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Technology, education theme of Excellence in Mississippi conference

Simply the best

Everything from workshops on managing conflict in the workplace to new quality standards will be discussed at the Excellence in Mississippi conference, themed “T.E.A.M. Mississippi, Technology and Education Advancing Mississippi,” which is scheduled March 16-17 at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.

“The conference provides a forum for networking and sharing ways you can improve your business,” said Larry Bloodsworth with Litton Data Systems in Ocean Springs. “This is about businesses and state agencies helping Mississippi businesses improve themselves with some low-cost education.”

More than 400 people are expected to participate in the conference. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss) will be the guest speaker for lunch Thursday, March 16. A panel Friday morning will include representatives from Ingalls Shipbuilding, Keesler Air Force Base and the Naval Oceanographic Command at Stennis Space Center discussing how they are using new technologies to educate their workforce and customers.

Excellence in Mississippi is a non-profit organization founded 15 years ago to improve the understanding and acceptance of quality principles by Mississippi organizations.

A session will be held all day Thursday on the Mississippi Quality Award Program. The session will provide an overview of the program, discuss the benefits of participation and explain the value of examiner involvement. In addition, by incorporating sections of an actual case study, participants will gain insight into conducting a self assessment, writing an application and learn how the Baldridge National Quality Award criteria supports overall organizational alignment. Representatives from past award-winning companies will share lessons they have learned regarding performance excellence.

The meeting will also include the 5th Mississippi Quality Awards Ceremony.

Workshops on Thursday and Friday will cover a wide range of topics. Carolyn Thompson with Training Systems Inc. will give presentations on “The Power of Getting Back to the Positive” and “Managing People Conflicts.” Thompson said it is important to quickly and skillfully handle people conflicts in an organization in order to provide the quality products and services that customers expect. The session is designed to pinpoint behaviors, manage by benefits, plan for effective resolution, reduce sources of conflict, structure profitable “gripe” sessions and help others learn how to handle conflict.

Thompson will also give a workshop on stress management. She says everyone has and needs stress, but it is important to determine optimal stress levels and learn techniques for managing stress.

Jim Payne, Ph.D., University of Mississippi, will do a workshop on his PeopleWise Management and PeopleWise Self Analysis. The management workshop teaches state-of-the-art management and motivation techniques that can help participants learn how to be more effective with customers, employees, friends and others. The PeopleWise Self Analysis workshop provides participants with the opportunity to maximize performance by determining their preferred concentration and focus method for improvement, and the relationship between the activation of the mind to time management and physical skill development.

Scott J. Simmerman, Ph.D., Performance Management Company, will give a workshop titled “Coaching the Caterpillar to Fly” that includes techniques for engaging creative energies in defining issues and opportunities for a team of people trying to move forward. Simmerman will also give another workshop on “Practical Tips for Using the Internet for Training and Development” that will focus on existing resources to gain access to information, and share ways to identify and utilize free Internet resources. This workshop is expected to be of particular interest to training businesses interested in using the Net to market their businesses in the future.

Other workshop topics and presenters include:

• Fact or Fiction (documenting worker attitudes), and Working with People to Obtain Their Commitment, Dorman S. Conklin, Employee Development Services.

• ISO 9001:2000, The Next Generation Quality Standard, The “Evolution” of Quality and the TEAM-Approach Workplace, Jim Collins, Team Development Associates.

• Design Your Future—Linking Business Strategy to Daily Operations, Harold Kay, Hayrold Kay & Associates.

• Introduction to Lean Manufacturing, Jamey Beard, Stanley Doors.

• Mississippi Quality Award program. Duane Hamill, State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, will give an overview of the Mississippi Quality Award program, discuss the benefits of participation and the value of examiner involvement. The Mississippi Quality Award was established by the Mississippi Community and Junior Colleges Workforce Training Centers for Mississippi organizations that wish to share in the value, training and achievements associated with the application of continuous improvement principles in order to better serve customers and stakeholders. The award criteria present a guideline for companies or institutions to assess their capabilities and achievements toward achieving performance excellence.

Sponsors of the conference include Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Double G Coatings, Entergy Operations, Harold Kay & Associates, Hol-Mac Corp., Heatcraft Inc., Lab Volt Systems, Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Litton System Inc., Data Systems Division, Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development, Bill Barnett, South Quality Group-Powerway Distributor, Modern Line Products/MTD, Nick Clark Printing, University of Mississippi, Tupelo, and Weyerhaeuser.

For more information on the conference, visit the Web site www.exinms.org or call Duane Hamill at (601) 982-6349.

Contact MBJ staff writer Becky Gillette at mullein@datasync.com or (228) 872-3457.

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