Pinnacle Partners Inc

Continual Improvement System
Pinnacle Partners East, LLC 3530 Talahi Drive Knoxville 37919 Knoxville,
Phone: (865) 310-2973


Professional Qualifications

Dr. Sophronia Ward is a statistician specializing in Continual Process Improvement. Since 1981, she has engaged in consulting, coaching, facilitating and training with all levels of organizations in the U.S. as well as Central and South America, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Dr. Ward has a Ph.D. in statistics and taught statistics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she was one of four founders of The Institute of Productivity Through Quality. The Institute was dedicated to bringing the philosophy, insights and methodologies of process improvement developed by Dr. Walter A. Shewhart and Dr. W. Edwards Deming to a wider audience. Today, she integrates the techniques and methodologies of Statistical Process Control (SPC) with Six Sigma and Lean to improve the quality of a company’s products and services.
Dr. Ward has experience in team facilitation and leadership and is certified in SYMLOGTM and the Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorTM. Dr. Ward’s publications include SPC: Getting Started, a monthly column called “Brain Teasers” which led to the book Quality Brain Teasers: Real-World Challenges to Build your Manufacturing Skills (Volume 1). She co-authored Using Lean for Faster Six Sigma Results: A synchronized Approach and a chapter in The Manufacturing Engineering Handbook. She is a member of the American Statistical Association, The Biometric Society, The American Society of Quality and The Association of Psychological Type.

Highlights of Work Experience

  • Designed and conducted customized training programs on process management and improvement for clients in manufacturing, healthcare, insurance and telecommunications
  • Coached numerous project teams to achieve successful results with process improvement
  • Created customized courses in the Design of Experiments and participated in the design, conducting and analysis of experiments for a large paint company and a large winery.
  • Facilitated the implementation of continual process improvement techniques in manufacturing and service companies.
  • Created customized Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma courses. Collectively projects from several classes returned improvements between $3 million and $20 million.
  • Designed and delivered specialized courses, ranging from one to five days for multiple levels in several medical environments.
  • Delivered the keynote address and a specialized tutorial for the Motorola Software Engineering Symposium in 1999 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Delivered a customized workshop 3 times for Quality Expo entitled, “Evaluating Your Measurement System.”
  • Presented a session at Quality Expo 2003 entitled, “Work Smarter, Not Harder: Getting Your Company from Good to Great.”
  • Designed and delivered training programs on continual improvement for clients in Mexico, Chili, and Venezuela.
  • Designed a user-friendly SPC software package used by numerous clients.

Work History:

2016 – present Pinnacle Partners East, LLC President and Owner
2001 – 2016 Pinnacle Partners East, LLC President, Managing Partner, Senior Consultant, MBB
1992 – 2001 Award Quality Consulting Consulting Statistician
1984 – 1992 Tennessee Associates International Director, Consulting Services Senior Consultant
1981 – 1985 University of Tennessee Knoxville Founder, Lead Consultant and Trainer, The Institute for Productivity through Quality
1977 – 1984 University of Tennessee Knoxville Assistant Professor of Statistics

Dr. Sophronia (Frony) Ward is President and Owner of Pinnacle Partners East, LLC. She is a statistician and Continual Improvement Expert who specializes in integrating the techniques of Statistical Process Control, Six Sigma and Lean. Through training, consulting, and coaching she guides clients along the path to continual improvement while simultaneously mentoring their own employees to lead the work.

Dr. Ward is also experienced in leadership development and facilitation as well as team training and facilitation. Her work in these areas has been with client companies as well as with Unitarian Universalist Churches. She was Dean of the UU Leadership School at the Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in Highlands, NC and provides leadership workshops in the Knoxville area.

She is one of four founders of the internationally recognized Institute for Productivity through Quality at the University of Tennessee. In 1984 she joined a major consulting firm as a Senior Consultant and Director of Consulting Services. She was instrumental in the design of a highly successful three-week seminar in the USA, Mexico, and Venezuela. She also helped to design a successful Design of Experiments seminar.

