Meet our Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Our volunteer Subject Matter Experts (SME) are individuals with expertise in business and nonprofit business processes and functions.  Many are sought out by others interested in leveraging their unique expertise to solve specific problems or help meet particular technical challenges. Our volunteer SME’s provide facilitation, consulting, and training free of charge through the Institute.

Sue Bunton

Sue Bunton is a human performance specialist with a track record for achieving organizational excellence and the development of peak performance models for organizations. She is a Certified Harless Peak Performance System Analyst and Trainer and is certified in…

Steven Cox

Steven is a consultant with extensive global leadership experience leading large organizations with strong subject matter expertise in process excellence, project management and process & system assessment.

Vic Figurelli

Vic was on the board of examiners for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in 1990 and 1991, the latter year as a senior examiner. He played a key role in starting up the Texas Award for Performance Excellence program, which has fielded…..

Ashley Kees

Ashley Kees has spent his 30-year professional career with 3M in operations management including leadership positions such as Global Manufacturing Director, Plant Manager, Lean SixSigma Black Belt and Product Development Supervisor. …

Kirk Kriegel

Kirk is passionate about helping people and organizations find and fulfill their God-given mission. He is well versed on using the Baldrige Criteria for Business Performance Excellence and has served on the Board of Directors of a number of Non-Profits in

Ray Langlois

Ray founded Langlois Consultant Services, LLC, to work with Nonprofit Organizations to build capacity and sustainability, develop long-range and strategic planning and create leadership development.   


Kelly Lester

Kelly Lester is the past President of Lestex, Inc. (consulting firm) where she specialized in using the Baldrige framework and ISO 9001 criteria to achieve client organizational performance excellence focusing on practical, efficient implementation with heavy…

Bob Novello

Bob Novello is the President of Fastrack Training, Inc. where he designs, develops and conducts professional development classes, and provides consulting and facilitation services. Bob is also the Executive Director of the Williamson County Institute for Excellence….

Santos Marino

Santos is a Facilities Maintenance Manager who works with The City of Austin to direct the activities of maintenance personnel who are responsible for performing general maintenance work on city buildings, facilities and grounds. Santos has conducted several LSS projects

Tony Perez

Tony Perez has worked in the quality field for over 25 years in the defense electronics and commercial electronics industries. He is currently the Program Manager of The University of Texas Center for Performance Excellence where he uses a Baldrige based assessment process….

Dale Ricklefs

Dale Ricklefs was involved in quality initiatives between 2000 and 2005 when she served as the Quality Manager and strategic planning lead for the City of Round Rock. Dale has also formed four nonprofits in Round Rock and has held leadership positions in over 10 nonprofits…

Dr. Ronald Swain

Dr. Swain is a servant-leader and social entrepreneur, who formed Swain Consulting Services, LLC (SCS) in 2013 after a forty-plus year career in higher education administration.  SCS’s mission is to facilitate individual’s development to achieve their maximum potential and…

Peggy Lee Pleasant

Peggy has been a Malcolm Baldrige examiner through QTF for the last seven years. She has worked with the City of Austin for over twenty-one years, with the majority of that time at Austin Energy. ….

Sam Zigrossi

Sam Zigrossi has been a Performance Specialist/Consultant, consulting with various types of organizations both small and large, including hospitals, telecommunications consulting company, high technology groups, large energy company, universities, state agencies..