Information about the Fellows Program:
The Quality Texas Foundation (QTF) established the QTF Fellow designation as its highest recognition of achievement for individual service and contributions to QTF. QTF Fellows are selected from the broad pool of QTF stakeholders — Recipients, Applicants, or sponsoring organizations and/or individuals who have served in multiple roles over an extended period as members of the QTF Board of Directors, Board of Examiners, Panel of Judges, Process Observers, Program Office staff, and as members of other essential teams or committees supporting QTF or the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE).
The Fellow designation is given in recognition of outstanding, long-term service in a variety of leadership roles that contributed substantially to the achievement of the QTF mission, vision, strategies, programs, activities, and goals, and that resulted in positive impacts/contributions to the sustainability of QTF.
QTF Fellow Nominee Standards/Criteria:
- Is in good standing with QTF.
- Has been an active volunteer with QTF for at least 10 years.
- Has actively served in service and leadership positions in various program and foundation boards or committees over a significant portion of their service time to the QTF.
- Has made substantial contributions over a period of time that advanced the growth and professional stature of QTF.
QTF Fellow Designation Restrictions:
- No more than 3 designation awards shall be given each year.
- A designation award need not be given each year.
- An individual may receive the QTF Fellow designation only once.
- An individual does not have to be an active volunteer at the time of the designation award as long as the QTF Fellow Nominee Standards/Criteria are met.
There is a formal process for the nomination and selection of a QTF Fellow.
For more information on the Fellows Program, please contact:
James Tew, (deceased) was a Quality Assurance Operations Manager for Texas Instruments Defense Systems and instrumental in their Baldrige journey leading to recognition as a 1992 recipient. James was selected as a charter Examiner for the National Baldrige Program Board of Examiners participating in the first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Site Visit.
James served on the design team creating the Governor’s Texas Award for Performance Excellence. As the award program launched, James was asked to serve as Chair of the Panel of Judges, serving 6 years. James proposed the QTF Fellows recognition and in 2002, was selected as the first Quality Texas Fellow. James continued to promote his passion for Baldrige and Quality Texas until his death in 2017. The American Society for Quality honored James as an ASQ Fellow.
Raymond Marlow (deceased) worked in developing new semiconductor technology (thermoelectric cooling) for Chance Vought and Texas Instruments until they elected to exit thermoelectric business. In 1973, Raymond established Marlow Industries with a strong focus on Total Quality Management.
Marlow Industries was recognized as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient in 1991. Raymond continued promoting his passion for Baldrige and QTF until his death in 2013. Raymond was honored to be asked by the late Governor Ann W. Richards to be the founding chairman of the Quality Texas Foundation and he continued service on the Board of Directors for 11 years. Raymond was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2003.
Warren Hogan is the Founder of the Hogan Center for Performance Excellence initiated in 1987 to provide training, consulting, and products that help organizations achieve higher levels of operational and financial performance. Six Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and ten Texas Award for Performance Excellence recipients have been Hogan Center members.
Warren was an original member of the Board of Directors for QTF and served over 10 years as a board member. In 2007, Warren was honored as a QTF Fellow. Now in his “senior years and in the prime of his life,” he dedicates himself to helping people advance either their business (as an executive life coach), personal, or spiritual lives.
Vic Figurelli is a retired consultant with Shell Chemical Company. Vic was involved in the establishment of the Governor’s Texas Award For Performance Excellence and served in many roles, including trainer for Examiners, Panel of Judges and Board of Overseers. Vic was honored as Quality Texas Fellow in 2004.
In 2010, Vic founded the Williamson County Institute for Excellence established to help nonprofit organizations in Williamson County learn and apply principles of Organizational Excellence. He now enjoys emeritus status and volunteers for that organization as a facilitator. Vic is also a Board member of A Gift of Time Adult Day Care, a nonprofit organization in the start-up phase. This organization will provide day programs and services in Georgetown for those with memory loss as well as respite and support for their caregivers.
