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Diane Young Speaks to Students About Leadership

May 02, 2023


Students at Washington High School had the opportunity to listen to guest speaker, Diane Young, Director of Technical Services at the Foundation Analytical Laboratory in Cherokee. Foundation Analytical Laboratory, Inc. is a contract testing laboratory serving Food, Animal Feed, Pet Food, Ethanol, and Environmental Industries. 


Diane spoke to the students about this month’s theme, “Leadership” and how it plays a role in your life. Diane shared her experience in the past working for different companies and how the view of customers, the treatment of people and lack of teamwork, and leadership were main reasons companies fail and turnaround is high. Diane learned from these experiences that she wanted no part of a company with a lack of these attributes. Diane said, “People have to care about people”.


Diane mentioned that most companies overlook soft skills and aren’t willing to invest in them.  However, the Foundation Analytical Lab is not one of those companies. The lab’s motto is, “That’s Smarter Science” and prides itself on prioritizing soft skills. Diane illustrated her top five soft skills. 


  1. Communication-use eye contact, shake hands with people, smile and put the phone down

  2. Teamwork-(This is the hardest one) Working together to get things done is key. 

  3. Interpersonal skills-They involve reading the signals that others send and interpreting them accurately in order to form effective responses. 

  4. Work ethic-People with a strong work ethic take pride in their jobs and see every task they do as important. These are employees that rarely, if ever, arrive on the job late. 

  5. Problem solving- Involves critical thinking, decision-making, creativity, and information processing. 


Diane wrapped up her presentation by encouraging everyone to implement and practice actively listening, being a problem solver and being a leader, but most importantly, making sure you are a team player and “Never quit, never quit, never quit!”


Thank you, Diane, for speaking to the student body today and the Foundation Analytical Lab for your ongoing support for the Cherokee Community School District. 

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