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Congratulations to Executives Who End Year-long Fellowship Having Explored Leadership, Innovation through Cross-Sector Learning

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is proud to announce the completion of the year-long Baldrige Executive Fellows Program by 18 senior leaders exploring all aspects of leadership through the lens of the Baldrige Excellence Framework, the world’s gold standard for performance excellence.

During five interactive, on-site sessions 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. In addition, between sessions, the Fellows continued to work on their capstone projects, which addressed a strategic need within their organizations. During each session, they reported on progress and sought input and advice from the award recipient leaders and one another.

The Fellows began their journey meeting with senior leaders from Baldrige Award-winning organizations: Katherine Gottlieb, president and CEO, Southcentral Foundation; John J. Varley, vice president, Global Supply Chain, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control; 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 John R. Heer, Jr., 2016 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award winner and retired president and CEO of Baldrige Award recipients Baptist Hospital, Inc., North Mississippi Medical Center, and North Mississippi Health Services; Daniel H. Pink, author of New York Times best sellers on business, work, and behavior; and the senior leaders of the 2015 Baldrige Award recipients, as well as Fellows alumni.

The meaning of visionary leadership was the springboard for a visit to Baldrige Award recipient Freese and Nichols, Inc., a multidiscipline consulting firm that offers services in engineering and architecture. During a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, panel discussions, and one-on-one dialogue, the Fellows explored leadership and strategy in business and then contrasted those perspectives with those from service and health care, represented by Baldrige Award recipients K&N Management and Hill Country Memorial. Discussions explored effective leadership, strategy as a foundation of leadership, sustained excellence, and strategic planning/deployment.

Under the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the Fellows next visited Baldrige Award recipient Elevations Credit Union, with guest presenters from Baldrige Award recipients Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and Sutter Health (parent organization of Baldrige Award recipient Sutter Davis Hospital), to discuss operational intelligence. The importance of measurement and operations, integration and engagement, knowledge management, and innovation were part of the leadership discussions, especially from the nonprofit and health care perspectives. The Fellows also explored the importance of culture, operational excellence, and the use of a performance system.

At Baldrige Award recipient Ritz-Carlton, the Fellows discussed how to lead for employee and customer engagement with senior leaders from the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center and the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. The Fellows also discussed aspects of engagement, innovation, and leadership development with senior leaders from Baldrige Award recipient PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice. During the visit, the Fellows experienced a back-of-the-house tour to witness 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 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 2016 cohort of Baldrige Executive Fellows:

  • Jon Basden, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Cindy Bo, Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, Nemours Children’s Health System, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • Hollis Bradwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Enterprise Strategy and Innovation Officer, AARP
  • Christine Carr, Vice President-General Manager, Griffith Foods Inc.
  • David Deininger, Healthcare Facility Master Planning Consultant, 2dplanning
  • Luckner Denord, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Quality Officer, Jessie Trice Community Health Center
  • Dennis Franks, CEO, Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center
  • Maureen Frye, Director, The Center for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality, Abington Jefferson Health
  • Sophia McIntyre, Chief of Clinical Quality and Physician Leadership Development, Hudson River Healthcare, Inc.
  • Joanne Miller, Vice President, Nursing and Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer, Sibley Memorial Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Timothy Mottet, Provost, Northwest Missouri State University
  • James Rathmell, Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Health Care; Leroy D. Vandam & Benjamin G. Covino Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School
  • Brent Reitz, President, Adventist Health Care Physical Health and Rehabilitation
  • Susan Stuart, President and CEO, Center for Organ Recovery & Education
  • Michael Suk, System Wide Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery, Geisinger Health System
  • R. Kevin Turley, Vice President, Operations, Western Maryland Health System
  • Rajan Wadhawan, Chief Medical Officer/Director of Neonatology, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Florida Hospital for Children
  • Barbara Wadsworth, Senior Vice President of Patient Services/Chief Nursing Officer, Main Line Health

These Fellows join the ranks of other executives* who completed 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
  • Andrea Benin, Senior Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
  • 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
  • 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
  • Timothy Cavanagh, Principal Consultant, LeanForma LLC (formerly Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Process Innovation, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital)
  • Connie Clemmons-Brown, Regional Vice President, Patient Care Services, Dignity Health
  • Brian Condit, Vice President/Chief Medical Officer, Mountain States Health Alliance
  • Jennifer Convery, Group President, North America, Griffith Laboratories
  • 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
  • Debra Johnson, Vice President of Public Affairs and the Inside the Economy® Museum, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Julie M. Kapp, Associate Professor, University of Missouri School of Medicine
  • Jeffrey Kaser, Vice President, Area General Manager Midwest Area, Packaging Corporation of America
  • 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
  • Eric Moll, Chief Executive Officer, Mason General Hospital and Family of Clinics
  • 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
  • Terry Reilly, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, Abington Memorial Hospital
  • Rhonda Rubinstein, Vice President, Total Customer Experience and Quality, Enterprise Group, Hewlett Packard
  • Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation
  • Deb Sanford, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Eastern Maine Medical Center
  • 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
  • Eunmee Shim, VP, Business Development and Strategic Planning, Adventist HealthCare
  • Jeff Sedlack, Medical Director for Surgical Services, Providence Alaska Medical Center; Associate Medical Director, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
  • Brett A. Simon, Director, Josie Robertson Surgery Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • John Smith, Global Product Director, Dow Chemical
  • Erika Sockaci, Vice President, Health Services Administration, AltaMed Health Services Corporation
  • 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 2017, 16 executives, who represent a sixth cohort, embarked on their year-long fellowship.

Since its inception in 2011, the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program has been nationally recognized with LEAD Awards as among the very best U.S. and global continuing education programs in leadership development. The LEAD Awards, highlighted in Leadership Excellence Essentials magazine and presented by, recognize and honor corporations, educational institutions, and individuals that excel in offering top leadership initiatives and programs on a local to global scale. In 2017, Baldrige was the only state or Federal government program to be recognized, often in the first or second slot, within its LEAD award categories, highlighting leadership, organizational development, and human resources. Before 2015 and the change of category types, the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program was highlighted in the Baldrige Program’s multiple first-place honors in the government and military category of the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards. For more information on the Baldrige Executive Fellows and how to apply, go to

In conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology 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 also currently offers the 2017–2018 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; Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder, a self-assessment tool to measure an organization’s cyber risk; and the Baldrige Collaborative Assessment and other assessment services and resources. For information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and the Baldrige Award application process, visit, call (301) 975-2036, or send an e-mail to baldrige [at] (baldrige[at]nist[dot]gov).

The Baldrige Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports the Baldrige Program and its offerings through fundraising and advocacy, working to ensure the long-term financial growth and viability of the Baldrige Program and to support organizational performance excellence in the United States and throughout the world. To learn more and support the Foundation’s efforts, visit

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


Released April 17, 2017, Updated May 24, 2017