In this podcast, I interview Tim Turner, who used to work at Toyota in Kentucky (TMMK) for 22 years, and has done a lot of work with nonprofits and not-for-profit organizations. He was also a co-author on Volume 2 of the Lean Six Sigma for Good book series (still in process, but available for download), and created the book, One Team on All Levels: Stories from Toyota Team Members
We talked about his vast experiences and positions at Toyota, his perspective on servant leadership, how he helped setup and manage the not-for-profit organization working within Toyota, and his consulting firm Triangle Consulting Group, which has an IMPACT program that integrates nonprofit impact into his training courses.
- Center for Quality People and Organizations, Inc. – Nonprofit teaching lean to high schools near Georgetown, Kentucky Toyota facility
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK)
- Backpacks for Kids Partnership with Toyota Dealers and Manufacturing Helps Foster Families
- Bicycle Building Process for Foster Children Enhanced by Toyota Partnership
- Toyota leader asks more to provide work for disabled through Lex-Pro
- Lucid Motors – Electric vehicle manufacturer
- One Team on All Levels: Stories from Toyota Team Members
- Lean Six Sigma for Good: Lessons from the Gemba (Volume 2) – Tim wrote the 2nd chapter “Helping Others By Following The Toyota Way”
- Toyota Culture by Mike Hoseus
- Read full show notes | Subscribe or rate this podcast
- FREE online course called “Lean Six Sigma and the Environment”
- 6sigma.US Training and Certification Programs
- Creative Safety Supply – Free 5S Guide
Have you ordered the new book, “Lean Six Sigma for Good: Lessons from the Gemba (Volume 1)?” The book is made up of 8 chapters written about experiences from Lean and Six Sigma practitioners, to give you tips and tricks to help you work with nonprofits in your area. All proceeds donated to charity. We are also close to releasing Volume 2, so check back for the latest news.
Brion (B): Today, I’ve got Tim Turner. We’re going to talk about some of his work at Toyota, the book chapter that he put together for the Lean Six Sigma for Good, as well as his own book he wrote and compiled from different Toyota employees, which I thought was really interesting. To start it off, Tim, do you want to just tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and then how you ended up at Toyota and Kentucky?
Tim (T): Brion, first of all, thank you for the opportunity to share a little bit about the story and for the work you’re doing with putting together these books just to help make the world a better place to work, which I think is an awesome thing, so thank you for that.
My name is Tim Turner and I worked at TMMK, which is Toyota Motor Manufacturing up in Kentucky. I started there in 1995 and I worked there for a little over 22 years. In my time at Toyota, I worked mainly in assembly. I did work in safety for about six years, but I actually had the opportunity to help launch the Lexus plant, which was a huge, amazing opportunity and learning experience. My background before Toyota, I lived in northern Kentucky, the greater Cincinnati area. I actually worked for my uncle, a company he had called Triangle Fire Protection, and we installed fire sprinklers. I’ve been probably in every high-rise in downtown Cincinnati, so that was a pretty cool experience before I got into the manufacturing world.
B: What’s the significance of the triangle? you have it on your consulting group as well. Is that the Tri-City area or a regional designation?
T: For my uncle, originally, which for me, when I named my business, Triangle Consultants, I named after his business. For him, I think it probably was there were three partners for his business. I think that’s probably what it stemmed from, but for me, it’s looking at three points to make a good organization, which is leadership, business or outreach opportunities for business, and community. So my business model really is helping companies work on those three aspects of their organization.
I worked really all over southern Ohio, southeastern Indiana, and then northern Kentucky. And then in 1995, after three years of being in the hiring pool, I got hired with Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky. One interesting thing about the Georgetown, Kentucky plant is it is actually the biggest Toyota plant, as far as volume, in the world. They are capable of producing about 550,000 cars a year out of that location. I went from working for a construction company of about 20 employees to going to this place that’s very diverse atmosphere, people from all over the state of Kentucky. At one time, there was someone working at TMMK from every county in the state of Kentucky, so people would drive two or three hours each way to come to work. It was a very diverse workplace. That was a big change for me and helped grow me as a person.
