Well, that was quick. Just hours after publishing an article on how US TAG 176 Chair Paul Palmes went AWOL, I learned that Boeing’s Alan Daniels was elected the new Chair, in a silent and very, very quiet election that no one outside of the TAG even knew happened. Even my usual spies didn’t clue me in.

The election of Daniels is an important course correction for the TAG, and proves that sometimes cheaters actually lose. Palmes was elected after manipulation by former Chair Alka Jarvis, who approached Palmes in front of witnesses and personally asked him to run; not wanting to appear to be rigging the results, Palmes and Jarvis agreed that Palmes would nominate himself. Jarvis forgot to tell the membership that she was already underway writing a book on ISO 9001 with Palmes, he secret co-author. Meanwhile, the membership¬†had nominated Daniels to run, but the “nominating committee” led by Jarvis and supported by consultant Lorri Hunt maneuvered to have Daniels’ name kept off the ballot entirely. To no one’s surprise, Palmes got elected, and Palmes and Jarvis immediately began promoting their book by invoking their Chair credentials. Ka-ching!

But Palmes was never the right guy for the job, being largely a toady for the prior Jack West / Alka Jarvis leadership, and barely able to form a coherent sentence. The fact that he lied on his resume by adding 20+ years of experience he didn’t actually have, well, that didn’t help. Worse, the fact that Oxebridge reported on it, resulting in Palmes coordinating vicious defamation attacks against me and my family alongside certificate mill operator Daryl Guberman. If you recall, Palmes was recorded (by Guberman) as promising to provide dirt on me to Guberman, who then published a series of videos accusing me of all sorts of crimes. Palmes owns that now. Guberman and his pals now face a Federal lawsuit for defamation, fraud, wiretapping and other charges; Palmes may get called in as a witness.

Perhaps it was too much — the public outing of his resume padding and the leak of his recorded voice mails — but Palmes quit. It’s likely that Daniels was once again the only name on the ballot — the TAG likes to have elections where your choice is “Candidate A” or “shut up and don’t vote, then” — but at least Daniels has the momentum of having been the first candidate to have been nominated by the actual membership in literally decades. The three prior Chairs – West, Jarvis and Palmes – all got their positions by dubious means.

Worse for the TAG is that Daniels isn’t overtly hostile to Oxebridge, a position that seemed to be a requirement for anyone running for the position. Perhaps this will open up doors. Perhaps not. But at least the possibility is there, whereas with the usual West clique, it was always a non-starter.

What this shows, however, is that the public perception and pressure matter, and they work to oust bad actors who operate from bad intentions. Palmes never deserved his position, and fortunately, he didn’t screw anything up while he held it, however briefly. But having a resume padder and serial fibber as the TAG Chair was never going to work.

It makes Palmes the shortest-reigning TAG Chair ever, with his two predecessors having served nine years each. The Chair prior to West held a shorter reign, but only because¬†he up and died. It also marks the first time a TAG Chair was unable to convert the gig into a meaningful side job; West used the position to become ostensibly the world’s most famous ISO 9001 consultant, for example.

This also marks the first time the TAG wasn’t run by someone from the “consultant class.” West and Palmes are both long-term consultants, and Jarvis was essentially one, even if she claimed employment by Cisco. Daniels has no such aspirations — yet — although having Boeing at the helm of TAG 176 does give me pause. They are pushing the disastrous AS9100 scheme, after all, which is constantly being debunked as useless by folks such as, you know, the US Department of Defense.

So let’s see if Daniels can achieve what decades of prior TAG Chairs couldn’t: a restoration of dignity and respect to the TAG, and an ousting of the consultant class that has screwed things up so astonishingly since the 1980’s.

First order of business: get Lorri Hunt the hell out of there, and force ASQ to provide a new administrative secretary to replace the toxic Jennifer Admussen. Just sayin’, since we seem to be on a roll purging the bad actors.

So, once again, world: you’re welcome. If Oxebridge hadn’t reported on the TAG misbehavior, we might have been stuck with an entrenched consultant-led leadership for another 15 years.

About Christopher Paris

Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.