Our Leadership

Our Leadership

Phil McIntyre

Managing Director

Phil McIntyre's career spans more than 34 years in manufacturing, supply chain, and business leadership. He's well-accomplished and has worked with companies around the world in a multitude of industry verticals, contributing to organizations at all levels in Engagement Design and Leadership, Cost Management, Due Diligence, Leadership Coaching and Development, Performance Facilitation, and Project and Change Management.

Phil holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University.

Nick Bailey

Director of Operations, Europe and Asia

Nick Bailey is an experienced leader with a background in operations, manufacturing, and engineering. Over his 27-year career at Milliken, he has worked in a number of businesses, learning something new at each step.

Nick was part of Milliken’s initial foray into systematic improvement methodologies and helped design the Milliken Performance System. He was given the opportunity to implement that methodology in two Milliken locations as the site manager, and both site teams were recognized with the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM) Excellent Plant Awards.

Nick has a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and is a certified JIPM Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) instructor.

Keith Blackwell

Senior Client Lead

Keith has been with Milliken & Company since joining the company in 1993 as a Process Improvement engineer at the Peerless Plant in Belton, South Carolina. He has worked in a variety of leadership roles and won the TPM Excellence Award in 2000 at the Golden Valley facility, NC.  Keith joined Performance Solutions by Milliken in 2014 as a Practitioner, and he has since delivered considerable success and sustained culture change with clients in various sectors including medical devices, food & beverage and packaging industries. Since 2019 Keith has been Global Client Leader of one of our largest clients supporting Senior leadership in the delivery of outstanding ROI across regions, divisions, cultures and disciplines, helping to break down organizational silos while overseeing a large Global practitioner team. He is pragmatic, hands-on and expert in facilitating cross-functional team performance within the steering of large improvement programs.

Keith earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from South Carolina State University. Keith also holds a Master’s of Science degree in Textile Management from the Institute of Textile Technology, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Chris Caldwell

Senior Client Lead

Chris Caldwell has worked for Milliken for almost 27 years. He is an ex-military weapons specialist and instructor  with 27 years of manufacturing experience and is a LSS black belt.   Chris started with Milliken in 1996 after completing his service with the US Navy in Desert Storm and his BS in chemical engineering at the University of Alabama. Chris has held many roles in his career  prior to transitioning into Performance Solutions including process engineer, production manager, department manager, Process Improvement manager, Plant manager, Quality manager and Quality director.  Since becoming a practitioner  in 2013, Chris has worked with clients across the country representing automotive, food and beverage, heavy industrial and chemical industries.  Currently, Chris serves as a senior client lead supporting a team of practitioners across multiple sites.

Chris has a bachelor in chemical engineering with a minor in environmental engineering and a  masters in textile technology.

Dede Ericson

Director of Client Engagement

Dede Ericson began her career in 1994 with American Bag Corporation, a subsidiary of Milliken & Company. There, she spent eight years in a range of roles, from Process Engineer to Production Manager to Process Improvement Leader.

Prior to joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, Dede worked as a Sales Manager and North American Market Manager in Milliken's Chemical Business. Dede currently serves as Director of Client Engagement, leading a team of practitioners that assist clients in multiple markets.

Dede holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.

Sebastian Giraldo C

Business Leader – Latin America

Sebastian boasts over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry starting in maintenance and developing into different roles within the supply chain including continuous improvement director of a large food manufacturing group in Latin America. In this role, Sebastian implemented and integrated TPM, LEAN SIX SIGMA, and QHSE management systems in an Operational Excellence model delivering sustainable business results.

In recent years, Sebastian has partnered with clients across North and South America supporting operations of pharmaceutical and medical devices, rubber, food and beverage, corrugated paper, and plastic in well-known industries, providing a systems-based thinking, high engagement culture and world-class performance mindset to the companies served.

Sebastian holds a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in QHSE management systems from the University of Viña del Mar Chile, a postgraduate diploma in maintenance management from the UIS University in Colombia, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering from the UAM in Manizales - Colombia.

Darren O'Connor

Senior Client Lead

Darren O’Connor has worked for Milliken & Company for over 17 years, starting as a Product/Process Improvement Engineer in Milliken’s Automotive Division, holding roles as a Process Improvement Leader & Site Leader supporting the organisation with health & safety, Performance/Operational Excellence, winning the  JIPM TPM Award for Excellence in 2003. Darren also worked for a number of World Class organisations outside of Milliken; with a Global leadership role for Six Sigma, Health & Safety and additionally, supporting Lean Logistics implementation. Since re-joining Milliken with Performance Solutions in 2013, Darren has supported global and pan-European clients across several countries/languages/cultures in the automotive, textile, food and paper / packaging industries. As a Senior Client Lead, Darren partners with organisations at all levels in the strategic and tactical implementation of Leadership, Health & Safety, Supply Chain and Performance Excellence. 
Darren holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Safety, Health & Environmental Management, from the University of Manchester as well as earning Industrial Engineering and Management Diplomas from the University of Central Lancashire. Furthermore Darren is NEBOSH Diploma qualified Health & Safety Professional with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Mark Love

Director of Client Engagement

Mark Love has worked across many Milliken locations and businesses for over 33 years. He started his career supporting manufacturing sites as a maintenance reliability and facilities engineer. In 1995, Mark was the Performance System Leader and supported two model sites. He transitioned to Production Leader and then became Plant Manager of the Newton site in Hartwell, Georgia.

In 2009, Mark started working with Performance Solutions by Milliken as a practitioner. Currently, Mark is a Director of Client Engagement and supports a range of clients to help them achieve goals through performance system implementation.

Mark has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Georgia Southern University.

Chris Poole

Director of Client Development,(EMEA)

Chris Poole serves as the Director of Client Development for EMEA clients. Chris has a track record of delivering tailored, high-quality operational excellence programs. He's an expert in all aspects of policy deployment, leadership development, organizational alignment, and focused problem-solving methodologies.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Technology and Management Sciences from the University of Bradford and is a certified Change Management Practitioner, Master Black Belt, and TPM Instructor.

Shawn Smith

Director of Client Development - North America

Shawn has worked for Milliken & Company for over 15 years. He started as a Product and Process Improvement Engineer in Milliken’s textile division. He has held many different positions within multiple Milliken manufacturing sites. After his role as a PPI Engineer he held many positions such as, Production Leader, MPS Specialist, Senior Production Leader, PPI Manager, and Supply Chain Leader. Shawn’s role as an MPS Specialist at our Columbus, NC site was instrumental in developing it into a model site for the company and helping the new PSbyM business create it’s initial education material.

Shawn joined Performance Solutions by Milliken (PSbyM) in 2011. As a practitioner he has led and developed systems within many industries including packaging, food & beverage, paper, and medical device manufacturing. Shawn is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

Shawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University. He has a Six Sigma Green Belt from Milliken U. and holds certifications on level scheduling, consulting, and the Coaching Clinic©.

Nicole Yeske

Director of Marketing

Nicole Yeske serves as Director of Marketing and joins the team to spearhead additional growth within the marketing division at Performance Solutions by Milliken. She brings a strong marketing background as well as a dedication to analytics and innovation. As Marketing Director, she is responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing marketing strategy and execution.

Prior to joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, Nicole held several progressive marketing roles at Gordian, the world’s leading construction cost data, software, and service provider, including Product Marketing and Digital and eCommerce Management. She began her career at Dell Computers as a Consumer Products Marketing Manager responsible for point-of-sale merchandising and large campaigns.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Michigan State University.