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Select U.S. Executives Begin Highly Ranked Fellowship Program, Using Baldrige Framework as Leadership Lens

Eighteen executives have been selected for the newest cohort of the prestigious Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, the only executive leadership fellowship that provides one-on-one access to leaders of Baldrige Award recipient organizations to build understanding of role-model strategies to lead a high-performing organization. 

In a congratulations letter to the newest Baldrige Fellows, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently wrote, “I am committed to encouraging and enabling organizational success and operational excellence. I believe that the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program empowers executives to lead their organizations at new levels of distinction. . . . It is our belief that your participation in this program will benefit you, your organization, and your organization’s key stakeholders—employees, customers, partners, suppliers, and the larger community. Now is a perfect time for executives with vision and foresight to understand and apply the Baldrige concepts as a means to improving their organization and its sustainability.”

The Baldrige Fellows will use the Baldrige Excellence Framework as the foundation of their year-long studies of how world-class organizations and their senior leaders achieve strategic and operational excellence and stimulate innovation. Within a collegial environment, the Baldrige Fellows will have a unique opportunity to compare the perspectives of executives across sectors, share candid advice on leadership challenges, and use the insights they gain to address a strategic challenge or opportunity within their own organizations as part of their individual capstone projects.

Following is the 2018 cohort of Baldrige Executive Fellows:

  • Kent Bishop, Chief Experience Officer, ProMedica
  • Charles Callahan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Memorial Health System
  • Travis Clegg, Operations Executive, Adventist Health Castle
  • John Collins, Director/Chief Executive Officer, VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System
  • David Condoluci, Senior Vice President, Chief of Patient Safety and Quality Officer, Jefferson Health
  • Brian Erling, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, CenturaHealth
  • Ronald Fowler, Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities, University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Scott Frisch, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, AARP
  • Laurel Leslie, Vice President, Research, American Board of Pediatrics
  • Michele Martz, Vice President, Physician Enterprise, Western Maryland Health System
  • Jatin Motiwal, Vice President, AtlantiCare Physician Group and Regional Network
  • Jim Miller, Vice President Operations, Vice President and General Manager Light Industrial Businesses, Hypertherm Inc.
  • Tim Heckler, Vice President, Treasury Division, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Kerry Stacy, Chief Lending Officer, Del Norte Credit Union
  • Erik Wangsness, President, Washington Adventist Hospital
  • Wendy Watson, Regional Vice President, Ambulatory Care and Clinical Services, Kaiser Permanente
  • David Zaas, President, Duke Raleigh Hospital
  • Hasan Anwar Zia, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Sibley Memorial Hospital

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 2018, the LEAD Awards ranked the federal Baldrige Performance Excellence Program’s training resources, including the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, first and fourth, respectively, as the best continuing-education programs with emphases on human resources and leadership/organizational development. Learn how to apply and key information about the Baldrige Executive Fellows.

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. Explore the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for information about the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and the Baldrige Award application process; or 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

Released May 2, 2018