Honoring Women During Women’s History Month - Meet ASQ, CEO Ann Jordan
And now - meet ASQ's CEO, Ann Jordan
Current position: CEO of ASQ.
Education: Juris Doctorate, University of Iowa College of Law.
Introduction to quality: I grew up in rural Iowa and, like most kids in the area, was active in 4-H. The 4-H learning communities focused on goal setting and developing standards to measure and assess progress and self-improvement. In retrospect, I see the strong quality connection. Professionally, my first business management position beyond the legal practice was for a global original equipment manufacturer and maintenance, repair and operations corporation that had just completed more than 30 acquisitions. The integration process was driven by quality management.
A teacher who influenced you more than others: My mother was a high school English teacher in a low-income community for her entire career. Her mission was to prepare and empower her students to be successful, first-generation college-goers. So many young women in particular lacked this critical support. Witnessing my mother’s work instilled in me a remarkable appreciation for the role played by education and educators in advancing equity and improving our communities.
Did you have a mentor that made a difference in your career? I have been fortunate to have mentors in different industries throughout my entire career, and the culmination of these relationships contributed largely to who I am as a professional today. Highlighting just one would be unfair.
Best career advice: Early in my career, I reported to an organization’s president who exemplified and advocated servant leadership. These management lessons of prioritizing and nurturing the needs of an inclusive team or greater collective body over that of the individual resonated with me. It is personally rewarding to now work in association management where my efforts support the advancement of the global quality community and our greater mission.
Previous noteworthy jobs: Most people are surprised to learn that I began working for farmers in soybean fields at age 10, supplied with a 16-inch corn knife, which is basically a machete. My professional career is unique from the perspective that I have worked across diverse industries that are all reliant on quality practices, ranging from traditional manufacturing to risk management solutions.
ASQ involvement: Serving as interim CEO during 2020 confirmed for me that I love my job and our members. My favorite activities involve interactions with our impressive subject matter experts.
What books are you currently reading? I read a lot, both books and periodicals. My current leisure book is This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga, and I just finished Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar. Ernest Hemingway is my cat’s namesake.
Favorite ways to relax: Live music and long hikes.