Dale Crownover is the President and CEO of Texas Nameplate. Texas Nameplate received the Texas Award for Performance Excellence in 1996. They received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1998 and again in 2004.
He has served as the Board Chair of QTF twice and as a Judge for the National Malcolm Baldrige Program. Dale has received the prestigious honor of being named a QTF Fellow. Dale has been designated QTF Board Emeritus, a special designation granted only once throughout the history of the organization. He has submitted another national Baldrige application to attempt to become a three-time recipient this year.
Genie Wilson Dillon retired in 2016 from Southcentral Foundation after working 7 years as an Improvement Advisor and as their Baldrige coach. Earlier improvement focused work was for Texas Instruments Defense Systems, the American Productivity & Quality Center, and the Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development (a campus of the Dallas County Community College District).
Genie has been involved with QTF since 1993 in various roles including Award Administrator, Board of Overseer, Panel of Judges, Training Team, Process Observer, Feedback Writer, and Examiner. Genie was honored in 2007 as a QTF Fellow. Genie also served the National Baldrige Program for 4 years as Examiner, Senior Examiner, and Feedback Writer. Genie served on the Alaska Performance Excellence Board for 7 years, leading training, program development, and deployment of the state award program.
William “Bo” McBee worked as a key leader at Compaq Computers (later to become Hewlett Packard) leading quality initiatives and their journey to being recognized as a recipient of the Governor’s Texas Award for Performance Excellence.
Bo served on the QTF Board of Directors for 12 years and also served the National Baldrige Program as an Examiner for many years. Bo was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2008.
Vic Sassone is Principal of The Northlake Consulting Group, a training and consulting firm based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Vic’s passion is the development of servant leaders focused on individual and organizational performance excellence.
He joined QTF as an Examiner in 1993, later becoming the leader of the Examiner training program and member of the Board of Overseers. Vic was honored to be recognized as a QTF Fellow in 2008.
Barry Johnson is President of Knowledge Engineers, a consulting firm, in Dallas, TX. Barry served on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in multiple capacities since the early 1990s and with the Quality Texas Foundation since 1993 including roles as Examiner, Senior Examiner, Panel of Judges, and Board of Directors.
In 2015, Barry was named the 9th QTF Fellow. Barry has been ASQ Six Sigma-Lean certified since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to various professional forums, making 10-15 presentations each year across the United States.
Laura Longmire is currently a Senior Partner with PeopleWorks International. Prior to this position, she was Chief Knowledge Officer with the Stupski Foundation working in public education reform. Before becoming involved in public education, Laura served as VP of Quality at Clarke American and held management positions for TI Defense Systems (both are Baldrige recipient organizations).
Laura has served the National Baldrige Program since 1994 as an Examiner and Alumni Examiner. Since 1999, Laura has served QTF as a Judge, Examiner, Process Coach, Trainer, and Feedback Writer. Laura was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2016.
Tony Perez is retired from the University of Texas Center for Performance Excellence. During his career, he was a Quality Engineering Manager at Texas Instruments, Dell, and Motorola.
In 2016, Tony was honored as a QTF Fellow where he has been actively involved since the inception in various roles, including Panel of Judges, Board of Overseers, and Training Faculty. Tony is a National Baldrige Alumni Examiner and has worked in four different Baldrige Programs since 1990. He is a Fellow with the American Society for Quality.
Paula Sommer is Managing Owner of Dynamics WorkSystems, LLC providing executive coaching in leadership, organizational development, process management, strategic planning and deployment of a continuous improvement system.
Paula is an ASQ Fellow, a recipient, and chair for ASQ’s Ishikawa Medal, and a certified Results Coach. Paula facilitates the Baldrige Superintendents’ Network for school districts.
Paula has served QTF since the design phase in 1992 and later in various roles including Board of Overseer, Panel of Judges, Examiner Training Team, Examiner, Process Observer, and Feedback Writer. Paula was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2016.
