Education officials learn a few things about process improvement from TECO’s team of experts

From left to right: Paul Lulgjuraj, Luke Buzard, Dr. Gloria Hill (all with TECO) and Steve Knobl, Bobbi Davis and Steve Costner (with the ELC).

Excellence in the name of education. From left to right: Paul Lulgjuraj, Luke Buzard, Dr. Gloria Hill (all with TECO) and Steve Knobl, Bobbi Davis and Steve Costner (with the ELC).

Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas & Process Improvement SuperCenter?

Don’t look for that sign outside of TECO Plaza just yet, but big things happening inside the building are proving to be good news for external institutions in the communities we serve.

Director of Pipeline Safety and Operational Services Luke Buzard, with Peoples Gas, provided the connection as a Governor Scott-appointed board member of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, a 501-C3 organization that specializes in the funding and delivery of quality early childhood care and education to the children and families of Hillsborough County.

“I’m always looking for ways to assist the coalition to better serve the early learning community – every efficiency they gain in the administration of the ELC can create more dollars to support children who need quality early learning and provide more time for the ELC to serve the providers and families in Hillsborough County,” he said. “As a previous member of the corporate Audit team, I worked closely with Gloria and Paul’s group and I know the power they possess when it comes to teaching and inspiring change and improvement in business processes or practices.”

ELC leaders from left to right: Robert Buesing, Steve Knobl, Luke Buzard and Aakash Patel.

ELC leaders from left to right: Robert Buesing, Steve Knobl, Luke Buzard and Aakash Patel.

That would be Dr. Gloria Hill and Paul Lulgjuraj, both operational excellence specialists and Lean Master/Black Belts. With Buzard, they welcomed CEO Steve Knobl, Chief Financial Officer Steve Costner and Director of Organizational Development Bobbi Davis to TECO Plaza for an overview of Lean principles that TECO team members are learning more about – and finding great success with – all the time.

“One thing that the ELC visit shows is how valuable and transferrable the continuous improvement skills are,” Lulgjuraj said. “Years ago, they were primarily used in manufacturing and operations; now they’re used in non-profit organizations, government, education, healthcare, banking and financial services, etc. Any individual, team, or organization that has a process can use continuous improvement tools to improve it!”

According to Buzard, the ELC sees the potential for big benefits.

“At our recent ELC board meeting, the group that came to TECO Plaza all praised the idea generation that Paul and Gloria led,” he said. “They’re very excited about the potential to use the continuous improvement tools to be a catalyst for positive change within their organization.”

He added that he had a strong sense that the meeting of minds would succeed based on the power that comes from people engaged in important work.

“You can’t find better people in both cases,” he said of the Continuous Improvement team and the ELC. “They believe in the causes they’re working towards – and at both organizations, those causes are great.”

 

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