Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Recognition

Paul Steel Baldrige Recognition

Privileged to serve longer than anyone

I first met Dr. Curt Reimann when I participated as a member of the first Baldrige Board of Examiners in 1988. This 1988 photo shows our class on the doorsteps of the main entrance to NIST:

1988 First Baldrige Examiner Training Class

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

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

The Baldrige Board of Examiners did not have many members in the early years. One advantage of this was that the Secretary of Commerce had time for individual photographs. In the case of Commerce Secretary Verity, he took the time to write a personal note on the photo with him before sending it to you.

1988 Baldrige Secratary William Verity and Paul Steel

1988 C. William Verity Jr., US Secretary of Commerce recognizing Paul Steel


President Ronald Reagan invitation to White House award ceremony. Other perks included interacting with the quality gurus such as sitting next to Dr. Joseph Juran on the bus taking us to the White House and having Phillip Crosby come up to me to make small talk while waiting inside the White House for the festivities to begin. Dr. Armand Feigenbaum and Dr. W. Edwards Deming were there too and it was heartening to see them at this special place and time after having worked with them for seven years.

Paul Steel White House Invitation

1988 White House invitation from President Ronald Reagan to Paul Steel to attend first Baldrige Award Ceremony in the White House

1990 Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher and Paul Steel

1989 Robert Mosbacher, US Secretary of Commerce recognizing Paul Steel

It was not just the Secretary of Commerce who honored you individually in the early days but also top corporate executives. In 1988 and 1989, Robert Galvin of Motorola sent me a appreciation note. Here is one:

1989 Robert W. Galvin, Motorola Chairman of the Board, letter of appreciation to Paul Steel for serving in the role as a Senior Examiner

I first became a Baldrige Senior Examiner in 1989. This photo shows Dr. Curt Reimann presenting me with my 1991 Senior Examiner Certificate:

1991 Baldrige Award Director Curt Reimann and Paul Steel

1991 Baldrige Examiner Training: Dr. Curt Reimann, Baldrige Award Program Director and Paul Steel

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.

Washington State Quality Award (WSQA) Volunteer of the Year Award - Paul Steel

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

 I recently enjoyed the opportunity to repay in part my friend Dr. Curt Reimann who served as the founding Director ('Father') of the Baldrige Award for the invaluable confidence, support, and encouragement he continues to give me by inviting him to join me on a special high-profile Baldrige project in the Middle East:

 080308 Saudi Site Visit - Roy Bauer - Curt Reimann - Lori Kirkland - Paul Steel

Dr. Curt Reimann First Baldrige Quality Award Director (2nd from left) with Paul Steel (right)


Baldrige Excellence Resources

Baldrige Failure


Paul Steel Recognition