Patrice Griffith recently retired from her position as the Vice President of Service Excellence and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She continues to provide Performance Excellence training and improvement project facilitation to UTSW and other organizations. She has volunteered with QTF, serving in many roles including Examiner, Trainer, and the Panel of Judges since 1996.
Patrice was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2016. She is currently a Master Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award where she has volunteered since 2000. Patrice is a senior ASQ member and maintains several ASQ certifications.
Dr. Robert Vokurka is a retired Professor Emeritus of Operations Management at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. Robert previously worked in industry holding positions of controller and plant manager at Cooper Industries.
Robert served on the Board of Directors of ASCM, the Association for Supply Chain Management, including a term as international Chair of the Board. He served on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for 13 years and with the Quality Texas Foundation for 13 years including roles of Examiner, Senior Examiner, Team Leader, Feedback Writer, Training Team, Panel of Judges, and Chair of the Panel of Judges. Robert is a senior ASQ member and holds several ASQ certifications.
Joe Muzikowski is a retired consultant, formerly employed by Solvay America in various executive positions. He has been involved with QTF in various roles, including Board of Overseers, Training Team, Process Observer, Feedback Writer, and Team Leader, and was selected as a QTF Fellow in 2017.
Joe also served the National Baldrige Program for over 20 years as an examiner, Chair of the Panel of Judges, and alumnus. In addition, Joe served on the Board of Directors for The Alliance for Performance Excellence, as well as in various roles for several other Baldrige-based programs, including the US Army’s Communities of Excellence and the VA Carey Award.
Debra Kosarek, with the North Central Texas Council of Governments, began with Quality Texas as an Examiner in 1994. She has served as a Team Leader, Feedback Writer/Editor, Examiner Trainer, and Board of Overseer (Board of Governors) member; ultimately serving as chair.
During this time, Debra participated in various activities, such as the Examiner Training Team for 6 years, the Process Improvement Team/Award Process Team for 3 years, the Ethics Committee, the Feedback Team for 3 years, and several cycles as Process Observer for Examiner teams. In addition, Debra has served the National Baldrige Program as an Examiner for 4 years. Debra was honored as a QTF in 2017.
Dr. Cynthia St. John is a management professor and associate director for the healthcare administration program at the University Texas at Arlington, in addition to being a practicing leadership consultant and owner of Chiefology. She works with students as well as senior executives to improve individual leadership and organizational results. She previously served as the Chief Learning Officer for Texas Health Resources and led the 14-hospital system to become the largest recipient of the Texas Award for Performance Excellence.
For over fifteen years, Dr. St. John has served on the Board of Examiners for state and national Baldrige programs. Her involvement with the Quality Texas Foundation has included the roles of examiner, senior examiner, team leader, process coach, training faculty, judge, and as a member of both the board of overseers and board of directors. Cynthia has also received the prestigious honor of being named a Quality Texas Foundation Fellow.
Dr. Linda Angel is the Deputy Executive Director for Workforce Solutions of Central Texas. With 30 years’ experience, she is responsible for quality initiatives, performance management, grant and project development and support, research, and strategic planning for a variety of workforce programs representing a budget totaling over $60 million.
Linda received a doctorate from Walden University in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Public Management and Leadership. Her dissertation “Succession Planning in Texas’ Local Public Employment Organizations” identified best practices in planning for business continuity.
A native of Central Texas, Linda supports several professional and civic associations. Locally, she serves as a Commissioner and Chair for the Central Texas Housing Consortium, a Board member on the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, and she serves on the Board of the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce. Linda is a member of the Rotary Club of Killeen Heights. In 2022, Linda was selected to serve as the Fellow’s Representative to the QTF Board of Directors.
Dan Dean retired from the City of Austin as the Deputy Officer for facilities management. His responsibility focused on strategic planning for the department as well as work on standardization, continuous improvement, and promoting system perspectives.
