Official Newsletter of the Baltimore Section, asq

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Quality Connection

Official Newsletter of the Baltimore Section, ASQ

Issue No. 2 - 2007 - 2008 Voice Mail: (410) 347-1453



Eric Whichard Chair


Joan Richter Vice Chair

Aron Brall Treasurer

Eric Finegan Secretary

E. Finegan Internet Liaison / Website

Joan Richter Education

Joan Richter Examining

Kay Duchesne Chief Proctor


Kevin Gilson Koalaty Kid/Science Fair


Susan Spurgeon Membership


Jim Cooper Newsletter


Eric Finegan Placement/Employment

Jina Eckhardt Past Chair / Nominating


Jo McLaughlin Breakfast Meetings

Kathy Free Yahoo Groups

Mark Berron Evaluations

Rick Litts Regional Director

Support your local Section this year. Attend monthly Section meetings, either breakfast or dinner meetings.

Ruminations from the Chair

Eric Whichard

We seem to be off and well into another good year for the Baltimore Section. (But if you disagree in any respect, please let us know. Help us continuously improve.) You can find details in the newsletter, on the web site, and via other section resources.

You see the Section's committees and respective chairs to the left, as usual. I thought I would take this opportunity to elaborate a bit on the section's many activities on behalf of its members and the Society, and the many people who make it all happen.

It takes quite a bit of time and effort to operate the Section, but it is also fun and very rewarding. You work with GREAT people, get GREAT experience, and you can earn a TON of RU's. The more people we have involved, the easier it is on all of us. We have three Advisor positions currently open on the board as well as dinner meeting Programs, Tutorials, and Arrangements chairs (see below). Contact any of us to share in the challenge and pleasure. The Section Board (officers, chairs, volunteers) generally meets once a month.

Your Vice-Chair keeps things functioning when the Chair is unavailable, which in our busy world happens regularly. Your Secretary keeps us focused and productive by communicating minutes, decisions, action items, status, who's got the ball on what, and such. Your Treasurer manages the Section's budget, revenues, expenses, and writes those many checks that pay our bills and enable many of our activities. Your Audit Chair independently audits those financial records at least once a year. The Section is required to submit a budget at the beginning of the fiscal year (01July to 31June), and audited financial reports at the end. Your Immediate Past Chair provides continuity and experience so vital to section management and operations, as well as serving as the Nominations / Elections chair that helps identify future officers and conducts the election thereof.

The Section also submits a Section Management Plan (SMP) managed by your Section Management Process chair, who helps define and track status of the Section's annual goals and objectives.  Your Membership chair provides a primary point of contact and assistance to members, manages member information, and analyzes various demographics for a

better understanding of our market -- the needs and desires of our members as a whole, by various segments, and as individuals -- and the organizations that employ, sponsor, and/or rely on you as quality professionals. 

Communication and coordination among board members is greatly facilitated via the use of an online "groups" facility (in this case, Yahoo) which is managed by your Online Groups chair.  Three Advisors to the section are currently on board, and per above we need three more.

Your Chief Proctor manages the certification exams held locally several times a year as scheduled by ASQ, which includes recruiting and training assistant proctors, arranging for venues, conducting the exams, and handling the associated paperwork.  Your Recertification (or Examining) chair tracks your status and advises you of the upcoming need to recertify, evaluates your application materials, submits them to national ASQ, and assists members throughout this process.  Your Education chair identifies needs and provides opportunities in this regard including locally conducted classes, correspondence courses, computer / internet based, and etc. in support of certification, and your knowledge needs in general.

