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CCAC Spotlight:Celia Espinoza

In a way, Celia Espinoza's 'LEAN' journey has mirrored her life journey with both paths intersecting in Sudbury and the North East CCAC. A key member of our Project Management team, Celia recently attained her LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt certification, which allows her to create her own material and train other interested colleagues in LEAN methodology. A certified teacher with a major in mathematics, Celia and her husband (an electrical engineer) made several stops on their respective career paths beginning in her native Peru to Thunder Bay, ON, west to Kitimat, BC, south to California, and finally settling in the Lone Star state.  

Soon after moving to Texas, Celia entered into a dual graduate program, receiving her Masters in Health Care Administration and Business Administration from the University of Houston. It was in the course of these studies that Celia first became aware of the LEAN Six Sigma methodology, which was just being introduced, and she was part of the first group to do the LEAN internship. According to Celia, "LEAN was one of those new concepts that completely changed my perspective. LEAN is a perfect structure that provides for continuous improvement with the right tools, team work, and management commitment. It is rewarding because you can predict the results and watch them unfold."

Putting her new skills into practice, Celia completed her LEAN Green Belt for her work at a local Vein Clinic in Houston. Typically, a Green Belt project stays on paper as a proposed continuous implementation project that includes several recommendations to be done over a year. Thanks to Celia's diligence and leadership, the project attained black belt status in just 12 months, saving the Vein Clinic over $300,000 (and a mark of 100% from Villanova University). In July 2012, Celia and her family made the long trip north to Sudbury. She joined the CCAC team two months later and continued on her LEAN journey. 

"This Black Belt certification is a huge step forward in our LEAN efforts," says Rob Barnett, Director of Research, Planning and Partnership. "Celia's accomplishment is definitely our gain, and we are very proud of her." 

Celia says her next step is to achieve her LEAN Masterbelt. "I am a strong believer in signs, and there have been many sign posts in my life that have influenced my decisions and led me to where I am today. My introduction to LEAN happened when it did for a reason, and I am eager to take it to the next level."