Dan first became involved with the Baldrige framework as a volunteer with the former Greater Austin Quality Council. During his tenure with GAQC, he served as an Examiner and on the Board of Directors. Dan joined QTF as a volunteer in 1998. Since that time, he has served as Examiner, Senior Examiner, Team Leader, Process Coach, Training Facilitator, Judge, Lead Judge, and Ex-Officio member of the Board of Directors. Dan also holds a Master of Science in Quality Systems Management. Dan is being honored as a QTF Fellow in 2019.
Dr. Kathryn LeRoy is a writer, speaker, and coach inspiring excellence every day for everyone to be and become their best. Kathryn believes every child and adult deserves a supportive learning environment and champions quality in every facet of the education system. During her 25 years in Texas public schools, she held senior leadership positions facilitating continuous improvement using the Baldrige Excellence Framework.
Kathryn began contributing to the Quality Texas Foundation in 2001 as an examiner, team leader, feedback writer, process coach, trainer, vice-chair of the Board of Overseers, and Panel of Judges. She has served as an examiner, senior examiner, and team leader for the national Baldrige program since 2009. Kathryn was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2019.
Lauri Crockett is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience working with corporate and non-profit teams to innovate, improve, and achieve superior results. Lauri’s involvement with the Quality Texas Foundation began in 2001 and includes the roles of examiner, team leader, process coach, and judge. She is pleased to return in her second appointment to the Panel of Judges. Lauri is an alumna of Oklahoma City University.
Keith Simpson is the Chief Strategist for Austin – Travis County Emergency Medical Services. Keith has been in the EMS industry for over 18 years and has been employed by the City of Austin for 23 years. Keith has been involved with developing strategic partnerships and participation efforts with the newly formed Dell Medical School in Austin in the areas of Population Health. Keith has served QTF since 2007 as an examiner, team leader, process coach, scorebook editor and faculty in examiner training. Keith is a certified Improvement Coach from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
Diana Pollard joined Quality Texas Foundation as an Examiner in 1996. She served as a QTF Examiner for six years and with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for two years. She served on the Quality Texas Board of Overseers for eight years, serving as chair for three years. She received the Quality Texas Leadership Award in 2007.
Diana is retired from a 30-year consulting practice where she assisted more than two dozen organizations in achieving improved performance through participation in quality award programs. She currently mentors women entrepreneurs to help them achieve their business goals. She also works with a street church in South Dallas helping disadvantaged women return to the workforce. She and her husband, Martyn, recently built an energy-efficient home and low-maintenance garden near White Rock Lake. Diana was designated as a QTF Fellow in 2021.
Mary Onak Mary Onak is a teacher who has worked in Austin Independent School District for 15 years. Her prior employment was as Quality Management Coordinator with Austin Travis County MHMR (currently Integral Care). She began volunteering with quality award programs with the Greater Austin Quality Council in 2001. Her involvement with Quality Texas Foundation began as an examiner in 2003. Mary volunteered with QTF in various other capacities from 2003 to 2014, including examiner, feedback editor and as a member of the Panel of Judges. While serving as judge, she played a role in the creation and oversight of the Ann Richards Quality Texas Foundation Scholarship program. Mary was designated as a QTF Fellow in 2021.
Dr. Paul Machen is currently employed as Executive Director of the Institute for Professional Leadership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
Dr. Machen has 31 years of higher education faculty, curriculum development, and student affairs experience and served 12 years as a college administrator (Dean). He is a highly decorated retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant having performed in top leadership positions such as Command Civil Engineer Chief Enlisted Manager.
Dr. Machen has served on numerous non-profit, school board, and city appointed positions including Quality Texas Foundation; Equal Enrollment Collaborative (Up Partnership), Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, and Vice President of the Randolph ISD Board of Trustees.
