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Recent ASQ Meetings in Washington, DC

The following is a synopsis of meetings held on behalf of ASQ in Washington, DC, Dec. 15-16, 2003. Representing ASQ: Amy Kimball, Sellery Associates, Inc., and Dick Sandretti, Sandretti Associates, Inc.

A series of eight meetings was held over the one and one-half day visit. Six of the eight contacts dealt directly with ASQ’s offer of its certification process to the Transportation Security Administration. One overriding comment from four of the six contacts was that they thought testing and certification were the same. We set the record straight. In all cases, we urged the contacts to visit the Inspector General’s web site to see first hand what type of testing was being administered. Sellery Associates is following up with recipients of the letter to Admiral Loy of the Transportation Security Administration, in which ASQ pressed its case for the adoption of a certification program for security screeners.

Veterans’ Administration - Eric Malloy and Darine Prok, senior program analysts. Discussion revolved around the needs of the VA related to conducting its annual Carey Award program. Major opportunity at this point for ASQ is to provide examiners for VA. We suggested that ASQ local sections would be a good place to seek assistance. All agreed.

Rep. Todd R. Platts (R-PA) - Member of the National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee. Nate Sloan, legislative aide, and Marianne Adezio, legislative director. Purpose of the meeting was to continue building contacts and improve understanding of the intent behind ASQ’s airport security screener certification proposal. Both expressed support when we explained the intent of the program. Mr. Sloan indicated he would inform the Congressman of the importance of the program and assured us of the Congressman’s support through letters and/or phone calls.

Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) - Member of the House Government Reform Committee and the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. Chair of the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources subcommittee. Andrew Coats, legislative aide. Mr. Coats did not realize there was no certification for TSA. He thought “testing” was the equivalent of certification. Once we explained the difference and the benefits, he supported the concept. He said he believed the Congressman would be extremely interested in it. He offered to have the Congressman draft a letter to TSA in support. He also expressed interest in the potential to expand the certification into Border Patrol.

Rep. John R. Carter (R-TX) - Member of the House Government Reform Committee. Spivey Paup, legislative aide. Mr. Paup did not realize the benefits of a separate certification. He also thought that testing was all that was needed and “certified” an individual. Again, we explained the differences. He assured us that he would carry the message to the Congressman.

Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) - Member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. Chris Miller, legislative aide. Mr. Miller said he thought testing was being passed off as certification. He said he is able and willing to work with Rep. Souder’s office, possibly to develop a letter to TSA.

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA) - Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. John Young, legislative aide. Again, we backgrounded Mr. Young on the difference between testing and certification. Mr. Young also will present the information to the Congresswoman on our behalf.

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) - Member of the House Government Reform Committee and the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. Danielle Rosengarten, deputy press secretary and legislative aide. Ms. Rosengarten said the TSA and the idea of certification of screeners is a very hot topic for the Congressman. She assured us that the Congressman would help any way he could to move the certification forward.

Council of Chief State School Officers Michael DiMaggio, director, business partners and grant development. Abigail Potts, senior project associate. CCSSO contributed $10,000 to the National Quality in Education Conference in Albuquerque. CCSSO, particularly Ms. Potts, is very interested in learning more about Koalaty Kid and how it might be worked into their educational initiatives. We recommended meeting with Suzanne Keely, ASQ’s Market Manager—Education, which Ms. Potts agreed to. We discussed potential opportunities between CCSSO and ASQ including web links. We also discussed the possibility of having G. Thomas Houlihan, CCSSO executive director, deliver a keynote at the next Quality in Education Conference. They were amenable. Mr. DiMaggio said the CCSSO was charged by the federal government from which they receive funding to find viable partners to collaborate around substantive issues. He felt ASQ was one of those groups. More discussion will be forthcoming.

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