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Motivational Lecture

Featured Speakers

October 17th

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Joann Sternke

2013 Baldrige Award Recipient with Pewaukee School District, 2019 Baldrige Foundation Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award Recipient with Studer Group, Current Interim Shorewood School District Superintendent

JoAnn is a true ambassador for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. She was the Superintendent of Schools in the Pewaukee School District, located near Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 2001 to 2017. JoAnn led the Pewaukee School District to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2013. Under her tenure, PSD achieved a 98% graduation rate, and the percentage of students attending a two- or four-year college increased from 68% in 2006-2007 to close to 93%.  But it gets better.....how many people can say they have worked for TWO Baldrige recipient organizations?  JoAnn then served as a Senior Leader and Coach at Studer Education, a division of Studer Group, a 2010 Baldrige award recipient. Here she helped organizations throughout the US "get better at getting better." Now JoAnn has formed Leader Excellence and is helping organizations utilize the Baldrige framework to reach new heights of excellence.

JoAnn knows the Baldrige framework inside and out. She has served on the Panel of Judges for both the Baldrige National Quality Program as well as the Wisconsin and Minnesota programs. She was honored to be the recipient of the 2019 Baldrige Foundation Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award.  A sought-after speaker, JoAnn is called on both nationally and internationally to speak about performance excellence. Additionally, she is a Master Examiner for the national program and loves to go on-site visits to both offer feedback and learn herself.

Dr. JoAnn Sternke's passion for education, visionary leadership, and commitment to excellence have made her a trailblazer in the field. Her transformative work in education administration, particularly during her tenure as superintendent of the Pewaukee School District, has set a benchmark for educational excellence. Her involvement with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has further solidified her legacy as a catalyst for organizational improvement. JoAnn Sternke's impact on education continues to resonate, inspiring educators and leaders to strive for excellence and make a positive difference in the lives of students.

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Jennifer Prinz

CEO of Donor Alliance, member of the board of directors for Life Logics, AlloSource, The Alliance, The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, and the University of Denver - Latino Center.

With tenure of more than 28 years in organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, Jennifer is the CEO of Donor Alliance. While there are organ procurement organizations in every state, Donor Alliance, under Jennifer’s leadership, stands out as a leader in the field and has improved the climate for transplant patients in Colorado and Wyoming. 

Jennifer has been instrumental in raising Coloradans’ and Wyomingites’ willingness to sign up as organ and tissue donors. Last year more than one million residents added their names to the organ, eye, and tissue donor registries. Colorado’s donor designation rate has climbed over six percent in her tenure, (to 67%) and now is the highest in the nation. In addition, she led Donor Alliance to a record number of organ recoveries, and lifesaving transplants in 2022. Thanks to Jennifer’s leadership, Donor Alliance has achieved outstanding clinical and operational outcomes, culminating in a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2018.

Prior to becoming CEO for Donor Alliance, Jennifer served as the Chief Operating Officer for the company, as well as the director of procurement and director of quality systems and compliance at Tennessee Donor Services. She has vast experience in trauma care including leading the trauma center & neuro intensive care units at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. 

Jennifer holds a Master of Public Health-Health Policy and Administration from the University of Tennesse-Knoxville, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

In 2016 and 2021, Jennifer and her family were personally touched by organ donation and transplantation. She remains committed to maximizing donation and transplantation in Colorado, Wyoming, and across the country.

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Cary Hill

Former MESA CEO, CFO and COO, Three-Time Baldrige Award recipient

Cary has over 25 years of leadership experience focused on building organizational capacity and maximizing performance for the benefit of customers, employees, and stakeholders, to include roles as CFO, COO, and ultimately CEO of MESA, a leading provider of products and services for corrosion prevention and integrity of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure, and the first 3-time recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He currently is the Chair of the Judges panel for the Baldrige Award, was a national examiner for the Baldrige program for over a decade, and served as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Quality Foundation, supporting outstanding organizations across Oklahoma to build better organizations using the Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence.

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Bob Fangmeyer 

Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce

Bob was named director of the Baldrige Program in November 2013. He is only the third director to lead the BPEP since its establishment by Congress in 1987. As deputy director, acting director, and director, Bob has led the design, development, and successful implementation of a new business model for the program; managed overall program operations; tracked performance against the business plan; ensured efficient and effective operations; and planned for strategic capability and capacity needs. Since joining the program in 1997, Bob has led many projects and strategic initiatives, including the creation of the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, strategic planning, and the ongoing development of the Baldrige Excellence Framework. Bob is a proven manager and creative problem solver. He has represented the program as a speaker at local, national, and international events. A former manager and owner of small businesses, he holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.

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