After more than half a century of finding their place in the field of quality, women will now finally be given recognition for quality leadership. Expected to be the first world award specifically for women quality professionals, the MMG Medal was awarded to Prof. Tang Xiofen of Shanghai, China. Prof. Tang is well-known internationally for her leadership in quality development of Shanghai and in sharing these efforts to the rest of the world. Among many nominees for the award, it was Prof. Tang who received the highest points of the criteria set by the Board of Judges. She is currently the President of Shanghai Association for Quality and the Vice President of the Shanghai Academy for Quality Management. She received the MMG Medal award at the 13th Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO) Conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 27-28, 2005. The MMG Medal is an award bestowed on Women Professionals for their internationally recognized excellence in quality advocacy and practice.
The MMG Medal was designed to honor Dr. Miflora Minoza-Gatchalian (MMG), who is the APQO Secretary General Emeritus under whose leadership the APQO was conceived in the Philippines in 1981 and its charter approved in 1985 in Beijing China. In 1981, Dr. Gatchalian, as President of the Philippine Society for Quality, Inc (PSQ, Inc), led the first International Quality Conference in the Philippines. This was supported by UNIDO through the Department of Trade and Industry and the Productivity and Development Center. There were fifteen countries from the Asia Pacific region that attended the Conference and they unanimously approved the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee, Chaired by Dr. Gatchalian to pursue the Creation of the Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO). With the support of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) under the leadership of Dr. James Harrington and the late General Walt L. Hurd, the APQO Constitution was drafted in Mexico in 1983 during the second International Quality Conference. This was hosted by the late Senor Agapito Gonzalez Hernandez, who was then President of the Mexican Institute for Quality (IMECCA). Then through the efforts of Dr. Yuanzhang Liu, the third International Quality Conference was held in Beijing, China in 1985. This is a historic event as this was also the first time that China opened its doors to the outside world.
Thirteen Asia Pacific countries approved the APQO Charter and from then on with Dr. Gatchalian as Secretary General, the member countries rotated the hosting of the biennial and later annual APQO Conferences. After the death of General Walter L Hurd, the Walt L. Hurd Foundation (WLHF) was formed to honor a man whose support for APQO enabled the organization to survive all these years. The APQO Core Council members under the WLHF created the MMG Medal Award to honor Dr. Gatchalian when she retired as APQO Secretary General after almost 20 years of voluntary service.
During these years Dr. Gatchalian published quality articles and books and traveled internationally in an effort to promote women’s involvement in quality. Such efforts was also recognized by ASQ and Dr. Gatchalian was awarded ASQ’s Jack Lancaster Award a recognition for international quality achievements, She was the first woman and first Asian to receive such an award.
APQO is now inviting nominations to the MMG Medal. The criteria for candidature can be obtained from the APQO Secretariat at email address in the care of current APQO Secretary General Ms. Victoria Vallestero former President of Quality Improvement Circles of the Philippines and current member of the PSQ Board of Trustees .