Paul Akers is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, speaker, Lean maniac!
He is the founder and president of FastCap, a product development company with distribution in 40 countries. FastCap, based in Ferndale, Washington, launches 30+ new innovative products each year and is regarded as a model Lean manufacturer.
The grandchild of Greek immigrants, Paul was born and raised in Southern California. At the age 14 he became an Eagle Scout, at 16 he built his own guitar and earned the attention of guitar builder Bob Taylor, who mentored and eventually put Paul to work for Taylor Guitars.
Paul graduated with honors from Biola University and then went to work in Pasadena restoring historic homes and teaching High school industrial arts.
In 2000, Paul discovered Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS). This newfound knowledge helped him and his wife Leanne take FastCap from a small start up in their garage into the successful product development company it is today.
Paul is an international speaker whose core passion is teaching others how to implement Lean thinking in their business and personal life. Paul has worked with the US Navy, IDF Israel Defense Forces, Amazon, major European banks as well companies and organization all over the world.
In 2010 Paul ran for the US Senate in Washington State on a Lean platform of transforming government by developing a Lean thinking as a key strategy for all government organizations.
For the past five years Paul has produced a weekly radio show/podcast called “The American Innovator” where he interviews interesting people and tours sites and organizations from his travels around the world, including such notable people like Louis Zamperini.
Paul is an avid outdoorsman and regularly does day hikes up 14,000 foot mountains in California and Colorado. In 2014 he led back-to-back expeditions summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp. He is also an instrument-rated pilot and has flown his plane all over the world, including 3 North Atlantic crossings in a single engine aircraft.
Paul has written two books, “2 Second Lean” and “Lean Health”, and is currently writing “Lean Travel”.