MILWAUKEE, WI-The new role of quality: Tomorrow’s applications of proven quality tools is the theme of ASQ’s 2011 World Conference on Quality and Improvement, May 16–18, 2011, in Pittsburgh, PA. Conference registration is available here. The conference content seeks to re-examine the role that quality can play in the face of today’s challenges. It also provides an array of networking opportunities and further education on the latest industry trends, as well as insight into how quality makes a global impact. This year’s conference includes three keynote speakers whose work reflects the shifting role of quality:

Adm. Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.)-Monday, May 16, 7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Adm. Thad Allen was selected by President Barack Obama on May 1, 2010, to serve as the National Incident Commander (NIC) for the unified response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He held that position concurrently while finishing his tenure as the commandant of the Coast Guard. In this position, Allen was charged with oversight efforts to cease the flow of oil and mitigate the effects of the worst oil disaster in U.S. history. Working closely with other federal officials and organizations, he sought to bring a global unity of effort to response endeavors.

In addition to his efforts in the Gulf, Allen also was involved in response efforts to the September 2001 terrorist attacks and was designated the principal federal official for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Allen officially retired from active duty service June 30, 2010, after 39 years of service.

J.J. Irani, Tata Steel-Tuesday, May 17, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. In 1968 J.J. Irani joined The Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd. (TISCO), now Tata Steel with headquarters in India, as assistant to the director of research and development. He went on to hold the positions of general superintendent, general manager, president and managing director. After holding the CEO’s office for almost a decade, he retired as managing director of Tata Steel in 2001. Presently, he continues to be a director on the board of Tata Steel.

In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him an honorary knighthood (KBE) for his contributions to Indo-British trade and cooperation. In 2007 he was honored by the president of India who conferred on him the award of "Padma Bhushan" for his services to trade and industry in the country.

Barbara Corcoran, The Corcoran Group-Tuesday, May 17, 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight Ds in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1,000 loan to start The Corcoran Group. She parlayed the loan into a $5 billion real estate business and sold it in 2001 for $70 million.

Corcoran is the real estate contributor for NBC’s "Today" show where she comments weekly on trends in the real estate market. She’s also an investor/shark on ABC’s reality hit "Shark Tank." Corcoran is the author of Use What You’ve Got, an entertaining business book that has become a national best-seller, as well as Nextville, Amazing Places to Live Your Life. Her latest book, Shark Tales, is due out in January 2011.

Hot Topic Sessions
In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference is comprised of more than 100 sessions. They focus on five different areas: global, risk management, building a quality culture, organizational excellence and quality basics. Sessions will cover topics critical to a variety of industries including traditional manufacturing, healthcare, government, financial services and many more. Sessions are tailored for those new to quality to those seasoned in the quality profession, including:

  • Building/Maintaining a Culture to Support Quality
  • Social Responsibility Performance Improvement
  • Global Quality Culture Alignment Starts Where?
  • Food Safety Standards: Past, Present and Future
  • Solving Supply Chain Problems

    Proactively Five Conferences for the Price of One
    Once again, attendees are able to attend four other "mini-conferences" that will be held concurrently with the ASQ World Conference, all for one registration fee:  

  • Quality Institute for Healthcare
  • Institute for Software Excellence
  • Quality in Sustainability Conference
  • Institute for Continuous Quality Improvement