Retiring From ASQ–But Not From Quality

Last month, ASQ’s board chair shared with ASQ’s board of directors my decision to retire from my role as ASQ’s CEO in May 2014. I’ve had the privilege of working in support of ASQ’s mission and vision for 27 years and have devoted 35 years of my career to the field of association management. That’s a lifetime, really. A rewarding lifetime.

I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with thousands of passionate, committed, dedicated member leaders who understand how much impact quality can have in making the world a better place–and who also understand the importance of their association in advancing that cause.

When I joined ASQ in 1986 (then called the American Society for Quality Control), it was purely a professional society. Over the years, it has welcomed anyone who desires to use the concepts, techniques, and tools of quality to improve themselves and their world. ASQ’s membership has grown to include members in nearly 150 countries. The stories of success and impact I have heard through the years provide just a glimpse of the benefit quality could have if it was embraced by every organization in the world.

I will watch the impact of quality with interest in years to come. I suspect I’ll do more than watch. Once quality gets in your blood, it’s hard not to want to work to increase its use.

So, if that’s all true, why am I leaving? For another quality reason: Quality of life. I will be creating for myself a “sabbatical year.” A year of long-postponed adventures, of reflection, of time for family, and of interests that don’t fit in the schedule of my role at ASQ.

That’s not to say I’m done with work. During my sabbatical, I will consider what I want to do with the remainder of time that I want to devote to work. I trust others in the community have done the same and I welcome your thoughts, your wisdom, and your experience.

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