My Job Titles [in order, as far as I can remember]:
Christmas Card Salesman, TV Antenna Installer, TV Shop Assistant, TV Installer, Landscape Assistant, Landscape Supervisor, Library Assistant, Dorm Resident Assistant, Phone Cable Installer, Phone System Installer, Manufacturing Engineer, Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Business Owner/Sign Manufacturer, Lean Champion
Top 10 List of People Who’ve Helped Me Along the Journey [whether they knew it, or not]:
- Mom & Dad (for just about everything)
- Grandpa Martin (for sparking my true inner passion)
- My wife (for being there every step of the way)
- Johnny M. (for teaching me that hard work and having fun can go together)
- Scott & Julie (for showing and teaching me about people skills)
- Tony K. (for having the faith to give me my first shot)
- Marty C. & Gary B. (for showing me what good management looks like)
- Hans & MP (the best boss and lean teacher I ever had)
- Sensei Nakao (for opening my eyes and letting me taste your moonshine)
- Luc (for venturing out on a dream)
I’ve spent most of my career working as a Manufacturing Engineer, focusing on lean improvements throughout the business enterprise, which eventually led to a role as Lean Champion. Job titles, as you can see from the list, don’t mean much to me; so rather than focusing on moving ‘up’, I chose to move ‘out’.
My diverse manufacturing experiences have served me well throughout the journey. I attain great satisfaction during training or coaching opportunities by being able to share some of the secrets I’ve learned while being ‘in the trenches’. My playground has been out on the factory floor; helping co-workers try to make things better for themselves and for customers.
Some of the interesting stuff I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of: Underwater Listening Devices for the U.S. Navy (shh…), Submarine Towed Arrays, Custom Aluminum Punching and Wave Soldering Machines, Autonomated Electrical Test Equipment.
My technical manufacturing experience is broad and diverse: Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Motors, Vacuum Systems, Heaters, Linear Motion, Molds, Heat Treating, Paint Lines, Electroplating, Stamping, Plastic Injection, Plastic Extrusion, Rolling Mills, Custom Autonomated Machines, Programmable Logic Controllers, Test Equipment, Control Panels, Sensors, Screw Machines…and much more.
All of that ‘stuff’ to me is just that…stuff. I’ve had tons of fun blowing things up, smashing things into tiny pieces, and building some pretty cool machines. None of it would have been much of anything; without the friendship, support, and success of those that were there with me.
One very special place I spent ten years of my career was Brooks Electronics, in Philadelphia. Brooks was a division of The Wiremold Company, and it was there that my eyes were opened to the benefits and joy of lean success. For a while…we rocked the lean world. Leaving Brooks in 2002 to move back to Connecticut and family was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. I miss the tears and laughter…but most of all, the team.
Roles and Satisfaction:
I thrive in the following career roles: Helper, Teacher, Facilitator, Speaker, Mentor, Coach, Engineer, Troubleshooter, Builder, and Process/Systems Thinker.
Over the years, with the help of many friends and colleagues, I’ve developed what some say is expertise in the area of lean thinking. I have a hard time considering myself an expert. I truly believe that in any given situation, proper lean implementation never ends. I’m still learning. My greatest strength and joy includes blending my broad technical skills with creative communication and facilitation abilities in both shop floor and training workshop environments.