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ASQ Vancouver 3rd Annual Quality and Business Excellence Conference (May 26, 2016)

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Author: Sandra Colunga

I work in a field that at times can be challenging as quality professionals are often received with some reservations. Yet I absolutely enjoy what I do.
We, in the quality assurance world, reinforce regulations and procedures, promote change, and strive for continuous improvement; so, when we manage to achieve some of these even in a small scale, it is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. Happily, I can say we, at the ASQ Vancouver section, were feeling exactly like that after our third annual conference.

That is right, one more year, one more conference and bigger and better than before.

Our theme was “Quality: Challenges, changes, and opportunities” and quite a fitting title. Our own section leadership committee is going through a change, and while we are change agents ourselves, it is a bittersweet moment as we see our chair of the last 5 years step down to open new and exciting opportunities for our incoming chair.

Under David’s leadership, we expanded our reach and program offerings in a very positive way, and we will continue supporting Marilouise throughout the challenges ahead in the continuous improvement path.

conference16-300x300The conference got underway at 8 AM and we had many of our exhibitors join in to help set up while our members were slowly trickling in and registering. Mar and David welcomed our members while at breakfast, sharing the news of the leadership change with all; David opened up the conference with a fun and lively presentation, telling us a little about his experience as chair and what has inspired him over the years. Do or do not… there is no try.

We saw members coming in and out of the different presentations throughout the day commenting on the learnings, and also giving us live feedback on the speakers, the event, the venue, and other details… exactly what you would expect from a group of people dedicated to quality, so thank you very much everyone for keeping the analytical quality cap on.

We learned about making Lean our way of life, and how quality can positively influence the hiring process of an organization. There were quite curious members in the quality measures topic with a few questions about the real, local cases shared by our incoming chair, Mar Mueller. The list goes on, and many people commented on the tough choice of picking topics to attend as they were all very interesting.

The breaks in between the presentations allowed for some networking to occur while our attendees played fun games. Members had to find the person that had the matching answer to the question they were holding, and some bingo activity opened up conversations and created new contacts.

Our exhibitors were very professional and well prepared to inform all the visitors to their booths. They had some games at their booths, giveaways and prize draws. Several ASQ and quality books were awarded to members and just before the gala dinner we enjoyed a dedicated time to network and meet some new members, this also allowed us to see some familiar faces that we rarely get to interact with.

Our keynote speaker rocked the night with a very engaging presentation, he made us think about change and how inevitable it is in all aspects of life. Yet, we can manage it and spin it to be a great experience instead of a struggle. Let’s PLORK!

A surprising moment of special recognition; David did not know about it! That in of itself is a great accomplishment as he is always has his finger on the pulse of everything that is going on, so thank you SLC colleagues for keeping the secret. We could not let the opportunity pass, we all thank him for his great leadership.

The gala dinner is always exciting as it allows us to recognize the community that forms our section:

  • We had so many people this year celebrating their 25th anniversary with ASQ, this is great! Many of the 20, 15, 10, and 5 years milestones members were to receive their certificates at the conference.
  • We also handed out a couple of Partners of the Year awards to Jon Morris and Vanessa McCormick for the continuous support and collaboration with our section.
  • This year our Quality and Business Excellence award went to the City of Vancouver Continuous Improvement team, congratulations!

We are very appreciative of everyone’s participation and attendance, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, ASQ members, and partners. Thank you very much for making this conference our best one yet!

See you all at our fourth conference next year!