Heather Mock – Examiner Deer Valley School District

“Between the Examiner training, the application review process, and the interaction with highly qualified professionals, participating in the Performance Excellence Program as an Examiner is more valuable to me than just about any other professional activity.”
— Steve Novak; PPR Management Services, HI

Jeremiah Scott – Examiner Arizona State Retirement System

“I learned so much going through the Examiner training and process! It is becoming more apparent to me as I move forward in my job. The insight provided is amazing. I certainly did not realize such going through the process. The process really came together for me during the site visits.”
—Candice R. Vaughan MS, RN, Professional Practice Sr. Manager; Banner Thunderbird Medical Center

“I found the SWAE Examiner experience extremely valuable to my understanding and growth in Quality. The training and site visit offered me the opportunity to understand quality programs outside of my own industry.”
—Susie Duffy; HonorHealth

“Serving as an Examiner has: 1.enhanced my knowledge of the performance excellence (Baldrige) framework. 2. allowed me to network with other examiners and forge new alliance to share best practices and approaches. 3. enabled me to attend site visits where I can learn new approaches and potential best practices to bring back to my organization. 4. provided me with the framework and experience to conduct an assessment at my overall organization, and to conduct mini-assessments at the section, division and department levels. This will enhance my organization’s performance. 5. enhanced my writing /reviewing skills and my ability to create performance award applications. 6. allowed me the ability to prepare for site visits (as an applicant) and prepare documentation.”       —Polly Walker, Senior Business  Operations Analyst; City of Henderson

” I count my service on the SWAE Board of Examiners as the single most effective professional development pursuit I’ve ever undertaken. There is no comparable opportunity I know of for learning Baldrige performance excellence principles and for seeing firsthand how other organizations pursue performance excellence than serving as an examiner. I can say without hesitation that I’m more effective in my job because of my examiner service, and that my application of knowledge and insights gained has contributed to measurable improvements in my own organization’s performance.
—Joe Tate, Director of Program & Policy Implementation; University of Phoenix

“Great experience!  I gained useful knowledge on the Baldrige criteria and various ways to evaluate process improvement.  It is a time commitment but the people are wonderful, and the experience and perspective gained is very valuable to me and my organization.  Would recommend highly and would love to do it again.”
—Kristen Drew; Gilbert Fire Department

“Participation as a Baldrige Examiner over the last 8 years has provided me a unique opportunity to view performance excellence journeys from a wide range of industries and sectors of the economy that I otherwise would not have exposure to in my current job. New insights are gleaned and novel best practices are discovered that I can bring back to my organization to accelerate our own journey. The opportunity to perform as a Baldrige Examiner has deepened my understanding of the Baldrige Criteria, strengthening my personal and professional confidence. My Baldrige experience has given me access to role model organizations’ stories that also help identify potential new cross-sector bench-marking candidates. My Baldrige Examiner role has proven to be a valuable lifelong learning experience for my professional and personal growth.”
—Robert “Quality Bob” Mitchell; Consultant

“For the past three years, I have served as a SWAE Examiner, and the experience has been very rewarding on both a professional and a personal level.  Through participating in hands-on training and evaluating both organizational and process level applications, I have acquired a deep understanding of the Baldrige criteria, which is invaluable as I work to improve my employer’s own processes.  I have had the opportunity to learn about best practices, inside and outside of my industry, while working with very talented and dedicated fellow examiners.  Volunteering as an examiner is also a great way to “give back” to the Quality community.”
—Stacy Harley, MS / MBA / Lean Six Sigma MBB; Scottsdale Medical Imaging

“Mentoring is a position that uses all the skills and experience of the SWAE process. A Mentor needs to understand the criteria to be able to ensure the quality of each step and each person in the process. A Mentor needs to be able to understand the purpose of the final product of the process, the feedback report. A Mentor also needs to be a leader knowing when to sit back and let the process work, and when to step in when the process is starting to get off track. Being a Mentor is one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career.”
—Frank Bouchard; Bouchard Quality Management Associates

“My experience as an Examiner utilizing the Baldrige Criteria methodology, not only helped me better understand institutional best practices, but taking a holistic systematic approach to process improvement in my every day life….personal and professional. The process from start to finish, was an eye-opening experience to how best in class processes are dreamed, created, and implemented in the business environment.”
—Eric Dudley, USMC Veteran; University of Phoenix

“As an examiner for the Performance Excellence Award Program, I had the tremendous opportunity to learn about quality excellence and its application to a variety of organizations within numerous industries.  This experience has helped me to better evaluate processes and programs within my employer to ensure new and existing initiatives are conducted based upon proven quality criteria.  It was a privilege to learn from other highly qualified professionals, and witness the outstanding quality processes and organizations in the state of Arizona.  I would strongly encourage involvement in SWAE to anyone interested in having a better understanding of quality or who wants to apply quality criteria to their own organization.”
—Eric Davies, MBA/MKT Quality Assurance Management Analyst; Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department

“Becoming a SWAE Examiner is the best life long professional development that I have participated in. The process tested and improved my critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. I know what “Excellence” looks like and the questions to answer to get there”
—Julie Chelius, Accounts Payable Clerk; Deer Valley Unified School District