Official Newsletter of the Baltimore Section, asq

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Quality Connection

Official Newsletter of the Baltimore Section, ASQ

July / August 2003 Voice Mail: (410) 347-1453




Scott Fairchild Chair

410-993-5432 (W)

Sara Parker Vice Chair

410-436-4737 410-436-3665 (Fax)

Mike Rothmeier Treasurer

410-357-5601 (W) 410-357-4946 (Fax)

Kathy Free Secretary


Sid Lewis Tutorials


Tom Stewart Database / Home Page

Lloyd Dixon Education

410-765-3153 (W)

Howard Swartz Examining

410-628-3278 W

Jo McLaughlin Program


Kevin Gilson Koalaty Kid / NQM


Susan Spurgeon Membership


Jim Cooper Newsletter

410-765-2934 (W) 410-765-0165 (Fax)

Lauren Fagan Publicity


Gil Cuffari Past Chair / Nominating


Joel Glazer Software Quality

410-7654567 joel,

Eric Whichard Placement / Employment


David Little Regional Director

717-653-3720 717-653-3718 (Fax)

Support your local Section this year. Attend monthly Section meetings.

From The Chair

Scott Fairchild

Welcome to the 2003–2004 program year for the Baltimore Section of the ASQ. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Scott Fairchild and I am your newly elected Chair. I hope that everyone is having a “Quality” summer. Even though we do not have any programs during the months of July and August, your volunteer Executive Committee is still working extremely hard behind the scenes. In fact, this is the time in which we do our strategic planning for the coming year. As you may have read in our last newsletter, the Loyola MBA Field Study Team has provided us with their report and recommendations for three development objectives: 1) Development of a Situation Analysis. 2) A Strategic Plan analysis. 3) Development of a Marketing Plan. We have been studying their proposal and will be developing a strategic plan to be presented in September.

The By-Laws committee has also just completed a monumental task over the summer. At the request of our Regional Director – David Little, the committee has reviewed our By-Laws and will be presenting a proposal of recommended changes. Please note that these changes will be posted and made available for all members to be voted on. So make sure that you vote. Ballots will be mailed and presented at our monthly dinner meetings. Many thanks to the By-Laws committee consisting of Kevin Gilson, Bev Earman and Sid Lewis.

The last and certainly not the least accomplishment that was obtained over the summer is the Annual Financial Audit. I am very pleased to announce that we have passed our audit and have submitted the report to National. A special thanks goes to Mike Rothmeier, Bob Rayme, Gil Cuffari and Pete Kosmides for their time and effort in preparing and successfully completing this task.

Our first meeting for the 2003-2004 program year will be on September 16th at Snyder’s Willow Grove. Our very own Employment Chair, Eric Whichard, will be speaking on the topic of Six Sigma. So enjoy the rest of your summer and I will see you at the meeting.

Update on CQT and CMI Certifications

If you are planning to take either the Certified Mechanical Inspector or the Certified Quality Technician examinations in October, please remember that the Bodies of Knowledge for both certifications are new for this examination period. Both have undergone changes in line with the periodic review required by ASQ.

"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it."

- Marian Anderson

Inaugural Address of ASQ President Kenneth Case

I’m sure you’re all wondering what the coming year holds for the ASQ. Planning for next year started with a futures study, and would normally have ended last November with a finalized strategic plan approved by the board. But, we haven’t finished yet. We’re still working on the strategy today because we’ve adopted a “living strategy” approach, recognizing that long-range plans, even if fixed for only a year at a time, rob us of the opportunity to adjust and to impact a rapidly changing world.

At your table this evening you have a new ASQ brochure titled, “Getting There.” It describes our new living strategy for guiding the Society and the quality movement into the future. Many of you have provided thoughtful contributions to this brochure that says a lot about who we are and where we are headed. We spent considerable time crafting a vision and dual role for the ASQ. Let me read you something that we believe applies to all of us here, regardless of where in the world we call home:

“High quality is the key to pride, productivity and profitability. The quality objective must be products and services that provide customer satisfaction. To be successful, the quality activities must be management led and consumer oriented. Management, labor and government support for quality improvement is essential for effective competition in the global market place. Control of quality is a strategic business imperative essential to product and service process leadership."

