Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Peer Network of Executives Ends Fellowship with Leadership and its Challenges Addressed

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is proud to announce the completion of the year-long Baldrige Executive Fellows Program by 15 senior leaders exploring all aspects of leadership through the lens of the Baldrige Excellence Framework, the world's gold standard for performance excellence.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has said of the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, "I am committed to encouraging and enabling organizational success in every dimension of performance. I believe that the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program empowers executives to lead their organizations at new levels of excellence."

During five interactive sessions on-site at Baldrige Award recipient organizations and the Quest for Excellence® Conference, the Fellows explored how world-class organizations and their senior leaders achieve performance excellence and stimulate innovation. The Fellows compared and contrasted leadership strategies from across sectors and sought solutions and best practices that helped them emerge with a broader perspective on role-model leadership characteristics; strategic planning; workforce and customer engagement; innovation; integration of processes, plans, resources, and goals; and measurement of the right things—all to achieve results.

The Fellows began their journey meeting with CEOs of Baldrige Award-winning organizations: Paul Worstell, client coach, Six Disciplines and retired president, PRO-TEC Coating Company; Janet Wagner, chief executive officer, Mills-Peninsula Health Services and former CEO, Sutter Davis Hospital; and Bob Barnett, retired president and CEO, Motorola Commercial, Government & Industrial Solutions Sector, who also offers his expertise, coaching, and facilitation as the Fellows' "executive-in-residence." The Fellows also heard from Katherine Gottlieb, 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award winner and president and CEO, Baldrige Award recipient, Southcentral Foundation; Geoff Colvin, senior editor, Fortune magazine; and the senior leaders of the 2014 Baldrige Award recipients, as well as Fellows alumni.

The meaning of visionary leadership was the spring board for a visit to Baldrige Award recipient Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. During a plant tour, panel discussions, and one-on-one dialogue, the Fellows explored corporate leadership and strategy in manufacturing, meeting with all levels of leaders in quality and mission success, special projects, strategy deployment, and operations. On the second day of the visit, the Fellows met with senior leaders from Baldrige Award recipient Poudre Valley Health Care, which is now part of University of Colorado Health, to discuss leadership and strategic planning/deployment from a health care perspective.

At the headquarter's city of Premier Inc., a health care alliance, the Fellows discussed operational intelligence with senior leaders of Baldrige Award recipients Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital; MESA, a small business that works with cathodic protection systems to control the corrosion of metal surfaces; and Premier. The importance of measurement and operations, integration and engagement, knowledge management, and innovation were part of the leadership discussions, especially from the perspectives of a small business, a hospital, and a service organization.

At Baldrige Award recipient Ritz-Carlton, the Fellows discussed how to lead for employee and customer engagement with the global operations officer, as well as senior leaders from the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center and the Ritz-Carlton-Pentagon City. The Fellows also discussed aspects of engagement, including talent management, with senior leaders from Baldrige Award recipients PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice and K&N Management. In addition, the Fellows experienced a back-of-the-house tour and witnessed The Ritz Mystique, a proprietary educational platform that the Ritz uses to track data and ensure customer satisfaction.

At the end of the program, the Fellows attended the 2016 Quest conference, learned from the 2015 Baldrige Award recipient leaders, and presented their capstone projects that addressed a strategic challenge or opportunity facing their own organizations. Capstones frequently deal with proprietary efforts of Fellows' organizations; some example areas have focused on the improvement of supply chains, balanced scorecards, customer strategy, innovation hubs, the roll-out of a new product or technology, best practice databases, and operational excellence.

Throughout the program, the Fellows developed a peer network of executives to tap into now and into the future as a way to continue to build the knowledge and capabilities necessary for ongoing organizational success. They also built relationships with "executive-in-residence" Bob Barnett; retired Baldrige director Harry Hertz; Baldrige director Robert Fangmeyer; and program manager Patricia Hilton, all of whom traveled with the Fellows and shared their leadership insights.

Following is the 2015 cohort of Baldrige Executive Fellows:

· Andrea Benin, Senior Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety, Connecticut Children's Medical Center

· Helen Burstin, Chief Scientific Officer, The National Quality Forum

· Marcus Cano, Director of Program Execution, Sierra Providence Health Network, Tenet Healthcare Corporation

· Ruth Cardiello, Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management, Stamford Hospital

· Connie Clemmons-Brown, Regional Vice President, Patient Care Services, Dignity Health

· Jennifer Convery, Group President, North America, Griffith Laboratories

· Debra Johnson, Vice President of Public Affairs and the Inside the Economy® Museum, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

· Jeffrey Kaser, Vice President, Area General Manager Midwest Area, Packaging Corporation of America

· Eric Moll, Chief Executive Officer, Mason General Hospital and Family of Clinics

