TWI institute
Air academy associates

Honsha is a Japanese word meaning “headquarters”. This is the place (Toyota City) where many of the current Honsha trainers were trained.

Honsha’s knowledge and experience enable organisations to increase efficiency and reduce costs, regardless of their size, whether they are small and medium-sized enterprises or major international organisations.

Lean is implemented in a number of industries, including automotive, food, medicine, logistics, healthcare, finance, self-government, etc.



Sammy Obara About

Sammy Obara

Darril Wilburn About

Darril Wilburn

Carlos Fukamizu About

Carlos Fukamizu

Bob Plummer About

Bob Plummer

Lando Nishida About

Lando Nishida

Sidney K. Satake About

Sidney K. Satake

Leonardo T. Yoshida About

Leonardo T. Yoshida

close Sammy Obara

Sammy Obara

Honsha Executive Director Sammy Obara learned and implemented the Toyota Production System (TPS) at Toyota facilities in Japan, Brazil, Venezuela and the USA. He has taught Lean to a multitude of consulting firms, educational organisations, such as Harvard and Stanford, and even in humanitarian missions in Asia and Africa.

With close to 30 years of Lean experience, Sammy has helped more than 350 companies. He has implemented projects in environments ranging from schools to hospitals, to military and in a variety of countries, including China, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Austria, the UK and the USA.

Mastered in Technology Management, Sammy is also a faculty member with the Lean Institute and an instructor of Global Strategy Management for the California Community College system. He is a guest lecturer on Lean for post-graduate classes at Stanford University and San Diego State University, and has been a speaker at conferences sponsored by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), the Association for Productivity and Quality (APQ) and the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Sammy is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, English, and has a basic knowledge of Japanese.

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close Darril Wilburn

Darril Wilburn

Darril started studying TPS/Lean system as a student in the Toyota’s internal Sensei group. He also developed and implemented the Toyota Way 2001 at Toyota’s largest manufacturing plant in North America, and worked with The Toyota Institute in Japan to implement the Toyota Business Practice, leading the global pilot of this programme as well as the North American Senior Executive sessions.

Now with Honsha, Darril has had the opportunity to work with over 100 companies in countries such as USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania among others. He is also an active speaker, delivering presentations and keynote speeches on Lean principles around the globe, including:

  • Harvard Business Review – Latin America, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico;
  • Abu Dhabi Talent Conference;
  • Washington State Government Lean Seminar;
  • Lithuanian Prime Minister’s Lean Conference;
  • ISM University of Management and Economics, Vilnius, Lithuania.Darril is fluent in English.
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Carlos Fukamizu

Carlos has over 20 years of Lean experience, most of which he gained at Toyota. After intensive personal development courses and training with Toyota sensei in Japan and Brazil, he led changes in different departments of the organisation.

Carlos’s experience allows him to help organisations to implement changes in various businesses. Using his international knowledge, he led hundreds of Kaizen sessions and helped organisations to implement Lean.
Carlos has exceptional experience and knowledge on all Lean tools and techniques, in particular on reducing clients’ muda (non-value added processes), kaizen (continual improvement), 5S (visual workplace), kanban (inventory management) and PDCA (problem solving). In addition, he had a specialised Lean training course in Japan and America. Carlos speaks fluently Japanese, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

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Bob Plummer

Bob began his career with 15 years of experience in leading manufacturing operations, including at NUMMI, jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors, followed by 15 years of experience as Division President and CEO of both manufacturing and service companies.

While in the roles of Division President and CEO, Bob implemented TPS/Lean in several businesses. Two of his larger implementations include Portola Packaging, a $200 million global plastic packaging manufacturer, and Siegel-Robert Automotive, a $450 million automotive components manufacturer. When implementing TPS/Lean and Kaizen, he emphasised the important role of leadership, meaningful metrics, building Kaizen skills and abilities, cultural transformation and leadership empowerment.

As Managing Director of Honsha, Bob works with clients to transform their organisations and bring out the human potential of team members by including them into problem solving processes to meet customer needs for delivery time, quality, the price products and services in the most effective and efficient ways possible. He achieves those results by focusing on organisational capacity building and implementing principles and practices that create the culture of continual improvement. Industries where he is currently focused include manufacturing, healthcare and government.
Bob has a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Kettering University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Lando Nishida

Lando has been a Lean expert and Lean consultant for 14 years. He is a Vice-President and founding member of the Lean Academy Portugal. He is also a Senior Advisor and Project Manager at Institut Lean France. In his professional career Lando has trained managers and has implemented Lean in manufacturing, hospital, administrative and service sectors in more than 30 countries in South America, Europe and Asia.

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Sidney K. Satake

Sidney has over 10 years of Lean experience. He is an engineer with a Master’s degree in management with 6 years of experience at Toyota Brazil in quality assurance. Specialist in steel sheets and chemical materials quality, Sidney was trained in Toyota Headquarters and in Kentucky, USA. He developed the Quality Assurance System for Raw Materials, managing information between suppliers and Toyota Plants in Brazil and Argentina for countermeasures and raw material quality improvement.

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Leonardo T. Yoshida

Leonardo is a mechanical engineer with an MBA. He learned TPS/Lean while working at Toyota Brazil for over 15 years.

