2022 Conference Keynote Speakers

Umesh Goel
Partner, McKinsey, USA


As one of our 2022 virtual conference speakers, Umesh is a Partner in the Philadelphia office and leads our commercial and off-highway sub-sector of Automotive. He has extensive experience leading Operations and Procurement transformations across the sector. Umesh is focused on developing the next horizon of procurement performance for automotive, commercial trucks, off-highway equipment/ machinery value chain while enabling effective response to inflation and supply challenges.


Partner, McKinsey, USA


Roman is a Partner in the Austin office and a core leader in our Global Energy and Materials Practice, where he leads the Global Electric Power Procurement and Supply Chain Service Line. He has extensive experience leading procurement and supply chain transformations across industries. In addition, Roman has extensive experience with manufacturing and industrial operations focusing on integration of procurement and supply chain levers into holistic performance excellence transformations. Today, Roman is focused on developing the next horizon of procurement and supply chain performance for power utilities, renewable developers and other players in the global energy value chain while enabling effective response to supply chain challenges. In addition, Roman is leading a global McKinsey initiative focused on inflation response and resiliency to macroeconomic uncertainty.

McKinsey’s Umesh Goel and Roman Belotserkovskiy

will deliver the SPCEA 2022 Conference keynote address entitled “Navigating Market Uncertainties Through Cost Engineering”. They will discuss how cost engineering capabilities play a central role in a holistic response to inflation, volatility and market disruption. Additionally, they will share examples of cutting edge cost engineering capabilities and discuss how these approaches can help organizations across sectors optimize economic and sustainability impacts while supporting enterprise success increasingly challenging market conditions.

2022 Conference Expert Speakers

Chris Domanski
President, SPCEA
Director – Cost Optimization at Forvia USA


Chris Domanski is a co-founder of SPCEA and is the author of the CRC Press published book “Cost Engineering: A Practical Method for Sustainable Profit Generation in Manufacturing” and the BEP published book “The Cost: A Business Novel to Help Companies Increase Revenues and Profits.” Chris has over 28 years of experience in Cost Engineering, Purchasing, Finance, and Engineering in the automotive industry, most recently as a Director of Cost Optimization at Forvia (Faurecia), the 7th largest supplier of automotive components in the world. Chris has had the fortune of working for many great companies, large and small, such as Ford Motor Company, Continental Automotive TRW, ZF Group, Methode Electronics, Nexteer Automotive, and Forvia (Faurecia). As one of our 2022 virtual conference speakers, Chris had an opportunity to work for both customers and suppliers, within the industry, thus sat on both sides of the negotiation table. This unique experience has given Chris an unmatched level of expertise in all areas of Cost Engineering discipline. Chris also administers a LinkedIn Group “Manufacturing Cost/Price Estimators, Engineers, Analysts, and Controllers” with over 5,700 members and is a frequent speaker at the annual cost engineering conferences. Chris graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with Finance concentration from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He also holds a certificate in Negotiation and Leadership from Harvard University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ed Pretzel
Founder & President
Collaborative Supply Chains USA


Edward is the Founder and President of Collaborative Supply Chains, a company dedicated to implementing product cost models in supply chains. Collaborative Supply Chains works with some of the world’s most recognizable brands such as John Deere, Roush, Magna, Bobcat and Flextronics. Prior to the founding of Collaborative Supply Chains, Edward managed cost modeling programs for General Motors, Lear, ZF, Dana and Nexteer. Edward is considered a leading pioneer in the industry’s move to collaborative cost modeling within supply chains and regularly speaks about these strategies at Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

Frank Weinert
Managing Director
costdata GmbH Germany


One of our 2022 virtual conference speakers, Frank Weinert, graduated engineer in production technology (FH), is Managing Director of costdata GmbH in Cologne. After working for ten years as a purchaser, cost analyst and process optimizer at Ford, he founded costdata GmbH to offer professional solutions for creating cost transparency in purchasing, controlling, sales and development. costdata’s software solutions, extensive databases and experience of more than twenty years with global consulting projects have made the company one of the top players in the field of Cost Engineering. Frank Weinert also trains cost engineers as a lecturer at the Cost Engineering Academy and gives lectures on purchasing and supply chain management as a guest lecturer at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences.

Tobias Uding
Head of Sales
costdata GmbH Germany


Tobias Uding, Master of Science (M. Sc.) in Business Administration, is Head of Sales at costdata GmbH in Cologne. For six years, he has been the direct contact for all customers interested in the company’s portfolio of consulting, software and data. He has gained extensive project experience working with well-known national and international companies in various industries, such as the automotive, electromobility, electronics, and metal industries. Since 2018, Tobias Uding has been lecturing on the topic of cost engineering at various German universities.

Douglas T. Hicks, CPA
Cost Measurement and Management
Consultant / Author USA


During his thirty-seven years as an author, speaker and consultant, Doug Hicks has championed the development of practical, down-to-earth managerial costing solutions. In that time, he has helped over 250 organizations of all types and sizes transform their history-oriented accounting data into customized, value-enhancing decision support information that provides their decision makers with the accurate and relevant intelligence they need to thrive and grow in a competitive world. He has shared his experience through hundreds of seminars and conferences, articles that have been published in dozens of trade and professional periodicals and four books that have sold over 15,000 copies worldwide. Doug is a 1970 graduate of the University of Michigan – Dearborn. In 1997, he was awarded the University’s “Professional Growth and Scholarship Award” for his role as a leader in advancing managerial costing concepts. He is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Michigan Association of CPAs, and a Director of The Profitability Analytics Center of Excellence.

