Business Testimonials

Like other Washington State community college presidents, I was disheartened with the grim budget we were facing.  Compounding the issue was the double digit growth in student enrollment. As I looked at possible ways to address the impending crisis, I knew that we needed to do something different … something that helped us look at the problem from a different perspective so we could have different potential solutions.

We decided Lean Six Sigma principles and practices could be of benefit to us and contracted with The New Excellence.  The New Excellence personnel are bona fide efficiency experts.  Better still they have community college experience. They hit the ground running, producing dozens of solid solutions which were all presented as staff hours saved and costs avoided. Their analysis identified strategies that will save the equivalent of 28 FTE staff positions, $600,000 in potential new revenue and over $300,000 in potential expense reductions for our college.

The New Excellence team worked closely and effectively with our leadership groups and individuals across the College. They completed dozens of 1-1 interviews, facilitated group meetings and provided pertinent information back to us for our feedback and input. The entire process went quite smoothly delivering superior service in a timely manner.

I highly recommend The New Excellence to you and your college. Their expertise and experience will assist you in identifying possible solutions and practices that will assist you in your decision-making during these challenging times.


Jack Oharah, Ph.D.
Edmonds Community College


 “We set up the binder stations per your team’s suggestions and doubled the output on the first day.  I am taking your lists of tools and work stations and incorporating them into an “ask” that the chairman of our Board is taking to a local business.  It’s just the first steps and the payback has been significant already.”   ~  Mike Quinn , VP Manufacturing, Production & Assembly,  Northwest Center ~

Click Here to See Recommendations made to Northwest Center for their Binder Production

Click here to see newspaper editorial by Northwest Center President Tom Everill


“I wanted to send you a note thanking you and your class for the work you did at Electronetics.  I originally thought we were doing you a favor by providing the “classroom” for your students but in the end, both Scott Patterson and I were overwhelmed by the product your team provided.  The analysis and recommendations were right on target, easily attainable and extremely significant to reducing cost and improving productivity.  In addition, your team did a great job of presenting to “our” team and successfully started us on a path that we are now totally committed to.”

~  Mike Quinn , VP Manufacturing, Production & Assembly,  Northwest Center ~

Click here to see the letter

“Many children at Ronald McDonald House have compromised immune systems and cannot be exposed to expired food and the House is dependent on many volunteers throughout the year.  We are very grateful for the incredible difference these students have made for our employees and volunteers. Having these efficiencies gives us that much more time to serve the families staying here.”

~  Dianna Finnerty  ~
Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities
of Western Washington & Alaska.

Success Stories

“THANK YOU for a job well done!  Completing your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification program greatly increased the number of responses I received in responding to job postings. So many in fact, that within just a few months of adding this certification to my resume, I had THREE written job offers in front of me!For nearly 2 years, I have been trying to break into the Aerospace industry – only to be turned down due to lack of Aerospace experience. Having the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification has allowed me to break through that barrier and land an incredible job as a full-time Lean Six Sigma Facilitator with a local aerospace company – along with a very competitive compensation package.  I now have a place to hang my shingle and put into practice the skills that I learned in your program and look forward to taking more of your classes to help me grow in my new career.”            

~ Carl Dahl, Productivity Engineer, Aviation Technical Services ~


“This spring quarter I’ve been enrolled in Russ Coombs’ Lean/Six-Sigma classes at ECC.  Adding the Lean/Six Sigma certification to my resume helped me to secure an amazing position at a large aerospace supplier, with very competitive compensation. During classes Professor Coombs delivers well-prepared, motivating and practical lesson plans and offers relevant examples and applicable team exercises.  Russ has an easy going teaching style and shows seemingly endless patience for all his students.  I’d highly recommend this course series to anyone.”

~ Jeff Bye, May 2010 ~

“The Six Sigma/Lean plus certifications were key components that led to Microsoft seeing immense value with my experience.  Specifically, Microsoft management is seeking to apply the principles of becoming more efficient and effective in servicing both their internal and external customers.  Your certification class provided me with the education and tools that led directly to Microsoft seeking my skill set.    I have been on the job just a couple of weeks, and already, the models and applications we studied in class, are proving to be extremely valuable with my Microsoft.“ 

 ~ Rob Nichols, Consultant, Slalom Consulting, 4/28/10 ~

“The instructor’s varied and deep background, with hands-on experience directly related to the subject matter, enhanced the learning process significantly.  After becoming certified as a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt, I noticed an almost immediate difference in both the number of jobs for which I qualified, as well as the number of responses I received to my resume.  I had more requests for interviews in a few weeks than I had had in the previous year.  Not only that, but this training provided a great refresh which was very helpful during the interview process.  It’s a great feeling to once again be employed!” 

