John Spillson

Food Business Development Manager, Lean Business & Leadership Advisor

Since joining The Center in 2014, John Spillson has worked to mentor manufacturers on Lean and Leadership strategies, as well as provide expert support to food processors. His experience in operating his own business has given him knowledge in production, sales and marketing.

In the Food space, John leads both food safety training as well as risk management in food processing. As a Lean Business Advisor, John uses Lean tools, such as Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kaizen events, Standard Work and Problem Solving, to help manufacturers of all types effectively reduce waste, improve efficiency and improve corporate culture. John also provides a variety of Leadership training to manufacturers, including Supervisor Skills, Building Better Teams, and Manufacturing Skills Development, and assists with conducting The Center’s Technology Opportunity Assessments.

John leads The Center’s Proud to Manufacture in Michigan team and is a part of the MEP National Network’s Food Service Working Group.

Professional Experience
John comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, following both parents and grandparents in operating their own family food businesses. Prior to joining The Center, John owned and operated his own food processing company for more than 20 years. John, along with his father, took an old family recipe for rice pudding that was eventually made available in five states, producing a volume exceeding 1,500 pounds per week. 

PCQI Lead Instructor
FSVP Lead Instructor
HACCP for Processors
Implementing SQF Systems
Understanding FSMA: Aligning HARPC with SQF
LEAN Manufacturing Champion
Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certified 
Certified Training from the Back of The Room (TBR) Practitioner 

B.A. Industrial Marketing, University of Toledo
M.B.A. Finance, University of Toledo


The Food Guy: Eating Around Michigan
Michigan’s Food and Agriculture
Secrets of Great Leaders
New Year, New (LinkedIn) You
How Lean Can Attract & Retain Younger Members of the Workforce
Current Good Manufacturing Practices: The Building Blocks of Every Food Safety System
Food Manufacturing in the Age of COVID-19: Updates & Guidance for Maintaining Food Safety
Recognizing & Eliminating Food Processing Failures Through FMEA​
Are Food Processors Meeting the 'Alternative Meat' Demand?
HPP: The Future of Food Preservation is Now
Why You (& Your Company) Need PCQI Training
Not All Food Failures Are Hazardous, But All Are Costly
What Does a Food Safety Plan Really Consist Of?
Anyone Can Satisfy a Customer. But Can You Delight Them?
Food Processors Can Get Lean with a Helping of Kaizen
Low Unemployment Means It's Time to Get LEAN!
Food Allergen Recalls: What's On the Table?

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