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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 the ASQ vision of a global community using quality concepts, technology, and tools to improve themselves and their world.

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

2018–19 Site Trainer/Site Sponsor Recognition

ASQ would like to thank the following for their sponsorship and support of the preliminary round judging Process.

Preliminary Round
ITEA preliminary round judges in Guadalajara 2016

Preliminary Round

The preliminary round judging process starts with ASQ members completing an online application to serve as a preliminary round judge. The preliminary round process will be organized at several judging sites in the USA, judges will be required to complete pre-work, and travel to one of the judging sites is required. All judges will receive CEU and RU credits for their participation.

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. In 2018, the conference was held in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Watch a video of the award ceremony at the 2018 World Conference on Quality and Improvement.

Thank you 2017 - 2018 final round Judges

Judges are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
A - B
Adetunji (Sunny) AkanoAdetunji (Sunny) Akano, PhD
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.

Mohammed AlomairyDr. Mohammed Alomairy, PhD
Principal consultant
I fully support ASQ ITEA because it promotes excellence through great Teamwork, effective process improvement, and better project management. ASQ ITEA creates engagement at the employees level to achieve significant results at the organization level and then shares the whole experience with all professionals globally.

Linda Andrade GonzalezLinda Andrade Gonzalez
Operations and Quality Systems Manager. ASQ LMC Coahuila Chair
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.

Sylvia AzizSylvia Aziz
Maintenance of Certification Manager
American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
I support the ITEA process because not only does it encourage a team-based approach to process and quality improvement within an organization, but it also cultivates a culture that regularly utilizes evidence-based methodologies in order to find solutions that are sustainable and effective in the long term. I thoroughly have enjoyed my time as a judge as it has helped keep my knowledge up-to-date, expanded my knowledge in other industries, and even helped bring back new knowledge that my organization can utilize.

Barry BickleyBarry Bickley
Principal Consultant
D & P Consultancy
Supporting ITEA for over 15 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!

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
Helen CoHelen Co
Chassis Site STA Manager
Ford Motor Company
I support the ASQ ITEA Process as it drives the disciplines of cross-functional collaboration and data driven objective problem resolution. This practice can be replicated throughout any organizational levels for resolving all types of issues. Internalizing the disciplines of the ASQ ITEA Process is both a personal skills development and a team enhancement journey for everyone to achieve both soft and hard skills required to be an effective problem solver in any field.

Rochelle Cook, PhDRochelle Cook, PhD
Project Manager
Wake Forest Baptist Health
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.

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.

Craig EhlertCraig Ehlert
Retired Professor
Montana State University
I have been involved in the ITEA process for many years as it is one of the most powerful tools teams can use in improvement efforts. The concepts explored in following the standard allow all potential solution activities to be explored, making the overall project more effective. The Team Excellence standards gives a team a result that is not based on jumping to a solution, but instead a solution that will be sustainable and effective over the long run, one of the cornerstones of a good quality program.

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.

Karen FurlongKaren Furlong
Health Care Analyst
Envolve Pharmacy Solutions
The knowledge gained by participating in the ITEA judging process is priceless. I enjoy and support the 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.

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G - H
Greg GomelGreg Gomel
The Gomel Group
I’ve had the pleasure to both observe presentations from great teams across the world and work with fellow judges that challenge my thinking on quality. Seeing the energy and professionalism that competitors bring to both the preliminary and final rounds encourages me that we all have something to learn in improving our organizations. I'd strongly recommend to applying for the award since it provides focus on the approaches used by winning teams across the globe – and you just might win!

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.

Doreen HarrisDoreen Harris
North America Continuous Improvement Lead
Johnson & Johnson
I believe deeply in the value organizations can achieve by applying the methodical, yet practical, approach to problem-solving and improvement that the ITEA criteria outlines. I also enjoy sharing in the excitement of the teams presenting, as welll as the opportunity to contribute to organizational growth through the judging and feedback process. On a personal note, I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity the process affords me to collaborate with such talented and diverse quality professionals from around the globe.

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.

Van HoangVan Hoang
Manager, Continuous Improvement
Johnson Controls Inc.
I have been supporting ITEA process for seven years and continue to support because I believe it is an excellence way to be engaged in the Quality community. Every year, I get to meet great people who share the same Quality belief and learn so much from the teams and their achievements. It is a wonderful way to benchmark, network, promote quality, and most importantly, learn from one another.

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I - M
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.

Harris KwariHarris Kwari
Director, Service Design and Improvement
Westpac Bank
It is a privilege to be part of ASQ ITEA program in the past 6+ years. The program offers the platform for quality improvement teams to showcase their excellence work and do benchmarking. Every year, I always learn something new that I can leverage for my current role. This may include matters relating to benefit measurement, effective use of tools and/or stakeholder management (ie: managing resistance) in practical ways. At the same time, it provides the opportunity for me to network with fellow quality professionals from many countries. In overall, the program has been managed very professionally and FUN.

Gary LawsonGary Lawson
Director of Quality
The Hilliard Corporation
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.

Miles LittlefieldMiles Littlefield
Director of Quality
Array Technologies Inc.
The ITEA is an excellent program and I believe it plays a significant role for promoting continuous improvement of processes across all organizations. As a passionate quality professional, I fully support the ASQ and ITEA and am excited to join the talented group of judges at this year’s conference. I look forward to judging this year’s exceptional projects while networking and learning from the many other quality professionals in attendance.

