Member Spotlight – Greg Olson

Hello, my name is Greg Olson and welcome again to Members Spotlight. As you may have noticed, this year Member Spotlight is a column that has been run each month in the BenchmarQ to introduce different members within our local ASQ section. This is the first year that we have done this and each of the board members has had a chance to contribute. I have been a member of ASQ over 20 years and also welcome this opportunity to share my experience with you.

Let me introduce myself. I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a MBA from the University of St. Thomas. I started my professional career working at Medtronic in 1975 where I have remained in various professional capacities since, that’s 31+ years in the same place. In those 31 years I have held positions that span many different areas of engineering disciplines including Document Control Supervisor, Design Engineer, and my present position as a Lead Quality and Regulatory Systems Auditor.

It was during my time as a Reliability Engineer that I was encouraged to join ASQ. I joined. Later in my career I was certified as a CQA This was prior to my career in auditing and I found that my CQA certification training played a significant part in preparing me for the roles and responsibilities I have taken on as an auditing professional. For the last twelve years I have been functioning as a lead quality auditor.

Up until 4 years ago, I was more or less a passive user of ASQ opportunities and services as I suspect most people are. I would go to the occasional program and attend a conference once and awhile, and read the magazines now and then. Simply put, I was not as involved as I could have been. Then in 2003 someone knocked on my door and asked me if I would like to be on the LRPC, Long Range Planning Committee, as a Member at Large. This is a position within the framework of the board that reports to the Directors and works on strategic planning for what the Section Board is to focus on in the coming year(s).

In my next role I was nominated and elected to the position of Vice Chair of Conferences. In this role I had three organizations to manage, the Minnesota Annual Conference Committee, the Biomedical Focus Conference Committee, and the Biomedical Focus Task Group. The two committees focused primarily on setting up and running their respective annual conferences. If you have never done anything like this let me tell you it takes about a year to prepare for each conference. While the experience does take commitment, it is fun and rewarding work, which truly culminates on conference day when you see it all come together. There are plenty of opportunities on both committees for volunteers. The Biomedical Focus Task Group is a specialized group of professionals from the biomedical discipline, which focuses on efforts to bring the membership opportunities such as workshops and seminars.

At the present time I am Chair Elect of the group, which means that on July 1, 2007 I will assume the role of Section Board Chair. As chair elect I have been in a learning mode, a process I know will continue as I take on the role of Section Board Chair. As the Board Chair I plan on continuing with improvements made this year and moving forward with making Section 1203 the section of choice and best in class to follow for all of ASQ. We are going to put 1203 on the map.

Finally, words to you, get involved, volunteer, make suggestions, and let us know how we, the Board, can help.