Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Defeat Barriers to a Successful Quality Culture

Once upon a time there was a small metal shop producing parts for the automotive industry. Although a quality system was in place, employee turnover was high and profitability was down. Management blamed employees; employees blamed management. What approach could best address cultural barriers between management and employees to strengthen a culture of quality?

For December's ASQ Influential Voices guest post, Luciana Paulise has written Facing Cultural Barriers by Leaders to Strengthen a Culture of Quality about the case described above. Ms. Paulise explains cultural changes made to turn plant performance around, and details can be found at the link above. Below I'll summarize.

4 Helpful Changes to Improve Quality Culture:

1 - Unite middle managers with common goals to promote cooperation and a healthy company.

2 - Train corporate leaders to understand process variation and to correctly identify problems.

3 - Train leaders to make conclusions based on data instead of hunches or previous experiences.

4 - Center on understanding and respecting people to create a workplace that promotes cooperation to reach goals.

The 2 minute ASQ video below describes the role of a culture of quality in business success.

In August, Influential Voices wrote about company cultures and how they affect quality. My article, How Company Culture Relates to Quality, can be found here.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Corporate Communication: 5 Keys to Success

For November's Influential Voices blog topic, Dr. Suresh Gettala of ASQ India, has written Talking To the C-Suite About Quality. He offers 5 helpful approaches in communication with the C-Suite. They are summarized below. Please refer to the full article (link above) for details.

C-Suite is a term for the corporate leaders in an organization.
 The "C" refers to Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial
 Officer, Chief Executive Officer, etc.

1. Link short term changes to long term success.

2. Explain with numbers.

3. Show financial impact.

4. Tell a story with examples.

5. Seek to improve quality company-wide (not just products and services).

As with any presentation, a quality discussion with the C-Suite should be tailored for that audience. Using the 5 tips above will help ensure successful communication.

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Credits: Graphics produced by the author using Adobe Illustrator
© 2016 All Rights Reserved
Photographs obtained from iStock by Getty Images 
The author's iStock portfolio can be viewed here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Improving the Future of Quality with Early College High Schools

North Carolina (U.S.) has increased high school graduation rates and achievement with early college high schools. These high schools are offered by local school districts and coordinated with institutions of higher learning as an alternative to the local high school. Students typically attend the school for 5 years rather than 4. Along with completing high school classes, students enroll in college classes at no cost to them. Upon graduation, they receive a high school diploma as well as an Associates degree (or college credit).

Early college high school programs are customized to fit the host campus. Franklin County Early College High School in Louisburg, North Carolina, is located next to the Franklin Campus of Vance-Granville Community College. This allows students to earn an Associates of Arts and Sciences. Wake Early College of Health and Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina, partners with Wake Technical Community College and WakeMed Health and Hospitals. Students can earn a degree, diploma, or certificate in a health or sciences field.
Wake STEM* Early College is located on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, and emphasizes a strong STEM-based education. Students can earn up to 2 years of college credit. The 4-minute video below has interviews that cover the demographics and features of the program.

In 2010 there were 70 early college high schools in North Carolina. Students that would be first generation college students are given admission preference.

North Carolina New Schools is a nonprofit that supports the early college program as well as other innovative high school programs designed to improve high school graduation rates and academic success. In 2014 they were awarded a $20 million Federal Grant to ramp up efforts towards early college programs.

The 5-minute video below features a Caldwell County Early College High School graduate's story. In 2012 Amelia Hawkins received a full scholarship to Princeton University.

Edwin Garro, ASQ Fellow, has written about a High School Quality and Productivity Technical degree program in Costa Rica. The program was developed to address a shortage of quality technicians in FDA regulated industries. His article, A Day with the Future of Quality, can be found here.

*Acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

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Credits: Graphics produced by the author using Adobe Illustrator
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Financial Facts about Boomer Power

The 50+ demographic will increase by 16 million in the next decade

I had the chance to hear Dr. Janice Wassel speak on gerontology. Gerontology is the study of the biology, psychology, social, and cognitive aspects of aging. (Wikipedia page here) Geriatrics, in contrast, is the area of medicine that treats disease in aging adults.

