During ASQ’s annual awards presentation, held just prior to ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Seattle, ASQ recognized 16 people for their contribution to the quality profession. Besides two honorary memberships, 12 medals and two awards were bestowed in numerous categories. 

After the award ceremony, I spoke to Gary Griffith who received the ASQ Hromi Medal, which is given annually to an individual for outstanding contribution to the science of inspection and/or advancement of the inspection profession. He is best known for his book “The Quality Technician Handbook,” but he also has other publications and has made a significant impact over a 40-year career through teaching Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) and inspection related courses. Griffith was an ideal candidate for this award, and expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the recognition bestowed upon him. 

Recognition by ASQ is not limited to the medals and awards bestowed by their awards board. Many of ASQ’s sections (geographic units) and division’s (topical/industrial units) also offer various methods of distinction. Collectively ASQ’s member units bestow more than 70 awards and offer 120 scholarships annually! Professional recognition and financial support through scholarships are probably the most underutilized member benefit provided by ASQ. I know firsthand that many of these offerings go unused year after year simply due to lack of applicants.

William C. Meyer was honored as the ASQ inspection division’s Chuck Carter International Inspector of the Year award during the World Conference on Quality and Improvement. Since 1974, the ASQ inspection division has provided its members the opportunity to nominate someone for this award. Any qualified individual who spends more than 50% of his or her time in inspection, testing, auditing, or calibration functions to assure conformance to engineering, manufacturing, quality, and customer standards or requirements, is eligible for the award. 

Competition for the award is fierce. Each year, the inspection division receives nominations from multiple candidates for this award both from within the United States and internationally. Several ASQ sections offer a local award and then forward their winner onto the international competition. Will Meyer, this year’s winner, was nominated by his supervisor. Meyer is employed as an inspector by Defense Contact Management Agency (DCMA), which is a part of the Department of Defense. His role with the DCMA involves inspecting and accepting products acquired for government agencies; though he primarily focuses on NASA programs, he also supports other government agencies. He is qualified to conduct inspections on NASA, raw/finished materials, mechanical assemblies, energetics, and clothing/textiles. Meyer is Level II NDT certified in: radiography, liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, and ultrasonic test. In addition, he has earned several degrees and 13 ASQ certifications.

How wonderful it must be to work for an organization that goes the extra mile to nominate one of its own in order to provide them external acknowledgement. I offer my most sincere congratulations to Mr. Meyer for earning this well-deserved recognition, and also thank his supervisor and employer for taking the time to submit an application.

ASQ is also commended for doing its part. Not only does ASQ provide recognition within the quality profession, it is also provides this recognition to extend beyond its membership ranks. Other than ASQ’s Distinguished Service Medal, none of its medals, awards, or honorary membership are limited to ASQ members or for service to the society itself, rather the body of work for these medals are focused on an individual’s contribution to the greater good. ASQ’s mission is to increase the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world; I believe that ASQ’s recognition system goes a long way towards achieving this.

Now I ask you to do your part. Please take the time to investigate recognition opportunities and nominate a coworker or peer. Also, please join me in honoring Gary Griffith, Will Meyer, and the other recipients of this year’s ASQ medals and awards. Their contributions are greatly appreciated and the recognition is richly deserved. Bravo!

A complete listing of the awards and recipients is available at http://asq.org/newsroom/news-releases/2018/20180321-asq-award-winners.html