March 6

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Lindel Fields

Superintendent and CEO, Tri County Tech

About Lindel Fields

Lindel Fields is an education thought leader with more than three decades of experience instilling a love of learning in students and transforming cultures at public institutions to unshackle them from assumptions limiting student and faculty potential.

Fields’ teaching career started in prison, teaching inmates horticulture and life skills to help them transition to life after incarceration. Working his way up through Oklahoma’s CareerTech system, he has now served as Superintendent and CEO of Tri County Tech in Bartlesville since 2008.

Fields believes no student should be denied access to an education based upon their inability to pay, nor should they graduate suffocating in debt.

During his tenure, Tri County has reconstructed its culture and education quality, placing it among ‘Fortune’s Great Places to Work®’ for four consecutive years. Fields also led Tri County across a finish line ten years in the making when the technology center won the prestigious U.S. presidential award for excellence: the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2018.

The pillars of achievement supporting these accolades include Fields’ vision to decline constrictive federal funding in pursuit of more flexible revenue, improve graduation and job placement rates, and grow access to tuition assistance. Customized education delivery models allow partnerships with local businesses and entrepreneurs to upskill the local workforce and stimulate Northeast Oklahoma’s economy.

As a result of Fields’ leadership, Tri County has achieved a graduation and job placement rate over ninety percent since 2010. More than 500 students have unlocked the door to a higher quality of life through a tuition assistance foundation that Fields made a priority in 2014.

Taking care of Tri County faculty and staff are as equally crucial to Fields as students’ needs. Fields’ maintains that good pay and benefits are the basics in creating a great place to work culture. Under Fields leadership, Tri County employees have had the opportunity for performance stipends and bonuses since 2010, despite Oklahoma’s historical ranking as 49th in teacher pay and years of declining funding to public education.

These days, Fields is passionate about transforming other education institutions and organizations by sharing what he and his team have built together at Tri County — teaching the Baldrige framework as well as one-on-one leadership training and regular public speaking.

Fields regularly contributes to national discussions on quality improvement and has been a keynote speaker for organizations such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Performance Excellence Network, and Great Place to Work®, sharing the story of Tri County’s transformation.

He is a board member of the Oklahoma State Chamber, the Jane Phillips Medical Center, and the Bartlesville Area United Way.

Fields earned his bachelor’s degree in trade and industrial education from Oklahoma State University and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Southern Nazarene University.

Dec 6

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – P. George Benson, PhD

Professor of Decision Sciences, College of Charleston
Boards of Directors (Current):
-Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award: Chair, Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
-Primerica, Inc: Lead Director, Corporate Governance Committee Chair
-Crawford & Company: Governance Committee Chair
-AGCO, Inc: 2004-present Governance Committee Chair

About P. George Benson

Benson was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bucknell University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He did graduate work at New York University and earned a doctorate in decision sciences from the University of Florida. Benson taught in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, served as the dean of the Rutgers Business School at Rutgers University and as dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, prior to serving eight years as the president of the College of Charleston, where he continues to teach statistics.

Benson serves on the boards of directors of three public companies  – AGCO Corporation, Crawford & Company, and Primerica, Inc. – and has been recognized for exemplary leadership in that capacity.

His service to the Baldrige Enterprise includes being appointed to the nine-member panel of national judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and serving as a member of the Baldrige Board of Overseers, including a two-year term as chair, prior to being elected to the Baldrige Foundation Board of Directors in 2007.

The Baldrige Foundation is the private-sector partner of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP), a federal program in the National Institute of Standards and Technology within the Department of Commerce. The Mission of the Baldrige Foundation is to ensure the long-term financial growth and viability of BPEP, and to support organizational performance excellence.

Nov 29

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Roger Spoelman, MBA

 Roger served in an interim role and as president and chief executive officer of CURE International for three years. After 37 years of service in healthcare executive leadership, Roger retired in 2018 as the president and chief executive officer of Mercy Health, a regional network of hospitals, physician organizations, and health network operations in western and northern Michigan.

About Roger Spoelman

Roger served in an interim role and as president and chief executive officer of CURE International for three years. After 37 years of service in healthcare executive leadership, Roger retired in 2018 as the president and chief executive officer of Mercy Health, a regional network of hospitals, physician organizations, and health network operations in western and northern Michigan. He also served as a senior executive for Trinity Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States having been posted as President and CEO of several of Trinity Health’s largest regional health systems including Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio, Trinity Health of New England, and Loyola University Health System in Chicago.  Roger has extensive experience in mergers, acquisitions, community health improvement, leadership development, physician integration, physician groups, and governance.  He is also a frequent speaker and facilitator, helping organizations develop a culture of innovation. 

