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Team Excellence

Judging Process

About Team Excellence Judges

The International Team Excellence Award Process recognizes and celebrates high performance teams that epitomize ASQE’s vision of achieving and inspiring excellence.

ASQE would not be able to recognize and celebrate those teams without the help of dedicated and talented volunteer judges.


Preliminary Round
ITEA preliminary round judges in Guadalajara 2016

Preliminary Round

Due to COVID-19, and to ensure the health and safety of our members, the preliminary round process will be remote this year.  Please email ITEA@asq.org for more details.

Final Round
2018 Final Round Judges

Judging the final round

ASQ selects judges from the preliminary round each year to help judge the final round. The final round of presentations are judged and awarded each year at ASQ's World Conference on Quality and Improvement.  

Watch a video of the award ceremony at the 2019 World Conference on Quality and Improvement.

Thank you 2018 - 2019 final round Judges

Judges are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
A - B
Adetunji (Sunny) AkanoAdetunji (Sunny) Akano, PhD
Senior Manager, Quality Operations
It has been a great honor and privilege to have served in various capacity in support of the International Team Excellence Award Process for over a decade. Over the years I have witnessed overwhelming participation and focus on cultural diversity with participants. The ITEA Process brings together scholars from all walks of life to work in a team focused environment deploying well throughput judging criteria to decide the top performing teams from various businesses across the globe. As a People leader, the ITEA Process has continually enhanced my ability to develop a high performing team by taking knowledge acquired from evaluating achievements in improved performance from businesses of all sizes worldwide back to my company. Simply put supporting the ITEA Process is a perfect home run for me.

Linda Andrade GonzalezLinda Andrade Gonzalez
Quality Systems and Organizational Excellence Manager
KSR International
The ITEA promotes and rewards team-based process focus performance improvement which I believe is an excellent approach for promoting quality, productivity. This way organizations adopt quality as philosophy part of their regular business processes resulting in profitability to make the world a better place.

Barry BickleyBarry Bickley
Principal Consultant
D & P Consultancy
Supporting ITEA for over 16 years has been just a small “payback” for the opportunity to bring teams to several ITEA competitions, including the privilege of winning both a gold and bronze award. Judging teams has exposed me to tools and approaches to project work that I have been able to leverage helping various companies and clients. I have also had the pleasure of working with a great team of volunteers in roles of judge, lead judge, past Chair of the ITEA Committee, and criteria and training development. Working with ITEA has allowed me work on developing ASQ courses and help spread Team Excellence around the world!

BoswellMatthew Boswell
Director of Quality
Briggs & Stratton Corporation
I support the ASQ International Team Excellence Awards program as it provides an outstanding platform for organizations from all industries to share and compare best practices. The ITEA process provides a consistent platform where team from around the world can receive recognition for their dedication to excellence.
I enjoy participating in ITEA Judging as it allows me to work with other Quality Professionals in a team environment, providing a great learning experience. Having the opportunity to review the team project submissions allows me to benchmark other organizations, and learn from their application of Quality tools and processes.

Damian BozzaccoDamian Bozzacco 
Quality Manager
Generac Power Systems, INC.
My involvement in the ITEA process is fulfilling on so many levels. First of all, I truly believe that the ITEA Criteria represents a solid framework for any Organization's problem solving and process improvement endeavors. Second, it gives me a chance to learn different tools and techniques that I can use in my professional career. Third, I enjoy meeting the other judges and learning from their experiences. And last but not least - it is extremely gratifying to devote some of my time to ASQ and ITEA, to promote quality around the globe.

C - F
Jonathan CandariJonathan Candari
IT Project Director
Montclair State University
The ITEA Program is an excellent process improvement and project management model that truly delivers positive results. It is such a privilege to be part of the process because of the learning and that feeling that I belong to a global community of professionals who want to perfect the methods of process improvement. Not only did I learn a lot from the projects and the ITEA criteria itself, but I also gain new professional connections and friends.