Leonardo led production, work safety and environmental projects and became the head of the Technical Department. He also trained for over 2 years at Toyota in Japan. He has coordinated the Lean implementation at EATON and other organisations in Latin America and Europe, including Lithuania.

Leonardo speaks Portuguese, English and Japanese.

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twi institute

The TWI Institute is your trusted resource for Training Within Industry and Toyota Kata training, certification, implementation, coaching, and education for the growing community of practitioners and trainers in the manufacturing, healthcare, and service industries worldwide.

The TWI Institute brings you the expertise of world-class master trainers and staff. You will become part of our expanding global network of practitioners, learning from the Institute and each other for support in your journey. We can help you leverage the role of supervisors and team leaders to achieve organization excellence, employee engagement, and sustainable, measurable results.

Global Presence

Headquartered in Syracuse, NY, we have offices and trainers in 33 countries on 4 continents. The TWI Institute has served clients in North America and around the globe since 2002. TWI is delivered in over 18 languages including Baha Malay, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Falam Chin, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Swedish, and Portuguese, Vietnamese with more in development.

Diverse Market Experience

From manufacturing, aerospace, and automotive to healthcare, pharmaceuticals and construction the TWI Institute has worked with a wide range of industries and businesses.

One of the tenets of Lean is building standard work and the TWI Institute takes that seriously. We apply this thinking in our certification process for trainers and take great care to ensure all of the trainers certified through the Institute adhere to the high Training Within Industry standards.

History of Success

Training Within Industry has a rich history of sustainable improvements dating back to the 1940s. Today’s TWI Institute clients continue to achieve success and, in most cases, far exceed past results. The improvements go beyond standard metrics; these clients are achieving real organizational change plus employee engagement and empowerment.


Patrick Graup About

Patrick Graup

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Patrick Graup

Vice President & Senior Master Trainer, TWI Institute

Patrick began his training career at the SANYO Electric Corporate Training Center in Japan after graduating with Highest Honors from Drexel University in 1980. There he learned to deliver TWI from his mentor Kazuhiko Shibuya. Mr. Shibuya was trained by Kenji Ogawa who was trained by the four TWI Inc. trainers sent from the US to help Japan rebuild industry in 1951. Patrick earned an MBA from Boston University while heading Sanyo’s global training effort. He was later promoted to the head of Human Resources for SANYO North America Corp. in San Diego, CA where he settled.

Patrick partnered with Bob Wrona in 2001 to conduct TWI pilot projects in Syracuse, NY that became the foundation for the TWI Institute which has since trained a rapidly expanding global network of over 800 certified trainers who are now delivering TWI training in the manufacturing, health care, construction, energy, and service industries in the US and around the globe. These efforts were outlined in their book The TWI Workbook: Essential Skills for Supervisors, a Shingo Research and Professional Publication Prize Recipient for 2007. Patrick is also the author of Implementing TWI: Creating and Managing a Skills-Based Culture which was published by Productivity Press in 2010, Getting to Standard Work in Health Care: Using TWI to Create a Foundation for Quality Care published by CRC Press in 2012 and Building a Global Learning Organization: Using TWI to Succeed with Strategic Workforce Expansion in the LEGO group published by CRC Press in 2014.

air academy

Air Academy Associates is a leading-edge Six Sigma quality management consulting firm which provides innovative consulting and training services, public workshops, statistical publications, training aids, textbooks, and software to a variety of clients worldwide. Since its creation in 1990, the company has become a leader in Six Sigma training focusing on the areas of Knowledge Based Management, Statistical Process Control, Design of Experiments, Design for Six Sigma, and other Advanced Problem Solving Tools. Air Academy Associates is recognized for its ability to help leadership improve customer satisfaction and increase business profitability.

Air Academy Associates have more than 20 years of experience in training, materials development and coaching/mentoring. More importantly, they have Six Sigma Master Black Belts from such recognized Six Sigma leaders as Texas Instruments, General Electric, Honeywell, Sony, Raytheon, GlaxoSmithKline, Corning, Delphi, Xerox,  and Lockheed Martin.


Mark J. Kiemele About

Mark J. Kiemele

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Mark J. Kiemele

Mark J. Kiemele, President and Co-founder of Air Academy Associates, has more than 30 years of teaching, consulting, and coaching experience.

Having trained, consulted, or mentored more than 30,000 leaders, scientists, engineers, managers, trainers, practitioners, and college students from more than 20 countries, he is world-renowned for his Knowledge Based KISS (Keep It Simple Statistically) approach to engaging practitioners in applying performance improvement methods. His support has been requested by an impressive list of global clients, including Xerox, Sony, Microsoft, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, Samsung, Schlumberger, Bose, and John Deere.


In addition to many published technical papers and articles, he has co-authored the books Basic Statistics: Tools for Continuous Improvement; Knowledge Based Management; Applied Modeling and Simulation: an Integrated Approach to Development and Operation; Network Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis; Lean Six Sigma: A Tools Guide; Design for Six Sigma: The Tool Guide for Practitioners. He is also the editor of the text Understanding Industrial Designed Experiments.

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