Brand New

ASQ launches effort to make members’ voices heard around the globe

Since 2004, ASQ has encouraged its members to "Make Good Great." Now, it wants to help them find their voices.

As part of "ASQ 2015," a brand transformation initiative, the organization is rolling out a new tag line: The Global Voice of Quality. But it’s not ASQ that will be doing the talking; it’s the members who motivated the change in the first place.

"When I go out and talk to member groups and the quality community, and I ask why they’re here, I don’t get, ‘I come to ASQ to get knowledge about tools and techniques I can take back to my company and make a difference,’" said Paul Borawski, ASQ executive director and chief strategic officer. "While I know that making a difference at work is at the heart of quality, what I hear is, ‘I’m here because I’m passionate about quality and passionate about what quality can do to make the world a better place.’"

With that customer input in mind, ASQ conducted research to determine its brand awareness and reputation. What it found was a gap between the organization’s message and the role it could be playing in the quality community, as well as in the wider business world. To address that gap, ASQ is putting the emphasis on empowerment.

Giving ASQ members the means to makes their voices heard is only natural, Borawski said, because nobody understands the impact quality can have on the world better than them. Not tapping into that knowledge and passion would be a missed opportunity, so the organization set in motion a strategy that will spread that message worldwide—one person at a time.

"Our members know quality can have a much bigger impact than it does. They look to ASQ and say, ‘Help us get the world to appreciate the importance of quality,’" Borawski said. "The way we’re going to help is by looking to them and empowering them to be their own champion, their own advocate. We’ll continue to do what we do, but we need to increase the volume of the voice."

Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ managing director and leader of the brand transformation initiative, echoed that sentiment. "It’s a mind-set change in favor of the members, empowering the members. It’s giving their voices predominance in the brand so they become the most visible, vocal, high-impact voice for the brand around the globe."

Raising the profile of ASQ members started with making them ambassadors for the organization via the "Adding New Voices" program. As part of the initiative, select members were able to nominate a friend or colleague to receive the gift of a six-month, no-obligation membership.

ASQ is also adding new voices to its online presence, including Borawski’s blog, "View From the Q," which will feature discussions on the latest quality trends and topics. And on the right-hand side of the "View From the Q" home page, members will find the ASQ "Blog Roll," a list of contributors from ASQ’s global community of quality experts whose insights will come from India, Australia, Ecuador and the United States, and will include topics ranging from logistics to statistics.

ASQ is debuting these programs and initiatives this month, which it is celebrating—along with other global organizations, ASQ world partners and country councilors—as World Quality Month. To find the latest events, as well as a video on the brand transformation, visit www.asq.org.

—Brett Krzykowski, assistant editor


Former ASQ President, Spencer Hutchens Jr., Dies  

Spencer Hutchens Jr., a former ASQ president and the namesake for ASQ’s social responsibility medal, died Oct. 12 after a lengthy illness. He was 88.

Hutchens was born in Atlanta and attended Morehouse University before joining the U.S. Army to fight in World War II. With his strong academic and engineering backgrounds, Hutchens was sent to the U.S. Army Signal Corps’ secret radar training school in 1942. There, he became one of only 13 blacks in the corps’ elite Range Group program. After training, he was stationed in India and joined a radar group that monitored enemy air activity. He eventually rose to the rank of sergeant.

Hutchens started his professional career in 1948, continuing his service to the U.S. government. He worked as a radar inspector at the U.S. Army Signal Corp, and later he served as director of inspection for the U.S. western region. After 30 years of government work, Hutchens retired from the public sector in 1977.

A short time later, he joined the Intertek Group as a senior vice president and helped establish the business as one of the leading inspection, product testing and certification companies in the world. He retired from Intertek on two separate occasions but still maintained his office at its Los Angeles location until six months ago.

