James Cupello, Ph.D.

James Cupello, Ph.D.

Sole Proprietor & Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Mr. Cupello is a quality management expert and Six Sigma Master Black Belt.  He has a 30-year record of maximizing quality and productivity in industry, government, and academia and over 15 years of experience deploying process excellence and Lean Six Sigma.  His areas of expertise include transactional and manufacturing Lean Six Sigma, strategic planning, market research, research and development, new product development, and linking team efforts to strategic goals.  He is nationally certified in transactional error-proofing and is proficient at analyzing complex, persistent problems and promoting effective solutions to management.  In addition, he is certified by the American Society for Quality as a Six Sigma Black Belt and was designated as a Certified Lean Implementer by a Lean sensei at the World Instructor Training Schools.

Mr. Cupello’s employment history includes executive leadership positions in a variety of fields including banking, aerospace, education, finance and R&D.  As director of Quality Assurance for Alliance Bernstein Investor Services in San Antonio, he worked with experts at Idaho National Laboratory, the Practicing Perfection Institute, and the Department of Energy to develop a 10-hour course on cognitive error-proofing that was rated outstanding.  His achievements also include chartering and leading a Six Sigma project team to reduce internal errors in the firm’s largest mutual fund product, from which more than 25 key improvements were identified and implemented.

Previously he served as executive director (Six Sigma) at Clarke American in San Antonio, Texas.  His achievements included saving $300K using statistical process control in operations; designing a statistical experiment (which saved $60K in consulting fees) to assess the impact of inexpensive laser printers on the magnetic ink-line of check products, and applying data mining to a production database to reveal the true source of an issue of meeting a major customer’s cycle time demands.

Earlier positions in San Antonio included Vice President of Quality & Productivity at Bank of America, president of Quality Engineering Associates, senior statistical advisor at the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Laboratory Director of Total Quality Management (TQM) at Armstrong Laboratory, Brooks Air Force Base.

At Thiokol Corporation Space Division in Brigham City, Utah, Mr. Cupello held several management positions of increasing responsibility.  Prior to joining Thiokol, he served as assistant professor and director of the Small Business Institute at Utah State University and taught graduate courses in research design and statistical methods to Thesis students.  Previously he was Technical Director, and Manager of Research and Development at Nutrilite Products, Inc. in Buena Park, California.  Earlier in his career, he served as a research biophysicist and project manager for the U.S. Air Force.

A distinguished writer, Mr. Cupello has over 60 publications (many in refereed journals) and presentations to his name.  In 2001 he co-authored the second major book on Six Sigma, Managing Six Sigma (John Wiley & Sons).  A sought-after speaker on quality, Six Sigma, business strategy, emergency preparedness, and other topics, Mr. Cupello is known for his ability to make complex ideas easily understandable.


Ph.D. in Radiation Biophysics, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Executive MBA graduate, School of Management and Strategic Studies, La Jolla, CA
MBA in Marketing (with Honors), University of California, Riverside, CA
M.S. in Environmental Science / Health Physics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
B.S. in Basic Sciences, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO