Jim FitzGerald

Growing Up

Jim FitzGerald primarily grew up in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful experience because on my street alone there were many kids my own age. Occasionally, I would randomly run into famous people ( Dick Van Dyke) and not so randomly ( Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and wow is he tall.

Sports Highlights

In 9’th grade I was selected for an All-Star basketball team that went to the finals which were played in the LA Lakers stadium, the Forum. We lost by 1 to an All-Star team from San Francisco.

Also, in 9’th grade I played QB on a Pop Warner team with a 145 lb weight limit. There were only 15 guys on the team. There were only 3 other teams at that weight limit in LA.

In my first year of a 3 year high school I became the third string varsity quarterback. Taft High School was a 3 year 4000 student school.

In the middle of my sophomore year of high school I move from Tarzana to a cattle ranch outside Monte Rio. It was in the largest, by area, HS district in CA. However, El Molino High School at the time had just 400 students. I played end and defensive tackle and was voted Team Captain my senior year.

During college I played midfield on the Lacrosse team at U.C. Davis.

Jim FitzGerald To The Ranch

Living on a ranch is everything a boy could want. There is always activity and things to do. When I moved up to the ranch there were bats on the second floor, Jim FitzGerald had to exit out a window to take a shower standing on a great, and had an opportunity to put a roof on the house.

Since the ranches closest neighbor was a quarter-mile away fortunately I had a drivers license. High school was a 20 minute drive and was the largest high school district in California. I was very worried that the high school played seven man football but, since one out of four of high school boys played football, there were plenty of people to play 11 man football.

US Naval Academy

Two weeks after graduating from high school Jim was off to the US Naval Academy. Though Jim only stayed one year, Jim learned a lot. Jim learned the importance of honor, hard work, athletics, and camaraderie. Jim rode crew at Navy and practiced until the river froze over.

University of California Davis

After the US Naval Academy Jim returned to earn a degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis. While at Davis Jim was awarded work-study financial aid which allowed him to work any biochemistry lab. This made it easy for Jim to get a job in biochemistry after leaving Davis.

Electrical Engineering

Jim learn two important things about biochemistry. It takes a PhD to get funding and all my professors at Davis were relatively young. Jim decided that if he spent four years getting a PhD that he may only be able to find a job in Iowa.

Electrical Engineering is a much more broad subject and employable. Jim talked to multiple electrical engineers and determined that San Jose State was a premier school. This is because San Jose State gets funding from Silicon Valley businesses. Jim got a job before he graduated.

Masters in Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering at San Jose State is very broad from high voltage systems to chip logic designs, it covered it all. There is value in that but when Jim got a job he found the focus was much narrower. This pushed him to get a Masters in Electrical Engineering in a specialty area. Santa Clara University, in Silicon Valley, had a morning graduate program that was geared to people that were already working. That was where Jim got his Masters degree.

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Jim is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with multiple websites.

While Jim progressed through the different certifications to become a Master Black Belt he did a deep dive into what makes the Toyota production system such a great system. So, Jim built a website to direct businesses on how to build their Toyota Production System.

As an expert on The Toyota Production Jim FitzGerald wants to help other systems implement their own 6+ Sigma Toyota Production System (it will improve any system): www.BuildYourTPS.com

If you want to implement Lean Six Sigma then go here: www.Lean-Six-Sigma.biz

And, if you want to Innovate like Silicon Valley then go here: Innovation-World.co