts with government regulated reporting criteria. She held leadership positions with Freddie Mac to develop, train, and coach new employees to follow mandated guidelines.

Moving back to the Roanoke area in 2004, she has spent 14 years in the senior healthcare industry holding various leadership and management positions including her most recent position of Regional Director with Generation Solutions. The company won several local and statewide awards during her tenure and had a zero-deficiency rating with the required state inspection.

With a strong passion and desire to help others achieve both professional and personal success, giving back to her community is very important to Lois. She has been an active member of the Roanoke Senior Networking Group since 2004 and has served as Vice President since 2006. She is also active with the Roanoke Kiwanis Club and has also served as a Deacon and a volunteer with various programs at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Originally from the Alleghany Highlands in Clifton Forge, VA, Lois graduated from Virginia Tech where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management with a minor in Sociology. Needless to say, she is an avid VA Tech fan and supporter and she loves to spend time with her faithful dogs.

Lois James

Director of Leadership Development
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Beatrice Castellani

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Lean & Leadership Associate

Beatrice Castellani is a Lean and Leadership associate at OpX Solutions.  With a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and five years of experience in management consulting, Beatrice helps manufacturers develop their Lean Transformation strategy, lead Kaizen events, and implement process improvement solutions.

Beatrice comes to OpX Solutions after working as a Lean consultant for JMAC Europe, a Japanese management consulting firm based in Milan, Italy. There, she supported multiple projects in manufacturing, services, and retail, and led the opening of a new training program in her hometown.

During Beatrice’s career, she began to realize how essential excellent leadership development is to the successful implementation of process improvement strategies. She believes in the human aspect of change and the activation of people as the engine for continuous improvement.

Beatrice Castellani

Lean & Leadership Associate
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Dan Dowdy

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Leadership Associate

Dan Dowdy was an associate professor of business with Mary Baldwin College (now Mary Baldwin University) for 20 years. He taught courses in strategic management, organizational behavior, human resource management, and management and marketing principles. He co-chaired the business department and served as the college's director of corporate education.

Prior to his collegiate profession, Dan owned and managed an executive recruiting company in Roanoke, and he held plant, division, international, and corporate positions with a Fortune 100 company. Dan's corporate and small business background, along with his teaching experience, led him to become involved with the Leadership Management International side of OpX Solutions as a facilitator for several of LMI's most popular programs including Effective Personal Productivity, Effective Leadership Development, Effective Personal Leadership, and Effective Communication. Dan has facilitated programs with OpX Solutions since 2013. He is a nationally-certified LMI facilitator.

Dan is a US Air Force veteran. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business and German from Lynchburg College and an M.B.A. from the University of Hawaii. Giving back to his community is important to Dan. He helped develop the Roanoke Valley Interfaith Hospitality Network (now Family Promise of Greater Roanoke) and served as the founding board president. He is a member of the Roanoke/Blacksburg Technology Council. He has served on Roanoke Chamber of Commerce committees and in leadership positions at Christ Episcopal Church.

Dan Dowdy

Leadership Associate
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Sharon Harrilla

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Workforce Training Specialist

Sharon Harrilla brings to OpX Solutions 20+ years of varied teaching experience and a passion to help others achieve their goals. Working in the field of manufacturing has allowed her to do what she loves most; bringing order to chaos.  Making connections for the workers on the floor has been the most rewarding aspect of her work. She enjoys working side by side with them in order to understand their challenges and to help improve training.

Sharon truly embraces the concept of lifelong learning and strives to bring that message to workers, supervisors, and managers.  For every problem there is a solution and the key to all success is in the human relationship that we build with others.

Sharon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Edinboro University and a Master of Science Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College.  Her hobbies include running and traveling.

Sharon Harrilla

Workforce Training Specialist
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Sara Kagarise

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Leadership Associate

Sara has 11+ years working in the medical field with experience in patient care, medical education and training, and project management. As a certified Project Manager, Sara has experience organizing and developing educational trainings for medical professionals to improve patient safety.  She has traveled all over the U.S. working with a variety of medical providers to develop training opportunities for practitioners.

Sara holds a B.S in Health Science and Health Administration from Old Dominion University and is currently pursuing a M.A. degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Adler University. Having a career in medical education has enabled her to have a different view that has fostered her attentiveness to the importance of teamwork, motivation, and organizational effectiveness.  Sara has found great interest in the field of industrial and organizational psychology as she has been able to develop a deeper understanding behind the motivation of individuals in the workplace, the characteristics of a strong leader, and the implications of organizational culture and effectiveness. Her career goals led her to OpX Solutions where she can focus on helping organizations improve organizational effectiveness through their most valuable asset, their employees.  

