President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans today announced seven organizations as recipients of the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest honor for quality and performance excellence. This is the most Baldrige Award recipients since the program started in 1988 and the first time that recipients were named in all five Baldrige Award categories.
The 2003 Baldrige Award recipients are:
"I am pleased to join President Bush in congratulating this year's recipients of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award," said Secretary Evans. "They represent America's best and are setting a high standard for corporate and social responsibility. Their dynamic, principled leadership has built our economy into the world's largest engine of progress and prosperity."
The 2003 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from among 68 applicants. All seven were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and results. The evaluation process included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.
"This recognition is so meaningful to the recipients because they know the evaluation for the Baldrige Award was objective and scrupulous in identifying performance excellence. Every step of the process is structured to apply the knowledge and expertise of the board of examiners in ensuring that only the most outstanding applicants are recognized," said Harry Reedy, chair of the Baldrige Award panel of judges and vice president and director of quality, State Street Corporation.
The 2003 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with the Baldrige Award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early next year.
Named after the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the quality and performance achievements of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award may be presented to five types of organizations: manufacturers, service companies, small businesses, education organizations and health care organizations. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 58 organizations have received the Baldrige Award.
The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurement, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.