Anne ChenowethAnne Chenoweth MBA, MT(ASCP), CQA(ASQ)
Senior Director
I fully support ASQ ITEA because it promotes teamwork for performance improvement. As my work-life has always revolved around quality and improvement I understand the true value of this approach. ASQ ITEA creates the ability of organizations to highlight the great work that is constantly being performed and allows these teams to be lauded for the great work. My time as a judge has been a learning experience with every round; the teams give me new education in quality and methods each and every time.

Rochelle Cook, PhDRochelle Cook, PhD
HR Project Manager
Aerotek Contract Engineering
The ITEA initiative is beneficial because the process awakens my approach to collective decision making. As a result, the balance between the technical requirements and the diverse, egalitarian work environment makes the ITEA judging experience quite rewarding.Moreover, I see this process as transformational because it influences the team to mirror the expectations that have been set. For instance, I have the opportunity to share my scoring and feedback through the pre-work. I also have to use interpersonal skills such as active listening, conflict resolution, and consensus building with my fellow judges in order for the process to be successful for all.

Polly S. CortezPolly Cortez
Retired Federal Banking Regulator
US Department of Treasury
The ASQ's International Team Excellence Award(ITEA) program promotes and recognizes the universal core principles of operational excellence built on quality processes and rewards teams of quality professionals around the globe dedicated to achieving sustainable positive impact. I'm honored to be part of the judging process as it provides me an excellent networking opportunity with fellow quality practitioners and it helps me stay current in quality related issues for many types of organizations.

Carlos Eduardo DaSilvaCarlos Eduardo DaSilva
Lean Manager
Rockwell Automation
For over 20 years, I have been working with the integration of people and processes, and how organizational behavior impacts efficiency and sustainability, and 9 years ago I started my involvement in the ITEA process. The ITEA criteria and the engagement of people and organizations in a global competition is one of the best framework that I have participated in my career, knowing other structured problem-solving processes. Also, when I started as a preliminary round judge, and had a  better understanding of the methodology for assessment, I learnt an innovative and systematic way that is one of the best practices globally. I enjoy being with the team behind the annual ITEA event, sharing knowledge with the other judges, and as a final round judge, contributing to promote the “people excellence” with participants from all corners of the globe.

Bill EberhardtBill Eberhardt
Quality Assurance Manager
Deceuninck North America
The ITEA team process is the soundest method for guiding process improvement and corrective action teams. The judging process gives me the opportunity to help other teams perfect their improvement process, allows me to benchmark my organization’s efforts and gives me new insights into exciting problems solving methods. The ITEA process also allows me to remain current within the Quality profession, interact with other judges who are at the cutting edge of the quality profession and contribute to the quality profession.

Amanda FosterAmanda Foster
Quality Manager
D & R Technical Solutions, Inc.
The International Team Excellence Awards are a wonderful experience for both teams and judges. The criteria is consistent throughout the world, providing a level playing field for all competing teams and demonstrating that quality principles are applicable globally. I have adjudicated teams from all over the world alongside judges from diverse international backgrounds. Quality is unifying and appreciated by humanity universally. The ITEA portrays this in a way that is truly a thing of beauty.

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G - H
Miguel Angel GómezMiguel Angel Gómez
Tecnológico de Monterrey, Puebla, México
Since my first invitation, I knew It was going to be a great journey being with great people working to promote quality all around the world. I support the ITEA process because our ITEA teams are always sharing everything and never ask for something in return, it is all about helping colleagues and companies to better understand quality practices and learn from every single case. Being a judge is a privilege when we receive information from teams dedicated to improve products, operations and services where their main purpose is to promote a culture for better life. We learn from every single case so we are also committed to cooperate with our organizations and future generations

Kevin GullyKevin Gully
Global Leader, Finance SAP Practice
DXC Technology
I have been fortunate to be part of the ITEA as a preliminary Judge over the past several years. I can’t stress how rewarding the experience has been both professionally and personally. The process is indeed rigorous, and I’ve appreciated how it has evolved over the years to address changing needs in the marketplace. It’s enriching to see the various global teams compete for the award; learning of the various challenges they faced and how they set out to address them. Additionally, understanding the tools, techniques and methods used while working within the confines of their own company and industry is always fascinating. In my opinion, a global award is an essential part in motivating companies to strive for excellence and to “raise the bar” in terms of quality when addressing problem solving or process improvement projects. The pinnacle in achieving this is indeed the ITEA.

