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Flinchbaugh '94 addressed outstanding students at Honors Convocation

Jamie W. Flinchbaugh '94

Jamie W. Flinchbaugh, the co-founder and partner in Lean Learning Center in Novi, Michigan and former mechanical engineering major who graduated with high honors from Lehigh back in 1994, was the featured speaker at this year’s Honors Convocation on April 23 in Packer Memorial Church.

During the event, more than 600 Lehigh students were honored for outstanding academic achievement. Recipients of the academic awards, as well as juniors and seniors who have attained a 3.5 cumulative GPA, were recognized.

Flinchbaugh, a Lehigh legacy (his father is James D. Flinchbaugh ’65), was actively involved as an undergrad, acting as president of the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, represented Lehigh at the National Engineering Leadership Conference held at Penn State, and was the only student representative working with faculty on the Beginning Engineering Curriculum Committee. He was also a founding father of the re-chartering of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity and served as an undergraduate representative on the Greek Alumni Council.

His academic and leadership activities won him membership in Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary societies. While attending Lehigh, he received other honors such as the Class of 1904 Scholarship and the International Gas Turbine Institute Scholarship. Upon graduation, Flinchbaugh was again honored to receive the ASME Award, the Cornelius Prize and most importantly the Undergraduate Merit Award presented by the Alumni Association.

Flinchbaugh’s academic career continued beyond Lehigh with a M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1996 and both an M.B.A. and an M.S. in engineering from MIT in 1998. At MIT, he was a Fellow in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program and his research was titled “Implementing Lean Manufacturing Through Factory Design.” In addition to his involvement at Lehigh, Flinchbaugh is also on the Board of Advisors of the Pawley Institute at Oakland University in Michigan.

After graduating from Lehigh, Jamie joined the Chrysler Corporation through the Chrysler Institute of Engineering where he worked for more than five years. He was a contributor to several important initiatives including the Chrysler Operating System, an effort partially responsible for the rebirth of Chrysler.

He took on various leadership roles at the company including leading the design of the new Jeep Liberty factory in Toledo, OH. After Chrysler, Flinchbaugh joined the gas and electric company, DTE Energy, to build a new team responsible for reshaping the company through the DTE Energy Operating System, an initiative that continues to this day.

Flinchbaugh has also been an active entrepreneur. In 1999, he co-founded Rev! Motorcycles and that eventually lead to the purchase of Cobra Motorcycles in 2003. He remains a principal of Cobra, which is the only producer of off-road motorcycles in the United States. Jamie is also the founder and chairman of Old Dutch Group, a media and equity company through which Flinchbaugh participates in a wide variety of projects.

Flinchbaugh also co-founded and is partner of the Lean Learning Center, an elite consulting and education firm based in Novi, Michigan. The company was founded in 2001 with partners Andy Carlino and Dennis Pawley. The company works with industry-leading companies such as Intel, Harley-Davidson and Siemens.

He is a frequent writer and author, including two projects launched in 2006, a new book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean and a column for Assembly Magazine titled “Leading Lean.”

Flinchbaugh lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan with his wife, Jill Triani ’94 (the couple met as Lehigh undergrads and married in 1997), and two children Emma and Jack.

--Bill Doherty

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006

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