Boomers purchase 40% of technology products

What is Boomer Power? It's the impact of older adults (ages 50+) on the economy. Here are some facts:
  • 25% of the U.S. population is over 50
  • That 25% purchases 40% of technology products
  • Americans live 30 years longer than in the 1900s
  • In 2010, 78% of adults age 65 and older reported good to excellent health
  • Also in 2010, 70% of adults age 85 and older reported good to excellent health
Boomers own 63% of U.S. financial assets

This 2015 blog article by Mark Bradbury has colorful graphics to illustrate 7 Incredible Facts About Boomers' Spending Power:
  1. Adults ages 50 and older are the largest U.S. age demographic
  2. That demographic will increase by 16 million in the next 10 years
  3. That demographic owns 63% of U.S. financial assets
  4. That demographic is 51% more likely to own financial investments than ages 18-49
  5. That demographic spends $3.2 trillion annually
  6. That demographic accounts for 50% of all consumer expenditures
  7. Americans are living 3 decades longer than a century ago (listed above but worth repeating)
Americans ages 50+ spend $3.2 trillion a year

The longevity economy is Dr. Wassel's term for the economic power of older adults. The older adult demographic has significant economic power and continues to contribute to society. They are a varied demographic in terms of health, fitness, and activities.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

What is Sustainability?

Is your business sustainable?

Last month, I wrote about company culture (article is here). Potential customers and employees are interested in both company culture and sustainable practices to determine organization character.

In the early 1900s, the California sardine industry was booming. Cannery Row factories lined up along Monterey Bay, fish were brought in without limits, processed and canned, and waste dumped into the bay. You can see the problem here. Unrestricted fishing and pollution led to environmental and economic disaster. The waters that supported the sardines were too polluted and damaged to continue. That situation is the opposite of sustainability. Sustainability includes restraint on harvests to manage resources and reduction and/or repurposing of waste materials.

Sustainable practices are those that allow continued use of resources. Sustainability applies to many situations outside of the industrial context. Individuals can pursue sustainable goals as well as institutions.

Sustainability includes familiar concepts that we may practice daily. Reducing landfill waste is a sustainable practice because landfill space is limited. That practice involves other sustainable concepts like recycling, repurposing, and composting. Below is an informal list of sustainable concepts:

  • energy savings
  •  recycling
  •  repurposing
  •  conserve resources 
  •  water conservation
  •  solar energy
  •  rainwater collection
  •  decrease carbon footprint
  •  purchase carbon offsets
  •  growing your own food
  •  reduce landfill waste
  •  composting
  •  support businesses and individuals with sustainable agendas
  •  use green construction
3 Pillars of Sustainability

Sustainability can be described as 3 pillars: environment, economy, and social.

  • climate protection
  • resources protection
  • biodiversity
  • organic farming
  • decrease use of natural resources
  • using local produce in season to avoid resource use and pollution involved with distance transportation 
  • equality between men and women 
  • education and training opportunities
  • fighting poverty
  • prosperity for humanity

As professionals in the Quality industry, our roles are important in sustainability. We maintain and improve quality standards to sustain a customer base. By applying Lean Thinking, we reduce waste to sustain company resources. As company employees and individuals we can use our influence to improve sustainability in all aspects of our lives.

Below is a 4-minute Explainity video on the 3 Pillar Model of sustainability.

This month's guest post on A View from the Q is Does Mission Matter? by ASQ Fellow and incoming ASQ board chair, Pat LaLonde.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

How Company Culture Relates to Quality

Today's media highlights shifts in company culture to attract and keep talented workers. Flexible schedules, liberal parental leave, fun activities, free food, community involvement, and environmentally friendly corporate agendas promote a company culture favored by employees. What is company culture and how does it relate to quality?

Culture of an Organization

Company culture is the "character" of a company. Company culture includes:
  • methods of getting things done
  • philosophy of work habits and work behavior
  • goals to make the company successful
  • values and their importance while conducting business
  • working conditions
Some aspects of company culture are intangible. Attitudes, morals, and assumptions held by employees are difficult to determine and quantify, but important in shaping company culture.

Company culture is projected from top management down. Successful company culture is driven by management practices that carry this culture throughout all rungs of the organization. To keep the culture positive and relevant, however, employees should be involved in discussions about changes to and maintaining company culture.

Company Culture Affects People and People Drive Quality

A Culture Supporting Quality

Quality of the product or service and effectiveness of quality systems is improved in:
  •  a culture where employees understand quality and it's effect on company success
  •  a culture where employees can freely make suggestions and report problems
  •  a culture where employees are happy and this happiness is passed on to customer contacts
  •  a culture enhancing creativity which can help quality problem-solving
  •  a culture cultivating teamwork as a powerful tool in quality improvement

The "happiness" aspect of culture is especially powerful in businesses that have direct customer contact. Zappos, an online shoe and clothing business, relates employee happiness to customer satisfaction. In the video below, employees discuss their company culture.

