Grand Prize for Quality

ASQ Magazine

ASQ member wins grand prize for recruiting efforts


American Society for Quality (ASQ) member and Medtronic, Inc. training manager

Scott Clugston was able to see firsthand how the medical devices his company designs save lives. Clugston was in the operating room when a cardiac defibrillator was implanted into a patient.

“During the procedure, the patient was put into a cardiac arrhythmia, in order to test device functionality,” Clugston said.  The physician activated the device, returning the patient’s heart to normal rhythms. Clugston witnessed quality at its finest.

“It comes very close to home, creating a sense of accountability and a keen appreciation for the quality tools we use to assure reliable products and therapies,” Clugston said.  

Clugston is the 2006 grand prize winner in ASQ’s Each One Reach One (EORO), an annual program that awards prizes and recognition to current members who recruit new members. Clugston’s name was selected in a random drawing. He won a free trip (registration, air fare and hotel expenses) to an upcoming ASQ conference of his choice. Clugston recruited member Lisa Ruehlow in July 2005.

The contest ran July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006. During that time 4,861 members recruited a total of 5,323 new members to the Society. The contest began again July 1 and will run through June 30, 2007. Prizes include free books, an iPod Shuffle and more. A Century Club Award is presented every spring to members who recruited 100 new members during their years with ASQ.

Clugston joined ASQ in 1989 and is currently the Memphis, Tennessee section treasurer. Clugston’s Medtronic, Inc. team is responsible for training field employees on medical devices implanted by their physician customers.

Clugston values his ASQ affiliation, saying it truly impacts his career in tangible ways. “Through ASQ I have developed a network of professional colleagues through the local section and national events,” Clugston said. He has earned two certifications.

“My CQA (Quality Auditor Certification) and CQM (Certified Quality Manager) certifications have been great professional development and learning opportunities,” Clugston said. “Additionally, I have purchased auditor training services for a previous team.”

Clugston said the ASQ certifications and preparatory classes emphasize the importance of strong communication skills and honesty. “As an auditor, it is important that you listen to auditees, and review adequate documentation to assure a fair audit. In order for people to value and trust the audit results, the process needs to be objective and data-based. The certification classes and tests emphasize those results.”

The ASQ networking opportunities, according to Clugston, are far-reaching and important. “I know who to contact if I have a question that is beyond my expertise,” Clugston said. He also knows that his training and certifications make him more valuable as an employee.

“I credit my CQA certification as one reason I was hired at Medtronic, Inc., “Clugston said. “It has widespread credibility.”

To that end, Clugston routinely works with others, both on the job and in the community, inspiring them to utilize quality tools and management.

“I have mentored two engineers who aspired to management positions in quality,” Clugston said. “Both pursued certification and hold corporate positions. I also mentored a young man as part of a community leadership program sponsored by Family and Children’s Services of Minnesota. That one involves helping potential community leaders develop skill sets through a hands-on project.”

Clugston assisted his mentee in developing a series of informal sessions for adult English as Second Language (ESL) students.

“The focus was to encourage them to complete their General Education Diploma (GED) and continue on to college,” Clugston said.

Lighting the path for others along the way, according to Clugston, is crucial.

“My career path was facilitated by a host of mentors and supervisors who believed in me, and who gave me the chance to grow and develop professionally.”

By Linda Fausel