Roger’s leadership has been recognized and awarded by many healthcare and community organizations including: the Reese Award for Exemplary Service to the Community from the American Red Cross, the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, Trinity International University Distinguished Alumni, Patricia B. Johnson Award for Community Leadership and Innovative Grant Making, the Alliance for Health Hillman Award, and the Michigan State University Patenge Award. 

Roger’s passion for the children and families served by CURE led him to join the organization’s board of directors in 2007. During his service with CURE, he has been an active member of the board’s audit and compensation committees, while volunteering as an executive healthcare advisor on several hospital-based projects of strategic significance around the CURE network. He also plays a leadership role in healthcare and other organizations throughout the country and internationally, serving on many other boards, including: International Aid, Open Doors USA, Loyola University, National Christian Foundation of West Michigan, the West Michigan Policy Forum and BAMFHealth. He proudly serves as the Founder and Executive in Residence at the Mercy Health Innovation Hub. 

Roger is inspired and supported by his incredibly talented wife, Jan, and is a raving fan of his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren. He feeds his passion for leadership  and talent development by serving as advisor and business coach to numerous executives, companies, and organizations. 

Nov 15

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Morten Hansen, PhD

Author, professor, and management theorist, with award-winning work on social networks, collaboration, knowledge management, and corporate innovation.  

About Morten Hansen

Hansen is a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and was previously a professor at INSEAD and Harvard Business School. He was also a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Hansen holds a PhD from Stanford Business School, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

Hansen’s research focuses on how to succeed at work. In his 2018 book Great at Work, he draws from an extensive, original study of 5,000 managers and employees to show how top performers work less and achieve more, and by so doing provides a new theory of professional productivity. He devised “seven work smarter practices” that can be adopted by anyone looking to maximise their time and performance.


Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More (Simon & Schuster, 2018); Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All (with Jim Collins, HarperBusiness, 2011); Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results (HBR Press, 2009).

Nov 7

to 8

Leader Dialogue Rural Health CEO Innovation Council

Sheraton Birmingham Hotel | 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N.
Birmingham, AL
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 at 12:30 PM – Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 12:00 PM (CST)

The Baldrige Foundation and SOAR Vision Group are partnering with The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Department of Health Services Administration on this year’s National Symposium for Healthcare Executives event. The Rural Healthcare CEO Innovation Council will participate in the Symposium’s Keynote Presentation with Chuck Stokes, Top Golf Dinner / Networking event and Friday C-Suite Panel in addition to our own rural healthcare-focused programming.

Learn More about this event



Dr. Roger Spoelman, Executive Advisor, Strategic and Operational Integration Trinity Health, and
CEO, Cure International

Jennifer Strahan, COO SOAR Vision Group, Strategy Execution System Co-Architect and Accelerated
Baldrige Performance Excellence Pathway Facilitator

Ben Sawyer, President & CEO SOAR Vision Group, Strategy Execution System Co-Architect and
Accelerated Baldrige Performance Excellence Pathway Facilitator


KEYNOTE: Chuck Stokes, President & CEO of the Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston, TX


• Challenges Facing Rural Healthcare Operators
• The Role of Innovation in Strategy Development and System Differentiation
• Integrating Innovation and Performance Excellence Into Your Operating Model

NETWORKING EVENT (6:00 PM to 8:30 PM) Top Golf Outing


• Panel: High-Performance Case Studies
• Joint Session with Baldrige Foundation CEO Roundtable discussion


Nov 1

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – David Gifford, MD, MPH

SVP Quality and Regulatory Affairs, American Health Care Association (AHCA)

About David Gifford

David Gifford, MD, MPH, is the Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at the American Health Care Association, the largest association in the country representing long term and post-acute care facilities. He helped create the department which assists providers in their quality improvement efforts and works with Administration officials on regulations and policies impacting the profession. Dr. Gifford also serves on the Board of the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign and the Baldrige Foundation Board.

He is a former Director of the Rhode Island State Department of Health, where he received the National Governor’s award for Distinguished Service Award for State Officials and was a semi-finalist for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Innovations in Government award for work on the nursing home survey process.

Prior to that, he served as Chief Medical Officer for Quality Partners of Rhode Island where he directed CMS’ national nursing home-based quality improvement effort. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and conducted his geriatric fellowship at UCLA where he also earned his Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology.

Oct 24

to 25

Annual Fall Baldrige Conference-“Tune Into Excellence”

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nashville, TN
Oct 24-25

We are proud to be a sponsor for the 2019 Baldrige Fall Conference. Come learn from and share with some of the top thought-leaders of the Baldrige community!

