About Us

Mission:  To effectively coach each client towards achieving higher levels of performance, every day for every customer (patient, learner)

Management Consulting and CoachingVision:  For every client to achieve role model performance


- Integrity
- Passion
- Excellence
- Commitment
- Discipline
- Partnership
- Service

Our Performance Excellence consultants and coaches are trained National and State Baldrige Examiners with extensive depth and expertise in helping organizations obtain National Site Visit and Award recognition both at the State and National Levels. Each member of team brings a significant level of expertise in process management and improvement methodologies including Lean, Six Sigma, and ISO.   Our coaches have health care, education, and manufacturing backgrounds and are ready to help you achieve greater levels of performance excellence.


Pat Lapekas—President and Senior Consultant

Pat Lapekas leads her consulting firm, Lapekas & Associates.  The firm is focused on providing organizations with expertise, knowledge and resources in Performance Excellence, the Baldrige criteria, lean six sigma, strategic planning, and process management and improvement methodologies.  She serves as an alumni examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Process, mentor for the Washington State Quality Award, and a Judge for North Carolina Award for Excellence process.  Lapekas has served as a national and state examiner for the past 14 years. In the past few years, she has provided guidance to fourteen (14) healthcare systems and hospitals, related to the Baldrige award application process, ten (10) hospitals for state quality award applications, one (1) medical school, and two (2) academic health systems. She has provided Baldrige consulting services to numerous non‐healthcare entities as well.

Pat has more than 27 years of health care and process improvement experience and is an ASQ certified lean six-sigma black belt, an ASQ certified manager of quality/performance excellence, and an ASCP certified medical technologist.   In her previous role, Pat led the process management and improvement efforts at Premier, Inc. Under her leadership, Premier initiated Lean Six Sigma in 2005 to supplement its existing process management and improvement training for employees.  From 2001 through 2007, Lapekas provided leadership and consulting for Premier’s performance excellence journey; culminating in Premier receiving the 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Pat earned a master’s degree in health administration from St. Louis University and a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Michigan State University.


Deb Manzo—Senior Consultant

Dr. Deborah Rose Manzo is the Clinical Professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).

Dr. Manzo has extensive experience in organizational development and continuous improvement across all sectors. Dr. Manzo is the Director for the North Carolina Baldrige Program. She has served as a Baldrige Judge. Dr. Manzo provides coaching and instruction in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer & market focus, workforce development, process & knowledge management, and analysis of results. Dr. Manzo has been a National Baldrige Senior Alumni Examiner with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) since 1999. She has 27 years experience in working with organizations focused on leadership and change management. She is also a Clinical Professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).

Dr. Manzo received her doctorate from Columbia University in leadership and administration; her master’s degree, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma State University; and a master’s degree from NOVA Southeastern University.

She is a master trainer in Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, ASQ Teams, Thinking Maps; Covey-7 Habits; Professional Learning Communities; and Facilitative Leadership. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and is an certified ISO auditor.