B: That blew my mind when I was reading through your book, just the time it took for people to get into Toyota, how lucrative a job it was, how some people were years. You said three years it took you to get in? It sounded like one to three years is pretty typical for a lot of people.
T: It is, and now they actually have… I got hired in before they started hiring through the variable workforce or the temp agencies. Now, you can get in a little bit faster and then you’ll be a temporary there for three years before they’ll hire you full-time, so this is a little bit different timing for me. But yeah, it took me three years and two months to get hired, from the day I put my application in till the day I walked into the building.
B: That’s unbelievable.
T: There really is nothing like it even as of now. Kentucky is known for having a lot of manufacturing and it’s awesome. Ford is in Louisville, the only Corvette factory in the world is in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is about three and a half hours from Georgetown. In the Eastern Kentucky and central Kentucky, there’s really nothing like Toyota, so it just brought in a lot of people. A lot of people that worked in the coal mines before left the coal mines and the danger of the coal mines to come work at the factory. Some of my best friends, and actually one of the gentleman that I dedicated my book to was a former coalminer that came to Toyota to work.
B: It seemed like just such a huge opportunity for the region to get Toyota set up shop there. I think that’s evident in these stories.
T: It’s really cool. I think it demonstrated how Kentuckians can adapt to different cultures and that was one thing that whenever I put my book together, I tried to capture that. It’s just Kentucky has a stigma of maybe not being the most educated and different things like that and they just took a hold of the Japanese culture and the Japanese embraced the Kentucky culture and it just created this great partnership or marriage to launch this world-class factory that really did change our area.
B: Can you talk to the book a little bit? it’s called One Team On All Levels and it’s a story from different Toyota employees, which just the sheer number of stories was just impressive. As I was reading through it, I was like, “I wonder if other companies would be able to put together a book like this?” and my gut feel is they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t have these kind of examples and as much like love for the company. It’s pretty impressive. Can you just share how this came together?
T: It’s pretty amazing, really. During the economic downturn in 2008/2009, I kind of got the idea, so I started reaching out to team members and team members started showing interest in it. And that’s the thing, it was in a company issued book. It took me a year to get the book approved for the company to let me publish it. It only took about three months to put it together and it took a year to get it approved. Toyota wasn’t out trying to back this as a company. This was just something that team members decided they wanted to be a part of it and my networking skills was already pretty good and the book took it to another level.
I just started reaching out to different people and then I came up with the idea of choosing someone from every level of the company. That’s one unique thing about Toyota is it’s an open-door policy. We can go up to a general manager or even the president and talk with them. After we started writing the book and the economic downturn hit, I actually started sending, as the stories would come in to me, I would send them to the president of the plant, Steve St. Angelo, and then he would forward that on to the other presidents of the plants. They’re having the stressful job of trying to manage through the economic downturn and how are they going to keep everyone working even though the plants aren’t running. At that time, Toyota did lay off anyone, the variable workforce. Those that got let go from the variable workforce, they actually helped them find another job and then they were still in the hiring pool to get hired full-time when their time came up. The presidents were struggling. Their moral was getting beat up too because it was just a tough time for everyone, so this book kind of became a level of inspiration for everybody involved.
It was a pretty cool opportunity and I set it up just to show that I wasn’t doing it for personal gain or anything. I set the book up, we have a nonprofit within the factory that’s called the Toyota Benevolent Fund. What they do is if a team member’s house burns down or maybe they have a loved one that passes away and they don’t have money to get to travel for the funeral, Toyota will take money out of this fund and give it to that team member to help them out. There’s actually a chapter in the book of some stories about the fund.
I set up the proceeds, any money made from the book, I’m not even the middle person, I don’t I have any idea what it’s made because I set it up that all those proceeds goes directly to that nonprofit. At the time, it really was about everybody was nervous and it was really just a chance to share what good has came from our employment there and what good does come from a company like that being in America. I just felt it was needed to share that story at that point in time, so that was really what the book was about. I’m really proud of it because over 80 team members gave up their time and wrote it at home and emailed it to me and I copied and pasted it and put it together. That’s how the book came to be.
