Excellence Recognition Program


Your Path to Excellence

Through the Recognition Program, IMEC leverages the Baldrige Excellence Framework to guide Illinois organizations to higher levels of performance. The Framework is a validated, leading edge model for leadership and drives improvement and innovation where it’s needed most.

Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework will:

  • Create a strategic guide for measuring success
  • Benchmark against high performing organizations in any industry
  • Engage leadership in a systematic approach
  • Develop in-house technical experts
  • Deliver objective feedback on strengths and opportunities for improvement
  • Create a focus on customer engagement

Baldridge Connection

The IMEC Recognition Program is the Baldrige-based program serving Illinois, as part of an alliance of diverse organizations and individuals committed to excellence and continuous improvement. The IMEC Recognition Program is one of approximately 30 state programs in the nation.

Baldrige Award recipients have been very generous in their commitment to improving U.S. competitiveness and the U.S. pursuit of performance excellence. They have shared information with hundreds of thousands of companies, educational institutions, health care organizations, government agencies and others. Award recipients’ efforts have encouraged many other organizations in all sectors of the U.S. economy to undertake their own performance improvement efforts.

More information, including applications, profiles of the activities, accomplishments for each Award recipient at the time that the Awards were presented, and contact information can be found on the Baldrige Performance Excellence website.

Alliance for Performance Excellence

IMEC is a member of the Alliance for Performance Excellence, an organization that represents State and Local Baldrige based programs around the United States. All Alliance programs are based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and members work together to share best practices for performance improvement. The website has an extensive library with an ever increasing body of knowledge on the State and Local programs.

The Baldrige Performance Excellence website with the Baldrige Resource Library is available and contains over 1,000 articles and videos about Baldrige, organizational improvement and the Alliance. Get answers to your questions like, “How do I find out more about Baldrige?”, “How do I get started?”, “Should I do Baldrige, ISO, Lean, or Six Sigma?” – All aspects of organizational improvement, Baldrige, the Criteria, quality methods and tools are covered.

Baldridge Excellence Framework

A Systems Approach to Improving Your Organization’s Performance
(Includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence)

For over 30 years, the Baldrige Excellence Framework has empowered organizations to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. The Baldrige Excellence Framework includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your processes and results.

The 2019-2020 Baldrige Excellence Framework features a focus on:

  • business ecosystems
  • organizational culture
  • supply networks
  • strengthening of cybersecurity
  • making the Criteria more accessible for you, the end user

Baldrige Excellence Framework for Business/Nonprofit

For manufacturing, service, small business, nonprofit and government organizations

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Baldrige Excellence Framework for Education

For organizations in the education sector

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Baldrige Excellence Framework for Health Care

For organizations in the Health Care sector

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Our Services

IMEC assists organizations across all industries with process improvement strategies and coaching to develop your organizational foundation for success. The Baldrige Excellence Framework is effective for any industry, with a focus on Manufacturing, Education, Service, Health Care, Government, and Nonprofits.

Learn more about how our business improvement strategies can assist you with:

  • Continuous Improvement
  • Strategy
  • Workforce Development & Effectiveness
  • Top Line Growth & Innovation
  • Sustainable Business Practices
  • Supply Chain Management

Contact Us

Want to schedule a visit, ask a question or get more information about the IMEC Recognition Program? Complete our contact form below to request more information.

About the Excellence Recognition Program

Our Mission: Committed to driving growth through enterprise excellence

Our Vision: Igniting Illinois Organizational Excellence and Global Competitiveness

IMEC is a unique organization driven by the mission of two U.S. Department of Commerce NIST programs founded to support U.S. businesses: the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The Excellence Recognition Program was founded in 1994 as the state’s affiliate to the Baldrige Program. IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. The 2015 merger allowed the organization to positively impact business change for Illinois companies and recognize those companies who achieve elements of business excellence.

Through the Excellence Recognition Program, IMEC leverages the Baldrige Excellence Framework as a foundation for driving organizational improvement and works with clients to prioritize those improvements through a range of hands-on, goal-oriented solutions.