Hutchens joined ASQ in 1950 and soon became very active in the society’s activities. He served as ASQ president in 1988 and became chairman the following year. Hutchens was given ASQ’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002. Earlier this year, he was awarded ASQ’s Lancaster Medal for his lifetime contributions to the international quality community. He also received the C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal from the American Productivity & Quality Center.

Hutchens is survived by nephews Lamar McKinney and Spencer McKinney, godson Spencer Foote and many other nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Vilma Erlein Eason, and his sister, Annie Mae McKinney.


Program, Award Renamed to Emphasize Excellence

The nation’s top quality award and program have new names.

The Baldrige National Quality Program has been renamed the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award will now be called the Malcolm Baldrige Award.

The federal agency that manages the program announced last month that the move was necessary to highlight and emphasize organizational excellence, not just a focus on product, service and customer quality.

"In the more than two decades since the inception of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the field of quality has evolved from a focus on product, service and customer quality to a broader, strategic focus on overall organizational quality—which we have called performance excellence," said Harry Hertz, the Baldrige program’s director.

"The Baldrige criteria have evolved to stay on the leading edge of validated management practice and needs, so it is fitting that our new name emphasizes the concept of excellence," he said.

The National Institute of Standards Technology, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, manages the program. ASQ sponsors and provides administrative support to the program.

2010 site visits

Judges for the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige Award have selected 16 organizations for the final review stage. This includes site visits to two organizations in the manufacturing category, four in small business, one in service, one in education, seven in healthcare and one in nonprofit.

The panel of judges and a board of examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige Award sifted through 83 applications this year. In 2009, five organizations were honored. The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be announced later this month.

The latest QP feature article highlighting the individual 2009 award recipients—Heartland Health of St. Joseph, MO—can be found on p. 44.

Other articles featuring past Baldrige recipients can be found at http://asq.org/qualityprogress/topics/index.html?topic=2&mode=nav&lst=more&parenttopic=qp2.


Too Big, Too Fast? 

Egg recall highlights need to always keep eye on risk management systems

As a House of Representatives subcommittee scrambled this fall to determine who or what was to blame for this summer’s salmonella outbreak traced to Iowa egg facilities, one food safety expert said the outbreak and ensuing recalls underscore the importance of adhering to solid risk management principles in any type of business or operation.

While investigators continued to sort out the factors that might have contributed to the massive egg recall and lawmakers debated about what might prevent future recalls from happening, one thing is clear: The facility at the center of the investigation might have gotten too big, too fast.

"We got big quite a while before we stopped acting like we were small," Jack DeCoster, owner of Wright County Egg Farms told a House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee in late September. "We were big before we started adopting sophisticated procedures to be sure we met all of the government requirements."1

That just might be the root cause of the whole situation.

 "When you have large operations, every time you grow or consolidate, you have to look at [the new operations] from a different perspective of risk," said John Surak, ASQ food safety expert. "If you look at ISO 9001, 22000, 14001, 18001—the big thing for executives to remember is that these systems are in place to mitigate the risks."

ISO 9001:2008 outlines the requirements for quality management systems. ISO 22000:2005 specifies requirements for food safety management systems. ISO 14001:2004 gives requirements for environmental management systems. OHSAS 18001 addresses occupational health and safety policies and objectives.

"The growth doesn’t have to be phenomenally fast, but things need to change," Surak said. "The companies need to ask if they have the systems in place and the employees in place to mitigate the risks they are taking on."

Some members of Congress want the Senate to take on pending food safety legislation they say would close gaps in the nation’s food protection system—gaps that might avert massive food recalls in the future. The measure passed the House, but it is on hold in the Senate and won’t be acted on until after this month’s elections.

The legislation, in part, would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to require food safety recalls and would stiffen civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance. Currently, the FDA can only request that companies recall products.2

Surak isn’t convinced the food legislation is necessary and thinks the FDA has enough power to influence recalls on food products. Whenever the agency has suggested that food producers recall a product, the companies are cooperative and always seems to comply.

