ASQ Section 1106 Testimonials
I originally joined in 1978 because it was expected that as a professional you would participate in the society related to your profession (just as doctors, educators, etc. are members of various associations). Immediately benefited when the local section offered courses in topics such as SPC (taught by Jim White), which allowed me to get up to speed on topics I’d not studied in college. Made a lot of new friends in the Tri-Cities through attending local meetings (I am not a native of the area so this was very beneficial for making me feel more at home).
Became involved with the section as an officer which helped me build skills that would be very useful later in my career. Got several certifications that helped confirm my knowledge level, and the need for recertification ensures that I stay involved in the profession and continual learning so that I don’t become obsolete. Also got involved at the Division level, which created friendships all over the world. One of my best friends/colleagues lives in CT, and he and I co-authored a book and developed a course together that ASQ provides.
In effect, ASQ is an extended family for me. When I attend the WCQI it feels like a family reunion!
Why did I join ASQ and later join the local board? My previous employer indicated that our site would be closing in 2 years. I had a wife and our first baby on the way and employment options in the area were very slim. I decided to join ASQ as a way to network with local quality professionals in hopes of getting a leg up on my competition for employment. It worked! I came to BAE Systems in late 2006 and have been here ever since. I can honestly say if it were not for the contacts I made in our local ASQ section I don’t think I would still be in the area and definitely don’t think I would have been considered for my current job. My return on investment from my ASQ membership has been priceless.
Section 1106 Chair
It is all worth while, when after three years of mentoring a man in Ghana, Africa, you meet him face to face. Stephen visited me in Connecticut, in January. The timing was right for him to attend our local Section 308, Thames Valley, where he gave a short Q & A about his work.
As an ASQ member, Stephen had left his management job at a large international company’s plant n Ghana, with the intent of becoming an independent, external consultant in the fields of health, safety, environmental, and quality. He contacted ASQ and was directed to the Fellows Mentoring Program. Available to all ASQ members, this program is a little like my understanding of an online dating service. Stephen accessed the profile of volunteer mentors and selected me as a potential mentor. I’m not sure of what the criteria was for his selection, but I would guess it was my experience in starting a consulting business that may have attracted him.
Early on, we shared background information and photographs of ourselves. The process moved from my answering basic questions and evolved into critiquing some of his written sales and prospecting material. Ultimately, he landed two clients seeking help in preparing for ISO 9001 certification, one of which was just certified. Meanwhile, Stephen acquired a long-term contract with a large international company, headquartered in Germany, but with an office in Belgium, and plants throughout Africa.
English is the official language of Ghana, however since the population consists of many different people and languages, Stephen speaks four or five, and is now studying French to better work with his client’s customers. About a year into our email-based relationship, Stephen initiated a telephone call. I, the ignorant American, had great difficulty understanding him and probably lost at least fifty percent of what he said. I decided I could best serve his needs by carefully composing emails of encouragement and guidance, and often attaching sample documents from my own experiences. Exchanging emails ranges from 2-3 times a day to slower periods of 3-4 per month
At one point I mailed him a copy of the ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook, 3rd edition. He thanked me profusely. Apparently there is no adequate library system in Ghana, and no place where he can access books relating to his needs and interests. However. Stephen is adept at surfing the net for pertinent information. At one point, Stephen expressed a desire to establish a library and information source for Ghanaians, but needed some help to acquire initial materials and guidance. It so happened, I had established an in-company library for one of my former employers, and also have a substantial library of my own. So I offered help.
The library idea percolated for several months until he signaled he was ready to move ahead. I solicited our section members, the Quality Management Division (QMD), and Quality Press. Over about two months I received donations that filled five large boxes, which were shipped to the embryonic Library of Quality Information. The cost of shipping, almost a thousand dollars, was contributed by QMD.
The mentoring relationship continues. We are now working on his career preparation to be ready for the ultimate termination of his present client contract. Stephen is now fifty, with a wife and grown son. It is heart-warming to experience his work ethic and dedication to helping others. We could learn a lot from this man, and I have.
If you haven’t tried mentoring, and feel you have experience, knowledge, and skills you can share, it’s a mutually beneficial endeavor. Don’t worry if you’re not yet an ASQ Fellow. You and other like-minded persons can offer your help by forming your own mentoring service. It should be fairly easy to do with all the electronic social media technology available. Try It, You Will Like It!
Russ Westcott, ASQ Fellow, CMQ/OE, CQA
This is my story and I’m sticking to it. In 2000 I was cleaning the commodes on 2nd shift at a local manufacturing company. With the Lord’s guidance I got the opportunity to get into quality at entry level. I quickly found out that I was unqualified. Out of my own pocket I went to a local community college (all that I could afford) and obtained a technical diploma in quality assurance. Upon recommendation from a local ASQ board member I did obtain the ASQ certified quality analyst certification, along with the CQI. Last year I became eligible to take the CQE exam. I could only afford an eighty dollar primer (I wouldn’t be reimbursed by my company if I didn’t pass). So with two months of study and prayer in December 2011 I passed! So that is my story of how I started up as a janitor and evolved into an ASQ CQE.
Of course the road was not always smooth as somewhere in the middle I was laid off. My company offered me a job to work as a production worker on the line. Though, I was making less money than I did on unemployment I took it. I got the wonderful rare learning experience of working on a line that I helped to write work instructions, quality alerts, and corrective action for. I learned a lesson that will last a lifetime of how important it is to truly know your process when making decisions that affect the daily lives of human beings! It was a priceless experience that of course can’t be explained in an email. Since that time a receiving inspector job opened up in the company and I jumped at it with both hands.
It is true that I am 37 years old without a college degree. However, my most valuable quality is that I am a genuine honest person. I am calibrated to an even higher standard than NIST……the standard is the KJV BIBLE. With that I say, â€œIf God be for me who can be against me?â€
I am greatly appreciative of my local ASQ section and the willingness of the board members to reach out to others with a supportive and encouraging hand.