The Culture of Quality has been a popular topic at ASQ over the years. Jennifer Calloway, a quality culture expert, is interviewed in the ASQ TV video below. More ASQ videos on the subject can be found here. (The 46 minute webinar referred to in the video can be found here. )

Company culture is fluid and subject to shift. Management must be vigilant to nurture and protect a positive culture and thereby drive good quality.

ASQ Influential Voice blogger James Lawther has written What Not to Do in Creating a Performance Culture. This article can be found here.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

7 Practical Ways I Use Internet Technology at Home

My Sidekick at the Home Computer

In the past year, I've advised my college-bound twins on administrative tasks related to university and scholarship applications. It will come as no surprise that most forms related to beginning a college education are submitted on websites. No paperwork! Several times I have exclaimed, "How did I ever graduate and obtain my first post-college position using only mail and phone?" Technology is wondrous since I remember how things were done before the internet revolution.

In Manu Vora's article, he discusses the use of Google Hangouts on Air to conduct meetings and conferences with a wider online audience. Below I'll elaborate a bit on my use of technology to share information and to further my professional development.

Sharing Information


Sharing an enjoyment of gardening and nature is easy on a blog. My blogging career started with writing about garden and nature topics. (Link to Garden Lady Blog) After my ASQ certification, I started this blog to share certification test tips. Quality: Improvements in Work and Life has expanded to include book reviews, research techniques, social media tips, and, of course, ASQ Influential Voices topics. Writing a blog is easy with free template-style programs like Blogger and WordPress. I use the Adobe Creative Suite to edit and optimize images for my blogs using Photoshop. Adobe Illustrator allows me to produce and optimize graphics to enhance blog articles.

Social Media

Advances in internet technology make sharing information on social media easy. Using a computer, tablet, or phone I can upload photos and short messages on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Facebook. I announce meeting and course information on social media for my local ASQ chapter (ASQ Raleigh). Readers of these posts can forward them to their readers by retweeting, liking, or pinning. This generates publicity for the events.

Google Drive

By setting up a folder in Google Drive, my sons and I organized scholarship information. Any of us could create a document for a scholarship. Individually we added comments as more was learned about the programs. This saved a lot of duplication of work as we filtered through qualifications of around 30 different programs. We also tracked application progress and deadline dates. This same collaboration can be used by any project team.

Handheld GPS


Years ago my family joined a hobby that uses a global positioning system (GPS) to find hidden containers. Geocaching uses satellite technology to hide and locate hidden containers. To input location information into the GPS, I use a GSAK spreadsheet database and a point of interest downloader. This gives me longitude and latitude locations for hundreds of geocaches as well as hints and descriptions. Once a cache is found, an online log is completed. These logs as well as geocaching forums bring together a worldwide community of "cachers." The technology has advanced beyond my Garmin handheld GPS to mobile phone apps. As a member of Geocaching.com, I have a member webpage that tracks my total finds. My family is up to 1944 finds and 96 hides. Although I'm short on time to geocache these days, I still maintain caches for others to find and hope to return to the sport that encourages exploring outdoors.

Professional Development

Internet technology has made professional development more accessible. I'll describe a few programs using new technology that I've used.

ASQ Website

ASQ videos and some eBooks are offered free with membership. I find the ASQ Standards Channel series on ISO 9001:2015 invaluable. ASQ TV is great to watch also, and an episode on Cost of Quality can be seen here.

Wake Tech Campus in North Raleigh, NC

College Education

Not only has the college application process gone online, but college courses themselves are online.  I completed a web technology certificate that was completely on the internet. Textbooks, assignments, and credits were the same as seated classes, but I had the flexibility of not traveling to campus. Blackboard and Moodle are two platforms used in online education.

Continuing Education

Ed2Go offers 6-week online courses in a variety of topics. The courses are inexpensive ($70 US) and have a flexible timeline of assignments and tests. There is no college credit, but I completed classes in Photography, JavaScript, Six Sigma, and Web Content that were very useful.

Using technology to share information and further professional development allows growth as never before. Furthermore, each application links me to a community of people interested in the same goals and sharing of information. I would love to take a peak at the future (10 years from now) and see how the newest technology is applied in everyday life. It will be amazing!

