The Shingo Institute Has a New Executive Director: Mark A. Baker Bids Farewell, Ken Snyder Takes Over

Ken SnyderLOGAN, Utah—The Shingo Institute, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School  Business at Utah State University, bids a fond farewell to Mark A. Baker, who has served as the executive director of the Shingo Institute from July of 2014 until August of 2015. In the short time Baker served as executive director, he led the effort to continue the transition from an organization that offered executive education delivered primarily by the Institute to an organization with a network of distinguished licensed affiliates who provide executive education in partnership with the Shingo Institute.  

“We have a great deal of momentum that has been created by the Shingo team over the course of the last year, and we will continue to build on that, including the launch in the coming year of a focused, Shingo MBA program,” said Dean Douglas Anderson of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Ken Snyder, the executive dean and chief administrative officer of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, will now also take over as executive director of the Shingo Institute. Snyder has served as a member of the Shingo Executive Advisory Board for the past seven years and has intimate knowledge of the Institute and its history.  

Of Snyder, Dean Anderson said, “I am grateful to Ken for accepting this new role. I have absolute confidence that he will provide the leadership that will allow the Shingo Institute to keep moving forward without skipping a beat.”

More About Ken Snyder

Snyder developed an interest in Japanese business practices while living in Japan during the time he was a student. His interest led him to major in Japanese history and then to pursue an MBA for the purpose of working with a Japanese business expanding to the United States. Inspired by the work of Professor Mike Yoshino and Professor William Ouchi, Ken wrote his master’s thesis on “Applying Japanese Business Practices in American Companies.”

Immediately after graduation, Snyder joined a Japanese electronics manufacturing company and helped lead the establishment of its U.S. affiliate company. As plant manager, and later president of that company, Ken led the company through TQC and QC Circle initiatives, and then later as the company implemented JIT and kanban initiatives.

After 10+ years with the Japanese company, Snyder led the startup of Progressive Impressions International (PII) in Bloomington, Illinois. There he created a “lean accounting” system even before that term existed. Snyder led the growth of PII from pre-revenue to over $25 million in annual revenues.

Before joining the Huntsman School, Snyder was president of Marketing Communication Inc., an operating division of Taylor Corporation, where he directed a group of six companies while growing revenues of the group from $25 million to over $80 million. He joined the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business in 2008.

Snyder has served as a board member of the Shingo Institute since 2009 and a Shingo examiner since 2010. He was named chairman of the Shingo Executive Advisory Board and executive director of the Shingo Institute in 2015.

He earned an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1980 with an emphasis in international business. Prior to that he earned a BA in Japanese history from University of Utah in 1978.

About the Shingo Institute

Housed at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, the Shingo Institute is named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world’s thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System.

Drawing from Shingo’s teachings and years of experience working with organizations throughout the world, the Shingo Institute has developed the Shingo Model™ which is the basis for several educational offerings including workshops, study tours and conferences. It also awards and recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that continually strives for improvement and progress.  

The Shingo Institute offers workshops through its nine licensed affiliates in multiple languages. For more information on the workshops, affiliates or in registering to attend the International Shingo Conference, visit

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