ASQ World Conference to Inspire Attendees, Provide them with Innovation, Leadership Tools

ASQ World Conference to Inspire Attendees, Provide them with Innovation, Leadership Tools CEO, popular positive psychology researcher among keynote speakers at annual event

For Immediate Release

Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 24, 2015 — Max India Limited’s Founder and Chair, Analjit Singh, is one of five keynote speakers who will present at ASQ’s 2015 World Conference on Quality and Improvement.

The ASQ conference — held May 4–6 at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. — will provide attendees opportunities for career development, benchmarking, expert advice and tips, strategies, and best practices that can make an immediate business impact in their organizations.

The theme, “Transforming the World Through Innovation, Inspiration, and Leadership,” will focus on, among other areas, the intersection of quality and creativity, creating and sustaining a culture of quality, the risk of change, quality fundamentals, and globalization and the quality industry.

In addition to Singh, other keynote speakers include Shawn Achor, New York Times best-selling author and positive psychology researcher; JoAnn Sternke, Ed.D., superintendent, Pewaukee (Wis.) School District; Margaret Heffernan, entrepreneur, chief executive and author; and Charles Best, founder and CEO of

Shawn Achor, New York Times best-selling author and researcher on positive psychology — Monday, May 4, Morning Keynote

Shawn Achor is the New York Timesbest-selling author of“The Happiness Advantage”and“Before Happiness.” He spent 12 years at Harvard, where he won more than a dozen distinguished teaching awards and delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard.

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. Achor has since become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. He has worked with more than one-third of the Fortune 100 companies and with organizations including the NFL, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Treasury. Achor has traveled to 51 countries, speaking to farmers in Zimbabwe, CEOs in China, doctors in Dubai and schoolchildren in South Africa.

In 2014, Oprah Winfrey did a two-hour interview with Achor on the science of happiness and meaning. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review; his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with more than 8 million views; and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions.

JoAnn Sternke, Ed.D., Superintendent, Pewaukee (Wis.) School District Monday, May 4, Afternoon Keynote

JoAnn Sternke, Ed.D., has been part of the Pewaukee School District since 2001 and, under her tenure, numerous program improvements have been implemented to increase student achievement.

The Pewaukee School District has been dedicated to using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and in 2010 the Pewaukee School District was the first education recipient of the Wisconsin Forward Award — the highest level of recognition in Wisconsin’s performance excellence program. In 2013, the Pewaukee School District was honored to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Sternke serves on the board of examiners for both the Baldrige National Quality Program and the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence. In addition to being involved in these programs, she is an active member of ASQ.

Sternke was recently recognized as Pewaukee’s Person of the Year in 2014 and Wisconsin’s Superintendent of the Year for 2013. She was also honored with the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Distinction in 2010. For the past three years, the Pewaukee School District has been recognized as a Top Workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one of very few educational institutions recognized with this honor.

Margaret Heffernan, Entrepreneur, Chief Executive and Author Tuesday, May 5, Morning Keynote

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, chief executive and author of three books, including “The Naked Truth: A Working Woman’s Manifesto,” and “Women on Top: How Female Entrepreneurs are Changing the Rules for Business Success.” Her most recent book, “Willful Blindness,” was shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Best Business Book of the Year Award.

Previously, Heffernan worked at BBC Radio where she wrote, directed, produced, and commissioned dozens of documentaries and dramas. After leaving the BBC, she ran the trade association IPPA, which represented the interests of independent film and television producers.

Heffernan returned to the United States in 1994 and worked on public affairs campaigns with software companies trying to break into multimedia, developing interactive multimedia products with Peter Lynch, Tom Peters, Standard & Poors and The Learning Company. In 1999, she was named one of the Internet's Top 100 bySilicon Alley Reporter, one of the Top 25 by Streaming Media magazine and one of the Top 100 Media Executives by The Hollywood Reporter.

She teaches at the School of Management at the University of Bath and continues to advise global businesses on effective global strategies and supports women’s networks and industry associations involved in diversity and inclusion.

Charles Best, Founder and CEO of — Tuesday, May 5, Afternoon Keynote

Charles Best leads, a nonprofit organization that provides a simple way to address educational inequity. At, public school teachers create classroom project requests and donors can pick the projects they want to support. Best launched the organization in 2000 out of a Bronx public high school where he taught history. is one of Oprah Winfrey's “ultimate favorite things” and was featured on the cover of Fast Company as one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.” For three years, Fortune Magazinehas named Best to its “40 under 40 hottest rising stars in business.”

Analjit Singh, Founder and Chair, Max India Limited — Wednesday, May 6, Morning Keynote

Analjit Singh is the founder and chair of Max India Limited, with interests in life insurance (Max Life), health care (Max Healthcare), health insurance (Max Bupa), and senior living (Antara). Max India Group is renowned for service excellence and has successful joint ventures with some of the pre-eminent firms of the world including Mitsui Sumitomo of Japan, Life Healthcare of South Africa, and Bupa Plc of the United Kingdom.

Professionally, he is the non-executive chair of Vodafone India and a director on the boards of Tata Global Beverages and Sofina NV/SA, Belgium. Singh is a member of the founder executive board of the Indian School of Business, India’s top-ranked business school, and has served as chair of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee — India’s most prestigious engineering college.

He has been honored with the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (service category) and the Golden Peacock Award for Leadership and Service Excellence. In 2014, he was awarded with Spain’s second highest civilian honor, the Knight Commander of the Order of Queen Isabella.

The World Conference on Quality and Improvement will feature more than 100 educational sessions covering topics critical to a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, government, financial services and more.

ASQ certification exams also will be offered onsite, and ASQ will present the 2014-2015 International Team Excellence Awards, the only international team recognition process of its kind in the world. Finalists will present their successes at Global Impact Sessions, which offer attendees the opportunity to learn first-hand from organizations that have used quality processes to save millions while also delivering value to customers and stakeholders.

To register or learn more about WCQI, visit

About ASQ

ASQ is a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better. With millions of individual and organizational members of the community in 150 countries, ASQ has the reputation and reach to bring together the diverse quality champions who are transforming the world’s corporations, organizations and communities to meet tomorrow’s critical challenges. ASQ is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with national service centers in China, India, Mexico and a regional service center in the United Arab Emirates. Learn more about ASQ’s members, mission, technologies and training at


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