Meet Elisabeth Thaller
Current position: Owner of Beyond Conformity Inc. consulting firm, director of course certifications at Certus Professional Inc., and lead assessor for the Center for Offshore Safety.
Education: Master’s degree in public finance/public administration from the National Institute of Public Administration in Mexico.
Introduction to quality: A consulting firm in Mexico City hired me because it needed a technical expert in hospitality management. My major in college was tourism and hospitality management, and I had accumulated some work experience during summer jobs. During my first consulting job, they had me study W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Genichi Taguchi, Kaoru Ishikawa and Philip Crosby. My mentor was a direct disciple of Ishikawa and also had been educated by some of the other gurus, so I found myself directly at the source. I learned a lot from him. My first project was implementing a quality management system (QMS) in a U.S. franchise restaurant in Mexico, and it was in Spanish! So I learned both: QMS and Spanish.
Previous noteworthy jobs: One noteworthy experience was my job with RABQSA, now Exemplar Global. As a senior evaluator within their auditor course certification scheme, I became familiar with nearly all certified training providers around the globe, audited their course materials, exams and management systems, and sat in during their lead auditor training courses. For me, being able to help them improve their courses through my findings was a very rewarding experience, in particular when experienced instructors appreciated my feedback. It was also extremely interesting to see and analyze the different approaches to teaching depending on the culture and language of the training provider and his or her team.
ASQ activities: Active member of U.S. Technical Advisory Group 176; ASQ’s delegate to ISO PC 302, the international committee that prepared the current version of ISO 19011, guidelines for auditing management systems; presenter at ASQ’s conferences.
Noteworthy activities: I find great satisfaction in volunteering. When my two children were in high school, we raised two guide dog puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs. It was very rewarding to see how one of the puppies progressed and finally graduated as a guide dog for a seeing impaired woman. The other pup had to be career changed because she just did not want to do the job. She is now our family dog.
Recent honor: President’s Volunteer Service Award, 2013 and 2016.
Published works: Coauthor of Beyond Compliance—Application of ISO 37301 in Any Organization Interested in Compliance. Simple—Interesting—Different (Paton Professional, 2021). Frequent contributor to QP’s Standard Issue column.
Personal: Married. Two adult children.
Favorite ways to relax: Doing nothing, dancing and listening to music. Also participating in sports, including running, biking and swimming. Training for first triathlon in 2022.
Quality quote: “The organizational context is changing very quickly. Societal and organizational values are shifting. To create trust and achieve sustained success, management needs to adopt the principle of ‘continual integrity’ and inject it into every cell of the organization.”