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ways I use Lean Thinking at Home

5S and Work Areas

5S, an aspect of Lean Thinking, is a system to arrange work areas as efficiently as possible. If every task whether a chore or hobby requires a search for necessary tools to get started, the likelihood of completing the task decreases. So throughout my home I organize work and hobby areas to make tasks easy to start and complete.

To maximize efficiency with gardening chores, I have a workstation with bug spray, sunscreen, and garden tools at 3 different locations. One is in a small greenhouse at the vegetable garden, one is in the garage, and the other is on the backyard deck. Wherever I am in my yard, a workstation stocked with tools is nearby. This saves time because I can begin gardening tasks without searching for tools. Looking 30 minutes for a favorite pair of gardening gloves is a reminder to keep my work areas organized.

Greenhouse Work Area

Indoors, each bathroom cabinet has cleaning supplies. This saves time and energy when I'm ready to clean. Otherwise wasted time and wasted movement is spent gathering cleaning supplies.

My office is arranged so things can be reached with little disruption to ongoing work. Files, notebooks, notepads, pens, and calendar are all in easy reach. Similarly, I have organized areas for photography, scrapbooking, and other hobbies.

Every 4 - 6 weeks, I reorganize work areas using the 5S system.  5S represents sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. So I replace supplies that are worn out or empty, dispose of items that I don't use, and tidy up the areas. I also make sure the more frequently used tools are convenient to reach and easy to find.

Backyard Work Area

Waste of Motion

Lean Thinking is all about reducing waste, and Shigeo Shingo classified 7 wastes. Waste of Motion is one I try to avoid at home. Many activities in the home can be standardized to reduce waste of motion. I collect a batch of bills and then pay them. Paying each bill as it arrives in the mail would involve opening the envelope, sorting the paperwork, logging into a website to make a payment or writing a check, recording the check or debit in the checkbook, and filing paperwork.  Processing a batch of bills at one time saves duplication of motion. Along the same lines, I let several cups and bowls accumulate on the counter before I open the dishwasher and load these items. Errands can be organized in a route rather than individual spontaneous trips. This saves gasoline and time, as well as reducing waste of motion.

Lean Thinking is using common sense to perform tasks in the most efficient manner. Before it was called "Lean Thinking" people were practicing it to get things done efficiently. Later, it was further defined to apply to workplaces. So go full circle with Lean: do it at work and do it at home, and you will be more productive for it!

In 2014, I wrote about the basics of Lean Thinking. You can access that post by clicking here.

Sunil Kaushik has written about using Lean Principles to minimize travel expenses to Egypt. Mr. Kaushik, an ASQ Influential Blogger, definitely has expertise in traveling cheap. The article can be found by clicking here.

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Managing the Quality of Internet-linked Products

This month's American Society of Quality Influential Voices topic is a review of an essay in the 2015 Future of Quality report. If you are an ASQ member, you have access to this compilation on 11 topics.

Internet of Things

I chose Jonathan Zittrain's Balancing Security With Openness in the Internet of Things. Mr. Zittrain is the author of The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It (for purchasing info see link below).

The term "Internet of Things" refers to all the devices that can connect to the internet and create systems to share data.

Below is a 2-minute video by Intel that explains the Internet of Things (IoT). Another video by FW:thinking can be found here.

 Internet of Things Video

Traffic cameras, electronic signs, and bus communication create an Internet of Things that can steer traffic away from congested areas. In Zittrain's essay, an Internet-aware snow shovel could provide data on frequency of use (Have the kids performed this chore?), health data on the shoveler (Is his heart rate dangerously high?), or assumptions on snow levels based on usage (Where do the snow plows need to go?).

Managing Quality

What are the quality issues of the Internet of Things? To answer that question Zittrain reviews the evolution of both the PC and the Internet. In the beginning anyone could write and share software to be used on PCs. Similarly, code for use on the Internet was unregulated.

The second version of the iPhone introduced an effort to gain more control over outside code (apps) by offering them in a store with required certification. Currently there are app stores for PCs and phones across all operating systems.

To meet quality manufacturing requirements, the product needs to be robust. It needs to be safely manufactured of nontoxic materials, as well. As devices become connected to one another, quality issues will expand.

Will connectivity to other devices be limited to reduce variability in quality issues or will it be open to increase innovation and demand? What quality issues will open connectivity present? Will viruses run rampant and slow device efficiency or cause frequent crashes? How many and what type of sensors will be incorporated into products for connectivity and data sharing?

