Introduce yourself

But seriously.

Members have been telling us for years that they want more community from ASQ. Now we have this platform to fulfill our mission to foster personal and professional relationships, connections and sense of belonging. 

Looking forward to getting to know all of you!


Karen Maskell
MNASQ Membership Chair

9 Replies
I'll go first...

I'm an independent consultant who works primarily from home these days. I've been a member of ASQ since 1994. (choke, gag, sputter...) and a member leader with Minnesota Section since 2007. Over the years I have served the Minnesota Section as Programs Chair, Newsletter Editor, Technology Coordinator, VoC Chair, Membership Chair and Chair. I am also the VoC Peer Group Coordinator for ASQ. I have an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MBA from University of Minnesota. I served in both the Army and the Navy. I am a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach (Futuristic, Input, Strategic, Ideation, Relator).

On the personal side, I am originally from Chicago. I moved to Minneapolis 22 years ago after spending 15 years in DFW area of Texas. I now reside in NW Minneapolis suburbs with my dog, Bailey. Including his picture because he's too cute!


Theo Black
5 Posts
Hello Friends and Colleagues,

My name is Theo Black. I am an ASQ Six Sigma Certified Black Belt, and a UnitedHealth Group Certified Master Black Belt. In February I was honored to be recognized as the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science, and Technology (MFESTS) and the Minnesota Section of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Richard Alberg Distinguished Science and Technology Professional Award. I thank the members and board of MFESTS and the MNASQ board for this award.

I currently serving as the  Section 1203 Chair Elect, and am looking forward to leading the section in the coming year. We are excited to engage new member leaders in the coming year. I encourage you, my colleagues, to consider serving on one of the many committees that support the Minnesota Section of the ASQ.

My wife Nancy and I reside in Wayzata, MN with our two cats. We enjoy spending time with our adult children and five grand children. We enjoy traveling. I am nearing a personal goal of traveling to all fifty states. Alaska is the one remaining state I plan to visit in the near future.

I hope you will participate in this conversation by posting your introduction, and by commenting on those of other Section Members.

Best regards,

Theo Black
MNASQ Section Chair Elect
952-261-5559 | |



Hello Everyone,
I'm pleased to be part of this community. I'm excited to be involved in the MNASQ chapter. I've been associated with ASQ for the past 10 years, intermittently though. The affiliation with ASQ helped me earn 2 certifications - CSSBB & CMQ-OE, currently working towards my MBB certification. Very passionate about Lean-CI-TPS-WCM
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Hi everyone,
I'm Jackie Sax. I have been an ASQ member since 2002 and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor since 2009. I have worked in different manufacturing industries for the past 25 years. After several years of inactivity as an ASQ member I decided it was time to get a bit more involved. In January 2015 I started as a volunteer for MNASQ assisting with website updates. Being a volunteer is rewarding in that I am able to offer my assistance and have the opportunity to meet so many people who are passionate about Quality. I am currently the MNASQ Technolgy/Website Coordinator and look forward to interacting with other members.
Hey all!  I'm fairly new to Quality (just over a year), and have only been in ASQ since January 2019. I am currently the Quality Manager for a small medical device contract manufacturer (department of one). I have over a decade of R&D experience in the medical device/pharmaceutical industry, though, so I am not completely unfamiliar with quality systems, but it is definitely a change of pace and a different perspective. Because of this, I am always looking for more books, more guidances, more subscriptions, really just more resources to quickly learn and to stay on top of Quality in the medical device industry.  What would you recommend? My small desktop library currently includes Juran's Quality Handbook (7th Ed.) and The CMQ/OE Handbook, 4th Ed, the last 10 issues of the Quality Progress magazine, copies of ISO 13485:2016, ISO 14971:2009, and 21 CFR 11, 211, and 820, as well as various older validation/certification/documentation/stats literature.

I am a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and have my ISO 13485:2016 Lead Auditor training certificate. Regarding certifications, would you recommend getting them? Why or why not? If so, which one(s)? Which might be most beneficial not only for my current position, but also for my own knowledge, and my career?

Thanks all, and hopefully we cross paths!
Lisa Lopez
1 Posts
I have been an ASQ member for about 25 years. I have worked for the federal government for two decades and previously worked for regulated industry.  I am certified through ASQ as SSGB and CMQ/OE.  My undergraduate degree is in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and I pursued graduate studies in Organic Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Modern Manufacturing Systems at the Costa Rican Institute of Technology. I also received a Master Certificate in Quality Management from the CIT. I was a Certified ISO 13485 auditor, but I need to update my certification to the newest version.  My Gallup Strengths are Strategic, Achiever, Learner, Self-assurance, and Responsibility. I was selected as the 2018 Quality Manager of the Year. I am an enthusiastic hiker and moved to Minnesota 5 years ago, after being posted in Costa Rica for 5 years. 

To answer Joshua's questions about certifications, I believe there are several good things about certifications. I believe that achieving and maintaining certification helps you focus on one goal and receiving the certificate makes knowledge into a more tangible asset. In my case, my college education and years of experience place me at the top range of salary (yes, I am old) so earning new certifications doesn't really help me get jobs or more money, so I didn´t get mine because of that. However, as a hiring official, I have given priority to candidates that have recognizable certifications such as ASQ certifications when relevant to the position. It shows commitment to learning more on that particular topic, which is a trait I want in my employees. The best certification is usually the one that is most relevant to your current position and the position you are looking for. 


My name is Christopher Bahr, and I took the plunge on joining the ASQ just a few months ago.  I am a born-and-raised Minnesotan.  While I have no certifications, I am independently studying to eventually take the Lean Six Sigma Exam.

I am about 8 years into my career, which has been an assortment of science and manufacturing jobs.  The only thing that really binds them together is their involvement with the medical device industry.  I am coming to the end of my 1.5 year contract with Abbott Laboratories.  During that time, I had the chance to speak with many contacts of varying professional backgrounds.  These conversations have kindled an interest in some form of Quality Engineering.  I have pursued this further, but all of my leads and contacts have gone quiet on me during this pandemic.  I have been focused in trying to find entry opportunities in QE as my prior employers did not invest in developing my skills along the way, despite my eagerness to learn. 

At this point, my goals are to work out my immediate employment future and find a reliable mentor in the field.  If anyone is willing to help, please shoot me a message.
Hi Christopher. A lot has changed since April! Just wondering where you landed and if you found a mentor?
Hello Everyone,

I am beginning my formal journey into quality, although I have been interested and informally participating for a while. I was an automotive journeyman for about 10 years while completing my undergrad in Engineering/Industrial Management followed by an MBA at Metropolitan State in St. Paul. I have spent time after putting down the wrench at Polaris Industries, followed by my current employer Reviva.

My current employer is a small diesel engine remanufacturer (about 150 employees with three locations) that has moved me into a role where I will be responsible for taking their quality journey to the next level. I have exposure to concepts and terms, but very little in actual practice on the scale I am taking on now.

I hope to find other members in manufacturing who are also passionate about Lean, and doing so in a high mix/low volume environment. Or even just a quality system that is highly reliant upon people instead of automation.


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