Toyota Motor Engineering Manufacturing North America, Inc. Executive in Residence General Manager

Ken Kreafle joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 1987 and is currently an executive on loan to the University of Kentucky (UK) from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA). Mr. Kreafle currently serves as the Toyota Executive in Residence for the Lean Systems Program within the Institute of Research for Technology Development/College of Engineering. In his most recent assignment at TEMA he was General Manager of Vehicle Production Engineering in Erlanger Kentucky. He was the Chief Production Engineer for the new generation Avalon and works closely with the Toyota North American Manufacturing Companies (NAMC’s), Toyota Technical Center (TTC) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) to ensure the success of the North American vehicle launches.

A native of Maryland, he earned his Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Technology. He completed his Master’s Thesis on Industrial Robotic Applications at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland Campus.

Mr. Kreafle co-chaired the Lean Manufacturing Program, a joint effort of TMMK and the University of Kentucky (UK), Center for Robotic and Manufacturing Systems. He has also served as an Advisory Board Member for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, UK College of Engineering and a member of the Board of Directors for Northern Kentucky University Research Foundation.

Cheryl Jones has experience in both manufacturing and administration within Toyota having served as vice president of Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing of America (TEMA). She began her career as an assembly manufacturing supervisor, eventually achieving vice president of Manufacturing during her 22 years with the company. Cheryl retired in 2009.

Her extensive knowledge of the Toyota Production System knowledge encompasses final vehicle assembly, robotic processes using solvent borne and waterborne paints, and parts delivery from supplier to vehicle assembly. She also served as vice president of Powertrain, Production Control, Building Facilities, diversity advisor, and senior advisor to the Women’s Leadership Network Organization and Operations Development Group.

In 2005 Cheryl received international experience working as Toyota’s senior advisor at their truck manufacturing facility in Baja, Mexico. Her responsibilities included all aspects of manufacturing and administration in the role of mother plant support and training to guarantee the successful launch of Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Mexico.

Upon her return from Mexico, her responsibilities were expanded to include production control, power train, administration, and cost management at Toyota’s largest North American manufacturing facility, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky TMMK). She was also assigned as the regional team leader for all six Toyota North American assembly plants self-reliance initiative.

Cheryl was named as one of the 2005 Automotive News Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry. She led Toyota North American Women’s Leadership initiatives for Toyota, such as the Women’s Leadership Exchange Network as a senior advisor, and In the Interest of Women.

Cheryl is currently pursuing a second career focused on teaching manufacturing and systems implementation utilizing her extensive Toyota production experience and knowledge. She is currently working with the University of Kentucky Lean Systems Program as a Toyota Practitioner.

Glenn Uminger joined Toyota in 1987 as a leader on the startup team of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) and continuously learned and applied the Toyota Way through Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Administration. Glenn retired from Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) in 2014 after 27 years serving as an executive during Toyota’s rapid North American development.

Highlights include:

  • Serving as a leader on the startup team at TMMK. Led the development of Management Accounting, The Toyota Production System Office, and JIT Logistics
  • Head of Production Control and Logistics Divisions at Toyota’s North American Headquarters (TEMA), led development of the  organizations from start up
  • Led development of the North American Integrated Logistics Network
  • Key member of Site Selection and Development team for all new Toyota Operations in North America
  • Overall Leader to establish Toyota’s new vehicle plant in Mississippi
  • Led the strengthening of the TPS practice at Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) achieving TPS application success in a non-manufacturing environment.
  • Improving the effectiveness between Sales and Manufacturing organizations.

Prior to joining Toyota, Glenn held management positions with FMC Corporation for 10 years, working with Manufacturing, Design Engineering and Sales/Service.

He served as the Toyota Executive in Residence and Director for the Lean Systems Program in the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky from 2012 to 2014. The Lean System Program supports companies working to improve their understanding and application of Lean and he continues to serve as a key advisor to the program.

Glenn is now Principal, Uminger & Associates, which he was driven to found in order to apply his deep experiences in Leadership and The Toyota Way to support the leadership of companies motivated to achieve sustainable enterprise performance improvement.

Mr. Uminger holds a B.S in Accounting from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati.