Hello. My name is Wayne Ellison. I am a Senior Quality Specialist at 3M where I have spent 28 of my 38-year career in the field of Quality. I am the current Chair of the 2008 Minnesota Quality Conference and the new Vice-Chair of Conferences for the 2008-2009 year. For those of you who have been involved or have attended the Minnesota Quality Conference over the last several years, you have probably seen or met me since I have been involved with the conference committee for most of the last 25+ years.
Like many volunteers, I was invited to participate on the Conference Committee by a colleague and friend and have never looked back. I felt that ASQ(C) was an opportunity to learn and grow in Quality beyond the opportunities within my career at 3M and it sounded like it would be a fun experience and a great learning opportunity. During my time with the Conference Committee, I have worked with Exhibits and Arrangements, and am now Chairing the Conference for the 3rd time this year. Learning to work with a broader base of people and learning how to plan a complex event have been very beneficial in my professional and personal life. I look forward to the new challenges as Vice-Chair of Conferences this year and know I will continue to learn and grow.
What I have learned over the years with volunteering is that whatever you give, you receive back many times in new friends, knowledge, fun, and the sense of accomplishment. Perhaps, this is because the work we do as volunteers is by choice. I have discovered that the reasons people continue to volunteer once they step forward to begin relate to being treated well, having a clear purpose and process to follow, building camaraderie with other committee members, and being treated with courtesy and respect by others.
In my earlier years as a volunteer, I was privileged to have great teachers on the Conference Committee, and so now, I have that role as an “old-timer” for many of our newer committee members.
If this sounds like something you would like to do, take that first step and volunteer. If not on Conferences, there are numerous other opportunities within the Section to help out. You’ll be glad you did.