President, Gorveatte Consulting
Through the application of what I call “practical magic” - blending quality management principles and industry best practice - I help companies find ways to do things quicker, faster, better, cheaper through leadership and workforce engagement. I am Susan Gorveatte; company trainer, ISO 9001:2015 auditor, and quality management coach.
I used to tell people “My career started because I was lazy”, essentially, that is true. Although now that I have been an entrepreneur and mother for twenty years, I realize now that I have been anything but lazy and actually lean towards workaholic. Here is my story:
When I graduated with my business degree I took a job at a local university where I realized that I can continue my education and participate in night classes. I identified a Certificate in Total Quality and Productivity Management that only required an additional four credits using the advanced standing of my undergrad degree, so I jumped on the opportunity! This began my journey into Quality Management. Catching the education bug again, I went on to pursue a Small Business Management Diploma. With this triple threat/hat trick of quality management education on my resume and newly married, my husband and I bid farewell to the Maritimes to hit the manufacturing hub of Windsor/Detroit.
It wasn’t long before the ocean breeze called us back at Atlantic Canada with two small children, a dog and a cat in tow. It was during that time that I formulated a business plan to work from home starting my own consulting corporation while raising my children.
If you told me then that I would still be doing this twenty years later, we would have had a good laugh. Well, fast forward twenty years and here we are and I haven’t regretted it one bit.
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
I love that I built a solid company with a reputation that represents the integrity I strive for each and every day with each and every client. Not everyone can say that they love their job. I love my job. I love what I do. I love the people I meet, I love the places I go. I most love that I can live this professional life with a family that is so supportive of the career path I have chosen.
What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
Travelling throughout North America has given me the gifts of perspective and insight. I want to see more quality management recognition for the businesses in Atlantic Canada. We are a stronghold in so many markets but I think we tend to take a back seat to the rest of the country sometimes; not willing to sing our own praises. Sing loud Atlantic Canada! We have so much to celebrate here and I want all of Canada to see the greatness and opportunity that is possible.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
Saying Yes! The American Society for Quality offered me an opportunity to volunteer as Section Chair here in Nova Scotia. Saying yes to this opportunity began an adventure that allowed me to grow professionally meeting more like-minded quality people around the world. Now I am on global committees, organizing World Conference, authoring articles and so much more. The power of saying yes is...well...powerful!
What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?
I have so many wonderful, smart friends that write, edit and contribute to books professionally, I couldn’t pick one since I don’t want to offend any of them! I just completed a project where I assembled a team to edit a portion of a text book and I have a new appreciation for anyone who can take an idea from prologue to epilogue. What a journey it must be.
I find when I read for recreation, like at the cottage, on a plane (there are lots of those times in my life), or before bedtime that I escape the professional side of me and often come up with the most creative solutions or ideas. I love reading for that reason; it doesn’t matter what the topic is, the book will take you somewhere you haven’t been. It’s good to escape and find new sides of yourself that you didn’t know were there. That's how we grow.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
I am passing several personal milestones this year, hitting the Big 50 (yep, I said it!), and a Silver Wedding Anniversary. These personal events keep things in perspective; I appreciate those people that have supported my business both professionally and personally.
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
I am a big Walt Disney fan, I know it sounds really “Mickey Mouse”, but it is true. Walt’s quote, "If you can dream it, you can do it” has resonated with me. I believe that if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. I use that philosophy with my clients when we are problem solving and finding efficiencies in their processes. Think big and make it happen!
What would you have done differently?
Things happen for a reason and we learn from our mistakes. They help us grow and encourage change. The path I chose has led me to build a strong company and career so I am pleased with the journey, no regrets, no changes needed. I focus on always looking forward.
What are the principles you live by?
That's an easy question to answer. "Surround yourself with good people and make positive life decisions!"
Trainer, Coach, Auditor, Entrepreneur, Planner, Traveler, Wife, Mother