Grayson Medal Awarded to Quality Innovators in Education and Not-for-Profit Sectors

2012 C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal Winners:
Dr. James Harrington, Dr. Deborah Hopen, and Dr. Michael Perich

(Houston, Texas - May 22, 2012)  APQC, a nonprofit best practices and benchmarking research firm, announced today the recipients of the fifth annual C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal.  Announced annually at the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement and APQC events, the award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the application of quality philosophy, methods and tools in education, health care, public service, and not-for-profit organizations.

The 2012 winners include:

A longtime leader in the International Academy for Quality, Dr. Harrington serves as the President of the Walter L. Hurd Foundation, the U.S. Chairman of Chair on Technologies for Project Management at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and Chairman for the Advisory Board for the e-TQM College in Dubai. He is recognized as one of the world leaders in applying performance improvement methodologies to business processes. Dr. Harrington writes regular columns for the Quality Digest Magazine.

  • Deborah L. Hopen, president of Deborah Hopen Associates

Hopen has over 30 years of experience in total quality management. She has served as a senior executive with experience in general management, quality assurance and quality control, training, human resources, organization development, research and development, process engineering, and accounting. She has been president and chairman of the American Society for Quality and currently is the editor of ASQ's Journal for Quality and Participation and contributing editor of ASQ's Six Sigma Forum magazine.

  • Dr. Michael Perich, consultant at Systemwide Continuous Improvement Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)

A national leader in process improvement for K-12 education for his work at Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), currently Dr. Perich is serving as a consultant to MCPS and in that capacity provides leadership and professional development for continuous improvement. He has been instrumental in moving MCPS to a process centered organization. All MCPS offices, departments, and divisions have identified their key work processes. Utilizing a planning tool that classifies inputs, guides, outputs, and enablers (IGOE), they have identified the interrelationship and interdependency of key processes throughout the organization. Dr. Perich led the development of four Baldrige award applications, two for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) and two for the United States Senate Productivity and Maryland Quality Award, and helped MCPS win the MBNQA.

“These outstanding individuals have made a difference by passionately carrying the quality and process improvement tools and concepts into education and not-for-profit," said Jack Grayson, founder and executive chairman of APQC and for whom the award is named. “This medal acknowledges what they have done and will continue to do.”

About the C. Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal
The C. Jackson Grayson Medal celebrates the professional philosophy expressed throughout his life by Dr. Grayson, founder and executive chairman of APQC.

Winners are nominated by a panel of judges for their contributions to pioneering the cause of process and quality excellence in their sector.  They have used process improvement, measures and collaboration to increase quality and productivity in their organizations and for society.

Past winners include Dr. Don Berwick, nominated by President Obama for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Dr. Terry K. Holliday, Superintendent, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education; Spencer Hutchens, Jr., a global expert in the field of quality control; Brent James, MD, a champion of the standardization and enhancement of clinical care through data collection and analysis on a wide variety of treatment protocols and complex care processes; David T. Kearns, former Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation and former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Sister Mary Jean Ryan, President and CEO, SSM Health Care; Dr. Frank K. Toda, President, Colombia Gorge Community College; Dr. Thomas C. Tuttle, President, The Tuttle Group International; Gregory H. Watson, one of the world’s leading quality consultants.

Grayson has a long-standing legacy as a productivity, quality and process pioneer.  Founder of APQC and leader at the first White House Conference on Productivity, Grayson fostered a national dialogue regarding quality. In 1993 he created APQC’s International Benchmarking Clearinghouse to help organizations identify and learn best practices. In 1996 Grayson began an education improvement initiative to transform academic and administrative processes. Grayson is an ASQ Fellow and Distinguished Service Medal recipient

Information on the winners, selection process, and APQC may be found at

About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the world’s leading proponents of benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management. Working with more than 500 member organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC provides organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with greater confidence. Visit or call +1-713-681-4020 for more information.

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PHOTOS AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA USE: the Grayson Medal, Dr. Jack Grayson, and the 2012 winners.