FSO Institute



co-Founder, PartneR  

managing director

Stephen C. Schlegel

Steve is responsible for the development and operational performance of the FSO Institute. He engages with Clients and their FSO coaches to strategize plans that will drive their company’s accelerated performance. Service product development of unique and proprietary assessment tools is a passion. The FSO team developed and launched the FSO Manufacturing Health Assessment ™ in 2019 for consumer products manufacturers.

Since 2011, Steve is also co-managing director of the OpX Leadership Network. The OpX Leadership Network, convened by PMMI, is a dynamic community of manufacturing, engineering and operations professionals dedicated to operational excellence in the Consumer Products industry. Currently there are 18 industry best practices, authored by industry subject matter experts and available to the CPG industry.

His over 35 years’ experience in the Consumer Products industry also included CEO of the Food Processing Suppliers Association and Senior Principal and Corporate Development officer for Hixson Architects & Engineers.



co-Founder, Partner

chief Coach Manufacturing

Daniel M. Sileo

 Dan brings over 25 years of CPG manufacturing experience to the FSO Institute as its Chief Coach - Manufacturing. His passion lies in engaging with partner companies by coaching high potential individuals and facilitating teams to achieve accelerated results.

As a founding member of the OpX Leadership Network Executive Council, Dan has been integral in best practice development, adoption and advocacy both within his previous employers as well as other companies.

In 2014, Dan took the opportunity to apply his collective experiences to start up a new, flagship plant for SugarCreek Packaging Co. using the Workforce Engagement Model developed by the OpX Leadership Network as the backbone of the system. Prior to that, he spent ten years at Sunny Delight Beverage Co. as the VP of Manufacturing and was instrumental in leading the implementation of Lean Processes using an Engaged Workforce. Dan began his CPG career with Procter & Gamble in 1990 at a paper mill and then spent 12 years in its beverage business. He had wide exposure to and experience in P&G’s Integrated Work System which integrates the High-Performance Work System, Process Reliability and Total Productive Maintenance.

Dan is a 1984 Graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. He proudly served 6 years active duty in the Surface Warfare Community.


Co-Founder, Partner, Coach

Stephen M. Perry, Ph.D.

As Co-Founder, Partner and Coach, Stephen brings nearly forty year’s experience in the food and beverage supply chain – downstream retail to upstream manufacturing – to the FSO Institute.The common thread throughout these experiences is his unique ability to galvanize disparate groups of people in pursuit of desired outcomes by getting them to align on three simple things – direction clarity, role clarity and outcome clarity. Success comes when people know where they’re going, what they’ve got to do to get there and what success looks like! Stephen enables this success by coaching clients on the three foundational elements – Vision, Values and Leadership – and the three pillars – Empowerment, Enablement and Connection – of workforce engagement.

In the upstream space, as Managing Director of PMMI’s OpX Leadership Network for the past decade, Stephen has helped teams of Subject Matter Experts from both the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) communities collaborate on and produce more than twenty “By Industry, For Industry” process guidance documents to help improve their production operations and boost overall manufacturing excellence. These documents focus on OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), RPP (Request for Proposals), TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), FAT (Factory Acceptance Tests), CIP (Clean-in-Place), Workforce Engagement, Remote Equipment Access, Hygienic Equipment Design, Kill Step Validation in Low-Moisture Foods and several others.

Further downstream, Stephen spent thirteen years at the Food Marketing Institute, a leading international trade association representing the retail and wholesale supermarket industry, where, as vice president of education, he was collaboratively responsible for the continuing education of the more than 5 million associates across all functional areas and levels of management within the $800 billion retail food industry.

These decades of practical experience coupled with Stephen’s formal training in the social and behavioral sciences – B.A. UNC-Chapel Hill, M.A. Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. University of Virginia – make him uniquely qualified as Co-Founder, Partner and Coach at the FSO Institute.

Partner, Coach

Katie Bergmann, CPC

Katie Bergmann is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in Executive, Leadership and Corporate Coaching. She is an action-oriented, results driven coach and a passionate advocate for the power of culture and people.

With over 25 years’ experience as an executive serving both the for profit and industry trade association sectors, Katie is accomplished at working across all business disciplines and has extensive experience with executive boards, boards of directors, strategic partnerships, and merger and acquisition integrations. 

Constantly seeking new ways to influence on a broader scale, she graduated from the Institute for Excellence in Professional Coaching (iPEC) and is dedicated to helping organizations and teams create and achieve shared visions for success. Coaching promotes transformative cultures that accelerate effective leadership development, embrace high performance teams and foster emotional intelligences.

Recognizing the opportunity to generate a win-win, Katie has created, and works with, several women’s leadership programs. These programs champion both emerging and accomplished women leaders in pursuit of knowledge, skills and networks during pivotal times in their careers and allows them to expand their impact on their organizations and industries.

Katie earned her MBA from Northern Kentucky University and a BS in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a graduate of the US Chamber Institute of Organizational Management (IOM). She is a trained workshop facilitator, former director of management leadership training, and is certified to administer several assessment tools and 360 feedback instruments, including the Energy Leadership Index (ELI) and ELI 360; EQ-i 2.0 and EQ-i 360.

FSO Institute Coaches

Over 250 collective years’ experience in plant operations and corporate leadership positions at leading cPG companies including:

Conagra Brands

Del Monte Foods, Inc.

Frito-Lay, North America, Inc.

General Mills, Inc.


Neil Jones Food Company

PepsiCo, Inc.

Pfizer, Inc.

Pom Wonderful, LLC

Pressed Juicery

Procter and Gamble

Snyder’s-Lance, Inc.

Sugar Creek Packing Co.

Sunny Delight

FSO Institute Advisory Board

expertise and guidance provided by corporate executives and technical leadership from the following companies:

Bumble Bee Foods

Bush Brothers Co.

Conagra Brands

J. M. Smucker Company

General Electric

Green Thumb Industries

Kellogg Company

Land O’Lakes

PepsiCo, Inc.

Pretzels, Inc.

Smithfield Foods