Shirish GuptaShirish Gupta
Director, Quality Engineering
Dell Technologies
Why I support the ITEA Process: The ITEA process is a simple yet effective instrument for teams to utilize for achieving lasting success through their collective efforts, irrespective of whether their focus is process improvement or problem solving. I was introduced to it by a former colleague quite by chance many years ago, and it has given me the opportunity to not only help guide teams on their path to success but also keep up with industry best practices as well as network with tremendously talented and experienced quality professionals across the world.

C. Elizabeth HamiltonC. Elizabeth Hamilton
Quality Engineer
ASQ's ITEA promotes quality, teamwork and innovation. It provides a platform for teams from around the world to display their quality achievements while allowing others to benchmark these top teams' use of quality tools and innovation. From a personal standpoint, it is encouraging to see traditional quality tools applied in a variety of industries.

Heather HeggerHeather A. Hegger
Senior implementation Mgr
Premier Inc.
Being a preliminary and final round judge for many years, I have been able to objectively see how collaborating and team work play such an important role in the ITEA awards process.

Tom HinesTom Hines
Director, Quality Control
The effective application of quality processes and tools to harness the power of teams is one of the quality field’s most exciting and impactful contributions to society. ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award program creates a global stage to recognize and share best practices that will inspire the next generation of quality professionals. It is my honor to serve in this process as an ITEA judge; providing the teams with helpful feedback and helping ASQ recognize and celebrate true quality excellence.

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I - N
Joseph E. KenolJoseph E. Kenol
Owner, Principal Consultant
Pavesol, LLC
The ability to solve problems and improve process performance is key to organizational sustainability. The ITEA program is important because it offers forward thinking organizations a platform for learning those skills, which, when applied in good faith, can enhance overall business performance and help identify potential breakthrough solutions. Dr. Deming, in discussing his version of the continuous process improvement concept, explained that a process which is placed in a continuous loop of improvement will deliver desired outcomes and sustained results. I support the ITEA program and I am proud to serve alongside other Quality professionals and like-minded colleagues to help carry out the mission.

Gary LawsonGary Lawson
Works Technical Manager
Sumitomo Rubber USA, LLC
I support the ITEA process because it provides organizations with an opportunity to showcase their team’s application of quality and continuous improvement tools. It also provides the participants with the opportunity to network and learn from others around the world and across a wide variety of industries and disciplines.

John LeeJohn Lee
Director Operational Excellence
Foxconn / PCE Technology
ITEA process offers an excellent frame work for all kinds of operations to drive their performance closer to perfection. It also provides an excellent platform for improvement teams to showcase their talent and dedication to continuous improvements. Improved productivity and performance bring in a better tomorrow for everyone, everywhere. I am honored to be a part of this great process with global challenges.

Tao LiTao Li, PhD
Chemist (Technology-Based Expert)
The ITEA process provides an excellent framework for quality improvement projects. It promotes cross-functional collaboration and data driven approach for problem solving. I am honored to serve as a prelim and final round judge. It affords me great opportunities of learning and networking. With the fast development of artificial intelligence and automation, it is an interesting period of time to see and appreciate how the ITEA process evolves.

Melody MartinMelody Martin
Quality Manager
Pro-Pak Industries
The ITEA process provides criteria that can be utilized in all industries by organizations of any size, and recognizes the teams that use the process to produce outstanding results for their organization. Teams use the competition to tell their story and share their results with others in the ASQ community. Participating in the process as a judge allows me to see the different ways high functioning teams use the same tools and frameworks to reach their respective goals. I am excited to hear about the process they took, and the things they learned to improve their organizations in the future.

