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Grand Rapids Assistant Fire Chief Named 2018 ASQ Freund Scholarship Winner

Recipient using quality to positively impact city of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Milwaukee, Wis., June 7, 2018 — William Brad Brown, assistant chief of administration for the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Fire Department and student at Cornerstone University is the 2018 recipient of the ASQ Richard A. Freund Scholarship.

Brown is pursuing a doctor of education degree in organizational leadership and development at the Grand Rapids university. The $5,000 scholarship is named after an ASQ past president and supports a quality professional’s graduate studies.

Brown has used quality methods often associated with manufacturing and the private sector to produce positive benefits for the Grand Rapids Fire Department, including more than $60 million in savings for the department, and establishing lean training for 1,600 city employees.

“Quality is something that can be applied to all sectors, including in the public sector,” Brown said. “I’m honored and appreciative of the scholarship. It will help me complete my studies and continue offering value to the city of Grand Rapids.”

Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehman said Brown’s passion is continuous improvement.

“Brad is a lifelong learner and is constantly pushing himself and the organization to improve through the use of lean and quality improvement tools,” Lehman said. “Brad has consistently utilized his higher education to investigate organizational problems, conduct research, analyze the results and recommend actionable improvement processes for the (Grand Rapids Fire Department).”

Chuck Aubrey, Freund Scholarship committee chair and ASQ past chair, said Brown’s commitment to public service stood out among the applicants.

“We are pleased to present the Freund Scholarship to an individual focused on improving the processes and quality of a service that greatly impacts the public in Grand Rapids,” Aubrey said. “We’re happy to contribute to Brad’s career path, which, through continued education, started as a firefighter and evolved to an integral part of the Grand Rapids Fire Department.”

Candidates for the Richard A. Freund Scholarship must be planning to enroll, or already enrolled in a master’s degree or higher-level program with a concentration on quality at any college or university. Applicants must have a grade-point average or equivalent of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate studies in engineering, sciences, or business. ASQ membership is not required to receive the scholarship.

For more information about the annual Freund Scholarship, please visit

About ASQ

ASQ, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., USA, is a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better. With individual and organizational members in more than 140 countries, ASQ has the reputation and reach to bring together the diverse quality champions who are transforming the world’s organizations and communities to meet tomorrow’s critical challenges.

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