Your Publicity chair keeps members aware of events held in the area by this section, the ASQ and other sections / divisions, and other quality related organizations -- in general via electronic and paper mailings.  Your Newsletter chair assembles, edits, and publishes the content you are now reading several times per year.  And your section Website chair provides yet another vital channel of communication to you, and with you.  Please avail yourself of this trove of information and convenience at  Together, these people provide vital links between the section and its members, and the general public, keeping all aware of our activities and contributions in our local community. Dinner meeting Programs, Tutorials, and Arrangements are pretty much complete for this year. But September 2008 will be here before we know it and we'd love to fill those chairs ASAP. Upcoming dinner meetings feature topics on process improvement, reliability, software, winners of the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards (MPEA), and a social at the Baltimore Aquarium in April. Breakfast meeting chairs for Programs and Arrangements enable us to offer morning meetings as well -- which has proved to be quite popular. These people manage the speakers, venues, catering, etc. that make it possible for us to offer these education and networking opportunities. Your Program Evaluations chair gathers and analyzes feedback on section offerings like these to help assure and improve our quality of service to you. Your Registrations chair manages the section's voice mail system and registration for events (e.g. meetings) - which can also be done via the web site.

Your Jobseekers chair accepts (and searches for) employment / placement opportunities and forwards them to those of you who are subscribers, as well as posting them on the section web site.  We know of a number of people who found employment through Jobseekers -- and hope that there are many more.

Your Recognitions chair provides tokens and other indications of the section / board's appreciation to program and tutorial speakers, as well as member leaders and other volunteers / participants as appropriate. Division Liaisons keep the Section in touch and coordination with ASQ Divisions in which they participate. Additional chairs provide liaison with other ASQ organization such as Koality Kid, Good Works, and Economic Case for Quality; as well as external organizations such as local Science Fairs, the MPEA, and the US Senate Productivity Awards.

Your Deputy Regional Director (DRD) provides liaison with Region 5's Regional Director, and the Section Affairs Council (SAC) which comprises the directors of all ASQ regions. The section works and communicates organizationally with the ASQ and its board of directors through the SAC.

It takes a village... and a village takes planning, execution, evaluation, improvement (PDCA), management, participation...

New Users' Group Established

A Criteria for Performance Excellence User Group is being established in the area and will begin meeting in the spring of 2008. This will be in collaboration with the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards Program. More information will be forthcoming in the New Year. For further information on this user group, contact Kathy Free,, Kevin Gilson, or Marty Stephens,

New Subsection Being Considered

The Section is exploring the possibility of establishing a Frederick / Hagerstown / Cumberland Subsection for our members in the western part of the state. If you have any thoughts or ideas on this, either positive or negative, please forward them via email ( ) to the Section Board. Also, indicate if you would be interested in setting up the subsection or know of a meeting location. We welcome any and all suggestions

Section Social Evening Planned

Reserve the evening of April 08, 2008 in your calendars for a special time. The Section will be holding a social evening from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Baltimore Harbor View Room of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. For one hour prior to the social, the Aquarium will be open for visiting. Heavy hors d'oevres and a cash bar will be available. Watch for further details on this special evening.


Due to the low enrollment, the three courses we had scheduled for the Fall were cancelled. So as part of our continuing education program, we are going to try it again. If you are interested in taking a course(s) or being an instructor, please email Indicate in your email which certification(s) you are interested in, if student or instructor, and any preference of location where the course will be held (we are exploring changing location for our courses and certification exams).

If you have any questions regarding education, feel free to contact us at

Recertification Deadlines:

The following is the final submission dates to have applications submitted to Recertification Committee:

Date Certification Expires

Date Due to the Recertification Chair







This allows processing of all applications prior to expiration. Please send an email to when you are ready to submit.


With the New Year, we are welcoming a few new changes in the area of recertification. We have been beta testing a new system over the last few months with great results.

Please make sure you are using the 18-point application. To get a most current copy of the application, go to: (the application is under step 1). Also note that if you enter information on the ASQ Recertification Journal Application page (page 3), the values will total itself.

The new process is as follows:

You will be receiving an email from the Recertification committee indicating that you have a certification expiring on a given date.

If you would like a list of any ASQ Section 502 (Dinner or Breakfast) meeting you have attended or a list of exams that you have proctored, please email for a list.

  1. Prepare your package. If at any time you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Recertification Committee at

  2. When you have all of your documentation ready, you have several options:

    1. Mail

      1. Go to for the address to send your application.

  • Please do not forget to sign your application and include your payment.

