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Celebrate 25 Years of Baldrige ... and Learn Something, Too!

For organizations seeking insight toward improved performance and results, the annual Quest for Excellence® conference is the definitive showcase of best practices from the previous year's winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation's highest honor for performance excellence and innovation. In 2013, however, the event will be extra special, as the Baldrige Award and Quest for Excellence® both celebrate 25 years of service and achievement.

Registration is now open at for the 25th annual Quest for Excellence® conference, April 7-10, 2013. Held for the first time in Baltimore, Md. (at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel), the conference includes an invitation for registrants to attend a ceremony and celebratory brunch on Monday, April 8, honoring the 2012 recipients of the Baldrige Award (listed with their category):

  • Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas (manufacturing)
  • MESA Products Inc., Tulsa, Okla. (small business)
  • North Mississippi Health Services, Tupelo, Miss. (health care)
  • City of Irving, Irving, Texas (nonprofit)

Additionally, registrants have the option to participate on Sunday, April 7, in pre-conference workshops (for beginner and intermediate users of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence) during the day and the 25th Anniversary Gala, celebrating a quarter century of Baldrige achievements, that night.

This year's Quest will feature two in-depth plenary sessions featuring the senior executives of the 2012 recipients, a plenary session featuring award recipients from international Baldrige-based programs, and numerous concurrent sessions, including:

  • Presentations by each of the 2012 recipients on their successful use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence;
  • Special topic sessions such as using Baldrige to survive and recover from the economic downturn, using social media to engage customers, and building and sustaining shared leadership in a continuous improvement culture; and
  • A panel discussion by organizations that were non-winning applicants for the 2012 Baldrige Award but were recognized for best practices in one or more of the Baldrige Criteria categories.

Tuesday, April 9, will feature a luncheon keynote address by Dr. Ben Carson, director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Renowned for his innovative and groundbreaking pediatric neurosurgical procedures, including separation of conjoined twins, Carson is a 2008 recipient of the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is the author of five bestselling books about leadership, excellence, risk-taking and success.

For more about the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, call (301) 975-2036 or e-mail baldrige [at] (baldrige[at]nist[dot]gov).

Released February 6, 2013, Updated January 23, 2023