Not just about Quality Systems, or business operations, auditing, and the like; but about nearly every subject under the sun! I've learned so much about the most diverse things from being in Ron's company: from car engines to rare Mediterranean herbs; the secret to preserving a grain of rice's non-stickiness to cutting-edge medical technologies. And you should have heard him play classical guitar. Wow! He was a man of many talents! Above all, though, Ron was a passionate family man: always talking fondly of his beloved wife (and 'Come Dancing' partner!), Jean; and the great fun he had during their grandkids' latest visits.
At SQMC, Ron's input as Technical Director was greatly valued in the board room, and I followed his advice many times with business planning and strategy. Ron was our longest-serving tutor, and he helped me get my bearings when I first joined the company, back in '98. His energy was utterly remarkable, and even in the past 5 years (while most others in his age group would be long since retired!) Ron was enthusiastically jetting off to far-flung Malaysia and Australia, just to conduct audits! He had a tremendous work ethic and commitment to his clients and students, but when you love your work as much as Ron did, it becomes a dynamo that defies the years.
As a result, Ron leaves a professional legacy found in the hundreds of high-caliber auditors working throughout Scotland, and further afield - they were trained by the best.
We'll all miss you loads, Ron.
Ron and I delivered training together sometimes, and made each other laugh when we were trying to be serious. He was a co-Director with me, and he audited some of my consultancy clients after I had implemented their management systems. We blethered on the phone about the state of management systems auditing, and exam challenges, and just stuff that only people in the same profession, same industry, can share.
He made me laugh. He loved my training designs. He was there, reliable, rock steady. We had some laughs on site audits... sliding down muddy banks, and working in gut-wrenching smells!.. And now he’s gone.
We did favours for each other; so one last one, Ron... save me a seat.
My fellow Directors at SQMC have shared some memories of Ron, above, and I just wanted to add some of my own.
I first met Ron over 30 years ago having taken up a post at Stirling University in 1990 to kick-start IRCA Quality Auditor courses to complement our MSc course in Quality Management. Ron attended one of our first Lead Auditor courses. We hit it off right away – him having been trained as a Metallurgist and me as an Engineer. We spoke the same “nuts and bolts” language! We spent many a time discussing the best ways of conveying the technical details of ISO 9001 to students. It was great fun! Even when not everything went according to plan; like the time SQMC conducted a Lead Auditor course for a client in Texas, while all our training material was still held up at U.S. Customs in New York! A true Quality Professional, Ron calmly started the course, using his own copy of the Notes, while our client printed off duplicate sets! Ron – efficient and unflappable.
I will miss the chats with my good friend.