Dennis McInerneyDennis McInerney
Senior Lean Consultant
Recaro Aircraft Seating
The opportunity to see, hear teams from diverse industries and countries telling their personal story of solving problems or opportunities makes my skin tingle (e.g. slang "goose pimples"). I am so honored and humbled to be associated with the ASQ ITEA team; the many years to broadcast globally that Excellent Teams related to Quality are real and deserve recognition. The ASQ ITEA founders and those who have followed the belief that "Teams" should be valued, honored, and get Gold , Silver, Bronze, modeled after the international Olympics. In closing, being part of the sport of wrestling, an Olympic sport, I enjoy the verbal and visual positive competition, this excites me as a spectator, but not when judging.

Daniel Moreno-Sanchez
Consulting Manager
Universidad de Monterrey
ITEA process presents excellent opportunities that are closely aligned with ASQ's vision of making quality a global priority. First, the ITEA process itself represents a solid framework for teamwork and problem solving. Second, the interactions between judges and the teams are invaluable and foster continued learning through the interchange of ideas and experiences around the criteria. Third but not last, it recognizes the teams hard work and commitment to make an impact in their organizations and themselves.

Celeste MullisCeleste Mullis
Quality Engineer
In most businesses, the accomplishment of a result, the bottom line, or the delivery of a desired product are the only aspects of a project that seem to get attention. The ITEA process highlights the means to the end, with recognition of the entire team and tool-set used to produce the targeted result. The opportunity to review and learn from the presentations of successful teams validates the methods that I spend my working days trying to use and teach. I am grateful for the chance to work on a team to evaluate a team process as well as to see the global impact of quality systems and tools in a variety of industries and fields.

Brady NixonBrady Nixon
Strategic Operations Director
It has been a pleasure to support and participate in the ASQ International Team Excellence award for several years as a judge. The program is exceptional in that it gives teams from all over the world, a platform to display the great work that has been done, while actively promoting the adherence to a framework of standard, core principles in which to work. While my career has been primarily in healthcare, these core principles form a common language which allows me to understand and learn from the projects I get to see and the judges I work with, despite the differences in industries.

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O - S
Andrew OdhiamboAndrew Odhiambo
Quality Specialist
Catalent Pharma
I enjoy and support ITEA process as it is an excellent way to keeping up to date with the quality community and also an opportunity to network with fellow quality professionals. The opportunity goes a long way to share with us judges the various ways Teams from all different industries use the tools to improve their organizations and most of all deliver value to their customers. The process is Our opportunity to give back to ASQ and the and entire quality community from what we learn, the feedback we give to the teams and what we take back to our own organizations.

Oluwafemi OlaworeOluwafemi Olawore
AQD, National Lead Auditor
What brings us together every year is a common interest that we all share in Quality. You have to seize the opportunity if ASQ’s ITEA process comes knocking at the door for your expertise. The ITEA judging process had produced many experienced volunteer judges over the years; therefore, getting to judge at the Finals has always been an honor and a privilege. The ASQ’s ITEA judging process assesses how well team members can work together and cope under pressure. I like the fact that it brings out the best in one another. I believe that one of the many benefits of the competition is to enhance innovation in organizations.

David A. PijanDavid A. Pijan
Vice President, Specialist - Process Optimization
Northern Trust Company
I’ve supported the ITEA for a number of years and continue to support the award process because I believe it serves an extremely important purpose for organizations of all sizes and missions. I believe there is a tremendous potential in organizations that remains untapped due to a lack of employee engagement and involvement.
I enjoy and support ITEA process as it is an excellent way to keep updated in the Quality community and is also a good way to meet some great people and work in a Team environment. I believe the Judging process helps keep me active in Quality related issues and aides in benchmarking of today’s businesses and processes as well as networking.
The ITEA promotes and rewards team-based, process-focused performance improvement which I believe may be one of the most effective ways for an organization to involve and engage its employees by giving them a stake in the outcome and a chance to make a positive difference in the work they do.