Dr. Machen’s Baldrige experiences include QTF Board of Examiners as Examiner, Team Lead, Backup Team Lead, Editor, Process Coach, Faculty, Panel of Judges, and Chair, Panel of Judges. He is a 2022 Fellows Award recipient as well.
Kirk Kriegel and his wife, Laurie, have been married for over 40 years (1980) and have two married children, two grandsons and two granddaughters. He is a native of Austin and has served for over 27 years as an Executive Pastor for churches in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas and is currently the Executive Vice President at Children At Heart Ministries in Round Rock, Texas. (It is a family of direct-care ministries – www.childrenatheartministies.org).
He is part of the Executive Board of the Quality Texas Foundation (QTF) and has served on numerous teams and as an Examiner, Process Coach and Team Lead for the QTF TAPE Award. He has served on numerous boards and is an active member of Austin Baptist Church.
Kirk has a BBA in Management from Baylor University in Waco and a Masters of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Kirk has most recently been designated as a QTF Fellow in 2022.
Clifton Conner is Principal of CCubed Consulting, a practice which includes Instructional Design, Baldrige-based Performance Excellence, and Project Management. Clif holds certifications in Criterion-Referenced Instruction, Lean Manufacturing, and Project Management. He is Quality Director for the Mager Consortium consulting group, a member of the Project Management Institute and a former senior member of the American Society for Quality.
Clif joined QTF in 1999 and served on the Board of Examiners in a number of roles for 12 years. He also served on the Board of Overseers for seven years, and the Panel of Judges for five years. He also served in a number of roles for the MBNQA Board of Examiners over a span of 11 years. Clif was Director of Quality for Clarke American and served on the Application Team the year Clarke American received both the Texas Award for Performance Excellence and the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Clif was honored as a QTF Fellow in 2022.
Santos Marino has worked for the City of Austin for 10yrs as the Building Manager for City Hall. He directs and is responsible for maintenance, security, and custodial personnel accountable for performing all services at City Hall. He provides customer service to the Citizens of Austin, The Mayor, City Council, and City Manager. He has conducted several LSS projects for the City of Austin to improve efficiencies and reduce costs to tax-paying citizens. He continually supports and assists The City of Austin’s Performance Excellence journey in deploying a sound management system toward more maturity in building and implementing effective, systematic approaches that lead to positive results and trends essential to the city’s long-term success.
Mr. Mariono has served in several roles over a 10yr span with QTF and Baldridge Performance Excellence Program as an Examiner, Senior Examiner, Feedback Writer, Team Lead, and Process Coach. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt, Senior Baldridge Examiner, CIC from the University of Texas, El Paso, and completed his business and energy management studies through North Carolina State University.
He is devoted to assisting organizations in their continuous improvement efforts, helping them to build sustainability in their operations, and providing them with beneficial feedback utilizing the Malcolm Baldridge Framework for Performance Excellence. Santos has most recently been designated as a QTF Fellow in 2022.
Gary Utrup – Director
Gary has been active in ASQ for many years as a senior member and holds CMQ/OE certification. Gary has been the Quality & Contract Manufacturing Operations Manager for HeartSciences of Southlake, TX since Feb 2019. He continues to focus his professional work on quality practices, performance/project management, systems excellence, and speaking to UTD biomedical engineering students on EU regulations. Gary has experience as an ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and AS910 Lead Assessor and QMS remediation consulting in Japan.
While serving QTF, Gary was awarded the Texas Award for Performance Excellence Service Award for Dedicated Service in 2009. His service to QTF has expanded 12 years in total (1998-2009). His many roles at QTF include Board of Overseers (Board of Governors) and Examiner Trainer for six years, Board of Examiners for eight years, including Team Leader for four of those years. Gary also served as a Process Coach, Feedback Writer/Editor, and various other roles on multiple committees throughout his years of service. Gary has most recently been designated as a QTF Fellow in 2022.
For more info about our Fellows please contact: