Introducing Our Plenary Keynote Speakers

We’re already excited by the quality of speakers lining up to present at Qualcon – keep an eye on this page for more to come!

Pat La Londe


Pat La Londe is an executive in Supply Chain Management with expertise leading teams in all aspects of supply chain including supplier quality, procurement, global sourcing, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and integrations across diverse businesses.  Pat is a Fellow member of ASQ, past Chair of the ASQ Board of Directors,  recent recipient of ASQ’s Distinguish Service Medal and 4 year core council member of APQO.  She maintains professional certifications; Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) Quality Engineering (CQE), and Quality Auditing (CQA) from ASQ.

Pat will speak on Adaptability, Innovation and Customer Focus

More Information
There has been no greater challenge for businesses and quality professionals than the past couple years.  With CoVid19, black lives matter, elections, Asian lives matter, fires, and more, a question keeps coming up “what can I do?”    When I hear that question, three words come to mind for 2020, adaptability, innovation and customer focus.  Simple questions under complex conditions, during 2020 and 2021 had to be answered, like.  How do we stay safe while working, going to school, running a business, going to the grocery store and more?  There is a call to action for everyone to do something!

Companies around the world were being asked if they were essential?  If yes, they needed to examine their processes and products to ensure they could maintain their business while keeping their staff safe/protected and keep customer satisfied.  This may have looked like:  ramping up their business or parts of their business, shifting the product they normally produced to a completely different product that used a process they had, balancing a supply chain to unimaginable demand all around the world or changing how the news was being delivered to meet the constant changes in conditions.

If your company was deemed not essential, the examination would be on how to survive, not lose their talent pool, continue to engage their customers in the status of the business to hopefully keep the customers when they will open again.  How do deal with existing and on order inventory, with customers waiting for answers or product.  The list of questions needed to be answered, very quickly, was almost overwhelming and economically disastrous for many.  Many companies moved to online to sell products, restaurants or cafes changed to grocery stores or pantries for the need of the communities.

Every business had a strong need for quality professional skills:

  • Quality management systems, risk management,
  • Utilization of existing standards,
  • Regulatory requirement assessment, new filing…, validation, verification,
  • Making changes to processes while maintaining certifications to standards, laws and regulations
  • Supplier and supply chain quality
  • Lean thinking
  • knowledge management…
  • Root cause analyst, etc.

Many examples of successes, failures and far more is still in the state of flux but there are many lessons to be learned and case studied to help others pick up or change to recover. There are still many organizations, neighborhoods, and individuals that have lots of work to do moving forward. The quality practices and professionals can do a lot to help, to be at the table to lift up and take action.

During this conference you will hear many examples of quality practices, methodologies and case studies that I hope you will take back to your organizations to help with recovery, regeneration and future success of your company and you.  A return to a state of normal, maybe, but more likely return to an improved state of healthy populations, businesses and ways of being more adaptable, innovative and having a stronger customer base that has developed with you.

Dr Gregory H Watson


Gregory H. Watson is Past-Chair and Honorary Member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and also the Past-Chair and Honorary Member of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ). He was elected a member of the International Statistical Institute and is a Fellow the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the World Productivity Council, and the Royal Statistical Society. Dr. Watson is on the Adjunct Faculty of Oklahoma State University in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and serves as Professor for the Summer Academy of the European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management. He received his doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University and is a registered European Engineer in both Industrial and Systems Engineering. Dr. Watson has been an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Software Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer, and Master Black Belt. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Organisation for Quality in 2001 and an Honorary Fellow in 2010. He is a Lifetime Member of the Asia-Pacific Quality Organization and has been awarded its Armand V. Feigenbaum Lifetime Achievement Medal and the Harrington-Ishikawa Medal. Dr. Watson may be reached at

Greg will speak on the topic of  “Digitalization: Stimulus for Reassessment, Rethinking, Refinement, or Revolution of the Quality Profession?”

More Information
Digitalization is a disruptive technology. It changes everything when it is implemented. Stock analysts view these investments and good for the future of the organization and management interprets them as productivity boosters. However, workers do not necessarily agree with these optimistic perspectives. Using digital technology can, without a doubt, increase the capability of an organization’s processes, reduce its inventory, increase its throughput, and create closer ties to markets and customers. But, at what cost is this accomplished? It is more than the acquisition cost of hardware, installation costs for embedding the hardware into the productive operations, software costs of programming custom algorithms or data management routines and interfaces to management reports – there is also the unintended, but consequential, costs in terms of the people who may be displaced, or disrupted. Not all workers will be able to transition to an evolved world of digital production. Some workers will not be capable of becoming technologically astute; others will not want to work in an automated environment and desire more “high-touch” types of work; and some will resent being forced to change. What will be the social impact of this disruption on workers, and in particular, on those engaged in the quality profession? The movement toward digitalization was accelerating in 2019 in the pre-COVID era; but now that acceleration is itself accelerating. The time to reflect, think, and decide what to do is NOW! We must act with urgency to determine how we want to control the future of quality before it is controlled by others for us!

Professor Nigel Grigg

New Zealand

Professor Nigel Grigg has been involved in quality management since 1987, with several quality roles in industry and almost 30 years as a lecturer, researcher, trainer and consultant.   Currently he is the Professor of Quality Systems at Massey University in New Zealand, and leads the Department of Operations and Engineering Innovation.  He is a Fellow of the UK CQI, a senior member of ASQ, a director and former president of the New Zealand Organisation for Quality, and an active supporter of the Australian Organisation for Quality.   Among other roles, he is the Associate Editor of the Routledge journal Total Quality Management and Business Excellence and is currently serving on the NZ national reference group to TC176 (ISO 9001).   A firm believer in the importance of work/life balance, he lives on a rural farm block in New Zealand, where he keeps bees, sheep and chickens.  His outside interests include tramping, fishing and music (as an avid bass player and guitarist).

Nigel will talk about the balance of value creation, risk management and cost control that represents a persistent core of quality management, and how focusing on these elements can help to manage quality within the disruptive and often chaotic contexts within which organisations and supply chains are currently operating.

I attended Qualcon in Sydney in 2016 and presented a 3-minute snippet, which was a great opportunity to get some presentation experience in a non-threatening environment. It was difficult to choose between all the excellent topics on offer, and the networking opportunities with other professionals who work in the quality space were so beneficial. I would highly recommend taking advantage of attending Qualcon…or better yet, presenting at Qualcon!

Sharon Manssen BE Hons (Natural Resources)

Quality, Environment and Sustainability, Aurecon

Presentation Information


Please refer to the Conference Program for updates and information.

APQO 26 / Qualcon 2021 Delegates will be provided with a foreword as part of their Conference Package outlining each speaker and their paper.

Presenters’ Papers and Presentations will be made available to APQO 26/ Qualcon 2021 Delegates at the beginning of the conference.

Presenters’ Papers and Presentations will be made available to the public 1 month after the conclusion of the conference.

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