"I have never seen the FDA have to go to court to execute the recall," Surak said.

—Mark Edmund, associate editor


  1. "Hearing Leaves Egg on Everyone’s Face," Slate, Sept. 24, 2010.
  2. Ibid.


  • CNN.com, "Egg Farm Family Apologizes for Outbreak, Promises Reforms," Sept. 23, 2010.
  • Harris, Gardiner, "Senate Bill on Food Safety Is Stalled," New York Times, Sept. 28, 2010.
  • Weise, Elizabeth, "Egg Farmer Inspector Linked to Peanut Outbreak," USA Today, Sept. 23, 2010.
  • Young, Alison, "Food Watchdogs Ask How Eggs Got by USDA," USA Today, Sept. 3, 2010.



The average salary in U.S. dollars earned by a regular, full-time quality professional in 2010, according to the annual QP Salary Survey. Be sure to check out all the results and analysis in next month’s issue of QP.


BROOKFIELD ENGINEERING Laboratories of Middleboro, MA, a supplier of viscosity measurement instruments, was recently recognized for its excellent manufacturing practices by the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). AME is a not-for-profit organization that advances the exchange of knowledge in organizational excellence.

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY consumption in the United States increased 10.1% from June to July and is up 58.9% compared with this time last year, according to a study by the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA). "We are pleased that July sales have exceeded expectations and that we’re not seeing the normal summer doldrums for machine tool purchases," said Peter Borden, AMTDA president. For more information on the study, visit www.usmtc.com/news.aspx.

ASQ’S INSPECTION DIVISION has increased its annual scholarship to $3,000. One or more scholarships will be awarded in spring 2011 to ASQ members and their family and friends who qualify. This year, the division awarded Ronak R. Gandhi of Plainsboro, NJ, a $1,000 scholarship. The division is also looking for applications for its annual Chuck Carter International Inspector of the Year Award. For more information and to access application forms for both the scholarship and the award, visit http://asq.org/inspect/about/awards-inspect.html. The deadline to submit either application is Feb. 15, 2011.


Quick Poll Results

Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey, and we post the results.

Here are the numbers from a recent Quick Poll:

"What’s the most important feature of a useful audit?"

  • Clarity 49%
  • Consistency 37.7%
  • Positivity 10.6%
  • Brevity 2.5%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for this month’s poll question:

"Quality newcomers don’t always have the basics down. What important basic knowledge is most often missing in a quality newcomer’s tool box?"

  • History of quality
  • Management philosophies
  • Standards and auditing
  • Statistics
  • Tools and methods


QP looks back on a person or event that made a difference in the history of quality.

Nov. 27, 1839

Five scholars met on this date at the American Education Society in Boston to form the American Statistical Society. At its first annual meeting three months later, the organization’s name was changed to the American Statistical Association (ASA), which will celebrate its 171st birthday this month, making it the second oldest continuously operating professional association in the United States.

Those five men—William Cogswell, Richard Fletcher, John Dix Fisher, Oliver Peabody and Lemuel Shattuck—were trained in law, medicine, theology, literature and education. They wanted to form a society to "collect, preserve and diffuse statistical information in the different departments of human knowledge."

Over the years, historical figures such as Florence Nightingale, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie and Martin Van Buren have been ASA members. Today, ASA members work in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries.



In the October 2010 issue of QP, the article "Word Power" credited Burjor Mehta as the sole author. Also authoring the article were Natalia Scriabina and Romayne Smith Fullerton.

Scriabina is managing director of the Quality Professionals’ Resource Center in Waterloo, Ontario. She earned a master’s degree in engineering sciences from the National Technical University of Ukraine. Scriabina is an ASQ member and author of Quality Management Basics (Interregional Academy of Personnel Management, 2000).

Smith Fullerton, Ph.D., is an associate journalism professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She is director of communications at the Quality Professionals’ Resource Center.

QP regrets the error.

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