  • PLEASE do NOT send your application registered mail. This adds 4 days to the process.

      1. Email indicating that you have mailed your application. You will receive an acknowledgement when your application has been received.

    1. Hand Deliver – Home

If you wish to hand deliver to the address listed on the website, please place your packet in the mailbox (located in the driveway) marked ASQ and put up the flag. You will receive an acknowledgement when your application has been received.

    1. Hand Deliver – Meeting

If you are attending a Dinner meeting, you can hand deliver your application. Ask any of the section officers to point out the individual handling recertification.

    1. E-Mail (This is a new feature)

When your packet is received, it is verified, approved and scanned. To speed up the process, you can now SCAN and EMAIL your application.

      1. Gather your supporting information

      2. Scan

      3. Email to

      4. You will be notified that your application has been received and if there are any issues which will need to be resolved.

      5. When all issues have been resolved, you will be instructed to send the ASQ Recertification Journal Application page (page 3) with original signature and payment to the Recertification address.

      6. You will receive an acknowledgement email for your ASQ Recertification Journal Application page.

If you have any questions about the process or your application packet, please contact the Recertification Committee at:

Recertification Questions of the Month:

Question: What do I do if I cannot obtain employment letter from a previous employer?

Answer: If you cannot obtain an employment letter, you can use a copy of an old pay stub or tax form. All personal information should be blacked out with the exception of your name, company name, beginning and ending date of employment.

Question: Why do I want to “synchronize” my certifications? What does it save me?

Answer: It saves you TIME and MONEY. If you have 3 certifications (expiring June07, Dec07, Jun07) and do not synchronize, you will have to do 3 different applications and spend $150. If the certifications are synchronized, you will only have to do 1 application and spend $50 (as an ASQ member) thus saving you TIME and $100.

Question: I do not have enough RUs. What do I do?

Answer: Ask for help as soon as you are aware that there is a problem, contact for assistance.

Certification Exam Schedule

There are two cycles for the ASQ Certification exams - a March/October Cycle and a June/December Cycle. The schedule shown reflects the dates through the June 2008 series of exams.

March / October Exams

June / December Exams

Quality Inspector

Software Quality Engineer

Quality Technician

Quality Auditor

Reliability Engineer

Quality Engineer

Manager of Quality Organizational Excellence

Quality Improvement Associate

HAACP Auditor

Calibration Technician

Biomedical Auditor

Quality Process Analyst

Six Sigma Black Belt

Six Sigma Green Belt

Application Date

Exam Date

March. 2008

Jan. 11, 2008

March 01, 2008

June, 2008

April 04, 2008

June 07, 2008

ASQ Certification Preparation

ASQ is offering, through the Training & Certification Link in the ASQ Store, access to question banks to assist in your preparation for several certification exams.

Based on ASQ's Body of Knowledge (BoK), this new web-based certification preparation program will help you prepare for the following exams by identifying your strengths as well as your additional areas of study.

  • Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)

  • Six Sigma Black Belt

  • Six Sigma Green Belt

  • Certified Quality Process Analyst

Each course provides practice questions for all the topic areas in the BoK. It was designed, not only to prepare you for the certification exam, but also to help you achieve a passing score by identifying those areas that need further study.

Cost is $80 for members and $100 for nonmembers. Access to each of these prep programs is for a period of one year. For further information, go to the web site .

Call for Meeting Locations

Our home base for our dinner meetings is Snyder’s. Comments indicate that Snyder’s is centrally located with respect to the Beltway and the food is not bad. To better serve our membership, we are looking for other locations (such as in Towson, Hunt Valley, White Marsh, etc) to hold our meetings in addition to Snyder’s. If you know of any locations where we could hold a dinner meeting, please email include the name of the place, area of the location (White Marsh, Hunt Valley, etc). We are looking for a location that would hold 50 to 75 people. Also, if your company is interested in sponsoring a Breakfast or Dinner meeting, please contact us.