B: I like the fact that it’s in their own words. Everyone has their own different unique writing style, but that comes through that their story, whatever format. If it had been edited down, I think that would have taken away most of the impact.
T: I agree and I did struggle with that. Do I fix the grammar or do I just make it to where it’s readable and let it go? I chose to go that route for that very reason, because we could’ve polished it and it wouldn’t have been as personal. That was a big reason why I left it the way I did.
B: What was your role in Toyota to have all the connection with the different people to pull their stories from this? can you talk through the different jobs you’ve had?
T: My role at Toyota, I was a Team Leader the majority of my time there, but while I was putting the book together I was the Safety Team Leader, so I did have… That’s how my networking skills came to be because I was basically a safety specialist for Assembly One, basically responsible for about 500 to 600 people. The majority of the people that wrote for the book were from Assembly One just because that’s where my network was at. In my time there, I was a Team Leader- I started off as a Team Member and worked in Trim and Chassis section, so I installed the engine and the rear suspension. Then I got promoted to Team Leader and was a Team Leader in Chassis and then moved to Final section. In Final section, we installed the seats on the line I worked on and that was the hardest job I did there was installing seats. From there, I went to Safety for six years, then I went to Trim section, and then I went and helped launch the Lexus plant.
At the Lexus plant, I was the Quality Team Leader for Assembly. The Lexus plant, we actually went in and they brought in all the Team Leaders about 15 months before we built the first car. They gave us 15 months to train. That preparation is really how that plant want the Platinum Award for JD Powers in its first year because we were trained and ready to build. From a learning experience, that was probably the greatest learning experience and that experience is what gave me the courage to launch out and start my own business, which is where I’m at now.
B: You want to talk about some of the work you’re doing now?
T: I started a consultant business and I have about 40 retired Toyota Team Members, Team Leaders, Group Leaders, and Assistant Managers. We go out and companies that need help, we help those companies and then we also are subcontractors with bigger consulting firms. So say a larger consulting firm needs some manpower and needs some good experience maybe to teach the Team Leader position or different aspects like that, then they use us. It’s been awesome. Once again, it goes back to my networking. A lot of the people that are on my team wrote for my book in 2009. I have a lot of really good people that are on my team and we just go and just take our knowledge and do what we can to make the world a better place.
One big thing about the Toyota way is even though they don’t say it, it’s very much a servant leadership style leadership system. One thing that I did after I retired from Toyota is I became a John Maxwell certified speaker, trainer, coach, I’m actually licensed to teach on five of his books. That was just another avenue that I have to teach leadership and culture to companies when we go in. We can go in and set up the basic Lean principles, culture, leadership. We do a lot of work.
One thing I really love is a program that I started through my company called Impact, and we’ll get into that here in a little bit. That’s some of the work with helping companies to do community outreach. One project that I did at Toyota, I was President of a business partnering group there called the Toyota Christian Fellowship. We partnered with a local Toyota dealership in Richmond, Kentucky call Toyota South. Each month of May, for every car that they sell, they agreed to buy a bicycle. These bicycles are then, on the first Saturday in June – and COVID slowed us down this year, but we’ll still do it later on in the year – but usually, the first of June, we go down there and we actually set up an assembly line in the showroom of a dealership. Toyota Team Members volunteer their Saturday and they come down and we build bicycles just like we build cars on the assembly line and the customers can come in and see the Toyota production system in action. Then we give those bicycles to foster kids and the foster kids get to come to the dealership and they get to ride their bike off the end of the line and take it out and take it for a test drive around the parking lot of the dealership, and then they get to load in their vehicle and take it home. It’s pretty cool because a lot of these foster kids, it’s the first new thing that they’ve ever been given. They’re normally given hand-me-downs, so these kids, their eyes just light up. It’s just been an amazing thing.
One thing with my business that I offer is I offer that system. Say a company wants to do an outreach and they want to build bicycles, we can find you a partner that’s willing to front the money for those bikes. The hardest part really, with a bicycle, is finding one that’s not already assembled because if you go to Walmart or places like that, they usually assemble those bikes and they’re ready to sell. It’s really hard to find 100 bicycles that aren’t assembled, but we find those bikes, we have them delivered, and then we build those. And then we find foster agencies nearby and we partner with them and then your business gets the credit for doing an outreach like that. That’s one of my Impact program for community outreach.
B: I’ve got some videos for that I’ll add to the notes of this interview that they can check out. I think there’s one or two different videos that I saw.
T: Yeah, we did that bike build and then we partnered with another Toyota dealership, Frankfort Toyota in Frankfort, Kentucky. There, we put school supplies and brand-new backpacks, they gave them to foster kids. They actually sponsor 300 foster kids, so that was pretty amazing. We called all the different schools and found out what are the specific items, what’s the school list for third grade, what’s the school list is for fifth grade and so forth, and then we did a kit-boxing style. We taught the customers how to kit box and we kit-boxed and we put a manifest on each backpack and then we stuffed it full of the exact items that was supposed to be in it and then we labelled it and that it goes to little Susie or whoever it is, and then Susie came and got her backpack. That was another really fun impact opportunity that we did.
B: I remember that video as well. I’ll add that to the list. Is there a training element of this too or is that something else you’re thinking about, like a workshop?
T: No, there actually is. Depending on what the company wanted, but if they wanted to do the one-week long program, we actually go in and we train the people how to build an assembly line using flex pipe or a Creform type pipe and fitting system. We build the assembly line and we write our own standardized work and we design it. We take a week to build our assembly line, write our standardized work, do time studies, we teach all the elements of Lean and then, on Friday, we built however many bikes that customer wants to provide. It’s a week-long training that the company gets to give usually about 20 employees, and then on Friday, they get to give those bikes to the foster kids so then they gain that community outreach opportunity and the benefits of being able to show that they’re a good community partner.
B: That sounds like a great program. How did that come out, the bike donation program? how did that get started?
T: There was a gentleman named Bud Gates and he was the father of the gentleman that owns Toyota South, which his name was Steve Gates. I got to know Steve through some networking opportunities and I had gotten to know Bud. Bud was an awesome human being. He just loved kids, he loved animals, just such a great guy. After he passed away, I started thinking how could we honor Bud and do something nice good for the world. So I started brainstorming and just came up with the idea to do the bike build. I presented it to Steve and, of course, he was 110% on board to get to do something good for the community and honor his dad at the same time. The bike build is actually called the Bud Gates Bike Drive, and that’s in honor of Steve’s dad.
B: Very cool.
B: Let’s talk about your work with Lex-Pro, how that started, how that worked its way into Toyota and a little bit on the program.
T: It kind of goes almost hand-in-hand with the timing of the book. The president of Toyota at the time, Steve St. Angelo, he actually went on to be the CEO of Toyota in South America, his wife was a retired special education teacher in Michigan, so he had a heart for people with intellectual disabilities. The director of Lex-Pro ran into Steve somewhere out in the community in a community networking event and told him about his organization and Steve got interested in it and started studying it. Then he came to me one day and said, “I have a challenge for you, Tim.” Keep in mind I’m a Team Leader, so there’s about six levels between us. That kind of shows the mentality of Toyota leadership, which I think is one of the strengths of Toyota.
He came to me and said, “I have a challenge for you. I’d like to find work for these people that have developmental disabilities,” because Lex-Pro, before 2008, their number one customer was RAND McNally. When GPS hit and everybody had a smartphone, there was really no more need for road atlases, so their biggest customer stopped and they would use them to package them all. Now Lex-Pro’s in a jam and they need some help. Steve came to me and said, “Can you find work for these folks?”
So I started looking, I reached out to about 40 Team Members in my network and said, “Be on the lookout for something that this group can sub-assemble. It’s got to be easy, it’s got to be fail-proof, because they are people with intellectual disabilities and we want to make sure that the quality is never sacrificed in any way on the cars. Let’s see if we can’t find that perfect part.” One day, a member came up to me and said, “Hey, I think I found your part,” and it was the exhaust bracket. The exhaust bracket has a rubber bushing that goes on it and the exhaust bracket gets shot to the body and then it gets this rubber bushing on it and then the tailpipe or whatever the exhaust is, that gets pushed into the other end of the rubber bushing. We started looking at that and decided that would be the perfect part.
