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Session Leaders and Plenary Speaker

October 22, 2014 Plenary Speaker

David E. Tatman

tatmanDave Tatman was recently named as the inaugural Executive Director of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association.  He also serves WKU as an Associate Vice President for Advanced Manufacturing.  Dave is an empowering and thoughtful executive leader with an extensive background and expertise in automotive manufacturing.  Throughout his career, Dave has provided customer-focused leadership with an emphasis on increasing production, minimizing equipment downtime/costs, and maximizing overall enterprise-wide potential. 

Dave retired a short time ago after a 34 year career at General Motors, most recently as Plant Manager for the Corvette Assembly Facility in Bowling Green.  He led that organization through five consecutive model year launches, including the build-out of the iconic sixth generation Corvette in February, 2013. He oversaw a $131M investment to upgrade the plant and equipment, adding 350 new jobs, to produce the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray, which was named as the NA Car of the Year in January 2014.

Dave moved through many functional manufacturing leadership positions in a significant number of GM locations and headquarters assignments.  Responsibilities included direct operations supervision, supply chain management, quality, engineering, maintenance, prototype and advanced powertrain development work. He has been in 13 different GM locations in three countries on two continents. He holds a Master of Business Administration, Corporate Policy from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science, Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.


October 22nd, 2014 Session Leaders

Randall Capps

Randall Capps (Randy) has served eighteen years as department head at Western Kentucky University (WKU) and three years as assistant to the president. Most recently he is completing a year as Interim Head of the Department of Psychology. During his tenure at WKU he has also spent time in the corporate world including one sabbatical at the General Motors Corporation on an educational grant researching leadership among executives. He spent another year on leave from WKU advising the Whirlpool Corporation on change management programs. He has received four grants from the Quebec government to research management practices among Canadian companies. His last book titled Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Quebec: How the Provence Became a World Class Player was a result of that research. Since 1994, he has split his time between teaching MBA students and managing a consulting practice, Leadership Strategies Group. The consulting practice is focused on leadership and management development with corporations and non-profits around the United States. At WKU, he has won awards for both teaching and research. Randy currently serves as a scholar in residence with the Gordon Ford College of business. He also serves as a visiting professor at the University of Lyon, France, where he regularly teaches in their International MBA program. He holds degrees from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Western Kentucky University, and the University of Virginia.


Bob Layne

Bob Layne serves as President & CEO of The Visibility Company, a global marketing, communications and technology development company headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. Among The Visibility Company’s proprietary products is an industry-leading health and wellness technology platform marketed under the brand name Propel®. Clients of The Visibility Company include Allstate, Cummins, Edmunds.com, Frito Lay, Imerys, Lipscomb University, Loyola Marymount University, Pepsi, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, Tesla, Pinnacle Bank, Quaker Oats, Vanderbilt University, Western Union and many others.

Prior to working with The Visibility Company, Bob served for more than 10 years as an officer of Dollar General Corporation managing such functions as law, corporate communications, marketing, advertising, merchandise planning, public relations, human resources, training and development, risk management, and strategic planning.

Bob is an attorney licensed to practice law in Tennessee and the District of Columbia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate and organizational communications from Western Kentucky University, a law degree from Temple University School of Law and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Bob also holds a commercial pilot’s license with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

Bob lives with his wife and 4 children in Brentwood, Tennessee where he is an active member of Brentwood United Methodist Church teaching a weekly adult Sunday school class that focuses on building a stronger covenant relationship with our Creator.


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 Last Modified 11/6/14