Dr. Ward bases her approach upon the philosophy, insights, and methodologies created by Walter A. Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming. She has over 35 years of experience applying statistical methods to management, production, service, and research areas working with every level of personnel. Since 1981, she has consulted with numerous automotive, government, glass, chemical, paint, healthcare, telecommunications, and food companies in the implementation of quality management and tools for continual improvement. In particular she has been a lead consultant and/or trainer with Harley Davidson, IBM Corporation, McAlester Army Ammunition Depot, Northrup-Grumann, PPG, NASA, Corning Glass, Dow Chemical, Scripps Health, Ford Glass, Social Security Administration, Pall Corporation, Alpha Industries, Chinet Company, Novant Healthcare, Metzeler Automotive Profile Systems, Lagoven, Blitz Corporation, Copeland Corporation, Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, IMSS in Mexico, Gallo Glass, Disputada, Labinal, Gallo Winery, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, IRS, Gold’n Plump, Republic Paper, MacSteel, BellSouth, etc. In addition to her classes in the United States, she has taught classes and provided consulting services in Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Thailand, France, Australia, and South Africa.

Her consulting experience includes multi-year engagements with Corning Glass, PPG, Anchor Glass and Gallo Glass and Winery. She currently is or has provided training and coaching for Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma in over 50 different companies in 5 countries. She has trained Black Belts, Green Belts and Master Black Belts in both manufacturing industries (to include transactional areas) as well as in service industries. A recent group of twenty Lean Six Sigma Black Belts who received her training and coaching on their first projects showed cumulative bottom- and top-line results of over $20 million on their first pilot Six Sigma projects!

Dr. Ward has developed the popular workshop and workbook, SPC: Getting Started and co-developed the curriculum and course materials for the seminar, Perfecting Continual Improvement Skills. She has designed the popular SPC software package, improvit. In addition, she was a featured monthly columnist for Quality magazine under her headline, formerly titled, “Sophronia’s Solutions”, then titled “Brain Teasers”. This column was identified as the “most read” column for the magazine. Because of its popularity, Quality magazine published the book, Brain Teasers: Real-World Challenges to Build your Manufacturing Skills (Volume 1). She is also a featured contributing columnist to the magazine on subjects concerning Six Sigma and Lean Management. She has co-authored a chapter on “Six Sigma and Lean Implementation” in the McGraw- Hill published Fall 2004, The Manufacturing Engineering Handbook (2nd edition to be released in 2014). She has also co-authored a book, Using Lean for Faster Six Sigma Results: A Synchronized Approach, which was released, July 2006, from Productivity Press.

She is known for her presentations and workshops for quality and improvement groups throughout the nation. She provided the keynote address for the Motorola Software Engineering Symposium in 1999 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and was invited for three consecutive years to provide a customized workshop for Quality Expo entitled, “Evaluating Your Measurement System”. She also presented a session at Quality Expo 2003 based upon Jim Collins book, Good to Great, entitled, “Work Smarter, Not Harder: Getting Your Company from Good to Great.” She served as the keynote speaker for Copeland Corporation’s (a division of Emerson Corporation) International Quality Conference in 2004.

Dr. Ward received her B.S. in statistics for North Carolina State University and her Ph.D. in statistics from Virginia Tech. She was a professor at the University of Tennessee until 1984. She is a member of the American Statistical Association, the Biometric Society, the Association for Psychological Type and a Senior Member of American Society for Quality. She has her certification in Myers-Brigg Type Indicator™ and SYMLOG™ (a team dynamics survey instrument).

Consulting Specialties:
  • Coaching Teams on Improvement Projects
  • Designing Experiments for Projects
  • Designing Data Collection Plans for Process Monitoring
  • Coaching on Effective Presentations using Data and Data Analyses
Specialized Training Classes:
  • Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma
    • Master Black Belt
    • Black Belt
    • Green Belt
  • Using Statistical Process Control to Understand Process Behavior
  • Statistical Process Control for Managers
  • Team Training and Facilitation
  • Team Facilitation
  • Understanding Variation
  • Building Continual Improvement: SPC for Service and Administrative
  • SPC: Getting Started
  • Design of Experiments
  • Measurement Process Analysis/Gauge R&R Analysis