Over the past decade, Danaher, a Fortune 500 global science and technology company, has sponsored nearly 150 Darden students for projects around the world. Danaher invites students to work closely with their employees in facilities as part of their 'kaizen' experience. Kaizen is Japanese for continuous improvement. Darden students focus on finding breakthrough process developments to improve productivity, safety and effectiveness. Students say it is a great opportunity to see continuous improvement in action. These projects take place within manufacturing, marketing, sales and R&D. In addition to being engaged with Darden's experiential electives, Danaher is a lead recruiter of Darden MBA students. The Darden/Danaher collaboration began in 2005 when Kevin Klau (MBA ’02), corporate vice president of human resources for Danaher Corporation, joined Darden Professor Elliott Weiss for a class discussion. The resulting partnership has been mutually beneficial. “Danaher benefits from the energy, creativity and leadership that Darden students possess, and we continue to see it first hand during the kaizen weeks. Those attributes align well with Danaher’s culture, and keep us coming back to hire at Darden,” said Klau. Since 2002, more than 60 Darden students have joined the company as full time employees. Danaher is also involved with the School through speaking engagements, student club support, and participation in the Corporate Partner and Corporate Agent programs. Vice president and general manager of Kollmorgen (one of Danaher's brands) Ray Butler also serves on Darden's Corporate Advisory Board.