2022 Above & Beyond Award

Beth Edwards & Kimberly Bond

Every year the SPQA recognizes special examiners who have contributed greatly to the success of the Award Program. This peer recognition from team members and team leadership is delivered through three special awards: Above and Beyond Award, Rookie of the Year Award, and Examiner of the Year.

The Above and Beyond recognition is awarded to individuals who have contributed significantly to their assigned roles and/or special projects. This year’s co-recipients are Beth Edwards and Kimberly Bond.

Beth Edwards

Kimberly Bond

What is one thing that surprises you about the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence?

Beth: The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence can be used with any organization regardless of size or budget. The criteria provides a roadmap to high performance and can bring value to organizations focused on improvement.

Kimberly: The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence helps an organization to bring together its leadership, workforce, and stakeholders to define what is important to them and their community. This comprehensive review process supports the understanding of how each part completes the whole through evaluating how work is done, interconnectivity, and measures of success. 

Being an Examiner for the SPQA is a significant time commitment, what motivates you to keep coming back to serve as an examiner?

Beth: Being an Examiner is definitely a time commitment. The opportunity to be involved in supporting organizations on their improvement journey and my own professional development have been well worth the investment.

Kimberly: Professional learning and relationship building throughout each award cycle is priceless and well worth the time investment. The commitment of SPQA leadership, the award applicants, and fellow examiners encourages me to work on life balance so that I can continue to be a part of the journey in this community.

Why should an organization choose to use the Baldrige Criteria for Excellence to drive improvement?

Beth: The Baldrige Criteria will challenge an organization. The criteria questions demand that you look at your organization in ways you may not have considered.  There are many a-ha moments for leaders as they navigate the questions.

Kimberly: The Baldrige Criteria provides an opportunity to see the “big picture” of what your organization is currently doing, both its successes and weak points. Once the Organizational Profile is complete, work can begin to have thoughtful conversations from every perspective and organize all work to align to what is important to the company culture, its success factors, and where they want to be in the future.  Following the criteria to connect core values breaks down decision making, that is at times overwhelming, through the evaluation of processes and use of data to make thoughtful changes.  

What is your most memorable Examiner Team experience that either keeps you laughing or makes you exceptionally proud of the work you have done?

Beth: There are many proud moments and lots of laughs on an Examiner Team. Seeing the growth of new examiners through an award cycle is very rewarding. From the first criteria training session, to a site visit with an applicant is a long stretch with many hours of hard work, but when the new examiner handles questions from an applicant and demonstrates their understanding of the criteria, it is a very proud moment for those of us involved in training and mentoring throughout the award cycle.

Kimberly: I’d have to say that I have three most memorable experiences being part of an examiner team. First, it’s never a competition, everyone on the team is more than willing to share knowledge and to grow each other, continually. Second, when I see examiners (myself included) and applicants “get it,” there is little else more rewarding. Third, being able to apply working knowledge from the SPQA team environment and the criteria to my day-to-day work…and the boss notices the growth and continues to encourage participation.