Smithers Quality Assessments Concludes its Third-Annual Client Conference

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July 26, 2015


Smithers Quality Assessments (SQA) celebrated its third-annual client conference on July 9, 2015 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron, Ohio. Over 300 clients, auditors and stakeholders took part in a day of education sessions covering quality management and the evolution of many ISO standards. “I have been attending the conference for the last three years,” said Paul Quinn, ISO coordinator for LMI Custom Mixing, LLC and client of SQA.  “Each year brings new topics and areas of business and I appreciate receiving thorough updates on ISO standards.”

Michael Hochschwender, president and CEO of The Smithers Group, Inc., delivered the opening remarks and welcomed attendees by highlighting The Smithers Group’s common goal and commitment to quality.

The keynote address, “Customer Service Revolution,” paid tribute to SQA’s commitment to customer service and was delivered by Dave Murray of the DiJulius Group. Several SQA auditors were recognized following the presentation for their dedication to customer satisfaction:

  • John Cook
  • Mark Dodson
  • Mike Fournier
  • Lisa Gallagher
  • John Sedlak
  • Natalie Sheflyand
  • Rick Zoller
  • Stephanie Zoller

This year’s conference sessions focused on many changes shaping the quality management field, including revisions to several ISO standards. Attendees packed conference rooms to hear sessions dedicated to changes in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. “The biggest piece of advice I can give companies and professionals preparing for ISO 9001:2015 is not to overreact,” said Cathy Fisher, founder of Quistem, LLC. “Take the time to educate yourself of the changes and get started early. The 2015 revision is intended to help businesses, not tear your current quality management plan apart.”

The 2015 event was the largest in the conference’s history. SQA is already looking forward to expanding in 2016. “The 2015 SQA Client Conference educational content covering quality management and the evolution of many ISO standards has resonated with our clients and resulted in a full and growing conference,” said Jeanette Preston, president of Smithers Quality Assessments.