· Terry Reilly, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, Abington Memorial Hospital

· Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation

· Deb Sanford, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Eastern Maine Medical Center

· Jeff Sedlack, Medical Director for Surgical Services, Providence Alaska Medical Center; Associate Medical Director, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

· Eunmee Shim, VP, Business Development and Strategic Planning, Adventist HealthCare

· Erika Sockaci, Vice President, Health Services Administration, AltaMed Health Services Corporation

These Fellows join the ranks of other executives* who took part in the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program:

· Jean Alexander, Chief Operating Officer, AARP Services

· Marty Basso, Regional Vice President, Finance/Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer, Sibley Memorial Hospital and Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine

· De Lyle Bloomquist, President, Global Chemical Business, Tata Chemicals North America

· Deborah Bowen, President/Chief Executive Officer, American College of Healthcare Executives

· David Brucks, Executive Director, Functional Excellence, Seagate Technology LLC

· Timothy Cavanagh, Principal Consultant, LeanForma LLC (formerly Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Process Innovation, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital)

· Brian Condit, Vice President/Chief Medical Officer, Mountain States Health Alliance

· Richard (Chip) Davis, President, Sibley Memorial Hospital

· Alison L. Ferren, Chief Information Officer, Abington Memorial Hospital

· Wayne Foraker, Continuous Process Improvement Manager, Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network (formerly Senior Director Institutional Assessment, University of Phoenix)

· Jay Fox, President, Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie

· William Griffin, Vice President Marketing, North America, AGCO Corporation

· Brian Griffith, President, Griffith Laboratories Asia Pacific and Latin America

· Susan Gunderson, Chief Executive Officer, LifeSource

· Donald Haag, Vice President, Mid-West Area, Packaging Corporation of America

· Rob Hagans, Chief Financial Officer, AARP

· John Harris, Jr., Major General, Army National Guard

· Ziad Haydar, Vice President for Clinical Excellence and Physician Integration, Ascension Health

· Nathan Howard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gift of Life Donor Program

· Jo Ann Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer, AARP

· Randon Jerris, Senior Managing Director, Public Services, United States Golf Association

· Julie M. Kapp, Associate Professor, University of Missouri School of Medicine

· Kathleen Kearney, Vice President, Business Project and Process Leadership, John Deere Financial

· Sharon C. Kiely, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Stamford Health System

· Steven J. Kravet, President, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

· John McCarville, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain and IT, Griffith Labs Worldwide

· Margaret McGoldrick, President, Abington Jefferson Health

· James Metcalf, President and Chief Operating Officer, USG

· Brad Mitchell, President, Global Logistics and Distribution, UPS

· L. Elizabeth Mullikin, Regional Service Line Executive—Neuroscience, Sutter Health East Bay Region

· Douglas Patten, Chief Medical Officer, Georgia Hospital Association

· Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President, Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

· Monty Pooley, President North America Retail, Sara Lee Corp.

· Meghan O. Patton, Vice President Human Resources/Chief Human Resource Officer, Abington Memorial Hospital

· Rhonda Rubinstein, Vice President, Total Customer Experience and Quality, Enterprise Group, Hewlett Packard

· Steve Schloss, Chief People Officer, United States Golf Association

· Caroline LeGarde Shafa, Vice President, Clinical Operations, Sibley Memorial Hospital

· Patricia D. Shannon, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, AARP Foundation

· Brett A. Simon, Director, Josie Robertson Surgery Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

· John Smith, Global Product Director, Dow Chemical

· John Varley, Global Supply Chain, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control

· Steffani H. Webb, Vice Chancellor for Administration, University of Kansas Medical Center

· Morgan Whitacre, Senior Vice President, Head of Originations, PHH Mortgage Division, PHH Corporation

· Michael Woronka, Chief Executive Officer, ActionEMS


In April 2016, executives, who represent a fifth cohort, embarked on their year-long fellowship.

For two years in a row, the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program has been highlighted as the Baldrige Program was honored with a first-place award in the government and military category of the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards, an annual recognition of the world's best leadership development programs and initiatives. In addition, the Baldrige Program has been named in the top seven across all categories, including universities, that were part of the recognition.

In conjunction with NIST and the private sector, the Baldrige Program manages the Baldrige Award, which was named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, and established by Congress in 1987. The Baldrige Award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The Baldrige Program currently offers the 2015–2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework: A Systems Approach to Improving Your Organization's Performance, which includes the regularly revised and world-emulated Criteria for Performance Excellence; Baldrige Excellence Builder, an entry-level version of the framework; and the Baldrige Collaborative Assessment and other assessment services and resources.

For more information on the Baldrige Executive Fellows and how to apply, go to

*Organizations and titles listed were current at the time of the fellowship.

Released April 25, 2016, Updated September 21, 2016