Everyone has heard of the Time Person of the Year. Last year, for example, it was our president. Barack Obama received the award in 2012, The Protester did in 2011, and Mark Zuckerberg was named in 2010. The Time Person of the Year is often a president—Obama also received the honor in 2008—and occasionally it is an idea, such as the Endangered Earth as the Planet of Year in 1989, and the computer as the Machine of the Year in 1983.
And did you know that in 2006 the award went to You? The cover read, “Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.” Congratulations on your victory.
It places you in the company of Albert Einstein, named the Person of the Century in 1999. Other interesting honorees were Middle Americans in 1970, the 25 and Under in 1967, and the Hungarian Patriot in 1957. General Motors’ Harlow Curtice received the award in 1956. Hitler was named the Person of the Year in 1939, followed by Stalin in 1940.
But in between the dictators and world leaders, sometimes those in manufacturing were recognized; Walter P. Chrysler received the award in 1929. And who isn’t familiar with Charles Lindbergh? Lindbergh started things off in 1928.
Although we here at Quality operate on a much narrower scale, profiling those individuals who are not household names, we also want to recognize those who stood out. Think Plant of the Year instead of Planet. Perhaps one day we will honor the air gage, borescope or CMM as the Machine of the Year, but right now we are sticking with people. And instead of considering every person on the planet, we look at those in the quality field.
Since starting the award in 2006, we have honored Roderick Munro, Jim Smith, Peter Sanderson, H. James Harrington, D.H. Stamatis, Forrest Breyfogle III and Harry Moser. I had the chance to interview our first winner as well as last year’s. Harry Moser may not be a world leader himself but he had recently been to the White House, as well as featured in media outlets from BBC News to Bloomberg to Japanese radio. 
This year I was able to get to know Bill Arbogast. Our 2013 Professional of the Year provides a good example of the kind of energy you need to do well in business as well as how to be a successful quality professional.
And he was very self-effacing for such an accomplished individual. He is the global quality systems manager in Global Operations for TE Connectivity, a $13 billion company, as well as an ASQ certified quality auditor and quality manager who has helped his company save more than a quarter of a million dollars in auditing costs every year. But in addition to that, he is a genuinely nice guy. 
Read “The Real Professional” to learn more. And feel free to apply next year, because unlike Time’s Person of the Year award, we do accept applications. So please start thinking of applying—before your CMM does.