Sara is originally from Covington, VA and has lived in Roanoke for the past 13 years.  She enjoys anything outdoors and loves spending time with her husband and furbabies.

Sara Kagarise

Leadership Associate
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Jennifer Leigh

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Office Manager

Jen is the key person on our team who keeps the office running smoothly. Her experience includes education, technical writing, website maintenance, digital and print marketing, and bookkeeping. She currently does all of the above for OpX Solutions as well as setting up our LMI organizational assessments and classes.


During her career, she has written disaster plans for skyscrapers, been an Office Manager for a law firm, and wrote the operations manual for the Berglund Center. Jen has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from The University of Tampa and a Master of Science Degree in Education from Old Dominion University. She has served as a vestry member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and is a founding member of Women at the Well, a St. John’s ministry devoted to helping women in the Roanoke community develop closer bonds, while also giving back to women and children in need.

Jennifer Leigh

Office Manager
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Tom Walker

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Lean and Leadership Associate

Tom started his career with E. I. DuPont in Victoria, Texas as a manufacturing engineer. He worked at several locations during his 33 years with DuPont, holding various engineering and supervisory positions. In the DuPont Engineering group, Tom became a recognized expert at helping DuPont’s businesses improve their revenues by using Lean techniques to increase production capacity, reduce equipment failures, lower the cost of  manufacturing, and make higher quality products. Tom’s efforts with many business units all over the world resulted in over $100M in increased revenues. Tom developed a root cause methodology for uncovering the cause of industrial accidents and developing solutions that prevented countless injuries and prevented many equipment breakdowns. Tom was known throughout DuPont for his ability to successfully investigate industrial accidents, and to train employees in this root cause analysis technique.Tom also became proficient in reducing the time required for plant maintenance outages. He was routinely able to reduce outages by 25% or more, while hitting cost and safety goals. He was also typically able to reduce product and retooling changeover times by 50% or more. 

After retiring from DuPont, Tom started his own consulting business and applied his expertise in areas such as executive coaching, industrial training in asset management best practices, planning and executing maintenance work more efficiently, and finally, assessing the readiness of petrochemical refineries to start their plant turnarounds.  Tom joined OpX Solutions in early 2017 and for the past 2 years has focused on facilitating leadership development classes and implementing Lean manufacturing techniques, such as Kaizen and 5S projects in the Richmond Area.  Tom is a member of the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Manufacturing Association, and the Midlothian Business Alliance. 

Tom has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Memphis, is certified as a Maintenance and Reliability Professional, and as a Reliability-Centered Maintenance facilitator.  Tom also earned a Six Sigma Green Belt. Tom is married and has 3 children. He volunteers with the Men’s group at his church in raising money for their youth group through chicken BBQ and Brunswick stew sales, as well as, supporting homeless families in the Richmond area.  For the past 6 years, Tom has also been a mentor and life coach to an at-risk youth who was removed from his home and public schools due to abuse and behavioral problems.  

Tom Walker

Lean and Leadership Associate
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Dick Willis

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Digitization Coach

Dick Willis has a broad background in Engineering, Project Management and human-centered problem-solving. His education is in Mechanical Engineering (he holds a master’s degree from MIT) but has always focused on the human element as a key part of any manufacturing“solution”.  Dick has worked for over 20 years in industrial systems integration and tool-building and problem-solving,with customers ranging from mom-and-pop machine-shops to Fortune 100 multi-national manufacturers, and helps his customers right-size their systems… for some that is EXCEL and paper sheets, for others it is multi-million-dollar ERP/MES/SCADA systems. By focusing on asking questions and listening to what is said as well as what is not said, he helps his customers clarify what the real problems are and helps identify the steps between “as-is” and “to-be”.

A servant leader and gifted teacher, Dick has served on many civic boards in Roanoke, VA, has served as Youth Director for the Episcopal Diocese, currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Roanoke City Public Schools, and was recently ordained in the Episcopal Church and serves as a Deacon in the Roanoke Convocation.  He has been married to the same, patient woman for over 30 years, and both of his adult children are gainfully employed and no longer live at home, for which he is blessed and grateful.

Dick Willis

Digitization Coach

Careers At OpX

Looking for a rewarding career? A career with OpX Solutions, LLC can be rewarding both personally and financially. We are looking for individuals who:

If you are interested, or if you know of someone who might be interested, in learning more about a great career opportunity, please contact us. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and to answer any questions.

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