Senior Members

The following advanced their membership to Senior Member during the July / August 2007 time frame.

Denise E. Benson

Brenda Desormeaux

Byron Thomas McAllister

Michelle Nellum

Evelyn V. Richardson

Clarissa Saba

Dana A. Sandleben

Your Inputs & Articles are Always Needed!

It seems like a never-ending hue and cry that is raised. I want and I need your inputs, whether it is your quality related articles and techniques or your inputs into the new Baltimore Section people column. There are many good ideas that you have or unique activities that you perform that would be of interest to the Section membership. There may be articles in technical journals that I have missed that would be beneficial to the members. Provide any inputs that you come across. I would much rather deal with an excess of information and have to select the best of what was available than have a very small newsletter. Take the time to forward items of interest. Thanks.

ASQ's Government Division

What are the planned activities and programs of the Government Division? What goals has it set for itself? The division leadership has to set out an achievable list of goals for the organization for the next 12 months. Highlights include:

  • Production and distribution of two training webinars (Government Quality 101, and Leading a Successful Team in Government).

  • Aiming to position ASQ’s Government Division as a leading Web site on Government Quality efforts through a process of implementing continuous improvements to the Web site.

  • Expanding ASQ Government Division’s popular webinar series from 5 to 9 events.

  • Participating more directly in the 2008 ASQ World Conference program in Houston.

  • Co-hosting a conference with ASQ's Food, Drug, and Cosmetic and Biomedical Divisions in March 2008.

  • Hosting a Leadership Dialogue.

As you can see there is a lot going on within the Government Division. I urge you contact me directly if any of these topics or activities spark your interest. We are always keen to have more hands help carry the load.

Guy Gordon (

Chair, ASQ Government Division

ASQ - Baltimore Section 0502

THE VISION: To be the Baltimore Metropolitan Area recognized resource on issues related to Quality.

OUR MISSION: To create value for our members and others by providing opportunities for development and resources for managing quality in the community.

Speakers Sought

If you know of someone who is will to speak to the group or there is a topic that you think the group would be interested in, please email

"Where Quality Meets..."

A new regular item on the ASQ 0502 Baltimore website is "Where Quality Meets..." -- a (sometimes short) list of local meetings and events that are relevant or of interest to our local membership.

These meetings cover local Quality groups, Quality-based training (ASQ and otherwise), Division-related meetings, and events from other related industry groups (Regulatory, Reliability, Manufacturing, etc.). If you are aware of any local meetings that are Quality-related and appearing in the Baltimore-Washington area, please send a note or link to: webmaster @

These additional meetings and dates of importance will also be tacked on to the bottom of the Dinner meeting announcements that go out to the membership. Our Calendar of Events web page will always show the next 2-3 months of events of interest to the local membership.

If you have any questions, please contact webmaster @

This space could be yours!!! It is available to you for your article, paper, quality quiz or comment for the Section. Contact the Newsletter Editor if interested in filling this space.

07 Maryland Performance Excellence Awards

The Maryland Performance Excellence Awards kicked off its 2007 program in September at the University of Maryland with nearly 70 volunteers being trained to serve on the MPEA Board of Examiners. These volunteers received two days of intensive training in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, along with instruction evaluating an award application, both independently and as a member of a consensus team. In addition, Examiners were given hands-on training in writing actionable comments and scoring that will serve as the basis of a feedback report provided to the organizations that submitted applications for the 2007 award.

Training was provided by highly experienced, Baldrige-trained Examiners who have received training and examiner experience at both the state and national level. Trainers included Howard Butz, Center for Organizational Performance; LaWanda Burwell, Baltimore City Public Schools; Tom Dagley, Montgomery County Government; Milt Finch, KFORCE Government Solutions; Kathy Free, Social Security Administration; Tony Glaudé, retired from Verizon Communications; and Ron Marafioti, Marafioti Consulting Group.

