27 Years of Baldrige

One Examiner's Perspective

As Baldrige marks its 27th anniversary, you may be interested in knowing what it was like to serve on the Board of Examiners when it all began in 1988. In fact, nobody from the current Baldrige Program was there . . . but, I was. Here are some highlights:

 1988 Paul Steel White House Invitation

1988 Baldrige Secratary William Verity and Paul Steel 1990 Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher and Paul Steel

1988 Secretary of Commerce C. William Verity Jr. and 1989 Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher

A very special and pivotal moment in my career occurred in 1988 when I received my first Baldrige Examiner Certificate from Dr. Curt Reimann. My life would never be the same:


1988 Baldrige Examiner Training: Dr. Curt Reimann, Baldrige Award Program Director and Paul Steel


1988 First Baldrige Examiner Training Class

1988 Original Baldrige Board of Examiners with Dr. Curt Reimann and Paul Steel


Examiner Baldrige Award Flag    Baldrige Examiner Medallion

1988 Baldrige Training Locations


Serving as a Baldrige Examiner is all about volunteering your time to contribute to improvement in the competitiveness of your nation, state, region, or locality. It would have been easy to not serve as a founding member of the Washington State Quality Award (WSQA), because of the tremendous success I was enjoying internationally due to my national role, but I couldn't resist. I served as a Judge, Examiner trainer, and member of the Board of Directors for several years. I've received a personal letter from Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke thanking me for my role in founding the WSQA. However, the recognition I am most proud of was being selected by my WSQA colleagues as Volunteer of the Year.

In the late nineties, the Baldrige Alumni Examiner Program was established. I was invited to participate in the pilot program and in 1998 I was welcomed by Dr. Harry Hertz when I arrived at NIST. Dr. Hertz has continued to show his appreciation for my Examiner services and makes me feel valued in many ways as he does for all Examiners:

1998   2007 Harry Hertz Paul Steel 2007  2008 Harry Hertz Paul Steel  2008   2009 Harry Hertz - Paul Steel  2009   2010 Harry Hertz - Paul Steel  2010  2011 Baldrige Training  2011

Dr. Harry Hertz, Baldrige Quality Award Program Director and Paul Steel


Why so many Examiners?

Baldrige Examiner Featherbedding


Baldrige Excellence Resources



Paul Steel Recognition