AME Defense & Government Lean Summit

Government entities and the defense industry hold a unique place within the lean community. There are different factors and business conditions for organizations in these industries, so AME has assembled a program that speaks directly to you.

Whether you work as a supplier to government and defense or you are a veteran, in the military, or work for local, state or federal government, this is the event for you.

The AME Defense & Government Lean Summit will help you identify best practices and tools that you can apply to your organization – all with the unique lens that your work requires. You’ll hear ways to get your process moving forward while engaging your employees at every level and every step of the way.

Visit the summit schedule page for details of panel discussions, presentations and more.


Keynote Speakers

Colonel Arthur J. Athens, USMCR (Retired)

Col. Arthur Athens is the former director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and the Academy’s first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership.

He is a retired Marine, having served in significant command and staff positions in all four Marine Aircraft Wings and as an instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 (the Marine Corps’ equivalent to the Navy Top Gun School). Additionally, he was a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan and the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator after the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

Athens is a graduate of the Naval Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Army’s Command and General Staff College and School of Advanced Military Studies. 

He currently invests in leaders around the country through his speaking, writing, consulting and coaching. He and his wife Misti have 10 children.

Praise for Col. Athens' 2019 AME International Conference Keynote:

"I was close to tears listening to Col. Athens."

"Col. Athens left a lifetime imprint with me. He is an amazing storyteller and did a fantastic job weaving those experiences into his speech."

"Have Col. Athens do all of the keynotes, he was great."


Brian Fields

Brian Fields is vice president of business transformation, chief transformation officer and chief information officer for Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. Named to this position in 2019, Fields is responsible for transforming all aspects of the business to be more agile and efficient with a special focus on people, technology and culture. He leads the company’s digital shipbuilding program, is responsible for the pace of transformation execution efforts across the business and has oversight of all information systems at NNS and the HII corporate office.

Fields began his shipbuilding career as an engineer in the Los Angeles-class submarine program. Since then, he has served in positions of increasing responsibility including several engineering leadership roles and director of the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier construction program, where he was responsible for managing ship design, manufacturing and construction efforts. In 2011, he was promoted to vice president of supply chain management. In 2015, he assumed responsibility as vice president of integrated planning and production control and was responsible for all direct planning, supply chain planning and production control functions across the organization.

He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and a master's degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary. Fields is active in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.



Panel Discussions

In addition to keynotes, tours and presentations, the summit will feature three panel discussions:

  • Cybersecurity: Requirements, Risks and Compliance
  • Veterans in the Workforce
  • Systems and People Impact Change

Details are included on the summit schedule.

Pre-Summit Workshop: Lean Boot Camp

Rejuvenate your operation by applying lean principles in a fun and engaging way that has produced proven results. This boot camp highlights the critical elements and must know concepts for driving effective, positive change in your organization. Explore several case studies and see different ways of addressing safety, quality, productivity, delivery, morale, cost and inventory by using lean tools and creative employee thinking. Taught by Mark Preston, author of "Southern Sensei" and a 30+ year leader in the lean community, you will learn about critical thinking elements, system thinking, engaging your workforce, uncovering waste, and much more.

Space is limited for this sought-after workshop. You can add the workshop to your registration when registering for the summit. When you sign up for both the summit and workshop you will receive a $100 discount! Learn more...



The 2021 AME Defense & Government Lean Summit is sponsored by: