About Us

Riverwood Associates brings more than 25 years of Lean Six Sigma certification training and process improvement expertise.  Our mission is to help organizations and individuals improve their level of performance:  streamline operations, improve profitability, and increase customer satisfaction and quality.  We work with a variety of industries including Manufacturing, Distribution, Healthcare, Professional Services, Technology, Local Government, and School Systems.  We use a proven system that ensures success and maximizes ROI.

Peter J. Sherman

Managing Partner

    Peter J. Sherman  has over 20 years experience successfully designing, implementing and sustaining Lean Six Sigma (LSS) enterprise deployment programs.  He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, and APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional.  As Partner for Riverwood Associates, Peter leads the company's Lean Six Sigma Certification program, as well as the deployment of Lean Six Sigma coaching and consulting services.

    Peter formerly served as Director of Process Excellence for Cbeyond Communications – a publicly traded, $500M  revenue  telecommunications provider based in Atlanta, Georgia.  Prior to Cbeyond, Peter was a Master Black Belt with AT&T’s Product Development Group for 10 years.  Peter began his career in quality management working in Japan as a visiting M.I.T. Scholar in 1986-87.  There he worked with Dr. Edwards Deming, the noted American Quality expert and learned Japanese quality practices including the Toyota Production System, Kaizen, and Quality Circles. Peter served as Lead Instructor at Emory University's Six Sigma Program in Atlanta, Georgia from 2008 to 2011.  He also served on the iSixSigma Editorial Advisory Board from 2010 to 2011.  Peter has written more than 50 articles in a variety of journals including Quality Progress, iSixSigma, Quality Digest, Quality Magazine, Manufacturing Matters, Hospitals & Health Networks, APICS Magazine, Inside Supply Management, Institute of Business Process Management, Business Performance Management, and Solutions (Supplement to Journal of Financial Planning).  Peter holds a B.S. in Building Construction from the University of Florida, a Master's in Civil Engineering from M.I.T. and an MBA from Georgia State University.  He is a member of APICS and Senior Member of the ASQ.

    Mark Preston


      Mark Preston has been driving change in manufacturing and sales environments for over 25 years using continuous improvement – lean.  During his 11 years with TDK Electronics, he studied Kaizen manufacturing techniques in Japan during TDK Executive Sensei training. He later led the TDK Georgia Plant lean initiatives and increased videotape and startup recordable compact disc productivity.

      After TDK, Mark invested 7 years in various executive roles within Respironics Inc where he implemented Demand Flow Technology. Accomplishments at Respironics include: leading the lean layout of a new Kennesaw, Georgia facility, creation of a new structured purchasing organization, improving the supply base by creating and implementing a 13 week supplier development program. As Director of Operations for the Asthma and Allergy Division of Respironics, he teamed with suppliers and engineers using Design for Manufacturing techniques to also launch the Mini Elite portable Nebulizer.

      In 2006, Mark became the Director of Acuity Business System at Acuity Brands Lighting. He led the deployment of lean in the Acuity supply chain for 16 Plants, 5 Distribution Centers and 14 Supplier development programs. During this time he continued his personal training with Singijutsu in Japan and was promoted to Vice President of Supplier Development and Operations Excellence.

      Currently, Mark is a lean champion for the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and is on the AME National Board where he leads the board’s Key Result Area for Enterprise Excellence. Mark is a keynote speaker for organizations across the US including APICS, CSCMP, MODEX, CME, SCOPE and IMPACT Manufacturing. As a co-founder of our organization, Mark is excited to continue his passion of teaching and sharing through Riverwood Associates.

      Chris Barnes


        Mr. Barnes has developed and managed multiple client, engineering consulting, strategic planning and operational improvement projects in warehousing, distribution and manufacturing environments. He was responsible for establishing and maintaining project direction, milestones and quality of deliverables. Project work focused on operational improvements in the areas of the methods of receiving, storing, picking, packing and shipping providing the appropriate degree of flexibility, layout plans depicting warehouse operations and the appropriate degree of modularity, the implementation strategies reflecting the steps and timing for transitions from existing operations to a future vision and the mix of space, equipment and labor maximizing the clients ROI.

        Chris is Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) by APICS and is a frequent speaker on inventory control, distribution operations, and supply chain technology.  He served on the international Board of Trustees for the Institute of Industrial Engineers, is Past President of APICS Atlanta and is currently President of WERC Atlanta.  He is a frequent writer on supply chain topics and is author of the book “WMS: Phase 1: Assessment & Selection” a WERC Publication: http://www.werc.org/publications/publication.aspx?PublicationId=52

        Chris holds a BS in Industrial Engineering (Economics Minor) from Bradley University and an MBA with honors in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida. His project experience includes a wide variety of successful implementation work with both Fortune 100 companies and small-market, privately held organizations; the nature of the work has included logistics & supply chain assessments, warehouse redesigns, and WMS implementations, among others.

        Kirk Eaton


          Kirk started his personal Lean journey when he was with Duracell in 2000.  The demand for batteries had dropped significantly and we needed to do something different, so the business underwent a transformation. As part of this effort, Kirk served as a Lean Leader.  Moving up the ranks, Kirk became the Lean Deployment Leader overseeing the Goal Deployment Process (Hoshin Kanri) for the business’s 7 manufacturing locations globally.  He then moved to Boston and became the Lean Leader / Integrated Work System Leader for the Gillette / Proctor & Gamble, Headquarters Manufacturing plant of 2,500 people.


          Kirk’s children graduated from high school and were in college in Georgia so his wife said: “Enough! … it’s time to move to where the kids were.”  So he joined Acuity Brands as the leader of Supplier Development where he was instrumental in reducing supplier cost of components through implementation of lean techniques, facilitating the move of product lines and moving plants from traditional manufacturing into Value Streams.


          Believing he had a gap in his knowledge and experience Kirk joined Ingersoll Rand to gain the experience and held such roles as such as HR Leader for Global Services (a $2.5B Business); HR Leader for Latin America and Value Stream Leader for Applied Products, covering 3 manufacturing plants and 160 sales offices in North America