From Staff Reports

Erwin Utilities has earned the Commitment Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee recognition program administered by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE). TNCPE is Tennessee’s only statewide quality program and is patterned on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing role model performance through innovation, improvement, and visionary leadership. Erwin Utilities will accept the award at the 24th Annual Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet on March 2, 2017, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs.

“We are in pursuit of performance excellence, which is a journey, not an end destination.  I am extremely proud of the progress that we’ve made in a short amount of time and look forward to the next step of the journey,” said Erwin Utilities’ General Manager Lee Brown.

Erwin Utilities is a public utility provider located in Erwin, TN, delivering electric, water, wastewater, broadband Internet and voice services to the residents of Unicoi County and portions of Carter and Washington counties.

Through an annual evaluation and assessment process, TNCPE recognizes high-performing organizations that demonstrate continuous improvement and role model processes. This year, TNCPE has named 19 organizations as 2016 Award winners that represent outstanding achievement in the following industry sectors: health care, manufacturing, service, education, government, and nonprofit.

“This award represents hard work, focus, and a dedication to performance improvement,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. Erwin Utilities’s efforts to improve its processes will go beyond the walls of the workplace to touch lives throughout Tennessee.”

Organizations apply to the TNCPE program at one of four levels. As the levels increase, so does the depth and complexity of the application, which is based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework™. Since the program was founded in 1993, only 23 organizations have attained the excellence designation. One will receive the Excellence Award this year; two organizations will be honored with the Achievement Award; thirteen organizations will receive a Commitment Award; and three will receive Interest Recognition.

Commitment Awards are presented to organizations that are beginning to demonstrate commitment to, and implementation of, performance improvement principles. They have demonstrated progress by identifying and putting in place a measurement system to capture data and analyze results, and some key process improvements, which are directly attributable to a fact-based improvement process.

“This program helps organizations look at the big picture and continuously strive to implement the best practices in their industry,” said TNCPE President Katie Rawls. “But it’s not easy—organizations like Erwin Utilities are truly passionate about performance excellence and have chosen TNCPE and the Baldrige framework to help them become the best they can be.”

A full list of winners can be found on the TNCPE website www.tncpe.org

Established in 1993 as a public-private partnership, the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence strives to promote economic development and drive organizational excellence by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today’s global marketplace through affordable, in-depth assessments. A statewide nonprofit, TNCPE is grounded in the Baldrige Excellence Framework—a holistic framework used by organizations across multiple industries to improve their performance and achieve sustainable results. More than 1,300 organizations have participated in and benefited from the TNCPE program. Four Tennessee businesses—Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, Pal’s Sudden Service, Eastman Chemical Company, and Federal Express—have been honored with both the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award and the TNCPE Excellence Award.

For more information about the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, contact Katie Rawls, president and CEO at katie.rawls@tncpe.org.

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, visit www.nist.gov/baldrige.

For more information on Erwin Utilities, contact Lynnsey Lewis at llewis@e-u.cc.