Dennis McInerneyDennis McInerney
Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
American Mortgage Solutions
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.

Debbie MeeksDebbie Meeks
Quality Manager for Laboratory Services
Sentara Healthcare
The ITEA program exemplifies “Quality in Action”. This is an outstanding program for showcasing the amazing accomplishments of teams across the world to improve quality in their organizations. It demonstrates the use of the ITEA criteria and quality tools applied in a variety of different ways. For me, participating in this program is both educational and inspirational.

Julie MillerJulie Miller
Director – Continuous Improvement, GSD
Common Sail Investment Group
I enjoy participating in the ITEA process as it allows me the opportunity to continually learn new concepts, while promoting an activity that encourages employee engagement and teamwork. The ITEA program rewards teams for excellence with respect to process and improvement, which helps raise the quality bar for organizations around the world. This platform to share best practices helps to cement the need for quality in all aspects of business.

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.

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O - S
Beth O'ConnorBeth O'Connor
Director, Process Excellence
I support the ASQ ITEA process because it promotes and rewards a standardized, process-based approach to problem solving and process improvement that will help organizations’ effectiveness in these types of projects. As such, it brings Quality to the masses in a tangible and executable way, which is a subject near and dear to my heart. The role I play in this process not only provides value to the participants and their organizations, but I always walk away feeling enriched and honored to have taken part in it.

Ed OnweEd Onwe
Chief Operating Officer
VT San Antonio Aerospace
The ITEA process is the finest representation of excellence-driven team-based collaboration under a structure that ensures sustained organizational changes and/or resolution of organizational problems. Over the past ten years, I have provided support to the ITEA process as an opportunity for professional growth, learning, and development for me in the process re-engineering and continuous improvement domain. More importantly, I have supported the ITEA process because I truly believe that it has the transformational effect of making the individuals and groups significantly better after participation in it. I am encouraged by the global involvement of teams in the process and hope that the process will continue to gain world-wide recognition and traction year-on-year, so that team-based collaboration for improvement and/or problem resolution can someday become the default approach for meaningful change in our organizations and communities globally.

Rhonda RabbittRhonda Rabbitt
Dean, School of Education
Wilkes University
Quality is everyone's business. All fields of industry today are being held to greater accountability and 3rd-party evaluation. ITEA provides a focus and process which organizations need to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate their plans for continuous improvement. ASQ has been a pioneer in the quality movement, demonstrating inclusivity and improvement. Personally, as a Dean, whether working with foodservice, transportation, principal, or teacher, entire school districts are being held to greater accountability and it's oftentimes the lack of intentional planning that prevents sustainable quality results. ITEA data-informed decision-making can improve results and offer international recognition. I love how ITEA fits my personal and professional mission to promote a quality culture in all that I do.

Amy RapierAmy Rapier
Director- Quality and Food Safety
G3 Enterprises
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 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.

Tina RomanTina Roman
The ITEA process rewards team ownership and promotes transformational change. A focus that provides a foundation for countinuous improvement; ongoing stewardship that seeks out new change and positive impact. I’m honored to be part of the judging process and I have been a member of the ASQ global community for 12 years.

Safi SamuelsSafi Samuels
Project Manager
Community Bank
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.

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!

Thomas SmejkalThomas Smejkal
Senior Manager, Quality Systems
Leonardo DRS, Naval Power Systems
The process of acknowledging the efforts of those teams who that perform at the highest levels is very rewarding. Seeing how people collaborate under pressure and work diligently to get results makes this award one of the few that recognizes the process of how a project is accomplished. As a judge, we can learn from the experience and become better ourselves.

Ramya SridharanRamya Sridharan
Product Evaluation Engineer
Analog Devices, Inc.
It is an honor to support the ITEA process and I am proud to be actively involved in it. The ITEA process allows organizations from different fields of work across the world to be judged on a single platform for excellence in process improvement through effective team work. It also gives me a great opportunity to learn about the innovative solutions and network with the top professionals globally from diverse backgrounds.

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T - Z
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 12 years has been one the most significant and rewarding complements to my 33 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
Director, Medical Affairs
Blood Systems Inc.
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
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.

Wishard WatfordWishard Watford
Division/Group Manager, Quality Management
Nestle USA
During my employment in the Food Industry I have been passionate about Manufacturing and Quality excellence. I started my journey with the ITEA process in 2008 and have not looked back since, simply because I am a strong proponent of Continuous improvement and participation in the IREA judging process is not only a great privilege but great learning experience because it exposes me to a broad spectrum of processes that are used globally to articulate Improvement and problem solving initiative on a global platform.

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 & Process Improvement
Express Scripts
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
Program Manager, Fleet and TYCOM 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.

Ming-Yu WongMing-Yu Wong
Senior Program Manager
Proteus Digital Health
I have been participating in the ITEA process for the past few years, I enjoy the program as it allows me such great opportunities to learn and participate. It is a rewarding experience not only from the project teams who utilize ITEA process for improvement and problem solving, but also from the project teams sharing best practices. The program promotes quality in the concept and provide practical guidance for organization to take. I believe making my contribution to the ITEA program will directly or indirectly promote the practice of Quality.

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