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Decision Making Approaches & Tools

Kansas City Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers Chapter
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Endorsed by Curators:
Oct 12 1:00PM - 5:00PM

Join IISEs Kansas City chapter on October 12th at the K-State Olathe campus for a conference demonstrating proven decision making approaches and tools.

A successful, sustainable decision making process is one of the hardest things for corporations to successfully achieve. Do you use tribal knowledge and intuition? Just data? There are so many ways to go about it and each organization has its own culture that impacts how decisions are made.

The goal of this conference is to explore different decision making methods and tools, and to understand what has worked in actual application and why. What is successfully being used by engineers in different industries to bring about successful, sustainable decision making processes that produce results?

During this conference we will explore a number of decision making methods and tools that have actually been successfully implemented and used in a variety of settings. The conference will cover decision support content from Dr. Deandra Cassone and Dr. Cerry Klein, includinginnovative solutions for management to use when making data-driven decisions about complex problems. We also have speakers from industry who will talk about how best to pitch a topic for decisions as well as to their own experience in decision making and will present approaches with which they have had success in their careers. From these topics we hope to stimulate discussion on how decisions are made and what each of us can do to improve both our companies and our own decision making.


Conference Schedule

  • 1:00 Welcome
  • 1:05 Dr. Deandra T. Cassone
  • 2:35 Dr. Cerry Klein
  • 3:20 Snack break
  • 3:30 Chris Althoff
  • 4:15 Round Table
  • 5:00 Wrap up/Happy hour


Speaker Bios:

Deandra T. Cassone serves as senior professor of practice in the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering program at Kansas State University. She has more than 30 years of experience in consulting, technical and management roles with several Fortune 100 companies. Previously, she served as a graduate adjunct professor in systems engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

She has published four books, four e-books as well as a number of articles and refereed papers. Her work in building structured decision-making models has resulted in 12 business process patents. Cassone specializes in decision science, which develops innovative solutions for management to use when making data-driven decisions about complex problems. The field provides structure for systematic thinking based on logical principles, decision-making methods, data analytics and modeling to provide guidance for decision-making in multi-faceted situations.





Cerry Klein is in the Provosts Office at the University of Missouri, leading an initiative on Sustainable Energy in the Mizzou Advantage Program. He also is in the Deans office of the College of Engineering as head of Planning and Operations. Dr. Klein is a C.W. LaPierre Professor of Engineering, past chair of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Missouri, and past Program Director for the Service Enterprise Systems program and the Manufacturing Enterprise Systems program at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Klein is a recipient of the notable William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, as well as the Gold Chalk Award for Excellence in Graduate Education and the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers. Dr. Klein has also received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Klein is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, a senior member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Alpha Pi Mu, and Pi Mu Epsilon.




Chris Althoff is a senior director with West Monroe Partners and a member of the Healthcare practice. He has consulted and collaborated with healthcare executives for more than 15 years to inspire a shared vision and drive large-scale business and technology transformation.

Chris works with an array of healthcare organizations to enable channel, customer experience, and retail engagement strategies. He has a successful track record for driving results through business-driven technology solutions that address regulatory and other enterprise strategic needs.

Through his experience working with leading healthcare companies, Chris has also developed and honed critical skills and domain expertise in e-Business strategy, digital experience planning, operations, and technology integration. He is highly adept at delivering large-scale, complex programs, leveraging his deep expertise and skills in program management (PMO), organizational change, and IT strategy. He also has led diligence efforts for several major healthcare information technology (HIT) acquisitions.




Amy Martens, P.E., Topeka, Kansas, is the manager of engineering services at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. She has more than 20 years of project leadership experience and manages a team of engineers on process improvement/quality projects. Martens is an emeritus member of the K-State Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Advisory Council, launched the departments mentoring program for the IMSE Professional Academy, and is the past chair of the Healthcare Operations Resource Center.

Martens served on the Board of Directors for the YWCA in Topeka for two 3-year terms including an executive role as the treasurer. She also served two 3-year terms on the Board of Directors for the Race Against Breast Cancer including several roles on the executive committee including board president and serves on the 5K planning committee. Martens is a senior advisor for the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers KC chapter and serves on the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE) board of directors.




Kyle Grabill is currently Garmins Senior Director of Quality and Product Support. In this role, Kyle leads a team of more than 500 associates who are committed to helping customers and assuring the quality of Garmins products. Prior to this role, Kyle served in leadership positions within Garmins Engineering and Operations departments. Kyle previously worked as an Industrial Engineer for Intel and as a Graduate Student Fellow for NASA. Kyle earned a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering at Kansas State University and has been an active member in IIE.


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