How long have you worked at Westec Plastics?
I’ve been with Westec Plastics for 2+ years. Before Westec, I was with a Bay Area medical device startup that sourced components from Westec – this was my second interaction with Westec Plastics as the customer, with my prior interaction as their customer about nine years ago. I was looking for opportunities closer to home and saw that Westec was seeking a quality engineer. I called the company president, Tammy Barras, to inquire about the quality engineer role. She upgraded the position to Quality Director to match my skills, knowledge, abilities and experience, and as they say, “the rest is history.”
What does your typical day look like?
I can’t say that I have a typical day at Westec Plastics. Each day presents its own unique set of challenges supporting production operations and new product introductions. On any given day, I could be working on addressing quality issues, writing inspection programs, supporting Customer requests, data analysis, conducting root cause analysis, validations, internal audits, updating procedures, etc.
How has your career grown since starting at Westec?
Since joining a smaller organization, there is far less job specialization, which is the case here at Westec. My role is much broader in scope and more “hands-on” at Westec. This has changed my perspective as a quality professional on how to best support a smaller organization. My experience thus far at Westec has challenged me to rethink how I can best apply my skills and experience in this business environment. I aim to balance business needs with quality control/quality assurance requirements, taking into account risk, cost, on-time delivery, and customer requirements. It’s been a wonderful growth experience for me!
What is your favorite part about Westec?
Without question, it’s the people with whom I get to interact with every day. I enjoy the collegiality and synergy that is embedded in the culture here.
Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies/passions?
My hobbies include attending concerts, going to the movies, traveling, biking and building my collection of vinyl records. My passion, though, is teaching! I have been a part-time instructor with California State University, Stanislaus, since 2001, teaching upper-division undergraduate business classes during the evenings.
In forty years, what will people be nostalgic for?!
The art of holding a face-to-face conversation with another human being. This modality of communication seems to be getting lost with the ubiquity of electronic devices, the Internet, etc.
What’s a pet peeve that you would make illegal if you could?
People who continue to habitually use their electronic devices when you are with them in a social setting. It’s very offensive and just rude!