Dawn ReedDawn Reed
Human Strategies, LLC
I have supported ITEA for many years as a judge, lead judge, host and trainer. I have found the ITEA training and judging process richly rewarding, providing me a network of quality people from around the globe. The interaction with these judges is always a learning experience, and the long-term friends I’ve made are more than colleagues. I think it is important to contribute to my professional community, and believe that I can’t do any better than providing actionable feedback to teams world-wide, thereby enhancing teamwork and performance excellence.

Michael SandersMichael Sanders
Healthcare Consultant  
I have been involved with ITEA judging for many years at both the preliminary and final stages and have thoroughly enjoyed the experiences. I am constantly amazed at the variety and quality of the submissions as well as the passion of the teams. Being a judge allows me the opportunity to see presentations from divergent industries through the common lens of quality. Collaboration with other judges ensures that I remain current. I am honored to be part of the ASQ ITEA process.

Patrick SchneiderPatrick Schneider
Manager, Quality Assurance
Allied Mineral Products, Inc.
I support the ITEA process because I believe Teams are the key to continuous improvement. The framework and the judging processes are centered around teamwork. The team of judges are excellent and are an inspiration to be around. The International Project Teams and results submitting are amazing. Learning from this process has helped me make a significant impact at my own company. It is uplifting and powerful!

Charles (Wes) SheltonCharles W. (Wes) Shelton
President and Principal Consultant
Manufacturing and Quality Services, Inc.
I’ve supported the ITEA for several years and continue to support the award process because I believe it serves an extremely important purpose for organizations and the participants. For the participants and organizations I believe it may be one of the most effective ways to involve and engage employees by giving them a stake in the outcome, a chance to make a positive difference in the work they do and to be recognized by their peers for their achievements. The process demonstrates time and again that formalized problem solving and process improvement provide gains for the organization and personal growth for each of the team participants. For me personally I believe the Judging process helps keep me actively engaged in modern Quality Processes, Tools and Techniques as well as networking with other Quality Professionals.

Brandon StiffBrandon Stiff
Senior Specialist, Engineering
Merck & Company, Inc.
I have enjoyed my experiences as an ITEA Judge. The insight into evaluating process improvement has been very beneficial. When you add the networking, team building, and insights gained into other industries, the experience is a true value add. I have and will continue to recommend the experience to my colleagues.

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T - Z
R. Todd TaylorR. Todd Taylor
Management and Manufacturing Consultant
The ITEA process is being used by corporations at different stages of Process Improvement/Problem Solving. The international teams have made ITEA part of their internal initiatives annually. Additionally, there are new corporations entering the ITEA program for the first time. These corporations are typically looking for the launch pad in developing a team oriented approach. Regardless which stage a corporation is at, the benefits are equally impactful. The ITEA Process has greatest strength in the ability to apply improvement initiatives with a team approach. The ability to collaborate on improvement activities, shares knowledge among diverse groups of employees quickly. The impact on an organization's employees (and families) through the application of this process will grow capabilities beyond the initial project(s).

Patti TrappPatti Trapp, ASQ CQE, CQA
Manager, Integration Processes and Continuous Improvement
Mercury Marine Product Development & Engineering, Division of Brunswick Corporation
Being engaged in the ITEA process for the last 13 years has been one the most significant and rewarding complements to my 34 year career, both professionally and personally. Being able to learn from and network with a global group of quality professionals – most of whom are fellow volunteers – and, most importantly, contributing to the success of numerous participating organizations by “giving back” through the process, is beyond anything I would have imagined just 13 years ago. Throughout my career, I’ve engaged with many different organizations whose quality systems and improvement approaches are at different points on the quality maturity scale. The feedback reports we give to the teams allows us to share insights about their projects relative to the criteria requirements that these organizations can hopefully use well beyond a particular project. As a judge, lead judge, past Chair of the ITEA Committee, part of criteria development, a judge/criteria instructor, Master Scorekeeper and helping develop the strategy of the ITEA alongside ASQ, I cannot think of any other single participation that has also further augmented my own core competencies and contributions to my employer than the ITEA.

