2022 Rookie of the Year

Nyrma Soffel

Every year the SPQA recognizes special examiners who have contributed greatly to the success of the Award Program. This peer recognition from team members and team leadership is delivered through three special awards: Above and Beyond Award, Rookie of the Year Award, and Examiner of the Year.

The Rookie of the Year recognition is awarded to first year examiners who demonstrate active participation in team activities, collaboration with other team members, enthusiasm, initiative, professionalism, growth in their understanding of the criteria, and quality work. As a volunteer examiner, the learning curve is great and this recipient, Nyrma Soffel, demonstrated great commitment and dedication to the process as a new examiner this year.

Nyrma Soffel


What encouraged/ motivated you to apply and become an SPQA Baldrige Examiner this past year?  

I participated as an SPQA Examiner in 2022 and wanted to build on my previous experience. Every applicant provides a new opportunity to learn and understand the Baldrige Framework.

Being an Examiner for the SPQA is a significant time commitment, how have you been able to successfully juggle and meet the examiner requirements while maintaining good work/life balance?

I made sure to work on the application daily in small increments throughout the day. I was able to see progress without feeling overwhelmed.

Why should an organization choose to use the Baldrige Criteria for Excellence to drive improvement?

The Baldrige Criteria for Excellence is unique because it is not prescriptive. It does not require big changes in operations. It does not require the implementation of new processes. The beauty of the Criteria is that it helps organizations do a comprehensive review of their organization by asking the questions that can often be overlooked. Any improvements that are made as a result of this comprehensive review are rooted in the organization’s priorities and values, and build on their current strengths and weaknesses.

What have you learned about yourself while being an SPQA Baldrige Examiner?

I have learned that just like organizational excellence takes time, so does personal excellence. Excellence is in the journey: continuously learning, being open to new ideas, trying new things, and moving steadily forward.