Introducing New Training Specialist Linda Slopsema

By Richard Wolin, Training Services Directorrich

I am happy to introduce the newest member of our Training Team, Linda Slopsema. Linda joined the NMC Training Services team and the northern lower office of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center team in April. We are excited about the wealth of knowledge and diversity of skills Linda brings from her outstanding career in manufacturing.

Educated as a Mechanical Engineer at Michigan State University, Linda started her career at General Motors where she has held positions as a Test Engineer, Design and Development Engineer, and later with Delphi Corporation as a Customer Service Field Engineer, Customer Satisfaction Manager, and Quality System Manager. Over the past six years, Linda worked at Eaton Corporation as a Customer Service Manager and Manufacturing Engineering Manager.

Although Linda’s 30-year career has been primarily with large corporations, she also worked with smaller companies when sourcing supplier contracts as well as ongoing supplier development (quality improvement, cost reduction, value engineering). Additionally, customer service roles put her in the position of directly listening to the voice of the customer. These experiences will be invaluable to companies in our region. Linda has completed extensive professional development as a certified ISO 9001 Lead Auditor and multiple leadership certification programs. On the technical side, Linda has had training in Advance Product Quality Planning (APQP), Design of Experiments (DOE), Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), as well as Design for Manufacturability to round out her skill sets useful to our manufacturers.

Linda’s quality philosophy is that these systems are a proven effective way to run your business, not just a program or add-on that requires extra work. “Quality is a way of doing business, rather than a cost of doing business,” she said. Linda takes pride in being a practical person and believes in taking knowledge and using it to the overall benefit of the organization. When it is done right, it helps all employees solve problems. When it is just window dressing, employees see right through it and that erodes trust and confidence in management. Linda’s approach fits nicely with the NMC Training Services mission which is to “Enhance the talent of the region’s workforce, enable organizations to be successful, and contribute to the economic health of our region.”

On the personal side Linda grew up in Michigan and has had a vacation cottage in the Traverse City area for a number of years which she and her husband recently remodeled into a year-round home. She loves to bike on the region’s trail systems taking long day trips. Linda also enjoys the water which is what initially drew her to the area. And despite her lifetime of cross-country skiing, she plans to learn downhill skiing this next winter.

Linda’s calendar with Training Services is beginning to fill as she will be working with the next cohort of Lean Manufacturing Champions as well as a variety of Lean projects. I hope you have the opportunity to meet her in person and discuss your challenges related to improving quality and capacity at your location.

Richard Wolin, Director of Training Services
MMTC-Northern Lower Region
rwolin@nmc.edu, (231) 995-2003

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