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Manager Human Resources

Allendale, MI, 49401
August 14, 2012

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Michael Dowker

**** ******* ****

Holland, MI ***24




Operations Director/ Plant Manager with extensive years of experience in the automotive and furniture industry. A proven track record of continuous improvement, problem solving, strategic growth, and project management. Actively coach and develop leadership of all levels and have experience in operating multiple sites, domestically and internationally.

• Lean Initiatives and Strategies • Strategic HR Planning • Toyota Production System

• Employee / Labor Relations • Succession Management • Acquisitions / Divestitures

• Six Sigma, Kaizen, 5S • Talent Acquisition • Sales Growth Strategies

• Compensation / Benefits Strategies • Retention / Recognition • Employee Communications

• Organization Development • Finance: P&L’s / EBITDA • Performance Management


Ventura June 2004 – Present

Provides manual and semi-automated processes for automotive (JCI, Grupo Antilon, Gentex, and Magna Donnelly) and furniture (Haworth, Steelcase, and Herman Miller). Ventura has 225 employees and annual sales of $50 million.

Director of Operations / Plant Manager

Successfully led team (4 divisions and over 30 lines) thru economic downturn:

o State of the Business meetings – real time communications of where the organization was at financially, prioritizing corporate top rocks, and established what the teams could do to impact the bottom-line.

o Implemented daily call – 15 minute status report from all the divisions.

o Established Thermometer – tracking mechanism placed on all computer desktops that clearly identified P&L items, cash flow, and targets.

o Started Google doc daily rhythms – all cells cover good news, “hot” spots, Top 3 rocks, sales and profit targets to frozen plan

o Ventura’s first and only layoff in 13 years; developed system for reducing resources

o Effectively managed cash flow situation: Bank, supplier shortfalls, and drove EBITDA from 6.84% to .88% over the past two years

Launch / Takeover business – GMT, Thor, Zody, Interact, Gemini, 180L, 500N, 770N, LX, Node, Wave II

Launched two-shot molding operation (Arburg) after being held “hostage” twice from suppliers; successfully arbitrated case – $300K

Infrastructure/change management: Mexico start-up; satellite consultation (15 companies); customer cost downs; restructuring of 50% of the workforce

Daily key metrics / results driven: took furniture business unit from 2% profit to 10% in 5 months; increased a business unit $60K per month within 6 months; $100K cost save on process change

Set-up Human Resources tools, templates and systems; developed and groomed new HR Manager

Johnson Controls January 1995 – June 2004

Global supplier in the automotive and building industries (seating, overhead systems, batteries, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics / equipment and controls for heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration, as well as security systems for buildings) with 137,000 employees worldwide and $34.3 billion in sales.

Employee Relations Manager, Corporate 2002 - 2004

Supported 6000 employees while assuring legal compliance, strategic direction, and leadership in: succession and organizational development, EEO, ERISA, AAP, investigations, FMLA, and ADA.

Drove performance and change management, employee relations and communications, policies, procedures and infrastructure, and operated as a strategic business partner to the organization.

Lead for the Customer Business Units, Informational Technology and Finance teams.

Implemented over $1.2 million in savings (Six Sigma projects).

Facilitated strategic initiatives (“right-sizing / footprint”) and drove corporate metrics while partnering with eight sites

Maplewood Focused Factory (Plant) Manager / Human Resources Manager 1999 - 2002

Led $70 million Focused Factory team (plant sales were $350 million)

Led HR functions for 1200 employees

Annually reviewed, created, and changed corporate policies and procedures

Administered policies and procedures, recruitment and selection, worker’s compensation, OSHA compliance, benefit administration, and project management.

Lapeer Focused Factory (Plant) Manager / Human Resources Manager 1997 - 1999

Core team that turned a -$12 million facility into a breakeven entity while exceeding key measures.

Focused Factory Manager for one and a half years (GM, Ford, Mercedes, Chrysler, and Nissan).

Trained a Human Resources Manager, 3 Focused Factory Managers, 18 Team Leaders, 3 Shift Supervisors, and implemented Areas of Expertise before relocating back to Holland, MI.

Redefined Human Resources functions and established training and development, communication programs, and an Occupational Health office.

Lakewood Supervisor / Team Leader 1995 - 1997

Restructured UN-105 team from 87 to 40 people; efficiency improved 59%; delivery improved by 31% (to 100%); PPM’s went from 2500 to less than 30; Safety incident rate improved 92%; Turnover improved 26%.

Premium shift supervisor – mentored unsupervised lines and team leaders.

Implemented line layouts, cost reductions, inventory controls while improving our scheduling system and JIT process.

Falcon Manufacturing, Human Resources Manager 1994

Staffing, payroll, insurance, training and development, and benefits.

Assisted controller with financials, cost planning, payroll, and forecasting.

Coordinated OSHA, MIOSHA, and worker’s compensation; developed and enforced safety procedures; resolved safety incidents; implemented safety committee, tours, and meetings.

Organized and led weekly team meetings with supervisors and employees, updating them on information regarding quality, safety, production, etc.

Straits Steel and Wire, Human Resources / Safety Director 1991 - 1994

Negotiated and settled a five year contract with the AFL-CIO.

Consolidated 27 worker’s compensation claims (settled in and out of court).

Coordinated and resolved all grievances within specified time frame.

Actively participated in all monthly union meetings.

Facilitated interviewing, hiring, orientations, and performance reviews.

Developed employee handbook, policies and procedures, and performance and wage reviews.

Initiated and maintained ABRA system (turnover, hiring, efficiencies, exit interview data, etc.)

Responsible for gain sharing, employee recognition and reward programs, scrap incentives, newsletters, and seniority/personnel lists.


Baker College, B.A. in Management and CIS (majors) and Accounting (minor)

GPA: 3.57; Dean’s List; Cum Laude

Frontline Leadership Certification

Six Sigma Certification

Franklin Time Management / MS Outlook Certification

Lean Certification

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