I grew up outside of Rochester NY in a rural town where graduation rates were poor and local job prospects equally poor. I witnessed dozens of local families suffer as Kodak and Xerox dwindled; our city’s largest employers shed thousands of jobs. Events like these inspire me to create value and motivate others to do the same. To create this value, I worked long night shifts, started a hobby textile printing business, watched two-thirds of my colleagues displaced by offshoring, built a house, been displaced by offshoring, run a department without direct reports, paid every dollar in advance for my education, ran a department with direct reports, and trudged forward with my team while our colleague worked every day that his legs would carry him as he succumbed to brain cancer. All this before earning a Bachelor’s degree.
My career started to development while working for Faradyne Motors, then located in Newark NY. My managers must have thought I was competent and I accepted numerous small promotions and recognitions until I was selected to move to the coveted Quality Department. As I learned more about the functions and responsibilities of a Quality Professional the more I felt that I may have found my competitive advantage. I was particularity fond of the Coordinate Measuring Machine with which a skilled programmer can automate the work of repetitive physical measurements. I was able to use a tool to create more value than with my hands alone. The interaction with technology as an output multiplier indicated to me that Engineering would be an inspiring educational path. I enrolled at the local community college and started taking care of the fundamentals, such as a series of calculi, and physics courses. My employer’s fluctuations in inventory and secession of communication made it apparent that offshoring was imminent; I heeded the warning and found a new job operating the same equipment for a different company.
I took a position in Canandaigua, NY with a small contract manufacturer called Dennie’s Manufacturing. Here a tightknit band of machinists forever forged the association of respect and competence that I hold for the trade of machining. Within the month, the individual who ran the CMM and department previous to me have been let go and I had autonomy in the department. I took the years to developed the foundational skills of a CMM programmer and Quality Technician that still help me create value today.
Soon came a point, unsatisfied with the rate I could consume and pay for course work. I, concurrent to my formal studies, prepared for and subsequently earned the title Certified Quality Engineer from the American Society of Quality. With this credential via a $348 exam and some effort, I made the jump from Technician to Engineer and to, IEC-Celmet, a more formal contract manufacturer serving the airspace, medical, and semiconductor industries. Again, within a month I was in charge of a department and now a small team. I had attained my goal of becoming a Quality Engineer and more, with the management responsibility that I acquired. I had made my way from a technician at a family owned machine shop to a Quality Manager/Engineer at a Corporate manufacturer with a lot of hard work and a certification.
I was able to simultaneously advance my education and industry experience is through part-time learning at Rochester Institute of Technology. I have developed my ability to solve problems on my own and skills to learn asynchronously utilizing individuals from California to Singapore. Among the other accomplishments, my cohort and I completed one and a half grueling weeks of eighteen hour days fulfilling four years’ worth of onsite laboratory requirement, all while balancing and continuously rebalancing work, family, and education.
Recently, I have expanded my experience to include the continuous process manufacturing environment at Guardian Glass in Geneva NY. I work directly with the junior and senior management of the plant facilitating continuous improvement efforts, as technical as mechanical failure and color shifts in sputter vacuum deposition coatings and as ethereal as employee turnover and customer fulfillment. I am also seeking and discovering new ways of creating value as an MBA candidate at both the Kelley School of Business and Alliance Manchester Business School.