Jeannette Sumpter
Compliance Coordinator for Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) March 2010

“There is a natural link between my chosen field of Supply Chain Management and the drive for process improvements. The training I am receiving in Lean and Six Sigma equips me with powerful tools to streamline processes, eliminate waste and reduce defects. That makes me more effective at what I do and more marketable to employers. As evidence, many of the job postings for supply chain leadership and analyst roles list either Lean or Six Sigma in the job requirements.”

“Interviewers sat up and took notice when I told them how my Lean and Six Sigma can help eliminate waste and defects. I now have a job and I believe these credentials helped to make the difference.” 

~ Jason Hunt, Procurement Sourcing Specialist, March 2010 ~

“I just accepted an offer to become a Manufacturing Engineer at The Boeing Company.  The Lean Six Sigma helped me obtained a better position than the one I interviewed for.”

  ~ Vikki – Manufacturing Engineer, Boeing ~

Student Testimonials

A group of our Lean / Six Sigma students, enrolled in a Workforce Retraining Program, were asked to describe how they feel our Green Belt, Lean Plus and Black Belt Certification training courses are helping them on their career path, this is what they had to say:
“The courses provided formal training and certification that is desired / required by many employers. Six Sigma is nationally recognized and provides essential tools for decreasing risk, waste and defects while contemporaneously improving efficiency, reliability and profit.”

~ Steve Hensler, Military and Aerospace Program Manager 10/13/09 ~

“As a certified Quality Engineer with experience in In-Process Quality and Supplier Quality, the training received will be valuable in implementing process improvements and reducing quality defects.”

~ Ron Bolander, Senior Quality Engineer 10/13/09 ~

“The material and facilitation provides a substantial benefit to the promotion of my resume to an employer. The Six Sigma certifications are becoming increasingly requested. These certificates combined with my already strong resume has already opened up conversations.”

~ Patti Revoyr , Sr. Buyer and Production Manager 10/13/09 ~

“I have several years of introducing lean concepts at my workplace – without any formal training. This training is filling in a lot of blanks and giving me many more tools to use to drive Lean Initiatives. The certification is key with today’s hiring mangers and HR Departments.”

~ Carl Dahl, Customer Service Manager 10/13/09 ~

“The three certifications show to potential employers, some very applicable skill sets, and progress toward obtaining value-added areas. The principles of Six Sigma and Lean are often times a major part of the job description. I am discovering that Six Sigma is highly valued.”

~ Rob Nichols, Logistic Services Manager 10/13/09 ~

“My specialty is Process Improvement in the Software Industry. Lean / Six Sigma principles contribute to real results and are becoming more recognized in that industry … especially Lean. Being able to see opportunities and measure results has been a missing skill set. The new position I was offered after starting the courses, reflects their recognition of this training.”

~ Jeff Smith, Software Development Manager 10/13/09 ~

Many of the jobs I’ve seen advertised are seeking certifications such as Six Sigma, Lean or Operational Excellence. I am confident that the addition of these certifications to my resume will allow me to get more attention, including interviews. This training is also providing a great refresh which will be very helpful during the interview process. The instructor’s varied and deep background with hands-on experience related to the subject matter proves to enhance the learning process significantly. 

~ Jeannette Sumpter, Manufacturing Engineer 10/13/09 ~

“There is a natural link between my chosen field of Supply Chain Management and the drive for process improvements. The training I am receiving in Lean and Six Sigma equips me with powerful tools to streamline processes, eliminate waste and reduce defects. That makes me more effective at what I do and more marketable to employers. As evidence, many of the job postings for supply chain leadership and analyst roles list either Lean or Six Sigma in the job requirements.”

 ~ Jason Hunt, Supply Chain, Contracts, Inventories Manager 10/13/09 ~

“Provided extended knowledge about Six Sigma which I had experience in. Certifications add value to my resume to create more opportunity with employers who require Six Sigma knowledge.”

~ V. Le, Process Engineer – Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing 10/13/09 ~

 “I have been looking at several jobs where the company has required Lean Plus and / or Six Sigma and is the only requirement that before the training, I did not meet.”
~ Guy Balsitis, Tool & Die Maker 10/13/09 ~

“I took both the Lean / Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Plus certification classes, taught by Russ Coombs. Russ Coombs is an excellent instructor. I really like his teaching style; he made the classes both interesting and fun. I was amazed at the level of knowledge that Professor Coombs has in not only Lean / Six Sigma, but in the area of Project Management. After taking his classes, I was inspired to go on and get my PMP certification. Being able to share his “real world” experiences with us (leaving out company names to protect their privacy), Professor Coombs helped us to better understand the material we were studying. I highly recommend Russ Coombs as an instructor and for hiring his company.”

 ~ Esther Ayers, Director of Business Development, tu Decides Media 8/15/09 ~

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