Incoming Chair’s Message

by Robert ‘QualityBob’ Mitchell

It is my honor and privilege to serve the ASQ Phoenix Section (Valley of the Sun) #0704 as its Chair for the next two program years. I wish to thank David Gibson (outgoing Chair) and Walter Tighe (Newsletter Editor) for the opportunity to introduce myself to the Section members via our Sun Dial Newsletter, and myASQ websites. I look forward to serving the Section along with the rest of the Executive Committee as we seek to strengthen our Community of Practice and improve our members’ skillsets to more effectively and efficiently deliver consistently superior customer (and member) experiences.

As we wrap up the 2019 program year, I want to express my sincere thanks to the ASQ Phoenix EC and volunteers for their stewardship of Section governance and operations in our pursuit of meaningful, informative and educational program content, and member support. Specifically, I wish to recognize the contributions of our outgoing EC members whom are rolling off effective 12/31/19:

  • Section Chair David Gibson,
  • Arrangements Chair Jennifer Kirsten,
  • Education Chair Matt Kas,
  • Special Projects Chair Garth Conrad,
  • Publicity & OutReach Chair Deepa Deepa,
  • Student Chapter Liaison Dani Eldred, and
  • Immediate Past Chair Donna Horton.

Several other EC members will continue their volunteer member leader participation to help provide continuity of Section operations, though serve in new roles in 2020:

  • Amrish Patel moving from Treasurer to Programs Chair;
  • Tim Lane moving from Secretary to Treasurer;
  • Shruti Shyamani is taking on Internet Liaison duties in addition to her role as Auditor;
  • Jim Steele from Program Chair to Chair-elect, and
  • David Gibson to Immediate Past Chair and Nominating Chair.

As we enter the 2020-2021 program cycle, the ASQ Phoenix Section, along with its peer sections in the ASQ Mountain Region, is busy defining our business plan and budget. Business planning involves identifying key improvement strategies (3-year horizon) and support of important operational and tactical (1 year) action plans. The ASQ Phoenix Section is a rather large geographical community. One of our greatest challenges is to deliver content to our out-state members who reside beyond the Phoenix metropolitan area. The City of Phoenix, along with its suburbs, occupies a large footprint not to mention our out-state members dispersed across the state of AZ. To that end, one of our key strategies is to survey our members throughout the state to learn more about your expectations, current level of satisfaction, and areas of opportunity:

  • What are your unmet needs and expectations?
  • What are your perceived gaps of our performance?
  • Where /how can we improve?

Be on the lookout for this Member Experience survey (1st Qtr) and please take the time to respond. We seek your honest, candid feedback and thoughtful suggestions.

I would like to take this opportunity to share a little about myself. My biography can also be found in my LinkedIn profile ( I am a career Quality professional, having retired from 3M Company in 2015 after 34 years of truly enjoyable employment. I enjoyed roles of increasing responsibility in product development, process development, quality assurance, quality planning, quality management and quality leadership. I also have hands-on experience in statistical consulting, strategic planning & deployment, change management, supplier management, commercialization, project management, Six Sigma and Lean. My greatest accomplishments and feelings of accomplishment are teaching, coaching, consulting and mentoring future Quality Leaders.
I have been an ASQ member since 1987 and have served as ASQ Statistics Division Chair and ASQ Minnesota Section Chair. I hold professional certifications in CQA, CQE and CMQ/OE, and was elected to ASQ Fellow in 1993. I continue to serve as an ASQ “Influential Voices of Quality” blogger. Most recently I have been serving the ASQ Phoenix section as its Internet Liaison and Social Media Coordinator.

My goal as your ASQ Phoenix Section Chair is to strengthen our Community of Practice to provide an exceptional member experience. My vision for the ASQ Phoenix Section is:

To be the Community of Practice of choice
providing professional development focused on
improving members’ customer experience skillsets.

I look forward to your collaboration in the pursuit of excellence!

Robert ‘QualityBob’ Mitchell
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