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The Official Baldrige Blog

Leadership Practices of 2016 Baldrige Award Recipients: Momentum Group

head shot of Roger Arciniega

 Roger Arciniega; photo used with permission

During the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program’s 29th Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference this week, national role models in every sector showcased their best practices.

Following is the last of four blogs on the leadership presentations of the 2016 Baldrige Award recipients (in order of publication): Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital (health care), Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center–Mountain Valley (health care), Don Chalmers Ford (small business), and Momentum Group (small business).

Momentum Group

Momentum Group President and CEO Roger Arciniega shared that he joined the small business, which is headquartered in California, in 1998. With an organizational vision to be the undisputed leader in innovative and sustainable contract textiles,” Momentum Group, he explained, is in the business of developing fabrics used in upholstery for furniture in commercial office settings as well as in health care settings for patients and their families. (Its three key customer groups and markets are business, health care, and hospitality organizations.)

The company’s mission is to “create textiles that inspire and equip our customers to execute great work for their clients. We are individually and collectively committed to superior service and operational excellence,” said Arciniega.

In light of Momentum Group’s consistent growth, Arciniega said, “Really I think our core competency is planning our growth and growing our plan.” The company currently has 157 employees and boasts high retention, with an average employee tenure of 10 years.

It implemented a program of continuous improvement based on the Baldrige framework in 1991, according to Arciniega. In 2015, it earned its state-level Baldrige-based Eureka Award.

According to Arciniega, Momentum Group’s “Secret Sauce” for success is composed of continuous improvement, employees sharing in its success (profit sharing), and a culture of core values. Those core values form the acronym FABRIC, as follows:

  • Fairness, honesty and respect in all interactions
  • Advancing, developing, and hiring for employee excellence
  • Bettering the world around us
  • Reducing difficulties experienced by our customers
  • Increasing shareholder value
  • Continuous improvement of our products and services

Arciniega highlighted several “fundamental” practices of Momentum Group, including behavioral interviewing, six core work processes, five support processes, strategic planning, a focus on organizational learning, and recognition and rewards for employees. Behavioral interviewing, he said, is “based on what people have done in the past rather than their opinions—a key building block to assembling high-performing team.”

Momentum Group’s six core processes include product development, sample management, sales, inventory management, inside sales, and order filling. “These are the processes that customers judge us by,” said Arciniega. The five support processes encompass marketing, credit, information, accounting, technology, and human resources.

As part of its strategic planning process, Momentum Group conducts an annual analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that is holistic, Arciniega said. In relation to Momentum Group’s commitment to being a learning organization, Arciniega said, “a key part of innovation is having people learn new things in a structured way.”

The company has developed an internal Baldrige Award program through which each division writes a 15-page Baldrige application. Momentum developed this process after benchmarking another high-performing company, he said. The applications respond to the Baldrige Excellence Framework’s performance assessment questions and are scored by a third‐party national Baldrige examiner.

Other Momentum Group practices related to being a learning organization include its new-employee orientation, learning plans, company‐wide training, core and support process learning, leadership learning, and employee recognition for continuous improvement. Momentum Group’s comprehensive employee recognition program provides rewards at the company level, across work groups, for action teams, and for individuals.

Arciniega also highlighted Momentum Group’s strong results for engaged employees, loyal customers, and sustainable performance.

For more details, see the Momentum Group profile on the Baldrige website.



About the author

Christine Schaefer

Christine Schaefer is a longtime staff member of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). Her work has focused on producing BPEP publications and communications. She also has been highly involved in the Baldrige Award process, Baldrige examiner training, and other offerings of the program.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar and a double major, receiving highest distinction for her thesis in the interdisciplinary Political & Social Thought Program. She also has a master's degree from Georgetown University, where her studies and thesis focused on social and public policy issues. 

When not working, she sits in traffic in one of the most congested regions of the country, receives consolation from her rescued beagles, writes poetry, practices hot yoga, and tries to cultivate a foundation for three kids to direct their own lifelong learning (and to PLEASE STOP YELLING at each other—after all, we'll never end wars if we can't even make peace at home!).

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