Mark TseytlinMark Tseytlin
Program Manager
Raytheon Company
I have been supporting the ITEA process for the past 7 years as my participation in these international events reflects well on the Raytheon Company. Also, ITEA events provide excellent opportunity for networking, as well as the ability to earn much needed recertification credits. It is hard work, but at the end of the day I feel a sense of accomplishment when I help a worthy team achieve its ultimate goal of being recognized for the job well done.

Jackie VannoyJackie Vannoy
Medical Affairs Director
Vitalant National Office
I have learned so much through the ITEA process about teamwork and process improvement. It is a great way to connect with others that have similar goals while gaining insight as to how some of the best organizations in the world utilize project management, problem solving, and teamwork excellence skills to improve and streamline their processes. I really enjoy the camaraderie and the valuable tools and knowledge that have helped me to grow as a leader and a champion for teamwork, streamlining, and standardization in my organization. With the roll out of Operational Excellence, the knowledge I am gaining through ITEA participation has been invaluable and has allowed me to stay current in Quality while working in Operations. I love being able to contribute to the success of the ITEA teams by providing them with constructive feedback as well as the interactions with other judges from all over the world.

Chad WaltersChad Walters
Operations Excellence
Siemens Corporation
ITEA is a great objective competition for companies from a variety of industries to measure their ability to manage and present continuous improvement projects against one another. ITEA emphasizes more than just overall financial performance - the ITEA process focuses on team and project alignment with corporate goals, acknowledges realistic roadblocks and pitfalls that occur with project deployment and team dynamics, and a demonstrated organizational commitment to improved company performance beyond finances. Giving back to project teams and companies participating with ITEA continues to be a great honor.

Glenn WaltersGlenn Walters
GW Enterprises/New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network
I have supported the ITEA process as a judge for over 20 years because it is the worldwide program for recognizing excellence in workplace teams. Seeing teamwork in action within organizations, using the criteria for organizational improvement and working with other professionals as judges are key reasons for my continued strong support of ITEA.

Tim WickardTim Wickard
Director of Quality Services
Carlisle Construction Materials
I am honored to support the International Team Excellence Awards. It is an essential part of the continual improvement journey for organizations of all sizes and missions. The ITEA advances team-based, process-focused improvement - the most effective way for organizations to engage employees in problem solving and improvement. Through the awards process ASQ helps move good teams to world class teams. I find the energy and passion the teams share towards Excellence contagious. We can all learn as they provide examples organizations can use every day to realize results. It is an opportunity to not only give-back but learn from colleagues. I want to congratulate and thank all the teams who have participated over the years.

Stephanie WilliamsStephanie Williams
Sr. Manager Quality & Continuous Improvement
The International Team Excellence Awards is a way to recognize one of the most fundamental employee engagement tools that organizations possess, the TEAM. Successful organizations are easily measured based on many outwardly visible metrics such as profitability, quality, safety, but measuring employee engagement and empowerment is more difficult. The ITEA is a tool that an organization can use to measure and celebrate the success of their teams. Different types of organizations, different sizes, different nationalities all coming together to celebrate something so fundamental is something that I am proud to support.

Dr. Cindy YoungDr. Cindy Young
Division Manager, Surface Ship Enterprise Support
McKean Defense
After participating in the ITEA process for the past three years, and now a first-time finals judge, I have confirmed that the best way to improve a process is to take a critical stance and work to understand the process. The ITEA teams who risk putting their work in front of critical reviewers are using this ITEA process for solid, value-added, strategic improvements. I am privileged to be part of the ITEA.

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