Don’t just get better once; get better constantly. Always be looking for something to improve.
— Jeff Sutherland, Founder of Scrum


It is a dream come true for me to say that I’m the 2019 Chair-Elect of the 70,000 member American Society for Quality (ASQ). In 2020 I will become ASQ’s youngest ever President and the first Asian-American to ever take the role.

East Coast to West Coast / My involvement with ASQ over the years has taken me from Atlanta to New York City to Silicon Valley, each change in geography growing in parallel to my career in the quality assurance (QA) profession. It is a huge honor and privilege to now help lead the Society from a global perspective.

Supply Chain Quality / My quality assurance (QA) expertise is in supply chain and manufacturing quality (which pretty much just means I used to spend a lot of time hanging out in factories and warehouses in remote parts of the world).

Along the way I've worked alongside some of the most incredible folks ever in the QA profession. Building better processes that enable the best possible experiences for the end user has become central to my product development work in the present day.


// HONORS & RECOGNITION

  • November 2016 - Named one of Quality Progress Magazine's New Voices of Quality, the magazine's 40 under 40-ish list

  • November 2015 - Elected as Fellow of ASQ

  • June 2013 - Recipient of ASQ's Armand Feigenbaum Medal, the Society's top international honor for a young professional


// 2019 World Conference on Quality and Improvement - Fort Worth, Texas

Each summer, The World Conference on Quality & Improvement is ASQ’s largest annual event, drawing over 2000 attendee from across its 130 represented countries. This year’s event was in Fort Worth, Texas and was my first as ASQ Chair-Elect.

Excited and honored to take the stage as the 2019 Chair-Elect of ASQ. Also exciting was talking my way into getting a song by metalcore band Darkest Hour as my entrance music. \m/

Excited and honored to take the stage as the 2019 Chair-Elect of ASQ. Also exciting was talking my way into getting a song by metalcore band Darkest Hour as my entrance music. \m/

The International Team Excellence Award finalists.

The International Team Excellence Award finalists.

Congratulating some of the Continuous Improvement Storyboard teams on being audience vote winners. Here with the team from Peru.

Congratulating some of the Continuous Improvement Storyboard teams on being audience vote winners. Here with the team from Peru.

The Argentina team roaring their way onstage to be one of the teams placing Gold in the International Team Excellence Awards finals.

The Argentina team roaring their way onstage to be one of the teams placing Gold in the International Team Excellence Awards finals.

Sons of Liberty         was a great mid-day coffee oasis nearby the Fort Worth Omni where I could escape in between sessions to catch up on email and correspondence, reflect on the week’s comings and goings, or just mindfully sip delicious coffee. Super nice crew and a wonderful third place for the week.

Sons of Liberty was a great mid-day coffee oasis nearby the Fort Worth Omni where I could escape in between sessions to catch up on email and correspondence, reflect on the week’s comings and goings, or just mindfully sip delicious coffee. Super nice crew and a wonderful third place for the week.

The green room where I’d run through my remarks in my head, administer taste-sized doses of Dr. Pepper (apparently a locally manufactured sensation here), or hang out to introduce or welcome keynote speakers.

The green room where I’d run through my remarks in my head, administer taste-sized doses of Dr. Pepper (apparently a locally manufactured sensation here), or hang out to introduce or welcome keynote speakers.

Had the huge pleasure of thanking author     Charlene Li      (   of     Groundswell     fame), who was one of this year’s closing keynote speakers. She spoke on disruptive leadership, social media, and member engagement. Here watching her talk from the green room before heading back onstage to thank her and close the conference.

Had the huge pleasure of thanking author Charlene Li (of Groundswell fame), who was one of this year’s closing keynote speakers. She spoke on disruptive leadership, social media, and member engagement. Here watching her talk from the green room before heading back onstage to thank her and close the conference.

All the finalists and Bronze / Silver / Gold recipients were so enthusiastic and beaming with national pride. Here the Argentinian and Chinese teams post flag waving ceremony for their performance in continuous improvement case studies from their respective companies.

All the finalists and Bronze / Silver / Gold recipients were so enthusiastic and beaming with national pride. Here the Argentinian and Chinese teams post flag waving ceremony for their performance in continuous improvement case studies from their respective companies.

I tried to include Tex-Mex in at least one meal a day during my stay in Fort Worth. The first of my taco side quests was to    Velvet Taco   , whose added bonus was their later opening hours (as the sign so proudly advertises).

I tried to include Tex-Mex in at least one meal a day during my stay in Fort Worth. The first of my taco side quests was to Velvet Taco, whose added bonus was their later opening hours (as the sign so proudly advertises).

Waiting to pick myself up.

Waiting to pick myself up.

Velvety Tacos.

Velvety Tacos.

One of ASQ’s most exciting programs is our World Partners Forum, where our sister quality organizations join together to share best practices and discuss ideas for collaboration across country lines. In this one photo alone joining the US: Portugal, China, Israel, Czech Republic, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.