Then the challenge came in to do we take the parts to Lex-Pro’s office or do we bring the Lex-Pro people to the plant? We started off wanting to take the work there and quickly realized that, due to contracts and things like that, the suppliers guarantee the quality of their parts to the Toyota factory, so if it went to a middle stop, it wasn’t going to work. They decided that we would bring the workers to Toyota. The workers, 10 years later, they still come to work every day and they sub-assemble these parts and they do enough for Assembly One and Assembly Two, both shifts, and they do them in about four hours. There’s four to five Team Members that come in daily and they come in and they just sub-assemble all of those parts. They are so proud to collect the paycheck and to get to say that they work at Toyota.
Often, that group of people is often the forgotten group. As a society, we tend to want to put them in a day program somewhere and hide them away and not really let them be a part of society, but they desperately want to be and they add so much value to the world through their innocent nature and their good nature. They have so much value that the Toyota team loves them. They actually kind of adopt them and they buy them Christmas gifts every year at Christmas and they have a Christmas party for them. They just really started fitting in with the team. They have lunch with the team members and they’re just a part of the organization.
B: I was fortunate to go visit Lighthouse for the Blind up in Seattle. I think it sounds very similar. They had their own facility and factory though, it wasn’t inside of another company. But, yeah, it was just really impressive and I think each of the individual workers that were feeling like they were able to contribute. This is not easy stuff they’re e working on. This his military equipment and items and they could find a role for each person. It was pretty impressive.
T: And they really are just so proud to be able to say that they’re working for a company like that. When we did the Lex-Pro, DiversityInc magazine actually chose it as one of the top 10 diversity projects in 2012. Myself and the manager at the time, David Orrender, we got to go to DiversityInc’s Innovation fest and present that in front of about 200 leaders and executives for diversity. That was another cool opportunity to get to do.
B: You said you’re still involved with that?
T: I actually now have that contract and I hired those same workers for different reasons. The nonprofit itself, the little organization that they were in, they had to change some things structurally and organization- wide, so I hired those same workers and still, they go to Toyota every day and they work every day. That’s one thing that my company can offer through that impact program is if an organization wants to do something like this, we can come in and help determine what would be a good part, find a partner or an organization locally, and train up those workers to where they can come in as safely work in your factory. That’s another thing from that community aspect that TCG can offer a company.
B: I want to go back a little bit. You had talked about servant leadership. I’m assuming a lot of people understand what that is, but just in case, how do you describe servant leadership and maybe how it fits in with TPS or how your experienced that at Toyota?
T: Absolutely. Servant leadership gets somewhat of a negative stereotype because people think that servant leadership is just being nice and just trying to make anybody happy all the time. Really, what servant leadership is giving people what they need, not necessarily what they want. If you can give them what they want and it not cost the company in a negative way, then, by all means, we should do that from a society standpoint. But servant leadership really is giving people what they need to be successful in life, that’s really what it boils down to. It’s having empathy. Empathy is one of my favorite words just because I think it would solve a lot of the world’s problems if we could understand the next person and put ourselves in their shoes and see the issues from their perspective. I think empathy is huge.
Just some of the values for me that makes a good servant leader is trust, it’s how can you focus on building a trusting relationship. Resilience, never giving up in the face of difficulty. For me, that’s an important value for servant leadership. Always being innovative, what are those unique opportunities that we can do that can actually help solve the needs of the people around us? always being able to adapt. Gratitude, being thankful for where we’re at in life. For good and bad, we all still have something to be thankful for. I think that’s an important aspect of servant leadership. Striving and teaching people to have a learning culture. The people that think that they know what all are often the ones that are going to struggle to most in life, so if we can always learn to have a learning culture, that’s a benefit. And then character. Try to pass positive judgments onto others until you learn all the facts and then if someone needs to be coached and that’s what they need, you coach them.
