Bachelor of Science in Business, 1997
Debbie Collard has spent her life pursuing excellence and now she’s sharing her management
wisdom so organizations can do the same in her book titled “The Making of a World-Class Organization.”
Written with her former colleague David Spong, the book reveals the “silver bullets” they implemented at the Boeing Company that garnered them two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards. The prestigious Baldrige Award, established by Congress in 1987 to recognize organizational excellence, is presented to recipients by the President of the United States. To date, Debbie and David are the only two people in the world to win two Baldrige Awards in two different areas.
Debbie has been with Boeing, the world's leading aerospace company, for 24 years. She earned her first Baldrige Award in 1998 for her work with the company’s airlift and tanker division. Tasked with transforming the flagging business unit to prevent closure and job cuts, she applied the criteria for the Baldrige Award to airlift and tankers. This systematic approach engages leaders and integrates people and processes to increase performance in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus and process management and results. The endeavor was a success and the business unit and jobs were saved. She was then tasked with applying the same methods to a well-performing unit, the aerospace support program. Her repeated success earned her a second Baldrige Award.
Debbie hasn’t ruled out writing another book someday and is contemplating returning to school for her doctoral degree. She remains strong in her belief that education has helped to further her career. After high school, Debbie joined the Air Force where she gained self-discipline, confidence and a drive to succeed. She later earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Phoenix while having a full-time job and raising two young children.
“Never stop learning,” advises Debbie. “It keeps us fresh and opens doors for us. There is no end to what you can do.”