Managing quality of the Internet of Things devices requires significant corporate decisions that are integral to their business plan. The proposed ISO9001:2015 standard emphasizes quality as part of the business plan and not a stand-alone entity. This falls right in line with establishing corporate policy on a product that is part of the Internet of Things.

Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ managing director, introduced May topics in her guest blog post: What's the Future of Quality? This article is available without ASQ membership.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Catch Conference "Fever" !!

2014 Quality in the Triangle Conference
This month's blog topic is the Pros and Cons of Conferences. In her blog post on the subject, Julia McIntosh asks ASQ bloggers to address the hows and whys of conference attendance.

It's a compelling subject as we head into a busy spring schedule with the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement and my local chapter's ASQ Quality in the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, USA) in May.

I humbly submit that the Pros of attendance at conferences far outweigh the Cons.


  • Accessibility to peers, leaders, and new contacts (Networking)
  • Exchange of information and ideas
  • Education at workshops and classes
  • Relationship building outside the workplace
  • Validation as an interested party in the conference subject
  • Convenient exposure to innovations in the conference subject (Exhibits, Vendor Displays)
  • Join a gathering of individuals with common interests starting with the conference subject
  • Participate in meetings to contribute to policy or standards formation
  • Get energized and inspired by conference offerings


  • Expensive Travel
  • Inconvenient absence from job

When I handled quality claim resolution for Burlington Industries, conferences were an opportunity to meet  customer quality managers outside of the hectic pace and pressure of the manufacturing plant. Relationships could evolve on more friendly terms at the conference. My presence at quality conferences specifically for the textile trade validated my position and definitely earned respect with my customer contacts. Meetings on test methods were a chance to be involved in standards establishment.

As a Marketing Specialist investigating new markets for fabric applications, conferences provided access to new contacts and education about unfamiliar fields. A Healthcare conference, for example, allowed conversations with nurses who provided feedback on fabric samples.


I base my decision to attend conferences on the following:
  • Networking (Who is attending the conference?)
  • Expense (How much will it cost including travel?)
  • Location (How much travel is involved to get there?)
  • Subject (Can I learn something new?)
I'm not working for a company right now so my budget is restricted to local conferences. In May, I'll be attending both a Writers Conference and the Quality in the Triangle conference. I expect to learn a lot and network with other writers and quality professionals. See you there!

Great conference, guys!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Communication from 3 Sources Encourages Studies in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

James B. Hunt Jr. Library at NC State

In his March 9th post, Bill Troy writes about how to encourage the next generation to study STEM majors and fill the job market shortage. STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. STEM jobs (list at this link) range from Accountants to Zoologists.

Communication is key to encouraging STEM studies. Communication from the following strongly influences students to pursue STEM training:
  • Parents
  • Teachers/ Mentors
  • High School Career Fairs



My approach to this topic is very personal. I have two sons graduating from high school and entering a university in the fall. My husband and I have encouraged them to pursue STEM majors.  With a modest household budget, we have taken the position that there are majors we will not finance. We've discussed the cost of supporting a family and the realities of the job market. The kids have made great choices in majors (accounting and engineering) and we pray they will stick with those decisions.

Over the years we have used experiences of family and friends to illustrate pros and cons of various career paths. Cousin Joe graduated with a Logistics major and can't find a job. Uncle Bob studied Electrical Engineering and has enjoyed a lucrative career. Cousin Suzie earned advanced degrees in Chemistry yet had only 1 job offer hundreds of miles away from home. Two neighbors are Accountants, and support large families.

Local and national news stories provide teaching moments. Unemployed college graduates with thousands of dollars in educational loan debt, local industry expansion or decline, and job market shifts due to an aging population all relate to college major choices.

We've also used our own STEM educations to make some points. Both the industries we trained for no longer exist in the United States. There are lessons to learn in that.

Countless local opportunities have encouraged their interest in science. As preschoolers, we took them to classes at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC. They learned laboratory techniques at the local library in an RV sponsored by the University of North Carolina. In middle school, I organized a Science Olympiad team and volunteered as coach. The kids continued participating throughout their high school years. There is nothing more encouraging about STEM studies than a university basketball auditorium filled with high school students competing in science events.
State Finals NC Science Olympiad Competition

Teachers and Mentors

Teachers have a tremendous influence on students. From advising on high school science and math courses to discussion of college choices, my kids have benefited greatly from conversations with teachers. Experiences in class also shape impressions of subjects. High school students have a vast class selection. Good STEM teachers in high school keep students engaged in those subjects steering them towards STEM college careers.

