Technical Manager, Aerospace, NSF-ISR, LTD, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Don McFarland is an engaging, energetic and dynamic speaker, with excellent technical aptitude and a sensible business acumen. His current role is the Aerospace Technical Manager for NSF-ISR, one of the largest certification bodies in the world. In this capacity, he has audited organizations across the globe and helped to (objectively) drive continual improvement, through the effective deployment of their management system. He has actively served in an liaison / advisory capacity, with several industry committees (e.g. IPC-A-610 Standards Development Committee, J-STD-001 Standards Development Committee, the America’s Aerospace Quality Group’s Registration Management Committee, the Americas Aerospace Quality Standards Committee and the US TAG 176) that have allowed him to develop a unique perspective on the intent of these requirements. He has presented 20+ webinars, on the effective deployment of management system standard components, along with consistent “best of show” accolades for each of the four presentations given at the annual Americas Aerospace RMC Auditors Workshop. Mr.
McFarland is an authenticated and experienced lead auditor for ISO 9001, AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120 (AIEA – grade). In addition, he has worked with other management system standards (e.g. ISO 13485, ISO 14001, ISO 18001, etc.). He is a CB technical reviewer, certification veto authority, CB appeals committee member, auditor mentor, and organizational “maverick” for his employer, NSF-ISR. His past experience included teaching accredited and unaccredited ISO-themed courses; including certified lead auditor, internal auditor and management-focused standard awareness courses. He was “born into aerospace”, with his birthplace being the US Air Force Academy. At the time, his parents were both actively serving in the US Air Force, and each served 22 years before an honorable discharge at retirement. Given their employment, Mr. McFarland was fortunate enough to grow up as a “Military BRAT”, and live across the globe, while gaining a deeper admiration for culture, diversity and all things aerospace. As a last duty station, the family was assigned to Hill AFB, in northern Utah. Having a passion for service, and a love of the community, he was active in scouting and attained its highest honor, the Eagle Scout. In addition, he actively served in scouting’s honor society – the Order of the Arrow – as a youth leader, through was in a multi-state leadership position through most of his tenure in the program. After attending Weber State University, Mr. McFarland began working as a Quality Engineer, for a global consumer goods manufacturer, where he was instrumental in implementing ISO 9001 and managing the internal auditing activities of this 2000+ employee company. He began working with a certification body, performing team audits, and teaching the accredited lead auditor courses in his spare time. The relationships made through auditing led him to take on the role of “Quality Director”, for a contract manufacturing organization
- specializing in electronics, electro-mechanical assemblies, contract design services and 3PL services. In his 9 years with the company, they grew from
~80 employees to over 400, through the implementation of ISO 13485 and AS9100. Reluctantly, in 2011, he left this organization to pursue a childhood dream of being a full-time firefighter, with the department he had volunteered with for nearly 10 years already. Given the schedule (working 2 days and having 4 days off), Mr. McFarland found the need to occupy some of the “down time” with consulting, training and auditing work. By the summer of 2014, despite having been promoted to shift Captain, Don decided to revert to volunteer status with the department (where he still works today) and pursue management systems auditing and consulting. By that time, he was working with four certification bodies, teaching auditor courses and electronics certification courses, aside from the consulting work he performed. Seeing the potential in him, NSF-ISR hired him as a full-time Technical Manager and he remains there today. To date, his work has taken him to 48 US states, 7 Canadian provinces, nearly 20 different countries (and nearly half of the Major League Baseball stadiums), but he still considers Utah to be home. He, his wife, his 4 children and his two dogs balance their love for camping and family with their desire to remain involved in their church, the community, the schools and the local youth hockey programs (Don coaches two of his children).