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The Official Baldrige Blog

Listen in—Connections Made in New Mexico Are Being Heard Around the World


On Sundays at 7 pm MT (9 pm ET), you can listen from anywhere in the world to hear best practices on performance improvement, results from using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, and, yes, maybe even a cowboy song or two.

The radio show “Performance Excellence USA” is hosted by Julia Galbadon, president/CEO of Quality New Mexico, a Baldrige-based state program that is a member of the Alliance for Performance Excellence; Galbadon also currently serves on the ASQ board of directors. It airs on 770KKOB; on the Internet, the show can be found at and

Using an interview format, Galbadon welcomes guests from all over the country, including members of the Baldrige community—award recipients, her colleagues at other Baldrige-based Alliance programs, the Baldrige director, ASQ leaders, and Baldrige examiners—as well as other esteemed performance improvement and management experts who share their expertise and experience.

“The whole purpose,” she said, “is learning best practices. . . . My guests are proud to share their stories; they believe in continual learning and sharing, so we can all learn and get better."

This spring, Galbadon will host a radio show with author Jim Collins, whose books include Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall. Collins, who has spoken at a Quality New Mexico conference, will talk about leadership, management, strategy, and the concepts in his books. Galbadon said she'll also ask him to elaborate on his quote, “I see the Baldrige process as a powerful set of mechanisms for disciplined people engaged in disciplined thought and taking disciplined action to create great organizations that produce exceptional results.”

Her radio shows have also included an interview with Mark Blazey, president of Quantum Performance Group, who often trains examiners on the Baldrige Criteria. They spoke about what senior leaders need to know about performance improvement and the value of using the Criteria for Performance Excellence. Blazey also talked about ways to get started with the Criteria and resources available to organizations.

Galbadon has also hosted Baldrige Award and NM Performance Excellence Award winners and the Baldrige family, including Malcolm Baldrige’s daughter Megan and sister Letitia. (Gabaldon first met Midge, Malcolm’s widow, at a 1995 Quality NM conference during a special “Salute to Malcolm Baldrige.”) Gabaldon visited often with Letitia and Midge at Quest for Excellence© conferences and felt an instant connection with the women. In fact, Letitia was the first guest when the radio show changed its name to “Performance Excellence USA.”

Galbadon said her most proud accomplishments from the radio show have come from facilitating connections. “I love connecting people; I’m a connector. . . . I’ve had the opportunity to showcase leaders from across the nation who are passionate about performance excellence and about making a difference in our communities, states, and nation.” And these connections, she feels, have been a major accomplishment, especially with the world-wide audience available on the radio.

On the show, she often has separate guests in studio and on the phone who discover networking opportunities and connect after the show, learning from each other and sharing.

“Baldrige Award recipients have been so gracious in sharing everything and their time. . . . They are incredible leaders,” she said. “I’m very, very proud that I know all of these people and am able to connect with them and invite them to speak in New Mexico.”

For example, Baldrige Award-winning CEOs Bob Pence of Freese and Nichols, Terry May of MESA, and Janet Wager of Sutter David Hospital have been recent radio guests. Galbadon said when Wagner spoke recently, her local guest Megan Baldrige’s eyes lit up, hearing about Sutter Davis’s results with patient safety and satisfaction. Megan went on to write an article for the Albuquerque Journal about what she heard.

It’s a “very positive environment of performance excellence,” said Galbadon. “After a while, this whole experience of being a Baldrige examiner, serving on the Baldrige Board of Overseers and Alliance Board, and being involved in this journey, it becomes a patriotic thing. . . . On a personal note, that’s how I feel these days. . . . It’s a very, very positive environment of people working together to help each other improve.”

Galbadon added, “Those connections to me are just so invaluable. As a teacher at heart, I find it so rewarding to be a conduit to help make these connections happen.”

One of her favorite radio shows, Galbadon  said, was when she featured Baldrige-Award winning Director Dr. Mike Sather of the VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center with cowboy singer Syd Masters. Sather, who is known for his presentations on the “Code of the West,” especially enjoyed the in-studio songs by Masters, including the official New Mexico cowboy song “Under New Mexico Skies.”

Galbadon has hosted more than 700 radio and several TV shows in New Mexico since 1977. In 1999, in an effort to promote the value of Quality New Mexico, Galbadon said she approached a local radio station and the then-named “Quality New Mexico Radio Show” was born.

Want to share your success stories on the radio? Contact Julia at julia [at] (julia[at]quality-newmexico[dot]org).

About the author

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program and involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience, 18 years at the Baldrige Program. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.

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Kudos to Julia Galbadon on her tremendous performance excellence radio program! I have listened many times (and participated a few times), and always enjoy hearing inspirational and valuable stories of others on the journey to excellence. Thanks for showcasing this wonderful program! Brian Lassiter President, Performance Excellence Network (Minnesota) and Chair, Alliance for Performance Excellence
I met Julia at Washington-Reagan on the way to Baldrige training in 1999. We shared a cab ride to Gaithersburg. If you do not know Julia personally, you need to know she is enchanting ... and persistent. Having been put under the Julia spell for 45 minutes, I made one of the most fateful comments of my life. As we parted, I said, "Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. Just call." O brother, was that a big "mistake." Since then I have said "yes" to Julia calls maybe 20 or 30 times. I has been a blast. I am Julia's biggest fan and she has many, many fans. She is among the very best promoters of Baldrige. Only Dale Crownover has more time on the road giving his Testimony on how "Baldrige changed his life." Julia changed my life by asking me to do more than I thought I could or would do. If you want to see how to run a state program, go to a New Mexico Conference. Be careful, she may ask you to help her. You will never regret it.

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