Following a month-long period of independent review of their assigned application, the Examiners are currently working on team consensus review of the application. Findings from these reviews will be considered by the MPEA Executive Guidance Board in late November, as it determines which applicants will go on to Site Visit review in January. Awards will be presented at the MPEA Conference and Awards Ceremony on April 7, 2008 at the University of Maryland in College Park. This day-long conference will include presentations and workshops by recipients of the Baldrige National Quality Award and Maryland’s top award, the U.S. Senate Productivity Award.

Members of the 2007 MPEA Board of Examiners include:

Wilfrid Amisial - Household of Angels Assisted Living

J. Wade Atkins - National Institutes of Health

Thomas Bach - Bach Consulting Group

Stephen Bonk - BAE Systems

John Jay Bonstingl - Bonstingl Leadership Development

Liliane Brown - U.S. Food and Drug Admin.

Dinishea Burr - Baltimore City Department of Social Services

Hope Collins - Calibre

Margaret Cosley - Verizon Federal Systems

Laura Cottingham - Booz Allen Hamilton

Janet Crutchfield - The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC

David Cummings - U.S. Food and Drug Admin.

Lee Cunningham - NEA Member Benefits Corp

Pamela Evans - Maryland Department of Human Resources

William Everly - Montgomery County Public Schools

David Fern - Social Security Administration

Margaret Filbert - U.S. Army

Kurt Fischer - National Institute of Standards and Technology

Deborah Freels - Harford County Public Schools

Aurora Garcia - Morgan State University

Thomas Garin - Department of Veteran Affairs

Karen Geier-Smith - Southern Management Corporation

Lillian Gill - U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Alisha Gregory - Montgomery County Government

Marcy Harrison - VHA Central Atlantic

Kerry Higgins - Baltimore Aircoil Company

Ramona Hill - #si'a, LLC

Margareth Hillman - Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Rebecca Hodnett - Southern Management Corporation

Jane Ippolito - Asbury Communities

Zakiya Kainu - Southern Management Corporation

Jackie Knickman - MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (Continued on page )

2007 MPEA (Continued)

Victor Korenman - University of Maryland

Richard Kozak, Sr. - R&D(2) LLC

Jack Larsen - SP Systems, Inc.

Steven Lynn - U.S. Food and Drug Admin.

Tiffany McDonald - Skanska USA Building, Inc.

Kathy McNerney - Maryland State Department of Educatioin

Linda Mehlinger - Morgan State University

Cynthia Mendoza - Morgan State University

Robert Middleton, Jr. - DTI Associates, Inc.

Frances Morris - Montgomery County Public Schools

Alicia Muhammad - Montgomery County Public Schools

Lawrence Pike - Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Patrick Plunkett - Department of Housing & Urban Development

Joseph Popovich - Morgan State University

Kathryn Post - Harford County Public Schools

Erik Puskar - National Institute of Standards and Technology

Amber Reigel - AAI Corporation

Cheryl Rollins - Morgan State University

Sophia Rouse - Northrop Grumman

Tunji Sawyer - University of Maryland

Frances Scher - Scher Progression, LLC

Michael Schmook - Cecil County Schools

Herbert Singletary, Jr. - RS Information Systems, Inc.

Gerrit Smith - Invitrogen

Brenda Thacker

Sandra Toalston - SanSeek

Philip Van der Vossen - Allen & Shariff Corp.

Melynda Velez - Harford County Public Schools

Richard Walker - The Children's Guild

Denise Warren - Baltimore City Department of Social Services

Jéniné Woodward - Chartered Health Plan

The awards program has been honoring quality, productivity and the business achievements of Maryland organizations since 1983 and is managed by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH) at the University of Maryland in College Park. Co-sponsored by the University of Maryland and U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin, the awards program is available for any individual or organization interested in continuous improvement and organizational excellence.

For additional information, visit the MPEA website at or contact Marty Stephens at 301-405-7173 or

Next Newsletter Due Date March 15, 2008

American Society for Quality

Baltimore Section - 0502

2716 Baldwin Mill Road

Baldwin, MD 21013-9140

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