One of ASQ’s most exciting programs is our World Partners Forum, where our sister quality organizations join together to share best practices and discuss ideas for collaboration across country lines. In this one photo alone joining the US: Portugal, China, Israel, Czech Republic, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.

At the World Partners session, gesturing dramatically while I speak to better appear as if I know what I’m talking about.

At the World Partners session, gesturing dramatically while I speak to better appear as if I know what I’m talking about.

True legacy. For a 73 year old organization like ASQ, that means there have been a lot of Past Presidents. Two more years before I become “a true has-been” and join the ranks of these fine folks. Back Row (L to R): Elmer Corbin (2018); Stephen Hacker (2014); Steve Bailey (1997); Jerry Mairani (2005); Pete Andres (2009); From Row (L to R): Mike Jones (1996); Liz Keim (2002); Chuck Aubrey (1992); Jack West (1993); Pat La Londe (2016)

True legacy. For a 73 year old organization like ASQ, that means there have been a lot of Past Presidents. Two more years before I become “a true has-been” and join the ranks of these fine folks. Back Row (L to R): Elmer Corbin (2018); Stephen Hacker (2014); Steve Bailey (1997); Jerry Mairani (2005); Pete Andres (2009); From Row (L to R): Mike Jones (1996); Liz Keim (2002); Chuck Aubrey (1992); Jack West (1993); Pat La Londe (2016)

When in Texas.

When in Texas.

Photo crashing Past Presidents Chuck Aubrey (1992) and Debbie Hopen (1995). When Debbie became President in 1995, she was ASQ’s youngest and first female President. When she was an undergraduate, all of her schools of choice told her women weren’t admitted to their engineering programs so it was nothing new to adapt to being “around roomfuls of business men all the time”.

Photo crashing Past Presidents Chuck Aubrey (1992) and Debbie Hopen (1995). When Debbie became President in 1995, she was ASQ’s youngest and first female President. When she was an undergraduate, all of her schools of choice told her women weren’t admitted to their engineering programs so it was nothing new to adapt to being “around roomfuls of business men all the time”.

The 2019 ASQ Board of Directors just before we headed into our end-of-week board meetings here in Fort Worth.

The 2019 ASQ Board of Directors just before we headed into our end-of-week board meetings here in Fort Worth.

Plenty of challenges ahead with no easy solutions. Together we agree, disagree, challenge, collaborate, push back, inspire. And when this many people have each other’s back, no complexities seem unsolvable.

Plenty of challenges ahead with no easy solutions. Together we agree, disagree, challenge, collaborate, push back, inspire. And when this many people have each other’s back, no complexities seem unsolvable.

A post-meeting recharge at the     Kimbell Art Museum     .

A post-meeting recharge at the Kimbell Art Museum.

Visiting the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, checking out what’s left of Bas Jan Alder’s performance piece from the 1970s. Ultimately his boat was recovered during an overseas voyage but he was never found. The ultimate performance piece perhaps…

Visiting the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, checking out what’s left of Bas Jan Alder’s performance piece from the 1970s. Ultimately his boat was recovered during an overseas voyage but he was never found. The ultimate performance piece perhaps…

First tried at a moonshine bar in Deep Ellum a couple of years prior, I was finally able to catch up with a quality, hand-made bottle to take home. The chemical engineer in me was excited and intrigued that this is actually fermented from the prickly pear cactus vs. having grain moonshine infused with the plant. Grassy, punchy, Dallas-y.

First tried at a moonshine bar in Deep Ellum a couple of years prior, I was finally able to catch up with a quality, hand-made bottle to take home. The chemical engineer in me was excited and intrigued that this is actually fermented from the prickly pear cactus vs. having grain moonshine infused with the plant. Grassy, punchy, Dallas-y.

The ASQ Board settling into work mode in one of the Sundance conference rooms inside the Omni Fort Worth.

The ASQ Board settling into work mode in one of the Sundance conference rooms inside the Omni Fort Worth.

Reflecting on a long week of questions, answers, and more questions with a little help from Torchy’s Tacos and a cold, cold Topo Chico.

Reflecting on a long week of questions, answers, and more questions with a little help from Torchy’s Tacos and a cold, cold Topo Chico.

Past, Present, and Wannabe.

Past, Present, and Wannabe.

I’m the Blue Power Ranger.

I’m the Blue Power Ranger.



// ASQ Fellow (May 2016)

I was incredibly honored by being elected as a Fellow of ASQ in November 2015 thanks to the support and mentorship of several quality gurus in the ASQ Silicon Valley Section and cementing all the work and talented teams I had served with in ASQ in New York. Currently, Fellows make up ~1% of ASQ’s total membership. The ceremony was held at the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement, which was held in ASQ’s hometown of Milwaukee this year.

Standing with my 2015-16 ASQ Fellow class.

Standing with my 2015-16 ASQ Fellow class.


// Joining the ASQ Board of Directors (November 2015)

The ASQ Center in downtown Milwaukee, site of the former     Gimbels Department Store         from 1925 to 1997.

