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Find the Path to Performance Excellence at 2014 Quest Conference

Kanter and Ryan
Keynote speakers at the 26th annual Quest for Excellence conference this April will be Rosabeth Kanter (l), Harvard Business School, a world-renown expert on strategy, innovation and leadership for change, and Sister Mary Jean Ryan (r), SSM Health Care, a distinguished icon in the health care quality movement who led the organization that won the first Baldrige Award in health care in 2002.
Credit: Harvard Business School and SSM Health Care

For organizations seeking insight toward improved performance and results, the annual Quest for Excellence® conference is the definitive showcase of best practices from the winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation's highest honor for performance excellence and innovation. Registration is now open for the 26th annual conference, April 6-9, 2014, in Baltimore, Md.

The conference includes an invitation for registrants to attend a ceremony and reception on Sunday evening, April 6, honoring the 2013 recipients of the Baldrige Award:

  • In the education category, the Pewaukee School District, Pewaukee, Wis.
  • In the health care category, Sutter Davis Hospital, Davis, Calif.

Additionally, registrants have the option to participate on Sunday, April 6, in pre-conference workshops (for beginner and intermediate users of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence) during the day.

This year's Quest will feature in-depth plenary sessions featuring the senior executives of the 2013 recipients, and numerous concurrent sessions, including:

  • Presentations by each of the 2013 recipients on their successful use of the seven categories of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, including leadership, strategic planning, customer focus and other areas critical to organizational performance; and
  • Presentations featuring the strategies, best practices and insights of 17 past Baldrige Award recipients in the categories of manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care.

The Quest for Excellence® conference will be highlighted by two keynote addresses. The first, on Monday, April 7, will be given by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor at the Harvard Business School, and chair and director, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative. Through teaching, writing and direct consultation to major corporations and governments, Kanter has guided leaders worldwide in strategy, innovation and leadership for change. She has been repeatedly named as one of the world's "50 most powerful women" by the Times of London and as one of the "50 most influential business thinkers" by the Thinkers 50 management ranking. Formerly editor of the Harvard Business Review, Kanter's books include The Change Masters, When Giants Learn to Dance and SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good (2009).

The second keynote, on Wednesday, April 9, will feature Sister Mary Jean Ryan, board chair and former president/CEO of SSM Health Care(St. Louis, Mo.), the first Baldrige Award recipient in the health care category in 2002. Internationally known as an inspiring speaker and leader in the health care quality movement, Ryan has been named one of the most powerful people in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine for the past eight years. She is the author or co-author of three books on performance excellence: On Becoming Exceptional: SSM Health Care's Journey to Baldrige and Beyond; Improving Health Care: 14 Case Studies from Leading Practitioners; and CQI and the Renovation of an American Health Care System.

Sign up by March 10, 2014, for a discounted registration fee. The registration site is

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

Released February 25, 2014, Updated January 20, 2023