The Baldrige Excellence Framework helps you evaluate performance, assess where improvements or innovation are most needed, and get results in the following areas:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Customer Engagement
  • Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management
  • Workforce
  • Operations
  • Results

IMEC provides state-wide education based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and shares best-in-class strategies for improving organizational practices.

Robert L. Barnett – Treasurer Motorola, Inc. (retired)

Charles D. Callahan, PhD, MBA, FACHE – Memorial Health System Hospital Group & Memorial Medical Center

Dan Duquette – Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

Larry Elisco – Wipfli LLP

David S. Fox
Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (retired)

Kathy Goerdt – Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

Cynthia A. Hahn, FACHE, GE – American College of Healthcare Executives (retired)

Kraig Kniss – Elkay Manufacturing Company

Shelly Pierce
Chief Judge
Southern Illinois Healthcare

Walter E. Reilly – Executive Coach Consultant

Theresa J. Rutherford, RN, MSN, MBA, FACHE – HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital

William R. Shields, Ed. D. – Community Consolidated School District 93 (retired)

Kathleen C. Yosko – Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital (retired)

After examiners have completed their evaluation of the applications, a panel of judges evaluate the examiner team’s findings against a documented set of award standards. Based on this evaluation, the judges make award recommendations to the Executive Director.

Qualifications for being on the judges panel include an extensive knowledge of the Baldrige Criteria and improving organizational performance.

Shelly Pierce – Chief Judge Southern Illinois Healthcare

Margaret Dospiljulian – Dospil & Associates

Gretchen Frickx – DePaul University

Joe Kilbride – Kilbride Consulting, Inc.

Tom Muszynski – Leidos

Dr. Sunil Sinha – BJC Healthcare Medial Group

Craig C. Thompson – American College of Healthcare Executives

Bob Barnett - Senior Examiner, Motorola - Retired
Dr. Paula Coughlin - Senior Examiner, Retired
Marcia Erickson - Senior Examiner, Action Coach
Sarah Eshelman - Senior Examiner, Genesis Health System
Shawn Flynn - Senior Examiner, Independent Consultant
Teresa Fraker - Senior Examiner, American College of Surgeons
Kathy Goerdt - Senior Examiner, IMRF
Marsha Haldorsen - Senior Examiner, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center
Cassie Hawk - Senior Examiner, Memorial Health System
Michelle Kasparie - Senior Examiner, Blessing Health System
Alan Mendelssohn - Senior Examiner, Independent Consultant
Margaret Ozan Rafferty - Senior Examiner, Blessing Health System
Blake Russell - Senior Examiner, Elkay
Chad Whitehead - Senior Examiner, GDS Associates
Tannia L. Acevedo - Examiner, IMRF
John Azara - Examiner, IMEC
Melissa Basa - Examiner, IMEC
Elizabeth Carter - Examiner, IMRF
Barbara Di Cola Cisler - Examiner, IMRF
Amy Claussen - Examiner, IMRF
Colleen Conrad - Examiner, Elks USA
Michelle M. Dankoski - Examiner, Operational Excellence Manager
James R. Floyd - Examiner, IMEC
Sherrin Ross Ingram - Examiner, International Center for Strategic Planning
Joseph Kunzer - Examiner, Independent Consultant
Dan Ludgate - Examiner, Genesis Health System
Christopher E Maynard - Examiner, ACHE
Katlyn Morin - Examiner, Carle
Christine Ursula Nappo - Examiner, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
Michael Nesson - Examiner, IMRF
Eileen Petropulos - Examiner, IMRF
Laura Powell - Examiner, Genesis Health System
Robert Rouzer - Examiner, Independent Consultant
Kathleen M Setchell - Examiner, IMRF
Bonnie Shadid - Examiner, IMRF
Beth Swanson - Examiner, Pioneer Service, Inc.
Brad Thomas - Examiner, MTH Pumps
Tom Vargas - Examiner, ACHE
Timothy T. Wenthe - Examiner, SMTD



IMEC Recognition Program Contributors

  • American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
  • Southern Illinois Healthcare
  • Elkay
  • Memorial Health System
  • Blessing Health System
  • MTM Recognition
  • Advocate Sherman Hospital
  • Integrated Project Management
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