Keynote Speaker
Ashleigh Walters

Leading with grit and grace

Wednesday, Oct. 20 Location Code
4:00pm-4:30pm Virtual WK/05

Times listed in EDT.

About Ashleigh Walters

Ashleigh Walters is the president of Onex, an employee-owned business operating for over 50 years in Erie, Penn. Onex designs, services and manufactures high-temperature industrial furnaces. When Walters assumed the general manager role in 2013, the company had lost sight of its mission and family-centric core values. Today, Onex’s mission is "Make things better: empowered employees, happy clients, thriving communities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Auburn University. She is chairman of the board of directions for Northwest Industrial Resource Center (a Manufacturing Extension Partnership). Walters is the author of "Leading with Grit and Grace: A Journey of Organizational Culture Change." She regularly shares her story with other leaders, encouraging them to make things better by improving processes and creating a people-centric organizational culture. 


Allan Coletta is the senior director of engineering and facilities for Siemens Healthineers' Reagent Manufacturing facility in Delaware. He previously served as site manager for ICI Surfactants’ largest specialty chemicals plant, where he introduced and developed numerous lean systems in the chemical process industry. Coletta authored "The Lean 3P Advantage, A Practitioners Guide to the Production Preparation Process,” which was published in 2012 and received the 2013 Shingo Prize for research and professional publication. He serves on the Fiduciary and Advisory Boards of the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), is a member of the AME Champions Club, served on AME's people-centric leadership KRA team, and is a former member of the Deleware Chamber of Commerce Board of Manufacturing Managers. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Northeastern University and has significant experience in manufacturing, engineering, technical and supply chain operations. His passion for manufacturing and engaging people in continuous improvement continues through the personal application of lean principles and people-centric leadership to achieve business excellence. His passion for business excellence and manufacturing is grounded in a belief that enlightened leaders who are committed to the people they lead and skilled in both people-centric leadership and continuous improvement are the enablers for personal and organizational success.