Servant leadership often also creates these game-changing opportunities. I’m actually a pastor at my church. I’m a family minister, so servant leadership, just from a moral standpoint, is very important for me.
B: That’s great. I’m hoping that that is starting to change, that companies are realizing that the old command-and-control approach of the leader knows the answers and has all the answers and is expected to know the answers and they’re the smartest person and they get to dictate how everyone else operates and follow my commands, I’m hoping people are starting to realize that’s not a very effective model, especially in the long term.
T: I agree. I one time shared that I read the Art of War and a really good servant leadership person, a mentor that I had, said, “Be careful with that book,” and I said, “I’m reading it so I can understand how other people think.” I didn’t learn anything in it hardly, but it’s like what makes people think the way they think? back in the 50s and 60s, the Art of War was probably the number one leadership book. I think it was mandatory reading probably, back then, for any corporate leader and so it’s really good to see that there is a shift in leadership thinking. It’s been happening since the 70s, but it seems like, at this point in time, it’s really finally starting to change for the better.
B: Let’s hope so. I think that some of the other elements you talked about there are very timely as well today with listening and understanding and empathy. All those things are so important and I think we’re seeing the effects that those haven’t been happening in our society. I think some of these principles are actually well aligned with where we need to be going.
T: I agree and I think that they can definitely change the world if everyone would follow these. I say two wrongs doesn’t make a right and so you’ve got to look at empathy from both sides of the spectrum and try to find middle ground. I think in today’s society, that’s not happening like it needs to be, so hopefully, we’ll see a paradigm shift in that and we can start having some good dialogue to fix things that truly need to be fixed.
B: Can you talk about CQPO? What is the organization, how did you get involved with it, what are they trying to work on or accomplish? The acronym here is a Center for Quality People and Organizations.
T: CQPO is a gentleman man named Mike Hoseus, he wrote the book Toyota Culture, he co-wrote it with Jeffrey Liker, which is an excellent book. That’s one of my top three books that I tell people that they need to read if they’re wanting to go to a Toyota system. Mike actually started CQPO and what we do is we go in and we teach Toyota production system basics in the high schools. Then he also does it with businesses, but we actually go in and we do a four-day class with the high schools. They get to end their four-day class with a trip, on the fifth day, to visit a Toyota factory and see everything that they learned in action. It works out really good because we’re training up Toyota’s future workforce, so it’s good for everybody all the way around.
I really got involved in that in about the last 16 months. Mike does these conferences where companies come in and he does these full conferences. I started getting involved because he would ask me to be a guest speaker and then from there, he started asking if I’d be interested in helping teach the high school kids, so I started doing that last year. So hopefully, next year, with everything going on, we can get back to normal and we’ll be able to start teaching those kids again next year. We’re looking at possibly doing an online program to where other states even can get the curriculum if we have to go to more of an online classroom setting for next year. Just a couple of options we’re looking at doing.
B: What’s that engagement look like, prior to the COVID, when you were on-site? how many hours? What kind of topics? Can you talk through the little bit?
T: It’s five hours a day, four days of classroom training, and then we do a field trip day to Toyota, and then we do a field trip today to the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering. The four classroom days, we teach the basic tools of Lean, we teach kaizen, we teach human relations, culture, we teach the pull system, we teach a little bit about 5S, just the very basics to get their mind thinking right. Whenever they start going out in the workplace and they start hearing these concepts, they have some understanding of what the companies are talking about. And then the field trips to UK and Toyota, they speak for themselves. They’re really good learning opportunities. The classroom training is a lot of fun. It’s very interactive. We normally have about 20 kids in the classroom and there’s two instructors and it’s very interactive. We teach standardized work by building a paper airplane. We do a couple of exercises like that just to try to make it fun and interactive for the kids. It’s been a great class.
They’ve been teaching for about probably about 10 or 12 years now and the gentleman that always taught it, he’s at the age that he’s ready to start thinking about retiring, so Mike is looking at a succession plan and I’m just thankful that I’m a part of that succession plan. It’s a pretty good opportunity.
