Mike McCandless

Managing Director and Pilko Fellow

Mike McCandless is a transformative executive with foresight and vision, Mike has over three decades of experience surpassing ambitious goals, helping manufacturing and mid-stream leaders unlock latent potential in operations, and marrying creativity and pragmatism to devise innovative solutions that minimize risk and optimize performance for clients.

His expertise in operational excellence and risk management enables him to deliver immediate impact in every role. As the Managing Partner and Pilko Fellow, Mike has been instrumental in Pilko’s growth and continued reputation for excellence and efficacy in project management, strategy development, and operational improvement for industry dominators.

One of Mike’s notable achievements is his contribution to the development of the revolutionary program 8IGHT DRIVERS®. Mike led a large-scale operational excellence project for Williams, introducing a new approach to defining and implementing operational best practices and game-changing process improvements, leading to the widespread adoption and utilization of the 8IGHT DRIVERS® methodology in Williams and other Pilko clients.

Before joining Pilko, Mike gained expertise and experience in operations in leadership roles at Union Carbide, Dow, and Hexion Specialty Chemicals, retiring as Vice President of Manufacturing. His authority and accountability spanned 30 sites and he was responsible for continuously improving multiple process technologies. Mike has extensive experience with Six Sigma and other structured problem-solving methodologies, enabling him to provide several options for clients ready to scale and improve processes in multiple verticals.

Mike has an innate talent pinpointing untapped opportunities for improvement and presenting easily understood operational analyses and recommendations that help companies reduce on-site injury rates up to 50%, major process safety events by 50%, and reliability metrics up to 40%.

As a leader, Mike is known for his hands-on approach and ability to eliminate silos and unify teams. With powerful problem-solving capabilities, Mike inspires teams to work together to deliver business as usual through extensive change initiatives, organizational readiness projects, and culture change efforts.

Mike helps company leaders cultivate safety-focused cultures with real-world impact on worker safety and compliance with life-critical procedures.

Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University and is dedicated to continuously developing and expanding his expertise in Six Sigma and other problem-solving frameworks.