Nasser Lama (Associate Training Partner)

Nasser is an associate training partner with Cornerstone training solutions. A Lebanese-American senior operations management consultant, with 20 years experience managing manufacturing and quality teams. During his first 18 years of experience, he worked in Silicon Valley, California; for public, private, and start-up companies in the field of high technology where he held senior executive positions in global corporations. In the last 2 years after moving to the region, Nasser was able to successfully apply the knowledge he gained in the United States to a large local, well established FMCG company that is in the confectionary and bottled juice business.

As Vice President of US Operations at Southwall Technologies Inc, a Palo Alto, California public company; Nasser was able to lead the turn-around efforts of the company which led to an increase in the value of the stock in 2001 by more than seven folds.

At Southwall, Nasser was in charge of the US Operations of the company that included managing two manufacturing plants, one in California and the other in Arizona. In addition he was also responsible for the Corporate Quality Organization, as well as the Corporate Material and Procurement departments.

Prior to working for Southwall, Nasser held senior management positions in different companies; most significant was Akashic Memories Inc., a computer hard disk-drive company. Until it was sold to Stormedia Inc., Akashic was owned by Kubota; which is a well established Japanese conglomerate. As Director of Operations at Akashic, Nasser earned in-depth knowledge of Quality and Lean Manufacturing practices through courses he took in Japan as well as practical experience under the guidance of senior Japanese manufacturing engineers. Nasser augmented this knowledge by taking advanced operations' management courses in the fields of Executive Management, Quality, Six Sigma, and Financial Management in local US institutions.

While still maintaining a home base in California, Nasser decided in 2005 to capitalize on the knowledge he earned, and venture into consulting in Lebanon and the region. He started by consulting for Katakit Food Manufacturing Company; a 15-year old regional, relatively large confectionary and juice bottling company. Soon after joining Katakit as a consultant, Nasser accepted the position of Deputy General Manager for Operations. In this capacity, Nasser managed 1,200 employees in the following functions: Manufacturing, Quality, Procurement, Warehousing, Fleet, Process Engineering Equipment Engineering, Maintenance, and Plant Engineering & Services. During his contract with Katakit, Nasser utilized and transferred the knowledge he gained in the United States in order to lift the performance of the operation to a world class, system based operation. As a result, a major management re-engineering effort took place that resulted in a cultural shift.

At Katakit, Nasser used Six Sigma methodology and tools to resolve operational problems and implement the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) system as well as Lean Manufacturing systems such as "5S", "Poka-Yoke", and "Visual Factory". These systems along with the management system enhancements that were implemented, led Katakit to be one of the first companies in the Middle East to achieve ISO 22000 which includes HACCP certification that is critical to the Food industry. In order to reach these achievements in a relatively very short time considering the previous status of the operation, and in order to create the management and cultural shift, Nasser transferred the operation into a learning institution were several seminars in management, Quality, and Lean Manufacturing were held.

Even though Nasser was away from the region for 25 years, he has maintained an astute knowledge of the local culture which allowed him to transfer his knowledge of international Quality and Lean Manufacturing systems to employees in local companies such as Katakit, which in turn led them to implement world class systems and elevate the level of their Operation to that of global companies.

Nasser holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston and a Masters of Science in Manufacturing and Quality Engineering from the University of Memphis. More recently Nasser earned his Six Sigma Black Belt education from Arizona State University.

As can be seen from the above; Nasser couples training with extensive hands-on experience earned from working in global as well as local companies