Our CEO, Ben Sawyer, will speak regarding Accelerating the Performance Excellence Journey in the Age of Consumerism on Friday, Oct. 25 at 12:45pm (Breakout Session 4)

Oct 18

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Leigh S. Hamby, MD, MHA

Chief Medical Officer, Piedmont Healthcare

About Leigh Hamby

Leigh S. Hamby, M.D., MHA, is the chief medical officer at Piedmont Healthcare, the largest healthcare provider in Georgia. His responsibilities include oversight and coordination of medical staff issues at and between Piedmont hospitals. He is responsible for clinical quality initiatives, with a focus on key clinical drivers to improve patient safety.  

Dr. Hamby joined Piedmont Atlanta in 2001. He served as a physician advisor and was later named the hospital’s first chief quality officer. Prior to joining Piedmont, Dr. Hamby was the director of healthcare quality and evaluation for VA Atlanta Network. 

One of Dr. Hamby’s key accomplishments at Piedmont has been the implementation of Always Safe 2.0, the system’s comprehensive patient safety program. The program is part of Piedmont’s strategic goal of zero harm by 2026. 

Always Safe incorporates evidence-based strategies and principles for improving quality and safety. The concept is that safety is every employee’s responsibility, and the principles in the program are applicable for every provider (physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners), nurse, clinician and non-clinical employee of Piedmont Healthcare. The program focuses on specific behaviors every individual can do, every day, to reduce harm. Examples include asking clarifying questions, read back and acknowledge, and nine other error-prevention tools. 

After first implementing this program at Piedmont Henry, the hospital was named a 2018 Success Story Award winner from Press Ganey, one of only 16 organizations in the country to receive that award for its innovation and leadership in transforming patient care. 

The results have turned Piedmont into one of the safest systems in the country. In the Leapfrog Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade, six Piedmont hospitals earned A grades, double that of any system in Georgia, and two others earned B grades. Among those hospitals that did not earn A’s were three that had recently joined the Piedmont system and were not yet on Piedmont’s electronic medical record software, Epic. 

Under Dr. Hamby’s leadership, Piedmont has renewed its focus on preventing the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). In Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 (the period from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2018), Piedmont achieved a 40 percent reduction in HAIs. Since Fiscal Year 2016 (ending June 30, 2016), Piedmont has seen a 68 percent reduction in HAIs to the present (352 to 112). 

In addition to his work with Always Safe, Dr. Hamby has overseen the implementation of Epic’s electronic medical records system at nine Piedmont hospitals, with two more rollouts planned in 2019 and 2020. 

With Epic, patients have one Piedmont medical chart, which allows every Piedmont provider – from the hospital to physicians’ offices – to access the patient’s real-time medical information. This software lets providers share patient test results, charts, reports and other information, allowing for more efficient and seamless patient care. 

Oct 4

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Scott McIntyre

Chief Executive Officer, Guidehouse

About Scott McIntyre

McIntyre brings to his role years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt and cost restructuring and financial modeling. Prior to PwC, he served as a partner at KPMG serving defense and aerospace, government and industrial manufacturing customers.

He chairs the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s board and sits on the board of the Baldrige Foundation. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington & Jefferson College, a master’s of business administration from Willamette University and a master’s of science from the Johns Hopkins University.

Sept 20

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Alan Nalle

Chief Strategy Officer, Patientco

About AlAn Nalle

Alan Nalle is Chief Strategy Officer at Patientco, developing strategies and supporting plans for Patientco to deliver unique value to its clients. Prior to Patientco, Alan served as a Managing Director in Accenture Strategy’s Healthcare practice where he led projects addressing many of his client’s most pressing issues related to growth and innovation for leading Providers and Payers.

Sept 6

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Craig Clapper, PE, CMQ/OE

Partner, Transformational Advisory Services, Press Ganey

About Craig Clapper

Craig Clapper was a founding Partner of HPI. Mr. Clapper has over 25 years of experience improving reliability in nuclear power, transportation, manufacturing and health care. He specializes in cause analysis (including nuclear power events and component failures, commercial aviation components, and the Texas A&M bonfire structure collapse), reliability improvement (including Feed Water & Main Turbine systems in nuclear power, manufacturing at Baker Hughes, and chemotherapy processes at St Jude’s Children’s Hospital), and safety culture improvements (for Duke Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, ABB, Westinghouse, Framatome ANP, Sentara Healthcare, and others). He now is the lead ​partner on several safety culture engagements for health care systems. 

