The ASQ Phoenix Section Leadership Team
Greetings! My name is Robert 'QualityBob' Mitchell. I am the current ASQ Phoenix Section myASQ Community Admin. I am also the section's Internet Liaison and Social Media Coordinator. I will serve as Section Chair in 2020-2021.
I have been a member of ASQ since 1987. I hold CQA, CQE and CMQ/OE professional certifications. I was elected to ASQ "Fellow" in 2003. I have previously served as the ASQ Statistics Division Chair and the ASQ Minnesota Section Chair. I am also one of the ASQ Roundtable "Influential Voices of Quality" bloggers. I retired from 3M Company in 2015 after 34 years as Quality Engineer, Quality Specialist, Quality Manager for 3 different 3M Divisions (business units), and Sr. Quality Manager for 3M Corporate Quality and Lean Six Sigma Operations staff groups. My wife and I relocated to Phoenix in 2015 following my 3M retirement. MN winters are fun when you're young, but after 56+ years of cold, snowy weather my wife, Patti, and I decided to retire to sunny, warm Arizona. My 2 sons (single), 3 brothers and 1 sister and their families all still reside in MN. We gladly traded 2-3 months of bitter cold for 2-3 months of extreme heat. Either way one is indoors for much of the day during these temperature extremes, but one does not have to shovel sunshine!!
In addition to my active involvement with ASQ, I have served as a State-level Baldrige Evaluator since 2010. I am also a registered professional income tax preparer and social security analyst ("hobbies"). I enjoy teaching, coaching and mentoring. Patti and I enjoy travel, wine and coffee. We participate in two local scooter clubs (200cc Vespa scooters) and also love to drive our 2005 Mustang GT convertible with the ragtop down.
As Incoming Chair, one of my goals is to increase the sense of community and belonging among the Phoenix section members. I hope to encourage and promote greater active participation in Society events and community service projects demonstrating the greater role and impact of Quality in our daily lives.
I look forward to meeting the Phoenix Section members and hearing from you about your expectations for a satisfying member experience.
My Quality journey began in the year 2000 when I moved from the production floor to the office as a Quality Engineer in an automotive supplier. ASQ published my story in the First Person column of Quality Progress. After a few years I moved into Lean/Six Sigma and then factory Quality Manager making products for BMW, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota. I took the opportunity to move to Japan for a six month assignment that turned into a three year contract. I lived and worked in Yokohama for three and a half years and it was an experience that changed my personal and professional lives. After a brief return to the USA I lived and worked in Shanghai for three and a half years for electronics and adhesives companies, all in the automotive business. I returned to Michigan in 2015 and continued my Quality adventure in the automotive industry in the Detroit metro area. In 2019 I took the opportunity to move to Arizona with TPI whose headquarters is in Scottsdale (although we do not manufacture blades here). Working with these huge wind blades, some more than 70 meters long, has given me a new respect for process management and error proofing in a mostly manual production process.
As my family and I continue to adjust to our new environment I look forward to serving the ASQ community in the Valley of the Sun.
After nearly starving to death as a teacher, I took a temp job in Quality in 1993 at a pharmaceutical manufacturing company - and I've been in the Quality field ever since. Currently I am a Quality Systems Coordinator III at Donor Network of Arizona, where I've been since 2009. We grant the wishes of heroes who choose to give the gift of life through organ, eye, and tissue donation! It is an amazing, humbling place to work. I earned my CQA certification in December, 2012, and I have plans to earn a CQIA certification in 2021.
At Donor Network of Arizona we are very fortunate to have a President/CEO who leads by example in supporting a quality environment. He knows it is crucial for a healthy organization - especially one like ours which must comply with a myriad of federal, state, and industry regulations. All departments participate in PDSA projects, Value Stream Mapping, Root Cause Analysis, and NC/CAPA. In the past 11 years Quality has developed and maintained relationships with other departments, via transparency and consistency, so that they see us as a resource and as individuals. We even developed an internal committee within Quality to plan and host social events with each department. It has made a world of difference!
In my spare time I'm a Board member and barn volunteer for Silver Lining Riding, an equine-assisted learning facility founded in 2011 in the west valley, which specializes in therapeutic horseback riding for people of all ages with disabilities. We help these folks overcome life's obstacles by engaging them with horses, who are amazing therapy partners for a variety of reasons.
In November 2018 I joined the White Tank Mountains Conservancy, which seeks to conserve the mountain's health and diversity, connect people to its natural beauty, and collaborate with surrounding cities to ensure wildlife corridors stay open. Hiking is one of my hobbies, so I chose to become a Trail Steward which involves training with a mentor. In January 2020 I joined their Desert Defenders team, to learn how to identify, map, and remove invasive plant species.
In the rest of my spare time (ha!), I enjoy crocheting, reading, writing, music, listening to Radio Classics on Sirius XM, and helping animals. My car is always stocked with a notepad for writing down song lyrics that come to me, an animal rescue kit, hiking gear, and a handful of Dan Navarro / Lowen & Navarro CDs. Oh and snacks. Fun Facts: I also love to edit other people's documents and untangle jewelry, both of which my co-workers take frequent advantage.
I look forward to meeting other Phoenix section members via online meetings, as I live too far away to attend them in person. And I look forward to meeting you here in this post as well!
Welcome to the Phoenix Section's myASQ community! Our goal, as an ASQ Section, is to grow and nurture a Quality "Community of Practice" in Arizona. Though our operations and Programs are Phoenix-centric, we have developed a number of strategies to grow our impact and improve the customer experience of our out-state members. One of these strategies is to launch several "Unmeetings" whereby Section member leaders host a series of unstructured face-to-face networking sessions around the state. Hopefully, we will be in or near you someday.
My first wife has family in Verndale, MN; in fact, her first two years of undergraduate study were at Bemidji State. Born and raised in MN, I have have been to the Cass Lake area many times.
Stay Safe, Stay Connected!
Thank you for not only joining the Section, but also stepping in as our Education Chair! This is fantastic! The Phoenix Section has not delivered many education/training events for several years. Our geographical size has limited the number of members willing to make the trip. Hopefully, we can utilize more web-based tools and even co-sponsor some new offerings with our partnered alliances and fellow Mountain Region sections.