High School Career Fairs

The value of conversations with employed STEM professionals from the local community is tremendous. Young adults that have career aspirations and those that are still undecided can benefit from discussions with representatives from companies, scientific organizations, and entrepreneurs. Information about education requirements, career paths, salaries, and future job prospects are offered during these interactions.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Research: Finding Ancestor Records - Civil War

Research Your Family Tree

Several months ago I needed to find ancestor records for a scholarship application. I asked my father if our Georgia ancestor fought in the Civil War. He gave me the quick answer, "no," because he remembered no conversation with relatives about a Civil War soldier. It didn't make sense to me because I knew this relation lived in Georgia during the war so I decided to investigate.

The information I had was:
  • year of death
  • state of residence
  • names of children
  • names of wives

I spent several days looking at various websites. Since this was a few months ago, I'm not sure of the exact convoluted  path to useful ancestor information. I hit some roadblocks and backed up several times. In the end, I got the information, and I didn't pay for it. Not only did my ancestor serve in the Civil War, but he was imprisoned the last year and 10 months of it.

Along the way, I found minor errors in census records and in my family notes. This happens. Mainly, keep on researching. It is fascinating and so easy with the internet.

I'll describe the information sources I found below.

Find a Grave

The Find a Grave website is a gem. If I had known about this site, I could have skipped many steps in my research. I plugged in the name, state, and year of death and found the correct grave. This was verified by an unusual spouse's name and family notes on a cemetery.

If you're lucky, you can access your ancestor's grave here. In my situation, the photographs included an inscription describing the military service.  A birth date was also provided on the headstone.

 Hathitrust Digital Library

Using the Hathitrust Library, I entered "Confederate Soldiers" in the search box. That gave me a list of publications with information. Since my ancestor lived in Georgia, I selected the Roster of the Confederate soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865. That allowed me to search by name. The list produced from that search gave me all references to the ancestor's name. I could then select the most likely matches and click the page number for further details. These details included ranks and promotion dates, date of imprisonment, location of capture and prisons, release date, and birth date. All fascinating details!

Find the Best Civil War Soldiers

The Find the Best sight will take minimal data and find soldier information. In my case, the rank did not reflect two promotions. The Hathitrust sight had more details.

Census Information at familysearch.org

The 1870 census can be used to verify the residence of a former Civil War soldier. It can be used as a clue to the state and regiment of service.

Using Google to search "1870 census," the list will include a familysearch.org site. Choose this and enter the soldier's name. Then you can narrow down the list by looking for other family names. I had unusual names like Lavonia and Roena to help here.

Lavonia was entered as Laronsio, but Roena and Lucy were present. Click the soldier's name to view the census information. Then click the camera icon on the right to reveal the handwritten census document. (So exciting!) Written in fancy cursive, the record showed the former soldier's occupation as farmer and his wife, "keeping house." Lavonia was spelled correctly in this original document. At the top of this is the county of residence.

I hope you will find these resources helpful and I wish you luck in your research. I highly recommend familysearch.org for ancestry research. There is more data available there than I can summarize in this article.

I have also written about researching ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. That article can be found here.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Why should Quality (ASQ) go Global?

The Quality message, promotion of  Quality tools and Quality education should definitely be global.  ASQ should continue to expand its global reach.

As Quality Professionals in diverse industries, most of us produce products or services with a global impact. As Consumers we are exposed daily to products and services produced outside our country. Of course we want those companies influenced by the highest quality standards and guided by an organization that has been in the quality business for over 65 years.

Early in February 2015, the FDA posted a voluntary recall notice by Hospira. The injected drug product was distributed in the United States and Singapore. Also in February 2015, a Class 1 Recall on a Medtronic medical device was issued. Medtronic is headquarted in Dublin, Ireland, and has recently merged with Covidien combining "two global healthcare leaders."

Quality issues in one location can affect consumers or production on the other side of the globe. The product could be pencils or pharmaceuticals; technical service offered in a call center or biomolecules for vaccine stabilization. 

Clearly "global" is the "new black." Global is the way our world is now. Everything is moving towards global, increasing global reach if already global, and ASQ has to expand global presence too.

Bill Troy's February post, Why Should Quality "Go Global"?, gives insight to ASQ's role in promoting quality worldwide.

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