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Performance Excellence Network recognizes six organizations

The Performance Excellence Network (PEN) honors six recipients of the 2019 Performance Excellence Award.  The Award is based on the Baldrige Framework and is the culmination of a rigorous evaluation of an organization’s management and performance system.  The evaluation criteria consider leadership, strategic planning, customer-related processes, measurement and knowledge management, workforce, and operations, and recognize organizations that are systematically improving results.

The organizations receiving the Award are: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Excellence Level); Austin Public Schools (Austin, Achievement Level); Walden University School of Management (Minneapolis, Advancement Level); Benedictine (Duluth, Commitment Level); Huberty Performance Learning LLC (Minneapolis, Commitment Level); and Seagate Technology (Bloomington, Commitment Level).  There have been 146 organizations recognized since 1991 by this program.

These organizations were featured at PENworks 2020, an online conference held yesterday.  The Awards were presented during a ceremony attended by nearly 400 local leaders from across the region.

There were two unique circumstances this year: Huberty Performance Learning LLC, a one-person management consulting firm, became the first sole proprietorship to receive one of PEN’s awards, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was the first state agency in Minnesota to receive PEN’s top level award.

“Congratulations to the six organizations recognized today,” said Governor Tim Walz.  “With today’s challenges, it’s critical for us to not only continue to invest in ourselves and our organizations, but to work harder at it.  The challenges related to the pandemic, the economic fallout, social inequalities, and social unrest make it imperative that all of us focus on what’s important and invest in the things that will make us better and stronger as a community.”

The conference featured more than 20 local, regional, and national speakers from all types of organizations, each sharing best practices and methods to improve leadership, customer focus, workforce engagement and capability, and operational effectiveness.  Seven of the speakers were keynotes, four representing current Baldrige Award recipient organizations, the nation’s highest performing organizations: Mara Bryant, Operations Executive with Adventist Health White Memorial (Los Angeles, CA); Brian Collins, Executive Director of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (Chicago, IL); Brian Dieter, President/CEO of Mary Greeley Medical Center (Ames, IA); and Dr. Mecca Salahuddin, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Performance Excellence at the Alamo Colleges District (San Antonio, TX).

The other three keynotes each shared methods for leaders to build a culture that encourages excellence, help their teams manage stress and maintain resilience, and make better decisions to navigate today’s challenges: PJ Fleck (Head Football Coach, Minnesota Gophers), Cindra Kamphoff, and Theater of Public Policy.