The ASQ Center in downtown Milwaukee, site of the former Gimbels Department Store from 1925 to 1997.

I don’t officially join the ASQ Board until January 1, 2016, so getting to join the current board on this excursion to the     Baldrige Award     winning Pewaukee School District just outside Milwaukee proper.

I don’t officially join the ASQ Board until January 1, 2016, so getting to join the current board on this excursion to the Baldrige Award winning Pewaukee School District just outside Milwaukee proper.

Pinned.

Pinned.

ASQ Headquarters is like a Hard Rock Cafe meets Quality history with gems like this: Joseph Juran’s bowtie!

ASQ Headquarters is like a Hard Rock Cafe meets Quality history with gems like this: Joseph Juran’s bowtie!

So cool to find out this Honors Gallery was here, showing the award winners and medalists from past years.

So cool to find out this Honors Gallery was here, showing the award winners and medalists from past years.

The wall of Past Presidents of ASQ (nowadays referred to as Chairs).

The wall of Past Presidents of ASQ (nowadays referred to as Chairs).

Gathered up a few board members for a fish dinner at the Milwaukee Public Market.

Gathered up a few board members for a fish dinner at the Milwaukee Public Market.

Each night I’d make it to this Colectivo Coffee just before closing so I could have a to-go brew to take back to my room and round out the night catching up on email or just reflecting on the day.

Each night I’d make it to this Colectivo Coffee just before closing so I could have a to-go brew to take back to my room and round out the night catching up on email or just reflecting on the day.


// ASQ FEIGENBAUM MEDAL (INDIANAPOLIS, 2013)

At the ASQ Medalists Award Ceremony with 2013 ASQ President John Timmerman and ASQ Past President Liz Keim

At the ASQ Medalists Award Ceremony with 2013 ASQ President John Timmerman and ASQ Past President Liz Keim

When in Indianapolis, flex your ASQ branded F1 race car.

When in Indianapolis, flex your ASQ branded F1 race car.

In May 2013 I was named recipient of the 2013 ASQ Feigenbaum Medal, the Society's highest international award for a young quality professional. It was an privilege to be listed with the other ASQ Medalists and Honorees this year at the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement, held in Indianapolis.

Looking at the other Medalists and honorees, which included former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill and statistics thought leader Douglas Montgomery, I was the only person I had never heard of (copies of Montgomery's book, Probability and Statistics in Engineering and Management Science, co-authored with William Hines, and Design and Analysis of Experiments, deemed to me as "the bibles of industrial quality statistics" by my mentors, were pressed into my hands on the first day I started as a quality assurance engineer.


The giant main event hall at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

The giant main event hall at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Front and center in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indianapolis Convention Center, prior to the start of the medals ceremony.

Front and center in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indianapolis Convention Center, prior to the start of the medals ceremony.

On stage with 2013 ASQ President John Timmerman for a congratulatory handshake during the medal ceremony.

On stage with 2013 ASQ President John Timmerman for a congratulatory handshake during the medal ceremony.

On stage with the other ASQ honorees and medalists. Among the other distinguished recipients, the second person from the right is former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill (!)    Not sure why I’m staring off into the ceiling.

On stage with the other ASQ honorees and medalists. Among the other distinguished recipients, the second person from the right is former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill (!)

Not sure why I’m staring off into the ceiling.

It was a huge honor and it felt like a cumulative effort over the past several years where I've had the opportunity to lead quality and engineering projects both within my work as well as within the ASQ itself, my home section, the ASQ New York/ New Jersey Metropolitan Section and the leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers. With this recognition, I join a list of past Feigenbaum Medalists who have all continued to pursue impactful changes in their respective industries and careers.

The Medal is named in honor of Armand V. Feigenbaum, one of the pioneers of the Total Quality Management movement who fostered thinking about quality as a systems science and promotes the interdisciplinary application of quality tools and methodologies.

On the back of the Feigenbaum Medal itself, it states, "For Outstanding Early Accomplishment and Potential."

No pressure on the "potential" being demonstrated in the future, right?

Thanks also go to the early encouragers and mentors who first brought me under their wing in the quality profession: Trudy Edenfeld and Sara Miles who steeped me in statistical process control and onboarded me into the world of quality assurance engineering, Nita Cato who was always my biggest cheerleader and confidante and Walt Laurel, who encouraged me to pursue my first ASQ certification, the Certified Quality Engineer (CQE).


// WHAT'S QUALITY ENGINEERING?

Quality Engineering is the application of statistical and industrial tools, thought processes and methodology to execute and deliver a quality product or experience to the end user (whew!)

As of today, there are few academic opportunities to major in quality engineering. Most QEng fall into this intersection of industrial and supply chain engineering through their encounter with industry.

If an engineer comes up with the one perfect solution to a problem, the quality engineer ensures the right processes are in place that make that solution scale successfully.  

That could mean making one thousand bottles of Tide laundry detergent, or one million Duracell AA batteries, each one as statistically close to identical as physically possible.  

Closeness to customer standards, focus on the end user: that's quality.