Mr. Aardema is advising OpenGate’s operations team on manufacturing and supply chain management across the firm’s North American investments, as well as facilitating Lean Six Sigma Training courses for management teams to achieve operational excellence.

Mr. Aardema is founder and president of the Aarwood Group, a private consulting company helping businesses achieve and sustain operational excellence. He led several business units at Textron and Stanley Black and Decker in aerospace, industrial, electronic, and automotive industries. He served as Operations Executive for Black Eagle Partners then transitioned to one of its portfolio companies, US LBM Holdings, LLC, as Executive Vice President. During his seven-year tenure at US LBM, Mr. Aardema was deeply involved in acquisition diligence and integration, completing more than 40 acquisitions and helping the company grow from $350 million to $3.5 billion in revenue.

Mr. Aardema developed an award winning, ‘Introduction to Lean Manufacturing’ training program which has been completed by more than 6,000 people. He received Six Sigma Black Belt certifications in DMAIC and DFSS from Six Sigma Academy and served as Master Black Belt for Textron mentoring Six Sigma students in North America, Europe, and Asia. While with Textron, he completed a Lean Sensei study mission to Japan to learn the Toyota Production System.


Mr. Aardema holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University, and completed professional programs at Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and Thunderbird University.

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