Prior to forming HPI, Mr. Clapper was the Chief Operating Officer of Performance Improvement International, Chief Engineer for Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station, and Systems Engineering Manager for Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station. He is a registered professional engineer in Ariz., has a Master in Business Administration, and is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Aug 16

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Geoff Duncan

Lieutenant Governor, Georgia 

About Geoff Duncan

A former professional baseball player and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan was elected Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor in November of 2018.

Geoff graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta where he met his wife, Brooke. Geoff and Brooke both attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where Geoff was a scholarship pitcher. After a successful career at Georgia Tech, Geoff was drafted by the Florida Marlins’ organization. Geoff spent six seasons playing baseball in the minor leagues, advancing as high as AAA before a shoulder injury forced his retirement in the early 2000s.

After retiring from baseball, Geoff and his wife Brooke started a small marketing firm in their living room. The company experienced tremendous success which allowed Geoff and Brooke to sell the business and move on to multiple other entrepreneurial ventures. Geoff most recently served as the CEO of a health technology startup.

Geoff’s faith inspired him to a life of leadership and prompted his upstart run for political office. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012. During his time in office he authored several important pieces of legislation. These include HB 749-The Cargo Theft Act, HB152-Michael’s Law and most recently SB258- the Rural Hospital Tax Credit.

Geoff and Brooke are married and have three sons: Parker, Bayler, and Ryder. Geoff has coached youth sports for 23 years and also leads a weekly bible study with his wife Brooke. The Duncans attend Browns Bridge Community Church, an affiliate of North Point Community Church.

Aug 2

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Rulon Stacey, PhD

Managing Director,  Healthcare Strategy business unit at Navigant

About Rulon Stacey

Dr. Rulon Stacey is a managing director and leader of Navigant’s Healthcare Strategy business unit. As a nationally recognized healthcare leader, Dr. Stacey brings a future-focused, leadership-driven approach to clients, as well as a unique understanding of provider issues, leadership and governance challenges, and strategy alternatives. He provides expertise in the design and development of initiatives that support cultural and organizational changes needed for ongoing success as health systems evolve from fee-for-service to a value-based environment.

A nationally recognized governance speaker and leader, Dr. Stacey helps governing boards strategize, understand board organization and performance measures, and develop leadership and board succession plans.

In June 2015, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Dr. Stacey to a second three-year term as the chair of the board of overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He is a former chair of the board of directors of the American College of Healthcare Executives and was twice named by Modern Healthcare as among the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

Jul 19

Jul 19

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Niki Buchanan

Venture Leader, Population Insights & Care, Philips Wellcentive 

About Niki Buchanan

Jun 21

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Lowell C. Kruse

Co-founder and Chair, Communities of Excellence 2026 

Board Member, Baldrige Foundation

About Lowell Kruse

Lowell C. Kruse is the former CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri. He retired in July 2009 after serving Heartland for 25 years as their CEO. Kruse came to St. Joseph in 1984 when the two existing community hospital boards had decided to come together and form Heartland Health to better serve the needs of the community and the broader region surrounding St. Joseph. He describes the vision of the organization as, “Heartland Health and its service area will be the best and safest place in America to receive healthcare and live a healthy and productive life.” As evidence of the organization’s progress toward that vision, they were the 2009 recipient of both the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. During his 45 year career, Lowell served on numerous boards, committees, commissions and in leadership capacities in professional and civic organizations including State and National Jaycee Organizations, state hospital associations, American Hospital Association, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, State Commissions, health planning agencies, and similar organizations. He has been the recipient of a variety of personal and professional awards and recognitions during his career. Lowell currently serves as Co-Founder and Chair of Communities of Excellence 2026, the Board of Directors for the Baldrige Foundation and the Missouri Family and Community Trust.

May 17

Leader Dialogue Radio Show – 1:00 pm ET

Episode Guest – Sherry Farrugia

Chief Operating and Strategy Officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center

About Sherry Farrugia

As the COO and CSO of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Pediatric Technology Center, Ms. Farrugia manages the multimillion-dollar pediatric research portfolio and the public-private partnership between Georgia Tech and CHOA.  In this dual role, she is responsible for the execution of key business initiatives to improve efficiency, effectiveness and reduce administrative costs.  She provides executive-level leadership for business and operational functions such as budget planning and organization of team process around a function.  This includes providing insight into the innovations, new technologies and startups developed as a result of this partnership.

Sherry is the Vice-President for the International Society for Pediatric Innovation and represents both Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech with the Global Health ATL: Innovation Hub.

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