A2LA Today l June 2017 l Number 135
By Trace McInturff, A2LA Senior Director, Accreditation Services
The 2017 A2LA Assessor of the Year award was presented to Mr. John Knicely on April 1, 2017. Previously the Lab Manager for Banks Brothers Corporation, located in Hagerstown, MD, John has extensive background in testing of rubber, foam, plastic and adhesive for the automotive industry.
John has been a lead ISO/IEC 17025 assessor for A2LA for 19 years, performing over 530 laboratory assessments. Aside from conducting numerous lead, solo, and team assessments for A2LA, he is also a member of A2LA’s Accreditation Council, is Past Chair of the A2LA Materials Testing Advisory Committee (MTAC), and is currently the Chair of the A2LA Assessor Committee.
John has been a tremendous advocate over the years not only to A2LA, but to our young staff and to the labs he has assessed as well. He has also been an excellent mentor to several new assessors in his technical area that we have brought into the Assessor Corps over the years. Those assessors are why he was chosen this year as the 2017 A2LA Assessors Choice Award recipient.
We reached out to the Assessor Corps for their input into who is deserving of this award and received replies from three assessors.
When I was employed in the lab, he assessed our lab four times from 1999 through 2013. He helped to shape the beginning of the quality aspect of my career. He was a welcomed assessor and being assessed by him was always a pleasant experience. His arguments were fair, calm and persuasive and I learned a lot. At his core, he cares deeply about quality and even more about the people.
As an assessor, I have learned even more. He has been one of my mentors in the polymers and rubber group of assessors. He made me feel welcomed as a new assessor. When he was the assessor on the previous assessment, I know immediately that the assessment was thorough and complete and that the deficiencies were well-defined and accurate. When I bring up his name at an assessment, every lab has been happy with his performance as an assessor. I have a sense of pride representing A2LA after the lab’s glowing words about him.
And as an AC member I have reviewed several of his assessments and I see more evidence of the thoroughness and accuracy of his assessments.
He is an active member of the MTAC group and frequently speaks out and helps shape the outcome of the group. Similarly, he also actively speaks at the assessors meetings benefiting all assessors. His name only partially describes him as an assessor. He is truly a nice guy and great to talk with. He makes anyone he assesses feel at ease and comfortable. But more importantly, he is highly technical and has a truly broad scope of expertise.
I have teamed with him on several assessments and continue to marvel at his detailed knowledge of testing. I can’t imagine knowing the details of as many test methods as he does. While on at least 2 of our team assessments, he has taken time from his evening to help the labs in reorganizing the Scope and suggesting methods that will add to the efficiency and effectiveness of the lab. There is no better assessor out there and he has been my role model.
But what’s more important is how lab’s look at him. I have followed him on numerous assessments as well as being on some assessments with him and the one point everybody makes about him is “he is such a nice guy.” With that comment I always reply, “of course, it fits his name, John “Nicely”, Mr. Nice guy.”
The plaque presented to John read:
In recognition of the professional and pleasant manner he exudes in representing A2LA; his deep care of the quality and the people in which he assesses; and his outstanding volunteer contributions to the Association.
Congratulations, John, on this well-earned recognition!