ProGuide Academy for Management Excellence

ProGuide wrapped up Cycle #4 of the Red Belt LEAN Program in 2018. When this group graduates, we will have prepared nearly 40 blood industry personnel to serve as LEAN Ambassadors to help their and other blood operations optimize their performance. Additionally, more than 550 other blood industry executives, managers, and supervisory staff will have attended the program. When viewed against the savings achieved through the program's projects ($35,000,000+) and the satisfaction surveys (99.94% satisfied or very satisfied), the program has been a resounding success.

This coming year will, however, be a year of transition for BOOTS. With the passing of Jeff Edwards (see below), the program's primary author and facilitator, we will step back and re-package the program for a new launch in 2020. We will freshen it up for the continuous changes that have impacted the industry the past few years to ensure it remains cutting-edge and meaningful for the participants. We will also seek an industry vendor to underwrite the program's tuition so the cost of attendance remains affordable for the participants.

With Fondest Memories of Jeff Edwards

Jeffrey S. Edwards, the facilitator of ProGuide's Blood Operations Optimization Training Sessions (BOOTS) since their inception in 2010, recently passed away in Jacksonville, Florida. Nearly 600 blood industry personnel attended BOOTS during the past several years, and the program has been considered the pre-eminent one tailored specifically for blood centers and their unique supply chain needs.

Jeff was a principle architect of early supply chain theory at Motorola and was actively engaged with the Toyota Production System, both progenitors of most LEAN Programs universally in practice today. He went on to start consulting in the blood industry with ProGuide nearly 20 years ago and consulted globally at more than 30 blood centers. After years of developing relevant materials, BOOTS was launched to wide acclaim in Orlando with participation from nearly every ABC, BCA, and HemeXcel member, as well as some international blood operations such as Canadian Blood Services and NHSBT (UK). Numerous topics surrounding process optimization, cost reduction, and supply chain management best practices were taught, and attendees reported to have saved over $35 million from the projects they developed at BOOTS. Jeff will be honored by having the program re-named after him when it re-launches in 2020.

Cycle #4

  • Dates in 2019 TBD.

These sessions will be conducted at our usual Florida venue at the Aloft Orlando Downtown. Contact details are:

Aloft Orlando Downtown Hotel

Address: 500 South Orange Ave.
Tel: (407) 380-3500

Please call the hotel directly and request the negotiated rate of $179/night plus tax (includes a $10 voucher for breakfast). The cut-off is 10 days before each session starts. Should you have any trouble securing this rate or getting a room, make sure to follow up with either Nina or Patrick to sort it out.

2016 Red Belt Graduates

Our first set of Red Belt graduates (Cycle #1) with their awards in November 2015.

Our second set of Red Belt graduates (Cycle #2) with their awards in November 2016.


The Cycle #3 graduates proudly pose with their awards in November 2017.