“Quality improvement, however, is more than a business strategy—it is a personal responsibility, part of our cultural heritage, and a key source of national pride. Quality commitment is an attitude, formulated in board rooms and living rooms, visible on factory floors and service counters, expressed in concert halls and city halls, and demonstrated on playing fields and wheat fields. Quality demands a continuous process with measurable individual, corporate, and national performance goals. Quality commitment must characterize the best of our relations with our fellow citizens and play a vital role in our search for global cooperation.”

The vision and dual role embraced by our strategic planning team is well expressed by what I just read. But credit for these statement goes to those who in 1986 (ancient history by today’s standards) wrote and signed the Quality Manifesto that hangs in the hallway at ASQ headquarters. Today we are still in strong alignment with that manifesto.

Our strategic themes point us in some specific directions to help achieve our vision and serve our dual roles. Our two highest priorities are centered on providing value and enabling impact. We want to continue to deliver strong support to our quality professionals, the kernel of our society. ASQ must provide crystal-clear value to the point that we in the profession can’t afford not to be members. The whole ASQ experience should be much more than just the sum of our products and services, just as art is more than canvas, paint, and brush. The ASQ experience should help us grow as professionals and give us the confidence and skills to demonstrate positive results with lasting impact in our organizations.

Those of us here tonight are believers. Deep in our hearts we know that quality, when done well, results in payoff to both the economic and emotional bottom lines. Many other leaders, however, must hail right here from the great state of Missouri, the “Show Me” state. We must develop and deliver irrefutable evidence, in the language of influential decision makers, to bring home the point that quality is an investment that pays--and pays well.

We must constantly improve one of our crown jewels, the quality body of knowledge. Our research feeds it; our products and services communicate it; our certifications demonstrate knowledge of it. We can be no better than our body of knowledge.

“Communities,” real or virtual, offer welcoming havens for those who want to network and learn. We must re-create ASQ to become the community of choice for those wishing to improve themselves and their world. Our community must go well beyond just our quality professionals—it must also appeal to those who today are on the fringe: the occasional users and potential users. Entering the quality community should be fun, create excitement, and foster personal and professional growth.

We must be sure the world knows the importance and value of quality.  Quality stories that ignite the spirit of people to believe and achieve must be told.  Public communications with great messages can influence targeted audiences.  Understanding the importance and value of quality from the board room to the living room, from concert halls to city halls, and playing fields to wheat fields, can be achieved.

Our remaining strategic themes focus on supporting people who believe that quality can make a difference, growing its use and impact in every segment of the worldwide economy. Quality professionals will play a critical and expanded leadership role; others—I’ll call them “interested quality advocates”—can help carry the quality ball much farther than we can alone. The living strategy feeds off of dialog. Better yet, it feeds off of stories. I challenge you to think about your story.

Let me tell you a story about a person I know. He became a ham radio operator at age 12 as a result of a Boy Scout activity. When he was 14, he was invited to work summers and holidays for an aircraft electronics firm. He would ride a motorcycle to work and, after scrubbing the restrooms and cleaning the floors, he was eventually given his first formal quality opportunity. He got to do reliability testing, burning in and checking autopilot tubes. He got to do calibration of vacuum tube voltmeters. He got to do sampling inspection of resistors and capacitors. He even became involved in supplier relations—he got to pick the store where he purchased parts. During the next five years of increasing responsibility, he came to know that his work was integral to the reputation of the company. Moreover, he came to realize that the lives of the pilot customers and their passengers depended upon his work. He came to understand that quality really does matter.

