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New Members and Chair for the Baldrige Panel of Judges

May 28, 2014

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Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recently appointed four new members to the Panel of Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The new judges are as follows:

  • Michael Dockery
  • Laura Huston
  • Ken Schiller
  • Fonda L. Vera

Paige Lillard, a Baldrige judge since 2012, has been appointed chair of the panel for 2014. Lillard is vice president of global business transformation for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. She served as a Baldrige examiner from 2004 to 2006.

Dockery is senior manager of Memphis World Hub for FedEx Corporation. Dockery joined the Baldrige Program’s Board of Examiners in 2008 and served as a senior examiner from 2010 through 2013.

Huston is assistant vice president of business excellence for Cargill, Inc. Two subunits of the manufacturing company have received Baldrige Awards: Cargill Corn Milling, which received the award in 2008, and Cargill Kitchen Solutions (formerly Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc.), which received the award in 2005. Huston served as a Baldrige examiner for 13 award cycles; she was first selected in 1998, then served for five years as a senior examiner and six years as an alumna, most recently in 2013.

Schiller is co-owner of K&N Management, an Austin, Texas-area developer of two restaurant concepts (Rudy’s "Country Store" & Bar-B-Q and Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes). K&N Management received the Baldrige Award in 2010.

Vera is executive dean of planning, research, effectiveness, and development for Richland College, a two-year community college in the Dallas County (Texas) Community College District that received a Baldrige Award in 2005. Vera became a Baldrige examiner in 2008; like Dockery, she served as a senior examiner from 2010 through 2013.

The other Baldrige judges—who continue three-year terms on the 2014 panel—are Diane Bosworth, Donald Lighter, Gerri Markley, Sharon Muret-Wagstaff, Mike Sather, Sunil Sinha, and Roger Triplett.

The 2014 Panel of Judges will first meet on June 11 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which houses the Baldrige Program. The panel will reconvene August 27 at NIST to review scoring data from the 2014 examiner teams. At that meeting, the judges will determine which of the 22 2014 Baldrige Award applicants will receive site visits—the next phase of the process of assessing each organization’s performance and determining national role models. In early November, the judges will meet to determine applicants to recommend to the NIST director and Commerce secretary to be named 2014 Baldrige Award recipients.