About IDEAS and the Partners

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The Firm

IDEAS began operations in 1993 as the solo consultancy of Peter Baston. In 2005, IDEAS business technology integration LLC was reorganized as a partnership. In addition to the two partners, the firm can call on about
30 experienced consultants who work with us from time to time, depending
on the nature of the need.

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The Partners

Peter BastonPete Baston

Pete, the founder of IDEAS, is a Senior Executive Consultant with extensive experience in best practices, Quality Assurance, and the pursuit of excellence in company operations. He has performed due diligence investigations for financial institutions, foundations, and re-insurance companies, driving best practices and pursuit of excellence for their clients. Industries he has worked in include: energy, engineering and construction, manufacturing, healthcare, petrochemical, information technology, telecommunications, and many more.

Pete grew up in two worlds—Europe and Africa—and during that time he acquired four college degrees and formed his first business, an independent subsidiary of the Ajax Group, a Rhodesia-based commercial construction conglomerate. His consulting firm was the chief troubleshooter for the conglomerate, resolving engineering, project management and materials acquisition problems, as well as implementing best practices programs. Their work stretched all across African with international clients including Fluor, Soros, Maurabeni, Hyundai, Asea Brown Boveri, Bechtel and others.

His experience in Africa, where a shortage of resources absolutely required that engineering projects be done right the first time because there were no additional funds available to correct mistakes, gave Pete an enduring passion for “doing it right in the real world” and a reputation for accomplishing the seemingly impossible with minimal resources. Shuttling between England and Africa, he often says, meant learning to operate in perfectly opposed environments: how to get nothing done with lots of resources, or how to get everything done with minimal resources. This has translated into a life-long commitment to helping companies develop best practices for the pursuit of excellence, and using best practices and Quality Assurance as applied engineering. For Pete, this is the anchor for everything that a company does, and the key to consistent and enduring profitability. Deming’s 14 points are the manifesto that has accompanied him all over the world, and which he has integrated into field implementation and operations on every project he’s managed.

After the Rhodesian political implosion, Pete left Africa and spent a year and a half doing free-lance consulting throughout Europe. From there, he was recruited to the US by the California division of Fluor Engineering to provide best practices expertise and Quality Assurance oversight on assignment to a variety of teams. For a number of years he served as a troubleshooter and market development consultant for the Fluor Power Services Division and its research arm, Buildings of the Future, as well as for Nation’s Bank. In this capacity, he was certified as a quality auditor and performed due diligence reviews and construction project audits on billion dollar construction projects. In 1986, Pete founded his own manufacturing, design and service firm, Monkradle, to develop, manufacture and market advanced support equipment and systems for petrochemical and power plants to promote best practices and the pursuit of excellence in the energy industry.

In the early 1990s, as it became apparent that computers and information technology would eventually drive best practices and all of the industrial design and maintenance industry, he sold his company and took an extended sabbatical to learn digital technology from the ground up at the University of California San Diego, Northwestern University, the University of British Columbia and MIT. Pete pursued an independent and eclectic course of studies that eventually led to a list of technical certifications as long as his arm. In 1996, on a visit to Los Alamos National Labs and the Santa Fe Institute, he decided to settle in New Mexico. Over the following decade, Pete took on on a number of large technical concept development, best practices and problem-solving projects with government agencies and private companies.

In 2010, IDEAS moved its base of operations to Boulder, Colorado, a center for development of the most advanced parametric technology in the world. Pete believes parametric technology will be the cornerstone for future development of advanced best practices using digital workflow.

Pete is a frequent speaker, lecturer and writer on best practices and the pursuit of excellence and how they work in the real world. He is a Board Member of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and an Advisor Member Guru of Engineers Without Borders. He is also a Member of the American Society for Quality and a frequent invited speaker at ASQ meetings.

Lilli Segre

Lilli SegreLilli brings thirty-five years of experience in corporate operations, project management and technical communications in both public and private sectors to the IDEAS team. She has a strong background in policy development, performance management systems and reporting, and quality assurance systems. Her experience includes operations management in software development and manufacturing environments, as well as the design and deployment of organizational training and re-training programs to support process implementation.

While at Honeywell, Lilli earned her Six Sigma Green Belt. She has been trained in several quality assurance protocols, including Lean Management. Lilli has participated in quality audits both as auditor and auditee, and trained for qualification as an auditor. She has developed or supported quality assurance systems compliant with ISO 9000:2000 and NQA-1 standards in both large and small businesses.

For ten years, she worked exclusively in Information Technology, overseeing marketing, proposal and bid efforts and later managing project teams for value-added-resellers in complex systems and network deployment. Briefly recruited as Director of Communications for the Human Services Department of the State of New Mexico, Lilli oversaw communications policy for one of the largest departments in the State. Just before joining Pete in forming the IDEAS partnership, Lilli managed operations for two small start-ups formed to market technologies derived from research performed at Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Prior to embarking on a business career, she taught language, literature and linguistics at the University of Toronto, Erindale Campus. Lilli attended Vassar College, Brown University and the University of Pavia, Italy, and holds a B.A. and M.A.