The ham radio hobby and early hands-on quality experience led him to study electrical engineering and industrial engineering, and he went on to a career in academia in which quality-related subjects played a prominent role.  For years he was the only faculty person at his university teaching, publishing, doing research, and consulting, all in quality.  He developed quality courses and began presenting quality seminars locally, then around the country and the world. In case you haven’t guessed, that person is me.  I have loved being in the quality profession and being an ASQ member since 1970.  Today, looking back on my own quality story, some things really stand out:

  • Having the opportunity to mentor and graduate 24 PhDs and 70 MS students, 85% specializing in quality, and seeing them become exceptional employees and business executives, valued faculty members, department heads,  and deans. 

  • Having the honor of contributing to the country through work with the Baldrige Award, and getting to be in the same room when three presidents and a vice president honored the award recipients.

  • Influencing via live satellite distance learning many skeptical fast-trackers in industry, who embraced quality once they really understood its concepts and its power.

  • Being involved with wonderful people all along the way, receiving guidance from so many quality luminaries, worldwide, many of whom are here tonight.

  • Knowing that my organization, the ASQ, is expanding the scope of quality, fostering and honoring our traditional base of quality professionals, and also reaching out to embrace people interested in quality in nontraditional ways.

  • And finally, knowing that quality people are quality people.

That’s the story of my quality journey.  For us collectively, I really believe our quality journey has only begun.  My personal desires for the quality movement can be wrapped into two big blankets.

First, those of us with technical backgrounds are educated to believe that people and processes are manageable, measurable, and predictable—that logic will prevail—that everyone will see the light exactly as we individually think we see it so clearly. But, we are far from having the people side figured out—individuals, groups, synergies, and dynamics are often at work in ways not foreseen, resulting in failure to achieve an ideal that, by all rights, should be attainable.  There is no question that quality, by whatever name, is already proven as a difference maker; there is also no question that it’s vastly underutilized.  I envy our people and believe that what they have to offer can be better integrated with our scientific know-how to be much more effective and to realize much more impact through quality.  We know it can work—organizations across the globe have made it work.  And yet these examples are too fleeting and too sparse.  We can do better.

My second desire is that the quality movement achieves the breadth, the visibility, the use, and the recognition that it deserves. We know that management systems in traditional industry are increasingly absorbing the quality function.  The quality profession in many companies is being decentralized becoming an integral part of good management.  Our decades-old wish—that quality will become everyone’s job—is coming true.  And it’s scary.  As such, the role of many quality professionals is changing from “doing quality for employees” to “leading others to do quality.”  The better we are equipped to lead, the more opportunity we have to contribute in our organizations.  There is much yet to be done.

But what about nontraditional industry?  We all know that quality’s contributions have also been felt outside the traditional manufacturing and service sectors.  There have been spectacular successes using quality approaches in health care, education, government, and the public sector.  There just haven’t been enough of them!  Wouldn’t it be nice if “Quality will become everybody’s job” were to ring true in these sectors, again with the leadership of quality professionals?  There should be a place in the quality movement and in the ASQ for anyone who aligns with quality principles and wishes to join the quality community. These two desires are achievable.

What motivates so many of us to give our time, our energy, and our emotions and skills to the quality movement?  Have you ever thought about what it is that motivates you?  Why are you here?  My answer is very idealistic, but based on many years of observation.  In mathematics we learned about necessary and sufficient conditions.  Just think about it: Quality is a necessary condition for things done well.  From lean initiatives in supply chains, to patient safety in health care, to governments that make us proud, to exceptional learning by students, to good works in communities, there is a high correlation between positive results and the use of quality precepts.  Over the years I have come to view quality as a sun—something that gives life and around which many endeavors can gather and grow well.  I am motivated to want a part of the action, to have part of the fun, to have the satisfaction of continuing to grow, and to help others grow.  We all want to be part of a winning team, and for me that team is the quality movement. 

In closing, let me challenge our many quality professionals and others here tonight.  We can accelerate the quality movement worldwide by seizing the opportunities to tell the quality story.  Even if we look only at those in this room—collectively we have tremendous influence and access to people in virtually all levels of organizations throughout the world.  Every place we go we need to signal the expanding scope of quality.  There are a million stories to be told about what quality is, and more importantly what it can be and what actions quality professionals are taking to make it happen. 