Valorie Hendrix
Owner and Lead Consultant
Dynamic Empire Consulting USA


As one of our 2022 virtual conference speakers, Valorie has spent 10 years in manufacturing where she was an accountant, value engineer, quality engineer, and Lean Six Sigma engineer. She currently works as an independent business consultant helping organizations with throughput, quality, and VAVE. Valorie is also author of the book “Streamlining Function and Value: How to Reduce Cost and Deliver Exceptional Value”.

Eric Gierahn
Sr. Manager – Product Program Cost
Optimization, General Motors Corporation USA


Eric Gierahn is an Engineering Group Manager with General Motors who leads a team of experts in component material and vendor tooling costs. Eric’s team focuses on electronics and advanced vehicle technologies to support product programs across the Vehicle Development Process, providing engineered and accurate costs, driving a design to cost focus across the organization. Prior to joining GM in 2015, Eric held several leadership roles in Corporate Strategy, Management Consulting, and Engineering Management. Eric holds an MBA from the University of Illinois and a BS in Engineering from Bradley University.

Jeff Miller
Semiconductor Technology Cost Lead
General Motors Corporation USA


Jeff Miller has over 36 years of engineering, manufacturing, and commercial experience within the vehicular and appliance electronics industries, serving in roles at General Motors, John Deere, Standard Motor Products, Ford Motor Company, Whirlpool Corporation, and Panasonic Automotive Systems. Jeff has been active within the cost engineering profession for many years. Jeff is co-founder of SPCEA, is a frequent speaker at cost engineering conferences, and is a contributing author to “Realistic Cost Estimating For Manufacturing” published by SME. Jeff earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University, an M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from Rollins College. He also holds a Certificate in Executive Management from the University of Notre Dame.

Severin Heimrath
CEO / Managing Director
AWS Systemtechnik GmbH Germany


Severin Heimrath joined AWS Systemtechnik in 2008. Since 2012 he has been a member of the AWS management team and since 2016 MD / CEO. In his position as managing director he is responsible for the development of the AWS product portfolio and the ongoing improvement of the AWS calculation methodologies. Severin focuses on cost and emission engineering programs across various industries. His experience ranges from global benchmarks of confectionery including edible material, packaging and logistics to automotive optimization programs culminating in cost out programs for power generation equipment. Prior to working at AWS, Severin gained experience in the aerospace and power generation industry. Severin holds a diploma in Business Administration and Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich.

Craig Theisen
Author / Former VP and GM
at Johnson Controls USA


Craig Theisen worked for 35 years in the highly competitive automotive parts supply business. His career included roles in engineering, research, sales, program management, product management, quality, and general management at Prince Corporation and Johnson Controls. Craig’s experiences in the various responsibilities had a common element – automotive customers wanted parts they purchased to meet their performance and quality requirements, and be the lowest, competitive cost. Recognizing these customer wants (while VP of Product Management), Craig led the development of a system to optimize product costs during the product development phase – before the products went into production. The system resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of product lifecycle cost being removed prior to production starting. Recognizing that many companies develop products, put them into production, then spend years removing cost from them, Craig wrote the book “C-O-S-T: Cost Optimization System and Technique”, which details how companies can optimize product cost before the product begins production. The book was published in March 2022 and Craig is now busy promoting the book. Craig has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Marco Salvini
Global Costing Manager
Körber Tissue Italy


Marco’s experiences in engineering, production, project management and controlling in multinational companies (from automotive to tissue’s producers) contribute to give him flexibility and open-minded approach to do deep dive cost analysis and cost reduction projects. During all these steps, he maturated his pragmatic skill and was able to implement reliable Estimating and Costing methodology in the company he worked for. Such structured methodology were presented in several conferences and became the objective for lots of companies, which really want to steer their cost to increase company’s profit. Marco is a graduate of Univerisità di Pisa in Aerospace Engineering, got a Master in Finance and Controlling and LSS Black Belt certification.

Carsten Voss
Cost Capability Engineering Manager
Rolls-Royce Germany


As one of our 2022 virtual conference speakers, Carsten has held multiple engineering and business leadership positions in design engineering and manufacturing environments, delivering profitability improvements. His activities reached from individual project cost recovery up to leading company turn around planning and execution in a CEO role during the global financial crisis. He currently leads a multinational cost engineering team across multiple sites with a focus on product cost competitiveness within the Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace Business Unit. Within the Rolls-Royce cost engineering discipline, he champions standardization, automation and organizational self-service. He has led his team to making a cost competitiveness impact on a current annual spent of £6bn in current products and numerous additional novel products in the development stage. Carsten is a 2006 graduate of the University of Wildau and holds a Masters degree in mechanical engineering. He is a mtec Stade academy certified composite technology manufacturing engineer and a member of VDI. In 2017, he received the national award of JCI Germany. He is an appointed innovation and competitiveness expert to the European Commission.