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Baldrige Foundation Announces 2021 Leadership Award Recipients

Awardees Represent Large and Small Business, Health Care, Education, Nonprofit, Cybersecurity, and Government

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Al Faber, President and CEO of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Inc., today announced the 2021 recipients of the Baldrige Foundation’s Leadership Awards.

“We have four categories of leadership awards,” said Faber, “that recognize outstanding individuals, leaders, and supporters who embody Baldrige leadership values and principles, and who have provided outstanding service to the Baldrige community and beyond.”

E. David Spong Lifetime Achievement Award

The E. David Spong Lifetime Achievement award recognizes individuals who have performed truly extraordinary service, changed their world, and inspired others to do the same. “For 2021, we have two recipients for the Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Faber. “Celeste Volz-Ford founded Stellar Solutions in 1995, a global systems engineering services provider that delivers high-impact performance for projects on earth and in space. She also led Stellar Solutions to win the 2017 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.” The second recipient this year is Terry May, Founder and CEO of MESA. “MESA is the first and only three-time recipient of the Baldrige Award, and Terry has been the driving force behind that effort since the beginning,” noted Faber. “He and his team have demonstrated the power of Baldrige and have shared their best practices with thousands of business leaders across the country.”

Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award

“The Hertz Leadership Award recognizes role-model leaders that challenge, encourage, and empower others to achieve performance excellence,” said Faber. The award is being presented this year to Dr. Michael Ugwueke, President and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee. “Michael is a role-model leader who has consistently over the years applied the principles of the Baldrige Framework to his leadership approach,” said Faber. “He has served the Baldrige Community as a Baldrige Examiner and ambassador for the Baldrige Framework.”

Foundation Awards for Leadership Excellence

“Each year we accept nominations for hundreds of individuals working tirelessly to promote the Baldrige Framework,” continued Faber. “Through their efforts to grow the use of the Baldrige Framework, they help thousands of organizations across the country to improve their performance. Baldrige makes health care safer and more accessible, education more effective, businesses more efficient and customer-focused, cyber systems more secure, governments more streamlined, and nonprofits more responsive across the spectrum,” said Faber. “These great leaders are helping to ensure the sustainability of Baldrige into the future.”

The award recipients for 2021 are:

  • Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, in the Education sector
  • Suzanne Clark, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in the Nonprofit sector
  • Sue Dunn, retired CEO at Donor Alliance, in the Nonprofit sector
  • Lindel Fields, Superintendent and CEO of Tri County Tech, in the Education sector
  • Scott Frisch, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, AARP, in the Nonprofit sector
  • Suzette Kent, former Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States, in the Cybersecurity sector
  • Karen Kiel-Rosser, Vice President & Quality Improvement Officer for Mary Greeley Medical Center, in the Health Care sector
  • The Honorable Jerry Moran, U.S. Senator from Kansas, in the Government sector
  • C. Richard Panico, Founder, President, and CEO of Integrated Project Management Company, Inc., in the Business sector
  • Pete Reicks, Chief Strategy and Performance Officer at ‎Elevations Credit Union, in the Business sector
  • Scott Reiner, CEO of Adventist Health, in the Health Care sector
  • The Honorable José Serrano, U.S. House of Representatives, from New York, in the Government sector
  • Chuck Stokes, Founding Partner at Relia Healthcare Advisors, in the Health Care sector
  • Kevin Webb, President, Providers, Acute and Ambulatory Care at ProMedica, in the Health Care sector

Dr. Curt Reimann Baldrige Scholarship

Understanding that the sustainment of Baldrige also requires an investment in future generations of Baldrige scholars and practitioners, the Foundation Board of Directors established the Dr. Curt Reimann Baldrige Scholarship to assist graduate students or recent graduates to attend Baldrige Examiner training to help promote awareness and use of the Baldrige Framework.

 The 2021 Dr. Curt Reimann Baldrige Scholarship recipients are:

  • Dr. Michael Dillard, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Kallie Kujawa, Bozeman, Montana
  • Dr. Christopher Maylor, Star, Idaho

Traditionally, the Foundation’s Leadership Awards are presented during the Foundation Awards Program held as part of the annual Quest for Excellence® conference. Because the conference was postponed last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2021 conference being virtual, we will be conducting a virtual awards presentation event on April 14, 2021. The 2020 and 2021 award winners will be receiving their awards at that time. Information on accessing the virtual awards event will be made available as those arrangements are solidified.

For more information on these awards or the Quest for Excellence® conference, contact: Mark Wayda, 614-785-0172 or