One of the ways you can help do this—with leverage—is through your own personal quality story.  What brought you to quality?  How has quality impacted you or your organization?  What motivates you to remain active in quality?  What is your vision for the quality field?

I welcome you to our web site and offer you the opportunity to tell your personal story.  With your help we can achieve ASQ’s vision to make quality a global priority, an organizational imperative, and a personal ethic.

Reprinted with permission of The American Society for Quality.

Breakfast Series for Quality Champions

This is a heads-up to keep your calendars open beginning September for a new Learning and Networking opportunity from the Section.

We are planning a series of monthly breakfast sessions specifically designed to present management tools you can apply. This series offers food for the mind and a continental breakfast for the body!

Keep your calendars open for the 3rd Thursday of each month, from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. A continental breakfast will be available from 7:30-7:45 a.m. and the program will be between 7:45-8:30 a.m. Meetings will rotate to different spots around the Baltimore area. A small fee will be charged to cover breakfast costs. The first session, on September 18th will be on Assessing Learning Needs. Gather some tips and good resources for making learning timely and relevant!

We're interested in your thoughts, ideas and recommendations for these sessions. Let us know if you are willing to host a session! Another new venture for us with the Breakfast series is that we are going totally electronic with the registration. We will be notifying you via email and handle RSVP's electronically. There will be a sign-in sheet at the door will to allow you credit for ASQ certification - the same as the Dinner meetings.

More information will follow. We welcome your input and look forward to seeing you at a morning meetings! Please feel free to reply via email with ideas, requested topics or if your company would like to be considered for hosting opportunities. Reply to Jo McLaughlin ( ) Note that if Dinner works best for your schedule you are invited to join ASQ Baltimore for our first Dinner Meeting and Program on September 16 at Snyder's Willow Grove in Linthicum. Our topic is Six Sigma

Updating Your Member Account

Any member who wants to update their account can visit the My Account area of the ASQ website to change their information at anytime. If you've moved out of the Baltimore area and want to join another Section, this should be part of your update. An address change alone will not trigger a section change necessarily.

Special Thank You

The Baltimore Section wants to recognize those members who served as assistant proctors for the various certification examinations. For the June 2003 CQE, CQA, CSQE, CCT and CQIA examinations, held at CCBC-Catonsville, the Section was pleased to have Jim Elliott, Ab Fuoss, Russ Murray and Jina Robbins assist Chief Proctor Maria Burness. The Section thanks each of these members for giving up a Saturday morning to assist with this important task.

As always proctors are needed for each set of exams. If you would be interested in assisting with the March 2003 series of exams, please contact Maria at 410-229-8801 or at

Newly Certified Quality Personnel

The Baltimore Section recognizes the following newly certified individuals who have passed the June 2003 ASQ examinations.

Certified Quality Improvement Associate

Brenda L. Stiffler Corvis Corporation

Patricia A. Jansen

Certified Quality Engineer

Thomas C. Montague

Frank L. Taylor Becton Dickinson

Gita Dasika Stone Industrial

Mark J. Berron Computer Sciences Corp.

Certified Quality Auditor

Christopher L. Hott

James Philip Wickless, Jr. ARINC

Kimberly S. Charity

Certified Software Quality Engineer

Frank Houston

Certified Calibration Technician

Charles Jay Varljen Cambrex Bio Science

Stephen E. Kappesser Davis Inotek Instruments

We commend each of these individuals that have successfully achieved these Certifications. They have reached a new level in their professional growth.

Section Pass Rates - June 2003




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Comments on the Certification Process

Frank Taylor, CQE - I am also certified by APICS & NAPM, earned the CQA in 2001, and have an MBA in finance - BUT - this was the most difficult exam I have ever taken! The prep course was very useful, and well taught by Lloyd Dixon, Sid Lewis, and Mel Alexander. For exam prep improvement, I would suggest an increased emphasis on diagnosing which type of formula to apply to the statistical problems. I found that to be challenging - more than using the tables or actually working out the formulas.
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