B: I think some of these skills are something that is lacking in our school systems. I think just problem-solving and working together as teams. There’s group assignments and stuff, but I think working together on a problem and working through a PDCA cycle or learning to try out ideas and get to the root cause, I think those are things that I don’t remember learning about it. Not until I started working did I start to really learn those techniques, and so, yeah, I think that’s an awesome program to embed that thinking early. It’s a great time to expose people to that.
T: Yeah, and the kids really, most of them are juniors or seniors in high school and they’re getting ready to go out into the world. It’s really a good opportunity for the kids and for us to get to teach those kids and feel like we’re helping out the next generation. I’m really proud of my involvement with CQPO.
B: And I’ll have a link to that website as well, along with the Toyota Culture book and your book, and the videos of the bike video assembly donation process, the school supplies video, your consulting firm, and the Impact program. Anything else you wanted to share or talk about?
T: I can’t think of anything right off. We also do some fundamental skills training tables that we can provide and teach. It’s basically teaching your team members how to shoot bolts and nuts and things like that. I actually just made a trip out. I was actually in your neck of the woods, Brion. I traveled 4100 miles last week and drove from Georgetown, Kentucky to Casa Grande, Arizona to make a delivery and then drove back home and did all that in seven days. A pretty big trek across the United States twice and I got to see the Grand Canyon for the first time, so that was really cool.
But really, if a company has a need one thing that I’ve tried to do is if a company reaches out to me and they have a need, I want to be able to make one phone call and meet that need. I’ve partnered with a lot of companies to be able to do that. If it’s a company that needs a specialized tape, one phone call, I can take get it for them. Really anything like that, software or anything like that. I’ve tried to really think through my business and what would be the needs of my clients and can I make one phone call? you know that old game six degrees of separation or whatever it was? I want to be one degree away from being able to solve somebody’s problem. That’s really whenever I started planning my business, that’s really what I looked at is how can I meet the needs, quickly, of my clients and customers and get them what they need and help them solve their problems as fast as I can? that’s really what I’m all about.
B: What are some of the clients that you’re working with or what are your ideal clients that you’re looking to connect with and reach out and work with?
T: Automotive suppliers. I would really love to be able to help a hospital or a nursing home and be able to take the Toyota principles and be able to apply it to where they can take care of more people and be more efficient and their quality of service would even be better. I would love to be able to work with a hospital.
My biggest client right now is Lucid Motors in Casa Grande, Arizona and they’re launching an electric car factory. Right now, they actually located in Newark, California, but they’re building a factory in Arizona and that’s where I delivered the training tables to last week. It’s really cool to get to see this brand-new car coming together and going to market. It’s going to be groundbreaking. I think it gets about 450 miles on a charge, so I’m pretty excited about my involvement with that company, even if it’s just a little bit, which is what it is. One of my clients is the Toyota factory in Georgetown, so it was good to go back home.
Really, anything automotive related, healthcare, I really want to be it able to help out a nonprofit every year, which I’m doing now. I’ve partnered with two nonprofits in the Kentucky area, but that’s all pro bono work, so I really like to help out nonprofits as well.
B: That’s great. Lucid, I just looked at. It looks pretty cool.
T: It’s a really cool car company. They’ll be one to watch for the future for sure.
B: Great. I really appreciate your time. I think this was a really good chat and, even for myself, just get all the pieces put back together again on some of your work. I hope to hear more about the stuff you’re doing and I really like this idea of partnering with the companies to combine that with outreach and get their employees engaged in that process, maybe through a workshop, but at the end of it, you’re providing something of value to the community while everyone’s getting a chance to learn and work together. I think that’s really cool and then getting into the schools and working with our youth and giving them skills coming out of the gate. They’re better able to be more effective and solve problems together in a way that, as we know, these are times when we need to solve a lot of problems. I think that skillset is really powerful so those are awesome programs.
T: Thank you, Brion. I appreciate the opportunity and your time and all the work that you’re doing to make the world a better place. I just think it’s awesome what you’re doing and I’m happy to support you and be able to help great work on your side as well.
B: Thank you very much. Anything else you want to add?
T: No, I believe that’s it.
B: All right, cool. Thank you so much.
T: You have a great day.
B: You too.