Milwaukee-based ASQ, a global organization focused on quality, has hired Shontra Powell as its new chief operating officer.
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She fills the position vacated a year ago by Julie Gabelman, who left ASQ in January 2015 to serve as business services director at Business Ready Wisconsin. In her new role, Powell will be responsible for leading operational strategies that help ASQ meet its mission and vision, including fiduciary and managerial responsibility for resources and business operations, products, sales, marketing, communications, communities and business development.
Powell, who came on board in December, previously was vice president of commercial operations for real estate and investment services company CBRE, helping to lead the integration
of Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc.’s Global Workplace Solutions unit into the company. She established CBRE’s global commercial function, accounting for resource planning, imperatives and an inaugural value roadmap.
Before CBRE, Powell was vice president of global commercial operations and vice president of global client solutions at Johnson Controls, where she managed process, standardization and continuous improvement in the commercial division. She also previously worked as an operations manager at GE Healthcare.
“I’m excited to join ASQ and such a vibrant community of passionate quality professionals around the world,” Powell said. “In my role as COO, I will help expand ASQ worldwide, spreading the message of quality and the impact it can have — not only on businesses but also on communities.”
ASQ was under the leadership of interim chief executive officer Andrew Baines, managing director of ASQ Global, for the last several months of 2015. CEO Bill Troy
, who has led the organization since April 2014, returned last month following a serious illness. The adjustment resulted in the delay in hiring a new COO, Troy said.
“We all learned some lessons,” Troy said. “I think we all learned some things about contingency planning and successions; that those are things you have to pay attention to. And at the end of the day we did very well because we had a very supportive and active board chair and we had a terrific interim CEO in Andrew. We didn’t just stay afloat. We really made some great progress in our strategic planning.”
The organization is in the process of adding the new position of chief strategy officer, and Troy is forming a C-suite that includes the CSO, Baines, Powell, and a director of finance, which will replace the CFO position.
Powell brings her business experience to the nonprofit organization, which will help in the strategic planning process, Troy said.
“She brings very strong business perspective to all of our operations,” he said. “Understanding how processes and systems ought to work, what constitutes good management, how we develop good strategy. She’s very well-grounded in all of those areas.
“She organized things in a way that will allow her to give the right level of leadership to everything that she’s responsible for and I’m really very pleased with it. Our long-term strategy is essential to our growth and we are committed to some big goals, our 2020 goals. We need to develop and execute a long-term strategy which will benefit our members and benefit the quality community for years to come.”