David J. McClaskey

President, McClaskey Excellence Institute (formerly Pal’s Business Excellence Institute)

David McClaskey is an executive coach, consultant, conference presenter, trainer, and Baldrige expert and one of the few individuals to have the privilege of assisting seven companies to win eight Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards (about 6% of the total winners): K&N Management (2010); Poudre Valley Health Care (2008); University of Northern Colorado Monfort College of Business (2004); Pal’s Sudden Service (2001); OMI (2000); The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (1999 and 1992); and Eastman Chemical Company (1993).

His Baldrige track record is one of the best in the country. One hundred percent of the companies that have worked with David for 2 years or longer with the objective of winning the Baldrige Award, have won the Award.  He also assisted one company, Florida Power and Light, to be the first company outside of Japan to win Japan’s National Quality Award, the Deming Prize. He has helped companies to win four Level 4 Excellence Awards (highest level) of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. As well as assisted companies to win Baldrige-based State quality awards in Texas, Colorado, Mississippi, and Arkansas. David served as one of nine Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from 1999-2002. This is the panel of experts, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, which selects the national Baldrige winners.  In addition to having served as a Baldrige Judge, he has also served as a Judge for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (1993-1998; 2004-2009), a Judge for the State of Georgia Quality Award (1998-2003), and a Baldrige Examiner.

David played a key role in Baldrige history in 1988, when he was asked by the U.S. government to design and deliver the training for the very first Baldrige Board of Examiners, and thus became the world’s first Baldrige trainer.  At that time, David developed a lot of the Baldrige assessment, scoring, and training protocol that is still used today. He was a “leading contributor” to improvements in the 1989-91 Baldrige criteria. Since 1988, David has helped thousands of companies use Baldrige to improve to levels where they are Award winners at State and National levels. He has taught over 5,000 leaders in the U.S. and internationally how to understand and use the Baldrige criteria to improve.

From 2000-2019, David was co-founder (with Thom Crosby) and President of Pal’s Business Excellence Institute (Pal’s BEI). Each year almost 1000 leaders from all types of businesses come from all over the world to attend Institute courses to become extraordinary in operations excellence. Thousands also learn from David during his talks at conferences around the country. They learn how to improve their operations based on proven world-class performance excellence practices. In 2020, Pal’s BEI was re-branded McClaskey Excellence Institute.

In his over 45 years of consulting, David has worked with all types and sizes of organizations including health care, service, small businesses, government, manufacturing, education, and non-profit organizations and companies. He helps leaders use Operations Excellence, Baldrige, Lean, Customer Service, Lean Six Sigma, Strategic Planning, and other performance management tools to sustainably improve their management, work processes, and results.  Some of the organizations include: Poudre Valley Health System; Pal’s Sudden Service, Veterans Health Administration (national, and VA Healthcare Systems); Bristol TN Essential Services; RPM Pizza (largest Domino’s Pizza franchisee), The Restaurant Company (highest rated Arby’s franchisee); AT&T; City of Kingsport; Scott County Virginia, South Carolina State Government; U.S. Navy; United Way of Greater Kingsport; Sullivan County School Board; John Deere Health Care; Eastman Kodak; 3M; University of Northern Colorado; University of Tennessee; University of Florida; and Poudre School District.  David is a national instructor for the American Society for Quality (ASQ).  David is a Master Six Sigma Black Belt.

Prior to 2007, in addition to doing consulting, David worked for the 1993 Baldrige Award winning Eastman Chemical Company for 34 years as an internal Performance Excellence Consultant.  He was responsible for helping Eastman use Quality Management and Six Sigma to get results and trained their Six Sigma Black Belts.

Some of David’s recognitions include: State of Tennessee 2011 Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award presented annually to the person who has significantly contributed to help companies learn and apply performance excellence; 1998 recipient of American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) prestigious international E. L. Grant Award for the development and presentation of meritorious educational programs in quality management; 1993, Distinguished Service Award from the University of Florida’s College of Engineering; 1989, Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of Commerce for “outstanding service to the nation”.

David is a Fellow of both ASQ and the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)He is an ASQ-certified Quality Manager, Quality Engineer, Six Sigma Black Belt, and Quality Improvement Associate; is a licensed Professional Engineer; and has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee.  The University of Florida established the Leavenworth/McClaskey undergraduate scholarship in 1995. Also, East Tennessee State University established the Harley McClaskey Scholarship in 2011.