Denise Rice | President
Denise Rice is president and owner of Peak Performance, Inc. a Workforce Development Training & consulting company. Peak Performance aids manufacturers in achieving operational excellence in a continual pursuit of cost reduction and efficiency improvement using the most modern and advanced manufacturing strategies, equipment and processes. She also serves as the Director of the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, a division of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Previously, she was an Operations Executive with a career spanning more than 25 years with Corning, Inc. and their subsidiaries holding positions including Director of Operations, Plant Manager, and Engineering Manager. Under her leadership, Cormetech, a joint equity venture between Corning and Mitsubishi, was awarded Tennessee’s Business Recycler of the year, Gold and Platinum awards for their BEST (Business and Education Working Together) Program with Cleveland High School and was nominated for the U.S. Department of Defense Freedom Award for their support of military veterans. Cormetech also received the prestigious TN Governor’s Award for Environmental Responsibility in Materials Management and was named Company of the Year by the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association.
Ms. Rice has held the position of Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association and president of Cleveland Associated Industries. Both associations are committed to the needs of local manufacturing companies ranging from government affairs to education in the community to ensure a prepared workforce. After completing a three-year term as a Board of Director for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, she then served as a Board of Director for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. In 2014, she was appointed by the Bradley County Mayor to the Southeast Tennessee Workforce Development Board.
Rice’s passion is inspiring and encouraging the STEM programs among middle, high school, and college students. She is an active industry advisor to Cleveland High and Walker Valley High School’s engineering programs and is a member and past president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She was a finalist for the Supernova award by the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation.
Rice received her Bachelor’s of Science in electrical engineering from Syracuse University. She received her certificate from The Lean Manufacturing Leadership Institute at the University of Kentucky and a certificate from the Executive Development Institute at Vanderbilt University.
Joey Stokes is a maintenance and training professional with more than 15 years’ experience in automotive manufacturing. He has held positions ranging from industrial electrician to maintenance manager in Lean Manufacturing environments in the Chattanooga, TN region. Most recently, he worked as a maintenance manager during the launch of a modern hard surface floor manufacturing facility where he led a maintenance department to introduce Lean Maintenance and TPM to the facility, leading cost reduction activities in maintenance to reduce maintenance cost by $1.8 million. Before joining the flooring company, Mr. Stokes worked for a tier 1 supplier owned by Toyota Motor Manufacturing where he learned the Toyota Way for TPM and Lean.
Joey was also a founding member of AHK German-American Chamber of Commerce Testing Board to design and oversee testing of Volkswagen Academy students’ certification for the Dual Education degree.
Mr. Stokes shares a passion for STEM and STEAM Education with the entire Peak Performance Team. His past volunteer activities include mentoring Mechantronics teams at Skills USA Post-Secondary events. These students achieved:
3- First and 1- Second Place Finish at Tennessee State Skills
1- First, 1- Second, and 1- Third Place Finish at SkillsUSA National
A 9th Place Finish at WorldSkills, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mr. Stokes received his Master’s in Education from Lincoln Memorial University, his B.S. in International Organizational Leadership from MTSU, and Siemens Mechatronics Level 1 and Level 2 instructor from Siemens Technik Akademie, Berlin and holds numerous certificates and industrial certifications in PLC, Robotics, Welding, Electrical, and Industrial Safety including certification as an OSHA 10/30 instructor.
Joey Stokes | Director of Technical Training
Roger Cummins | Instructor
Roger Cummins is a maintenance professional with more than 12 years’ experience in automotive manufacturing. He has held various positions ranging from industrial maintenance technician to controls engineer in Lean Manufacturing environments in the Chattanooga and Nashville region. Most recently he was with Comprehensive Logistics Inc. as a supplier for the GM plant located in Spring Hill, TN. During his time there he worked a controls engineer in a team environment, working with other engineers launching new automated systems. He also worked with the maintenance and production groups on continuous improvement projects. During the last 8 months with Comprehensive, he led projects to make the plant more automated with the use of PLC programming. With these updates, he was able to reduce downtime and improve quality.
Mr. Cummins received his B.S. in Electronic and Communication Engineering and his A.S. in Computer and Electronic Engineering from ITT Technical Institute. He also holds certificates in PLC and Industrial Maintenance programs.
Angela Leamon is a manufacturing leadership professional with over 24 years in appliance manufacturing driving continuous improvement opportunities by reducing process variability and cycle time through Six Sigma and Lean methodologies. During her tenure at Maytag/Whirlpool, she held management positions in a variety of departments – including Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Purchased Parts Warehouse, Quality, and Purchasing.
As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Six Sigma Manager, and throughout her career, she has led Lean Six Sigma training and events with over 300 Greenbelts, Yellow Belts, White Belts, Process Owners and Champions trained and more than 70 Kaizen events conducted.
Angela has hands on experience in leading, facilitating, and mentoring Lean Six Sigma Events in both manufacturing and business process environments that resulted in productivity and quality improvements in excess of $25M in savings.
In addition to her Lean Six Sigma experience, she spent time as a Culture Change Manager, where she led focused trainings for over 800 employees on Teamwork, Personal Action Planning, Change Management, Leadership Skills and Behaviors, Continuously Improving Principles and Autonomous Teams.
Ms. Leamon received her BS in Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Angela Leamon | Director of Operational Excellence
Ryann Norman is a business and marketing professional with more than 15 years’ experience in the Engineering and Manufacturing industries. She has held various positions in Human Resources, Sales, and Marketing in the Nashville and Chattanooga, TN area.
Ms. Norman received her B.S. in Business Administration, with a major in Marketing, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Ryann Norman | Product Development & Market Manager
Brooklyn Sewell | Administration & Human Resources
Brooklyn Sewell is a young professional that began her journey at Peak Performance as an intern while she attended Cleveland State Community College. She now oversees all the administrative functions, financial matters, and human resources.
Brooklyn volunteers her time to assist local students in navigating the college admission process and ensure they complete the Tennessee Promise program requirements to receive and retain their scholarship as a TN Promise Mentor. She is also a board of director member for Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit that is dedicated to enhancing the beautification of the community.
Brooklyn obtained her Associates Degree in Business Management at Cleveland State Community College and Bachelors of Business Administration at Bryan College. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources at Bryan College.